39.1. Overview of Event Trigger Behavior
An event trigger fires whenever the event with which it is associated
occurs in the database in which it is defined. Currently, the only
supported events are
Support for additional events may be added in future releases.
ddl_command_start event occurs just before the
execution of a
command. No check whether the affected object exists or doesn't exist is
performed before the event trigger fires.
As an exception, however, this event does not occur for
DDL commands targeting shared objects — databases, roles, and tablespaces
— or for commands targeting event triggers themselves. The event trigger
mechanism does not support these object types.
ddl_command_start also occurs just before the execution of a
SELECT INTO command, since this is equivalent to
CREATE TABLE AS.
ddl_command_end event occurs just after the execution of
this same set of commands. To obtain more details on the DDL
operations that took place, use the set-returning function
pg_event_trigger_ddl_commands() from the
ddl_command_end event trigger code (see
Section 9.28). Note that the trigger fires
after the actions have taken place (but before the transaction commits),
and thus the system catalogs can be read as already changed.
sql_drop event occurs just before the
ddl_command_end event trigger for any operation that drops
database objects. To list the objects that have been dropped, use the
pg_event_trigger_dropped_objects() from the
sql_drop event trigger code (see
Section 9.28). Note that
the trigger is executed after the objects have been deleted from the
system catalogs, so it's not possible to look them up anymore.
table_rewrite event occurs just before a table is
rewritten by some actions of the commands
ALTER TABLE and
ALTER TYPE. While other
control statements are available to rewrite a table,
table_rewrite event is not triggered by them.
Event triggers (like other functions) cannot be executed in an aborted
transaction. Thus, if a DDL command fails with an error, any associated
ddl_command_end triggers will not be executed. Conversely,
ddl_command_start trigger fails with an error, no
further event triggers will fire, and no attempt will be made to execute
the command itself. Similarly, if a
fails with an error, the effects of the DDL statement will be rolled
back, just as they would be in any other case where the containing
For a complete list of commands supported by the event trigger mechanism, see Section 39.2.
Event triggers are created using the command CREATE EVENT TRIGGER.
In order to create an event trigger, you must first create a function with
the special return type
event_trigger. This function
need not (and may not) return a value; the return type serves merely as
a signal that the function is to be invoked as an event trigger.
If more than one event trigger is defined for a particular event, they will fire in alphabetical order by trigger name.
A trigger definition can also specify a
condition so that, for example, a
trigger can be fired only for particular commands which the user wishes
to intercept. A common use of such triggers is to restrict the range of
DDL operations which users may perform.