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ecpg - embedded SQL C preprocessor


ecpg [option...] file...


ecpg is the embedded SQL preprocessor for C programs. It converts C programs with embedded
SQL statements to normal C code by replacing the SQL invocations with special function
calls. The output files can then be processed with any C compiler tool chain.

ecpg will convert each input file given on the command line to the corresponding C output
file. Input files preferably have the extension .pgc, in which case the extension will be
replaced by .c to determine the output file name. If the extension of the input file is
not .pgc, then the output file name is computed by appending .c to the full file name. The
output file name can also be overridden using the -o option.

This reference page does not describe the embedded SQL language. See Chapter 33, ECPG -
Embedded SQL in C, in the documentation for more information on that topic.


ecpg accepts the following command-line arguments:

Automatically generate certain C code from SQL code. Currently, this works for EXEC

-C mode
Set a compatibility mode. mode can be INFORMIX or INFORMIX_SE.

-D symbol
Define a C preprocessor symbol.

Parse system include files as well.

-I directory
Specify an additional include path, used to find files included via EXEC SQL INCLUDE.
Defaults are . (current directory), /usr/local/include, the PostgreSQL include
directory which is defined at compile time (default: /usr/local/pgsql/include), and
/usr/include, in that order.

-o filename
Specifies that ecpg should write all its output to the given filename.

-r option
Selects run-time behavior. Option can be one of the following:

Do not use indicators but instead use special values to represent null values.
Historically there have been databases using this approach.

Prepare all statements before using them. Libecpg will keep a cache of prepared
statements and reuse a statement if it gets executed again. If the cache runs
full, libecpg will free the least used statement.

Allow question mark as placeholder for compatibility reasons. This used to be the
default long ago.

Turn on autocommit of transactions. In this mode, each SQL command is automatically
committed unless it is inside an explicit transaction block. In the default mode,
commands are committed only when EXEC SQL COMMIT is issued.

Print additional information including the version and the "include" path.

Print the ecpg version and exit.

Show help about ecpg command line arguments, and exit.


When compiling the preprocessed C code files, the compiler needs to be able to find the
ECPG header files in the PostgreSQL include directory. Therefore, you might have to use
the -I option when invoking the compiler (e.g., -I/usr/local/pgsql/include).

Programs using C code with embedded SQL have to be linked against the libecpg library, for
example using the linker options -L/usr/local/pgsql/lib -lecpg.

The value of either of these directories that is appropriate for the installation can be
found out using pg_config(1).


If you have an embedded SQL C source file named prog1.pgc, you can create an executable
program using the following sequence of commands:

ecpg prog1.pgc
cc -I/usr/local/pgsql/include -c prog1.c
cc -o prog1 prog1.o -L/usr/local/pgsql/lib -lecpg

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