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Known differences between Serverless SQL Databases and default PostgreSQL

Reviewed on 08 February 2024Published on 04 August 2023

Serverless SQL Database is based on PostgreSQL engine and thus provides standard PostgreSQL compatibility for most PostgreSQL features and commands. Due to the nature of a managed service, autoscaling support and connection pooling support, some features are not currently supported. This means either the corresponding SQL command will not be authorized, or will not behave similarly to a standard PostgreSQL instance.

If you require strict compatibility with all PostgreSQL features, you can use Managed Databases for PostgreSQL instead.

Unsupported SQL features

  • Notifying and listening channels using the NOTIFY and LISTEN commands can be performed, but message delivery is not guaranteed.

    LISTEN channel;
    NOTIFY channel, 'message';
  • Creating temporary tables or views is not supported.

    CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE table as {query};
    CREATE TEMPORARY VIEW view as {query};
  • Refreshing materialized view concurrently cannot be performed.


    You can still refresh materialized views without the CONCURRENTLY option.

  • Asynchronous commands such as PQsendQuery and PQgetResult cannot be performed.

  • Declaring a cursor in transactions with WITH HOLD is not supported.

    DECLARE cursor CURSOR WITH HOLD FOR {query};
  • Creating subscriptions cannot be performed.

    CREATE SUBSCRIPTION subscription CONNECTION 'connection' PUBLICATION publication;
  • Preparing transactions is not supported.

    PREPARE TRANSACTION 'transactionid';

Unsupported SQL client features

  • Grafana: Serverless SQL Databases cannot be added as a PostgreSQL data source in Grafana 10.1 and older versions, as Server Name Indication (SNI) is not supported. However, this feature is supported by Grafana 10.2 or higher.

  • r2dbc-postgresql (Java): Serverless SQL Databases cannot be queried with r2dbc-postgresql client version before 1.0.5, as Server Name Indication (SNI) is not supported. However, this feature is supported by r2dbc-postgresql 1.0.5. As a consequence, Java frameworks using this client are also limited dependending on which client version they use. For instance, Micronaut framework before version 4.4.1 cannot query Serverless SQL Databases using micronaut-r2dbc/r2dbc-postgresql, but can however perform queries using standard jdbc client.

  • vertx-sql-client (Java): Serverless SQL Databases cannot be queried with vertx-sql-client yet.

  • The client_encoding option can only be set to UTF8 or UNICODE:

    pgcli postgresql://{username}:{password}@{host}:{port}/{databasename}?client_encoding=UTF8|UNICODE

    Setting the client-side encoding to a different value, such as SQL_ASCII when connecting with a client is not supported.

  • ETL tools such as Airbyte, Fivetran or Meltano cannot load data into a Serverless SQL Database, as they require TEMPORARY TABLES, which are currently not supported. However, data can be loaded from a Serverless SQL Database into another target, but not using Change Data Capture (CDC) options, as they require SUBSCRIPTIONS, which are currently not supported.

Unsupported configuration commands

  • DDL (Data Definition Language) queries on objects such as databases and users cannot be performed. Corresponding actions can still be performed directly using the Scaleway console, the API, Terraform, and IAM.

    GRANT SELECT ON TABLE table TO role;
  • SET or RESET commands to change run-time configuration parameters can be performed, but will be shared across multiple clients and might be lost when a database switches to an idle state, or during autoscaling operations.

    SET TIME ZONE 'Europe/Paris';
    RESET timezone;
  • Security labels cannot be defined or changed.

    SECURITY LABEL FOR provider ON TABLE table IS 'label';
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