check start time before end time in postgresql

  • August 10, 2016

Something that a lot of people coming from MySQL does not know about real SQL database is the possibility to have ‘advanced’ constraints

A very simple one here, but quite common

I have my table Event with a start_time and end_time and of course I want to be sure that it can’t be possible to have a start_time that happens after its end_time. in MySQL outside of creating triggers you will most of the time have no other way than to do this check in your application code, and of course either it will not be put directly. Or because of mass import of whatsoever you will always one time were this check will not occur, and are now with a database that have inconsistent data. And now all part of code starts to need checking that weird case.

But in PostgreSQL you can simply do this by adding a CHECK clause in your create table

    CREATE TABLE event (
        id UUID NOT NULL,
        start_time TIMESTAMP(0) WITH TIME ZONE NOT NULL,
        PRIMARY KEY(id),
        -- the important is here
        CHECK (start_time < end_time)

Of course you can do much more than that, I invite you to check all the constraint you can add in reading the documentation about them