Tuple queries

Consider a scenario in which you just want to have a list of all first names of CHILD objects in the database. Loading every attribute of each object of type CHILD might lead to a very bad performance, especially if there is a big object graph attached to each CHILD object.

To solve this problem ABEL allows queries which return data in TUPLE objects. Tuple queries are executed by calling execute_tuple_query (a_tuple_query) in either PS_REPOSITORY or PS_TRANSACTION, where a_tuple_query is of type PS_TUPLE_QUERY [G]. The result is an iteration cursor over a list of tuples in which the attributes of an object are stored.

Tuple queries and projections

The projection feature in a PS_TUPLE_QUERY defines which attributes shall be included in the result TUPLE. Additionally, the order of the attributes in the projection array is the same as the order of the elements in the result tuples.

By default, a PS_TUPLE_QUERY object will only return values of attributes which are of a basic type, so no references are followed during a retrieve. You can change this default by calling set_projection. If you include an attribute name whose type is not a basic one, ABEL will actually retrieve and build the attribute object, and not just another tuple.

Tuple queries and criteria

You are restricted to use predefined criteria in tuple queries, because agent criteria expect an object and not a tuple. You can still combine them with logical operators, and even include a predefined criterion on an attribute that is not present in the projection list. These attributes will be loaded internally to check if the object satisfies the criterion, and then they are discarded for the actual result.


explore_tuple_queries -- See what can be done with tuple queries. local query: PS_TUPLE_QUERY [CHILD] transaction: PS_TRANSACTION projection: ARRAYED_LIST [STRING] do -- Tuple queries are very similar to normal queries. -- I.e. you can query for CHILD objects by creating -- a PS_TUPLE_QUERY [CHILD] create query.make -- It is also possible to add criteria. Agent criteria -- are not supportedfor tuple queries however. -- Lets search for CHILD objects with last name Doe. query.set_criterion (criterion_factory ("last_name", criterion_factory.equals, "Doe")) -- The big advantage of tuple queries is that you can -- define which attributes should be loaded. -- Thus you can avoid loading a whole object graph -- if you're just interested in e.g. the first name. create projection.make_from_array (<<"first_name">>) query.set_projection (projection) -- Execute the tuple query. repository.execute_tuple_query (query) -- The result of the query is a TUPLE containing the -- requested attribute. print ("Print all first names using a tuple query:%N") across query as cursor loop -- It is possible to downcast the TUPLE -- to a tagged tuple with correct type. check attached {TUPLE [first_name: STRING]} cursor.item as tuple then print (tuple.first_name + "%N") end end -- Cleanup and error handling. query.close if query.has_error then print ("An error occurred!%N") end end