libpqxx  7.1.0
Accessing results and result rows

When you execute a query using one of the transaction exec functions, you normally get a result object back. A result is a container of rows.

(There are exceptions. The exec0 functions are for when you expect no result data, so they don't return anything. The exec1 functions expect exactly one row, so they return just the row.)

Result objects are an all-or-nothing affair. The exec function waits until it's received all the result data, and then gives it to you in the form of the result. (There is another way of doing things, so see "streaming rows" below as well.)

For example, your code might do:

pqxx::result r = tx.exec("SELECT * FROM mytable");

Now, how do you access the data inside r?

Result sets act as standard C++ containers of rows. Rows act as standard C++ containers of fields. So the easiest way to go through them is:

for (auto const &row: r)
   for (auto const &field: row) std::cout << field.c_str() << '\t';
   std::cout << std::endl;

But results and rows also support other kinds of access. Array-style indexing, for instance, such as r[rownum]:

int const num_rows = r.size();
for (int rownum=0; rownum < num_rows; ++rownum)
  pqxx::row const row = r[rownum];
  int const num_cols = row.size();
  for (int colnum=0; colnum < num_cols; ++colnum)
    pqxx::field const field = row[colnum];
    std::cout << field.c_str() << '\t';

  std::cout << std::endl;

And of course you can use classic "begin/end" loops:

for (auto row = r.begin(); row != r.end(); row++)
  for (auto field = row.begin(); field != row.end(); field++)
    std::cout << field->c_str() << '\t';
    std::cout << std::endl;

Result sets are immutable, so all iterators on results and rows are actually const_iterators. There are also const_reverse_iterator types, which iterate backwards from rbegin() to rend() exclusive.

All these iterator types provide one extra bit of convenience that you won't normally find in C++ iterators: referential transparency. You don't need to dereference them to get to the row or field they refer to. That is, instead of row->end() you can also choose to say row.end(). Similarly, you may prefer field.c_str() over field->c_str().

This becomes really helpful with the array-indexing operator. With regular C++ iterators you would need ugly expressions like (*row)[0] or row->operator[](0). With the iterator types defined by the result and row classes you can simply say row[0].

Streaming rows

There's another way to go through the rows coming out of a query. It's easier and faster, but there are drawbacks.

One, you start getting rows before all the data has come in from the database. So if there's an error while you're receiving and processing data then you're stuck in the middle. You might lose your connection to the database when you've already started processing the incoming data.

Two, you can't do everything in a streaming query that you can in a regular one. Your query gets wrapped in a PostgreSQL COPY command, and COPY only supports some queries: SELECT, VALUES, or anINSERT,UPDATE, or DELETEwith aRETURNINGclause. See theCOPY` documentation here:

Now for the good news. Streaming does make it very easy to query data and loop over it:

for (auto [id, name, x, y] :<int, std::string_view, float, float>(
        "SELECT id, name, x, y FROM point"))
  process(id + 1, "point-" + name, x * 10.0, y * 10.0);

The conversion to C++ types (here int, std::string_view, and two float) is built in. You don't see the row objects, the field objects, the iterators, or the conversion methods. You just put in your query and you receive your data.