There is a table on my database that stores a path for video files used by my website. Those files are stored in a SSD disk.

path character varying(255)
id serial

The path will always be like this:


Here are some examples of valid paths:


Question: How can I create a Trigger that checks the value WHEN INSERTED and, if the row is less than the minimal path (/files/client/\d+/(attachment|user)/\d+/(main|thumbnail)) then raise an exception?

I'm using PostgreSQL 9.1.


Some more examples here:

/files/client/45345/user/3542341234/main -- PASS
/files/client/45345/user/3542341234/thumbnail -- PASS
/files/client/253623/attachment/35334/main -- PASS
/files/client/253623/attachment/35334/thumbnail -- PASS
/files/client/45312341245/users/12545/main -- WRONG!
/files/client/45312341245/users/12545/thumbnail -- WRONG!
/files/client/45345/attachment/1223545/mains -- WRONG!
/files/client/45345/attachment/1223545/thumbnails -- WRONG!
  • What does that even mean, "if the row is less than the minimal path" how can that occur? Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 4:06
  • If for some reason the application inserts wrong path, I want the DB to be able to "block" it. Simple like that
    – Patrick B.
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 4:11
  • What is "the wrong path" how do you have a "less than the minimal path" can you give us an example? Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 4:36
  • 1
    @EvanCarroll I've already given it to u: Path should be always /files/client/\d+/(attachment|user)/\d+/(main|thumbnail). Anything different from that is wrong.
    – Patrick B.
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 4:41
  • 1
    @EvanCarroll no problem.. please see my latest update
    – Patrick B.
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 4:45

1 Answer 1


You can simply use a check constraint however I would personally restructure my schema. Essentially what you seem to be doing is serializing a lot of data into a path, and then you want to be sure it's correct. That's kind of yuck, from my perspective.

  id    serial,
  path  text
    CHECK ( path ~ '/files/client/\d+/(attachment|user)/\d+/(main|thumbnail)' )

INSERT INTO foo(path) VALUES ('/STUD/EVAN/beefcake_hotstuff.jpg');
ERROR:  new row for relation "foo" violates check constraint "foo_path_check"
DETAIL:  Failing row contains (6, /STUD/EVAN/beefcake_hotstuff.jpg).

I would probably go the opposite direction and normalize to some degree.


Normalizing would look something like this,


CREATE TABLE aws.client (
  client_id serial PRIMARY KEY
CREATE TABLE aws.attachment (
  client_id       int REFERENCES client,
  attachment_id   int PRIMARY KEY,
  name            text
CREATE TABLE aws.user (
  client_id       int REFERENCES client,
  user_id         int PRIMARY KEY,
  name            text

SELECT '/files/client' || client_id || '/attachment' || attachment_id || '/' || a.name
FROM aws.attachment AS a
JOIN aws.client AS c USING (client_id);

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