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  • Queries

For the sake of brevity I am using the client.query method instead of the pool.query method - both methods support the same API. In fact, pool.query delegates directly to client.query internally.

Text only

If your query has no parameters you do not need to include them to the query method:

await client.query('SELECT NOW() as now')

Parameterized query

If you are passing parameters to your queries you will want to avoid string concatenating parameters into the query text directly. This can (and often does) lead to sql injection vulnerabilities. node-postgres supports parameterized queries, passing your query text unaltered as well as your parameters to the PostgreSQL server where the parameters are safely substituted into the query with battle-tested parameter substitution code within the server itself.

const text = 'INSERT INTO users(name, email) VALUES($1, $2) RETURNING *'
const values = ['brianc', '[email protected]']
const res = await client.query(text, values)
// { name: 'brianc', email: '[email protected]' }

PostgreSQL does not support parameters for identifiers. If you need to have dynamic database, schema, table, or column names (e.g. in DDL statements) use pg-format package for handling escaping these values to ensure you do not have SQL injection!

Parameters passed as the second argument to query() will be converted to raw data types using the following rules:

null and undefined

If parameterizing null and undefined then both will be converted to null.


Custom conversion to a UTC date string.


Buffer instances are unchanged.


Converted to a string that describes a Postgres array. Each array item is recursively converted using the rules described here.


If a parameterized value has the method toPostgres then it will be called and its return value will be used in the query. The signature of toPostgres is the following:

toPostgres (prepareValue: (value) => any): any

The prepareValue function provided can be used to convert nested types to raw data types suitable for the database.

Otherwise if no toPostgres method is defined then JSON.stringify is called on the parameterized value.

Everything else

All other parameterized values will be converted by calling value.toString on the value.

Query config object

pool.query and client.query both support taking a config object as an argument instead of taking a string and optional array of parameters. The same example above could also be performed like so:

const query = {
  text: 'INSERT INTO users(name, email) VALUES($1, $2)',
  values: ['brianc', '[email protected]'],
const res = await client.query(query)

The query config object allows for a few more advanced scenarios:

Prepared statements

PostgreSQL has the concept of a prepared statement. node-postgres supports this by supplying a name parameter to the query config object. If you supply a name parameter the query execution plan will be cached on the PostgreSQL server on a per connection basis. This means if you use two different connections each will have to parse & plan the query once. node-postgres handles this transparently for you: a client only requests a query to be parsed the first time that particular client has seen that query name:

const query = {
  // give the query a unique name
  name: 'fetch-user',
  text: 'SELECT * FROM user WHERE id = $1',
  values: [1],
const res = await client.query(query)

In the above example the first time the client sees a query with the name 'fetch-user' it will send a 'parse' request to the PostgreSQL server & execute the query as normal. The second time, it will skip the 'parse' request and send the name of the query to the PostgreSQL server.

Be careful not to fall into the trap of premature optimization. Most of your queries will likely not benefit much, if at all, from using prepared statements. This is a somewhat "power user" feature of PostgreSQL that is best used when you know how to use it - namely with very complex queries with lots of joins and advanced operations like union and switch statements. I rarely use this feature in my own apps unless writing complex aggregate queries for reports and I know the reports are going to be executed very frequently.

Row mode

By default node-postgres reads rows and collects them into JavaScript objects with the keys matching the column names and the values matching the corresponding row value for each column. If you do not need or do not want this behavior you can pass rowMode: 'array' to a query object. This will inform the result parser to bypass collecting rows into a JavaScript object, and instead will return each row as an array of values.

const query = {
  text: 'SELECT $1::text as first_name, $2::text as last_name',
  values: ['Brian', 'Carlson'],
  rowMode: 'array',
const res = await client.query(query)
console.log(res.fields.map(field => field.name)) // ['first_name', 'last_name']
console.log(res.rows[0]) // ['Brian', 'Carlson']


You can pass in a custom set of type parsers to use when parsing the results of a particular query. The types property must conform to the Types API. Here is an example in which every value is returned as a string:

const query = {
  text: 'SELECT * from some_table',
  types: {
    getTypeParser: () => val => val,