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Databases - Practical PostgreSQL
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Object Identifiers

As described in the Section called Understanding Tables ," each database consists of tables, and each table consists of at least one named column. These tables may contain rows, but do not necessarily at any given time.

One table management concern can be how to distinguish between two rows whose column values are identical. A very useful PostgreSQL feature is that every row has its own object identifier number, or OID , which is unique within that table. In other words, no two rows within the same table will ever have the same OID. This means that even if a table were designed in such a way that two rows might be identical, there is still a programmatic way to discern between them: via the OID. This is demonstrated in Example 3-31.

Example 3-31. Differentiating rows via the OID

testdb=# 
SELECT * FROM my_list;

              todos
----------------------------------
 Correct redundancies in my list.
 Correct redundancies in my list.
(2 rows)

testdb=# 
SELECT *,oid FROM my_list;

              todos               |   oid
----------------------------------+---------
 Correct redundancies in my list. | 3391263
 Correct redundancies in my list. | 3391264
(2 rows)

testdb=# 
DELETE FROM my_list 

testdb-#  
   WHERE oid = 3391264;

DELETE 1
testdb=# SELECT *,oid FROM my_list;
              todos               |   oid
----------------------------------+---------
 Correct redundancies in my list. | 3391263
(1 row)
Databases - Practical PostgreSQL
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