8.18. Domain Types

A domain is a user-defined data type that is based on another underlying type . Optionally, it can have constraints that restrict its valid values to a subset of what the underlying type would allow. Otherwise it behaves like the underlying type - for example, any operator or function that can be applied to the underlying type will work on the domain type. The underlying type can be any built-in or user-defined base type, enum type, array type, composite type, range type, or another domain.

For example, we could create a domain over integers that accepts only positive integers:

CREATE DOMAIN posint AS integer CHECK (VALUE > 0);
CREATE TABLE mytable (id posint);
INSERT INTO mytable VALUES(1);   -- works
INSERT INTO mytable VALUES(-1);  -- fails

When an operator or function of the underlying type is applied to a domain value, the domain is automatically down-cast to the underlying type. Thus, for example, the result of mytable.id - 1 is considered to be of type integer not posint . We could write (mytable.id - 1)::posint to cast the result back to posint , causing the domain's constraints to be rechecked. In this case, that would result in an error if the expression had been applied to an id value of 1. Assigning a value of the underlying type to a field or variable of the domain type is allowed without writing an explicit cast, but the domain's constraints will be checked.

For additional information see CREATE DOMAIN .