Monthly Downloads: 21
Programming language: Haskell
License: MIT License
Tags: Database     PostgreSQL    
Latest version: v1.1.1

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postgresql-transactional is a simple monadic wrapper around the SQL primitives introduced by the postgresql-simple package. It provides simple and predictable semantics for database operations, enforces awareness of Postgres's transactional nature at API boundaries, and obviates the need for transaction boilerplate in SQL queries.


Though the primitives provided by the postgresql-simple package are fast and powerful, their interface is (by design) very basic: specifically, all query functions take a shared Connection parameter and operate in the IO monad.

query :: FromRow r => Connection -> Query -> IO [r]
execute :: ToRow q => Connection -> Query -> q -> IO Int64

By virtue of the fact that (usually) all queries in a given scope are routed through a single Connection, we can abstract away the shared Connection parameter by wrapping a ReaderT Connection in a monad transformer:

newtype PGTransactionT m a =
    PGTransactionT (ReaderT Postgres.Connection m a)
        deriving (Functor, Applicative, Monad, MonadTrans, MonadIO,
                  MonadReader Postgres.Connection)

type PGTransaction a = PGTransactionT IO a

In the common case, the m parameter will simply be IO. The library provides the type alias type PGTransaction a = PGTransactionT IO a to simplify type signatures in these cases.

We can then reimplement our query functions in a more natural fashion:

query :: (FromRow r, MonadIO m) => Query -> PGTransactionT m [a]
execute :: (ToRow q, MonadIO m) => Query -> q -> PGTransactionT m Int64

And we can then use the postgresql-simple withTransaction function to provide runPGTransaction, which executes a given PGTransactionT block with rollback semantics:

runPGTransaction :: MonadBaseControl IO m => PGTransactionT m a -> Postgres.Connection -> m a

Use of the MonadBaseControl IO m constraint leaves open the option of embedding additional effects with the m parameter, such as logging, state, or error-handling.

We also provide a PGTagged monad transformer that is equivalent to PGTransaction, but includes a phantom type in each relevant type signature that indicates whether said function has read-only or write-enabled effects. This can be useful when dispatching read-only queries to Postgres replicas.

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postgresql-transactional was extracted from a production Haskell project at Helium. It is open-source software © Helium Systems, Inc., and released to the public under the terms of the MIT license.

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the postgresql-transactional README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.