The developers of Rampart are indebted to Thunderstone, LLC for the Texis library and the decades of development behind it.


Use of the rampart-sql module and the Texis library is governed by the Rampart Source Available License.

What does it do?

The rampart-sql module provides database and full text search capabilities in Rampart. It includes Texis, a SQL relational database with a fully integrated full text search engine.

Documentation Caveat

In this document, the term “Texis” used to refer to the SQL engine, the text search index and the text search engine. The term “Metamorph” is used to solely refer to the text search engine.

The convention used in this document is var Sql with a capital “S” for the return Object of the loaded module and var sql with a lower-case “s” for the instance of a connection to a database made with the JavaScript init() constructor Function.

Further Reading

As the Texis library and its included Metamorph search engine encompasses more functionality than is expressed in this documentation, a full understanding of the workings of Texis and Metamorph can be found by referring to the documentation at

Loading the Javascript Module

Loading of the sql module from within Rampart JavaScript is a simple matter of using the require statement:

var Sql=require("rampart-sql");

Return value:

    init:         {_func:true},
    stringFormat: {_func:true},
    abstract:     {_func:true},
    sandr:        {_func:true},
    sandr2:       {_func:true},
    rex:          {_func:true},
    re2:          {_func:true},
    rexFile:      {_func:true},
    re2File:      {_func:true},
    searchFile:   {_func:true}

The returned Object contains Functions that can be split into two groups: Database Functions and String Functions.

Database Functions

init() constructor

The init constructor function takes a String, the path to the database and an optional Boolean as parameters. It returns an Object representing a new connection to the specified database. The return Object includes the following Functions: exec(), one(), set(), reset(), importCsvFile(), importCsv and close().


var sql = new Sql.init(dbpath [,create]);






The path to the directory containing the database



if true, and the directory does not exist, the directory and a new database will be created in the location specified.

Return Value:

An Object of Functions:

    exec:          {_func:true},
    one:           {_func:true},
    set:           {_func:true},
    reset:         {_func:true},
    importCsvFile: {_func:true},
    importCsv:     {_func:true},
    close:         {_func:true}


var Sql = require("rampart-sql");

/* create database if it does not exist */
var sql = new Sql.init("/path/to/my/db", true);

Note that to create a new database, the folder /path/to/my/db must not exist, but /path/to/my must exist and have write permissions for the current user.


The exec Function executes a sql statement on the database opened with init(). It takes a String containing a sql statement and an optional Object or Array of sql parameters, an optional Object of options and an optional callback Function. The parameters may be specified in any order.

var res = sql.exec(statement [, options] [, sql_parameters] [, callback]);






The sql statement



Options (skipRows, maxRows, returnType, includeCounts returnRows and arg) as described below



? substitution parameters


?named substution parameters



a function to handle data one row at a time.


A statement is a String containing a single sql statement to be executed. A trailing ; (semicolon) is optional. Example:

var res = sql.exec(
    "select * from employees where Salary > 50000 and Start_date < '2018-12-31'"

Note that concatenating statements separated by ; is not supported in JavaScript, and as such, a script must use a separate exec() for each statement to be executed.

SQL Parameters:

SQL Parameters are specified in an Array with each member corresponding to each ? in the SQL statement. Alternatively parameters can be named in an Object with each value in the Object corresponding to each ?key_name in the SQL statement.


var res = sql.exec(
    "select * from employees where Salary > ? and Start-date < ?",
    [50000, "2018-12-31"]

/* or */

var res = sql.exec(
    "select * from employees where Salary > ?salary and Start-date < ?date",
    { salary: 50000, date: "2018-12-31"}

The use of Parameters can make the handling of user input safe from SQL injection. Note that if there is only one parameter, it still must be contained in an Array or Object.


The options Object may contain any of the following:

  • maxRows (Number): maximum number of rows to return (default: 10 for select statements; unlimited (-1) for others). See Caveats below.

  • skipRows (Number): the number of rows to skip (default: 0).

  • returnType (String): Determines the format of the rows value in the return Object.

    • default: if returnType is not set, rows in the return value of select statements will be an Array of Objects, as if "object" below was set. For delete, update and insert statements, rows will be an empty array as if "novars" was set.

    • "object": An Array of Objects. Each Array member correspond to each row fetched. Each Object has its property names (keys) set the names of the corresponding column and its values set to the field value of the corresponding row for the named column.

    • "array": An Array of Arrays. The outer Array members correspond to each row fetched. The inner Array members correspond to the fields returned in each row. Note that column names are still available, in order, in columns.

    • "novars": An empty Array is returned. The sql statement is still executed. This is the default for inserts, updates and deletes where the return value would normally not be used.

    • Note: If the values of a deleted, inserted or updated row are needed, returnType can be set to either "object" or "array" and the statement will be executed as normal with rows set as if the row or rows operated upon were selected.

  • returnRows (Boolean): If set true, performs the same function as {returnType: "object"} above. If set false, performs the same function at {returnType: "novars"} above. This setting overrides the returnType setting if both are present.

  • includeCounts (Boolean): whether to include count information in the return Object. Default is false. The information will be returned as an Object in the sql.exec() return Object as the value of the key countInfo (or as the fourth parameter to a callback Function). The Numbers returned will only be useful when performing a text search on a field with a fulltext index. If count information is not available, the Numbers will be negative. See countInfo below. If false, countInfo will be undefined.

  • argument: (aka arg). A variable of any type to be passed to the callback below.

Caveats for Options, maxRows and skipRows:
  • SQL select statements are by default limited to 10 rows ({maxRows:10}) unless maxRows above is set. This default can be changed by setting the special variable sql.selectMaxRows.


var Sql = require("rampart-sql");

var sql = new Sql.init("./mytestdb");


var res = sql.exec("select * from mytable");
/* expected results: 20 rows, if 20 are available from "mytable" */
  • maxRows defaults to -1 (unlimited) if not set and the SQL statement is not a select statement.

  • maxRows and skipRows may be specified, as a shortcut, as parameters to the exec function. Placement of the Numbers in the exec() function is arbitrary, except that the first number given will be treated as maxRows and the second, if present will be treated as skipRows. Also note that if maxRows and/or skipRows is also set in options above, the last set value will be used.


var Sql = require("rampart-sql");

var sql = new Sql.init("./mytestdb");

var sqlopts = {maxRows: 5, returnType: "array"};

var res = sql.exec(20, 10, "select * from mytable");
/* expected results: 20 rows, skipping the first 10,
   if 30 are available from "mytable"                */

var res = sql.exec("select * from mytable", 20, 10, sqlopts);
/* expected results: 5 rows, skipping the first 10,
   if 15 are available from "mytable".  The option maxRows
   is specified last from within "sqlopts", so it is used       */

var res = sql.exec("select * from mytable", sqlopts, 20, 10);
/* expected results: 20 rows, skipping the first 10,
   if 30 are available from "mytable".  The parameter 20 is
   specified last, so maxRows is overwritten and 20 is used     */

A Function taking as parameters (result_row, index, columns, countInfo, user_argument). The callback is executed once for each row retrieved:

  • result_row: (Array/Object): depending on the setting of returnType in Options above, a single row is passed to the callback as an Object or an Array.

  • index: (Number) The ordinal number of the current search result.

  • columns: an Array corresponding to the column names or aliases selected and returned in results.

  • countInfo: an Object as described below in countinfo if the includeCounts option is set true. Otherwise it will be undefined.

  • user_argument: a variable that is supplied to the callback after being set in the options argument option above. If not set above, undefined will be passed as the fifth argument.

  • Note: Regardless of maxRows setting , returning false from the callback will cancel the retrieval of any remaining rows. Returning undefined or any other value will allow the next row to be retrieved up to maxRows rows.


var nrows = sql.exec(
    "select NAME, REMARK from SYSTABLES", // statement
    { returnType:"array"},                // options
    function(row, i, cols) {              // callback
            rampart.utils.printf("%s\n", cols.join(" "));
        rampart.utils.printf("%s\n", row.join(" "));

console.log("nrows =", nrows);

/* expected output:
    SYSCOLUMNS Catalog of Columns
    SYSTABLES Catalog of Tables
    SYSINDEX Catalog of Indices
    SYSUSERS Texis Users
    SYSPERMS Texis Permissions
    SYSTRIG Texis Triggers
    SYSMETAINDEX Chkind Parameters
    SYSSTATISTICS Database Statistics
    nrows = 8
Return Value:


With no callback, an Object is returned. The Object contains three or four key/value pairs.

Key: rows; Value: an Array of Objects. Each Object corresponds to a row in the database and will have keys set to the corresponding column names and the values set to the corresponding field of the retrieved row. If returnType is set to "array", an Array of Arrays containing the values (one inner Array per row) will be returned.

Key: rowCount; Value: a Number corresponding to the number of rows returned.

Key: columns; Value: an Array corresponding to the column names or aliases selected and returned in rows.

Key: countInfo; Value: if option includeCounts is set true, information regarding the number of total possible matches is set. Otherwise countInfo is undefined. When performing a text search the countInfo Object contains the following:

If a callback Function is specified, a Number (the number of rows retrieved) is returned. The callback is given the above values as arguments in the following order: cbfunc(result_row, index, columns, countInfo).

Note also that if includeCounts is set true and the sql query is not a text search, the values of the properties of countInfo will be negative.

Error Messages:

Errors may or may not throw a JavaScript exception depending on the error. If the syntax is correct but the statement cannot be executed, no exception is thrown and sql.errMsg will contain the error message. Otherwise an exception is thrown, sql.errMsg is set and the error may be caught with catch(error).

Error Message Example:

var Sql = require("rampart-sql");

/* create database if it does not exist */
var sql = new Sql.init("./mytestdb",true);

/* create a table */
sql.exec("create table testtb (text varchar(16), number double)");

/* create a unique index on number */
sql.exec("create unique index testtb_number_ux on testtb(number)");

/* insert a row */
sql.exec("insert into testtb values ('A B C', 123)");

/* attempt to insert a duplicate */
sql.exec("insert into testtb values ('D E F', 123)");

/* output =
   "178 Trying to insert duplicate value (123) in index

try {
     sql.exec("insert into testtb values ('D E F', 456, 789)");
} catch (e) {
/* output =
    "Error: sql prep error: 100 More Values Than Fields in the function: Insert
     000 SQLPrepare() failed with -1: An error occurred in the function: texis_prepare"
   sql.errMsg is similar.

Exec Full Example

Below is a full example of exec() functionality:

var Sql = require("rampart-sql");

/* create database if it does not exist */
var sql = new Sql.init("./mytestdb",true);

/* check if table exists */
var res = sql.exec(
    "select * from SYSTABLES where NAME='employees'",
    {"returnType":"novars"} /* we only need the count */

if(res.rowCount) /* 1 if the table exists */
    /* drop table from previous test run of this script */
    res=sql.exec("drop table employees");

/* (re)create the table */
        "create table employees (Classification varchar(8), " +
        "Name varchar(16), Age int, Salary int, Title varchar(16), " +
        "Start_date date, Bio varchar(128) )",

/* populate variables for insertion */
var emp1 = {
  cl:     "principal",
  name:   "Debbie Dreamer",
  age:    63,
  title:  "Chief Executive Officer",
  start:  '1999-12-31',
  salary: 250000,
  bio:    "Born and raised in Manhattan, New York. U.C. Berkeley graduate. " +
          "Loves to skydive. Built Company from scratch. Still uses word-perfect.",

var emp2 = {
  cl:     "principal",
  name:   "Rusty Grump",
  age:    58,
  title:  "Chief Financial Officer",
  start:  '1999-12-31', // Strings are converted to local time
  salary: 250000,
  bio:    "Born in Switzerland, raised in South Dakota. Columbia graduate. " +
          "Financed operation with inheritance. Has no sense of humor.",

var emp3 = {
  cl:     "salary",
  name:   "Georgia Geek",
  age:    44,
  title:  "Lead Programmer",
  start:  '2001-3-15',
  salary: 100000,
  bio:    "Stanford graduate. Enjoys pizza and beer. Proficient in Perl, COBOL," +
          "FORTRAN and IBM System/360",

var emp4 = {
  cl:     "salary",
  name:   "Sydney Slacker",
  age:    44,
  title:  "Programmer",
  start:  new Date('2002-5-12T00:00:00.0-0800'), // Dates are UTC unless offset is given.
  salary: 100000,
  bio:    "DeVry University graduate. Enjoys a good nap. Proficient in Python, " +
          "Perl and JavaScript",

var emp5 = {
  cl:     "hourly",
  name:   "Pat Particular",
  age:    32,
  title:  "Systems Administrator",
  start:  new Date('2003-7-14'),
  salary: 80000,
  bio:    "Lincoln High School graduate. Self taught Linux and windows administration skills. Proficient in " +
          "Bash and GNU utilities. Capable of crashing or resurrecting machines with a single ping.",

var emp6 = {
  cl:     "intern",
  name:   "Billie Barista",
  age:    22,
  title:  "Intern",
  start:  new Date('2020-3-18'),
  salary: 0,
  bio:    "Harvard graduate, full ride scholarship, top of class.  Proficient in C, C++, " +
          "Rust, Haskell, Node, Python. Into skydiving. Makes a mean latte."

var employees = [ emp1, emp2, emp3, emp4, emp5, emp6 ];

/* insert rows */
for (var i=0; i<employees.length; i++)
        "insert into employees values(?cl,?name,?age,?salary,?title,?start,?bio)",

/* create text index */
sql.exec("create fulltext index employees_Bio_text on employees(Bio)");

/* perform some queries */
res=sql.exec("select Name, Age from employees");
rampart.utils.printf('%3J\n', res);
/* expected output:
       "columns": [
       "rows": [
               "Name": "Debbie Dreamer",
               "Age": 63
               "Name": "Rusty Grump",
               "Age": 58
               "Name": "Georgia Geek",
               "Age": 44
               "Name": "Sydney Slacker",
               "Age": 44
               "Name": "Pat Particular",
               "Age": 32
               "Name": "Billie Barista",
               "Age": 22
       "rowCount": 6

    "select Name, Age from employees",
    {returnType:'array', maxRows:2, includeCounts:true}
rampart.utils.printf('%3J\n', res);
/* expected output:
       "columns": [
       "rows": [
               "Debbie Dreamer",
               "Rusty Grump",
       "countInfo": {
           "indexCount": -1,
           "rowsMatchedMin": -1,
           "rowsMatchedMax": -2,
           "rowsReturnedMin": -1,
           "rowsReturnedMax": -2
       "rowCount": 2
             Note that countInfo values are all negative since no
             text search was performed.
    "select Name from employees where Bio likep 'proficient' and Salary > 50000",
rampart.utils.printf('%3J\n', res);

/* expected output:
       "columns": [
       "rows": [
               "Name": "Georgia Geek"
               "Name": "Sydney Slacker"
               "Name": "Pat Particular"
       "countInfo": {
           "indexCount": 4,
           "rowsMatchedMin": 0,
           "rowsMatchedMax": 4,
           "rowsReturnedMin": 0,
           "rowsReturnedMax": 4
       "rowCount": 3
   Note that indexCount is the count before "Salary > 50000" filter

/* skydive => skydiving */
    minwordlen: 5,
    suffixproc: true

    "select Name, Salary from employees where Bio likep 'skydive' order by Salary desc",
    {returnType:"array", includeCounts:true},
    function (row, i, coln, cinfo) {
        if(!i) {
               "Total approximate number of matches in db: " +
            console.log("-", coln);
console.log("Total: " + nrows); // 2

/* expected output:
   Total approximate number of matches in db: 2
   - ["Name","Salary"]
   1 ["Debbie Dreamer",250000]
   2 ["Billie Barista",0]
   Total: 2


The one Function is a shortcut for executing sql where only one row is desired and the extra information normally returned from exec() is not needed.


var res = [, sql_parameters]);

This allows:

var res = sql.exec("select email from Users where user=?user", {maxRows:1}, {user:user_name});
var row=res.rows[0];
/* row = { email : "" } */

to be more easily written as:

var row ="select email from Users where user=?user",{user:user_name});
/* row = { email : "" } */

Note: one returns undefined if a matching row is not found. It thus can be used in an if statement to test the existence of a row:

if(!"select email from Users where user=?", [user_name]) )
   console.log("user " + user_name + " does not exist in the database.");


The set Function sets Texis server properties. For a full listing, see Server Properties. Arguments are given as keys with corresponding values set to a String, Number, Array or Boolean as appropriate. Note that Booleans true/false are equivalent to setting 1/0 as described in Server Properties.

Normally there is no return value (undefined).

However if lstExp, lstIndexTmp, listPrefix, listSuffix, listSuffixEquivs, and/or listNoise is set true, an Object is returned with corresponding keys expressionsList, indexTempList, prefixList, suffixList, suffixEquivsList and/or noiseList respectively.


/* rank higher docs with words appearing at beginning of document *
 *  and only return matches with all the given query terms.       */
        likepleadbias: 750,
        likepallmatch: true

/* an example with a return value */
var lists = sql.set({
        addExp: [ "[\\alnum\\x80-\\xff]+","[\\alnum\\x80-\\xff,']+"],
        addIndexTmp: ["/tmp","/var/tmp"],
        listNoise: true,
        listIndextemp: true,
        listExpressions: true
   lists =
        noiseList:        ["a","about",...,"you","your"],
        indexTempList:    ["/tmp","/var/tmp"],
        expressionsList:  ["\\alnum{2,99}", "[\\alnum\\x80-\xff]+", "[\\alnum\\x80-\xff,']+"]


Reset all settings set with set() above to their original values.


var Sql = require("rampart-sql");

var sql = new Sql.init("/path/to/my/db");


sql.set({...});  //settings changed in script


sql.reset(); //reset all to default


The importCsvFile Function is similar to the rampart.import.csvFile Function except that it imports csv data from a file directly into a SQL table. It takes a String containing a file name, an Object of options, optionally an Array specifying the order of columns and optionally a callback Function. The parameters may be specified in any order.


var res = sql.importCsvFile(filename, options [, ordering] [, callback]);






The csv file to import



Options described below



Order of csv columns to table columns



a function to monitor the progress of the import.


The name of the csv file to be opened.


The options Object may contain any of the following.

  • tableName - String (no default; required) - The name of the table into which the csv data will be inserted.

  • callbackStep - Number - Where number is n, execute callback, if provided, for every nth row imported.

  • stripLeadingWhite - Boolean (default true): Remove leading whitespace characters from cells.

  • stripTrailingWhite - Boolean (default true): Remove trailing whitespace characters from cells.

  • doubleQuoteEscape - Boolean (default false): "" within strings is used to embed " characters.

  • singleQuoteNest - Boolean (default true): Strings may be bounded by ' pairs and " characters within are ignored.

  • backslashEscape - Boolean (default true): Characters preceded by ‘\’ are translated and escaped.

  • allEscapes - Boolean (default true): All \ escape sequences known by the ‘C’ compiler are translated, if false only backslash, single quote, and double quote are escaped.

  • europeanDecimal - Boolean (default false): Numbers like 123 456,78 will be parsed as 123456.78.

  • tryParsingStrings - Boolean (default false): Look inside quoted strings for dates and numbers to parse, if false anything quoted is a string.

  • delimiter - String (default ","): Use the first character of string as a column delimiter (e.g \t).

  • timeFormat - String (default "%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S"): Set the format for parsing a date/time. See manpage for strptime().

  • hasHeaderRow - - Boolean (default false): Whether to treat the first row as column names. If false, the first row is imported as csv data and the column names will default to col_1, col_2, ..., col_n.

  • normalize - Boolean (default true): If true, examine each column in the parsed CSV object to find the majority type of that column. It then casts all the members of that column to the majority type, or set it to null if it is unable to do so. If false, each cell is individually normalized. NOTE: unlike the rampart.import.csvFile Function, the default is true.

  • progressFunc - Function: A function to monitor the progress of the passes over the csv data. It takes as arguments function (stage, i) The variable stage is 0 for the initial counting of rows, 1 for the parsing of the cells in each row and 2+ optionally if normalize is true for the two stages of the analysis of each column in the csv (e.g. 2 for column 0 first pass, 3 for column 0 second pass, etc.). The variable i is the row number.

  • progressStep Number: Where number is n, execute progresFunc callback, if provided, for every nth row in each stage.


An Array of Strings or Numbers corresponding to the csv columns, listed in the order of insertion into the table. Example: If [0,3,4] is specified, the first, fourth and fifth column in the csv will be inserted into the first, second and third column of SQL table. -1 can be used to insert a 0 or blank string ("") in that position in each row of the SQL table. Also a String corresponding to the csv column name may be used in place of a number.


A Function taking as its sole parameter (index), the current 0 based row being imported. The callback is executed once for each row in the csv file unless the option callbackStep is specified.

Return Value:

Number. The return value is set to number of rows in the csv file.

Note: In the callback, the loop can cancell the import at any point by returning false. The return value (number of rows) will still be the total number of rows in the csv file.


var ret=sql.importCsvFile(
   /* csv file to import */

   /* options */
      tableName:"testtb", /* table in which to insert csv data */
      callbackStep: 1000, /* do callback every 1000th row      */
      hasHeaderRow: true, /* first row of csv are column names */

   /* reorder csv columns switching second and third */

   /* print progress */


/* expected output for 10000 row csv:


Same as importCsvFile() except instead of a file name, a String or Buffer containing the csv data is passed as a parameter.


var Sql=require("rampart-sql");
var sql= new Sql.init("/path/mytestdb");

var csv =
"Dept,       item1 Quantity, item1 Description, item1 Value, item2 Quantity, item2 Description, item2 Value\n" +
"accounting, 5,              Macbook Pro,       1200.0,      300,            Pencils,           0.1\n" +
"marketing,  20,             Dell XPS 15,       1150.0,      350,            Pens,              0.5\n" +
"logistics,  30,             iPad Air,          300.0,       100,            Duktape,           1.5\n"

/* note this table has more rows than the csv*/
sql.exec("create table company_assets(Department varchar(16), "+
           "Num_item1 int, Desc_item1 varchar(16), Val_item1 float, Tot_Val_item1 float, " +
           "Num_item2 int, Desc_item2 varchar(16), Val_item2 float, Tot_Val_item2 float, " +
           "Tot_Val_items float);");

/* import the csv data */
       tableName: "company_assets",
       hasHeaderRow: true
      order of insertion. Can be column name or column number
      "" or -1 means insert a null value (0, 0.0 or "")
      "item1 Quantity", "item1 Description", "item1 Value", -1,
      "item2 Quantity", "item2 Description", "item2 Value", -1,

/* update rows that defaulted to 0*/
sql.exec("update company_assets set Tot_Val_item1 = ( Num_item1 * Val_item1 )");
sql.exec("update company_assets set Tot_Val_item2 = ( Num_item2 * Val_item2 )");
sql.exec("update company_assets set Tot_Val_items = ( Tot_Val_item1 + Tot_Val_item2 )");

/* print the rows */
sql.exec("select * from company_assets", {returnType:'array'},function(row,i,cols) {
    if( i==0)
        console.log("-", cols);
    console.log(i, row);

/* output:
- ["Department","Num_item1","Desc_item1","Val_item1","Tot_Val_item1","Num_item2","Desc_item2","Val_item2","Tot_Val_item2","Tot_Val_items"]
0 ["accounting",5,"Macbook Pro",1200,6000,300,"Pencils",0.10000000149011612,30,6030]
1 ["marketing",20,"Dell XPS 15",1150,23000,350,"Pens",0.5,175,23175]
2 ["logistics",30,"iPad Air",300,9000,100,"Duktape",1.5,150,9150]


In general it is not necessary to use close() as the “connection” to the database is not over a socket. However, if resources to a database are no longer needed, close() will clean up some of those resources. Note that even after calling sql.close(), using the sql.* Functions will re-open handles to the database and continue to operate as expected and in the same manner as when the “connection” was first opened.

Database Indexing

Regular Indexes

A Regular Index is an index on a column or columns of a table which aids the lookup of a matching row. In general, an index can greatly improve the performance when SELECTing rows predicated on a “WHERE” clause.

If a table has many millions of rows, and an application will need to look up rows by a particular column, placing an index on that column will allow the matching row or rows to be found without having to do a full, linear scan of every entry. In this way, an index is much like an index found in the back of a reference manual or encyclopedia.

In Rampart, Regular Indexes, once created, are automatically maintained. There are several versions and variations of Regular Indexes, as listed below.

Non-Unique Index

A non unique index is an index which may be used on any column or columns of a table in order to speed up lookup.

The syntax for creating an index is as follows:

CREATE INDEX index-name
ON table-name (column-name [DESC] [, column-name [DESC]] ...)
[WITH option-name [value] [option-name [value] ...]]


  • index-name is an arbitrary name for the index.

  • table-name is the name of the table being indexed.

  • column-name is a column in the current table.

  • DESC is an optional flag in wich to order the index. This speeds up SQL queries with the ORDER BY phrase where the order is decending.

  • option-name is an optional option. See Texis Documentation for more information.

Thus if you have a table created with:

create table employees (Classification varchar(8),
Name varchar(16), Age int, Salary int, Title varchar(16),
Start_date date, Bio varchar(128));

An index that would allow efficient lookup by name when executing select * from employees where Name = 'Rusty Grump' could be achieved by creating an index with the following command:

create index employees_Name_x on employees(Name);

If the employees table is large, the progress of index creation can be monitored with the option-name indexmeter as such:

create index employees_Name_x on employees(Name) with indexmeter 'on';

This will print a progress meter to stdout as the index is being created.

Unique Index

A Unique Index indexes a column just as above, except that duplicate entries cannot be inserted into the table.

The syntax for creating a unique index is as follows:

ON table-name (column-name [DESC] [, column-name [DESC]] ...)
[WITH option-name [value] [option-name [value] ...]]

The following example illustrates the properties of a unique index:

var Sql = require("rampart-sql");

var sql = new Sql.init("./testdb", true);

sql.exec("create table people (Name varchar(16), Age int);");

sql.exec("create unique index people_Name_ux on people(Name)");

var ret = sql.exec("insert into people values ('John Doe', 32);");

console.log("First insert:", ret);
console.log("Error Msg:", sql.errMsg);

// try to insert duplicate
ret = sql.exec("insert into people values ('John Doe', 54);");

console.log("Second Insert:", ret);
console.log("Error Msg:", sql.errMsg);

/* output:

   First insert: {rows:[],rowCount:1}
   Error Msg:
   Second Insert: {rows:[],rowCount:0}
   Error Msg: 178 Trying to insert duplicate value (John Doe) in index /home/rampart/testdb/people_Name_ux.btr

Inverted Index

An Inverted Index may be used on UNSIGNED INT or DATE fields to speed up ORDER BY operations. See this section of the Texis Manual for more information.

Fulltext Indexes

Fulltext indexes are indexes on text fields which speed up full text searches using the WHERE column-name likep 'keyword keyword' syntax.

A Fulltext index is also known as a “Metamorph Inverted Index”. More information can be found here and here.

Unlike Regular Indexes, Fulltext indexes do not automatically update when inserting, deleting or updating rows. Though the likep search will still function as normal, new and updated rows will be linearly scanned in order to find matches.

A Fulltext index may be manually updated at any time and while the database and index is in use. See Updating A Fulltext Index below.

Creating A Fulltext Index

The syntax for creating a Fulltext index is as follows:

ON table-name (column-name [DESC] [, column-name [DESC]] ...)
[WITH option-name [value] [option-name [value] ...]]

Assuming the field Bio in the employees table example above contains plain English text, the following will create a Fulltext index on that field.

create fulltext index employees_Bio_text on employees(Bio);

If there are several columns which need to be treated as a single virtual column for Fulltext indexing, the following may be used:

create fulltext index employees_NameBio_text on employees(Name\Bio);

Note that in Rampart Javascript, the backslash (\) needs to be escaped:

sql.exec("create fulltext index employees_NameBio_text on employees(Name\\Bio);");

Variations of Fulltext Indexes

Though a LIKEP search on a FULLTEXT index (created as described above) is the most common and most capable version, there are two other versions of text indexes and LIKE searches which are available:

Updating A Fulltext Index

After a Fulltext Index is created, and more rows are inserted, the index may be optimized by using the exact same command used to create the index above:

create fulltext index employees_Bio_text on employees(Bio);

Alternatively, ALTER INDEX syntax may be used.

alter index employees_Bio_text OPTIMIZE;

Word Expressions

A Fulltext index is created by matching the definition of a “word” using rex() regular expressions. As used above, with no extra settings, the default regular expression is \alnum{2,99}. This will separate words in text much like the following JavaScript splits words into an array:

var text = "Remember, wherever you go, there you are"
var words = text.match(/[a-zA-Z0-9]{2,99}/g);
/* ["Remember","wherever","you","go","there","you","are"] */

The default expression is sufficient for English text. However, the word expression list must be altered in order to match the full UTF-8 character set. The list of word expressions can be altered using sql.set() and the lstexp, addexp and delexp settings.

Alternatively, the expression list can also be set for a single SQL statement using the CREATE INDEX and the WITH syntax:

CREATE FULLTEXT employees_Bio_text ON employees(Bio)
WITH WORDEXPRESSIONS ('[\alnum\x80-\xFF]{2,99}');

The above will match all UTF-8 encoded words. It will exclude ASCII white space and punctuation.

In some cases, there may be datasets where the matching of a limited amount of punctuation is desirable.

Consider the following small snippit of a C Program that might be cataloged in a full text searchable database:

/* a pthread mutex needed for multi-threading */
pthread_mutex_t mylock;

In order to distinguish between the separate strings “pthread” and “mutex”, using the default word expression would be sufficient.

However to have a “pthread_mutex_t” entry in the index, the _ character needs to be added to the expression. Further, for maximum flexibility, the index can contain both versions to index all desired permutations (i.e., “pthread”, “mutex” and “pthread_mutex_t”) by using two expressions:

CREATE FULLTEXT cprogs_Snippits_text ON cprogs(Snippits)
WITH WORDEXPRESSIONS ( '[\alnum\x80-\xFF]{2,99}', '[_\alnum\x80-\xFF]{2,99}' );

Word expressions must be specified when the index is created. New expressions cannot be added upon optimizing the Fulltext index with a CREATE statement.

Automatic Maintenance

If a Fulltext index is large, the time and CPU resources it takes to update the index may be more than is desirable during active use of the database. If many rows are being added and deleted in an application, choosing an appropriate time to do the update, and limiting the update to a threshold of changed rows is appropriate.

Depending the size of the table, it may be more efficient to linearly scan new rows rather than update the index. A script (named, e.g., update-index.js) like the following would only execute an update if more than 1000 rows have been changed.

var Sql = require("rampart-sql");

var sql = new Sql.init("/path/to/employee_db", true);

sql.exec("alter index employees_NameBio_text optimize having COUNT(NewRows) > 1000;");

Then adding a crontab entry like the following would execute the script at 2 am every night:

00 02 * * * /usr/local/bin/rampart /path/to/update-index.js

Compound Indexes

As noted in the syntax above, an index may be made on multiple fields. If a search will always be performed by matching more than one column, it may be advantageous to create a compound index.

Given this query:

SELECT * from employees where Name\Bio likep 'Debbie skydive' and
Start_date BETWEEN '1999-01-01' and '2005-12-31';

The following could be used to create a Compound Index on the appropriate fields:

CREATE FULLTEXT INDEX employees_NameBio_Start_date_cx ON
employees(Name\Bio, Start_date);

Removing Indexes

If an index is no longer needed, it may be removed using the following syntax:

DROP INDEX index-name;

Further Reading

Detailed information about indexing and options can be found on the Texis Documentation Website.

String Functions

As Texis is adept at handling text information, it includes several text handling Functions which Rampart exposes for use in JavaScript.


The stringFormat() Function is identical to the server function stringformat, except that it is not limited to five arguments.

var Sql = require("rampart-sql");
var output = Sql.stringFormat(format [,args, ...]);






A printf() style format



Arguments corresponding to % format options

Return Value:

The formatted String.

Escape Sequences

The following escape sequences are recognized in the format String:

  • \n Newline (ASCII 10)

  • \r Carriage return (ASCII 13)

  • \t Tab (ASCII 9)

  • \a Bell character (ASCII 7)

  • \b Backspace (ASCII 8)

  • \e Escape character (ASCII 27)

  • \f Form feed (ASCII 12)

  • \v Vertical tab (ASCII 11)

  • \\ Backslash

  • \xhh Hexadecimal escape. hh is 1 or more hex digits.

  • \ooo Octal escape. ooo is 1 to 3 octal digits.

Standard Formats

A format code is a % (percent sign), followed by zero or more flag characters, an optional width and/or precision size, and the format character itself. The standard format codes, which are the same as in printf(), and how they print their arguments are:

  • %d or %i Integer number.

  • %u Unsigned integer number.

  • %x or %X Hexadecimal (base 16) number; upper-case letters are used if upper-case X.

  • %o Octal (base 8) number.

  • %f Floating-point decimal number.

  • %e or %E Exponential floating-point number (e.g. 1.23e+05). Upper-case exponent if upper-case E.

  • %g or %G Either %f or %e format, whichever is shorter. Upper-case exponent if upper-case G.

  • %s A text string. The j flag may be given for newline translation.

  • %c A single character. If the argument is a decimal, hexadecimal or octal integer, it is interpreted as the ASCII code of the character to print. If the ! flag is given, a character is decoded instead: prints the decimal ASCII code for the first character of the argument.

  • %% A percent-sign; no argument and no flags are given. This is for printing out a literal % in the format String, which otherwise would be interpreted as a format code.

A simple example (with its output):

var Sql=require("rampart-sql");
var output = Sql.stringFormat("This is %s number %d (in hex: %x).",
      "test", 42, 42);
/* output = "This is test number 42 (in hex: 2a)." */

Standard Flags

After the % sign (and before the format code letter), zero or more of the following flags may appear:

  • # (pound sign) Specifies that the value should be printed using an “alternate format”, depending on the format code. For format code(s):

  • %o A non-zero result will be prepended with 0 (zero) in the output.

  • %x, %X A non-zero result will be prepended with 0x or 0X.

  • %e, %E, %f, %g, %G The result will always contain a decimal point, even if no digits follow it (normally, a decimal point appears in the results of those conversions only if a digit follows). For %g and %G conversions, trailing zeros are not removed from the result as they would otherwise be.

  • %b A non-zero result will be prepended with 0b.

  • 0 (digit zero) Specifies zero padding. For all numeric formats, the output is padded on the left with zeros instead of spaces.

  • - (minus sign) Indicates that the result is to be left adjusted in the output field instead of right. A - overrides a 0 flag if both are present.

    For the %L extended code, this flag indicates the argument is a latitude.)

  • (a space) Indicates that a space should be left before a positive number produced by a signed format (e.g. %d, %i, %e, %E, %f, %g, or %G).

  • + (plus sign) If given with a numeric code, indicates that a sign always be placed before a number produced by a signed format. A + overrides a space if both are used.

    For the %L extended code, a + flag indicates the argument is a location with latitude and longitude, or a geocode.

    If given with a string code, + indicates that if the String value exceeds the given precision, truncate the String by a further 3 bytes, and append an ellipsis (“…”). This can be useful to give an indication of when a value is being truncated on display.


var Sql=require("rampart-sql");
var output = Sql.stringFormat("%#x %#x", 42, 0);
var output2= Sql.stringFormat("%+d %+d",  42, -42);
   output  = "0x2a 0"
   output2 = "+42 -42"

Following any flags, an optional width Number may be given. This indicates the minimum field width to print the value in (unless using the m flag; see Metamorph Hit Mark-up). If the printed value is narrower, the output will be padded with spaces on the left. Note the horizontal spacing in this example:

var x = [42, 12345, 87654321, 912];
for (var i=0; i<x.length; i++)
/* output:

After the width, a decimal point (.) and precision Number may be given. For the integer formats (%d, %i, %o, %u, %x and %X), the precision indicates the minimum number of digits to print; if there are fewer the output value is prepended with zeros. For the %e, %E and %f formats, the precision is the number of digits to appear after the decimal point; the default is 6. For the %g and %G formats, the precision is the maximum number of significant digits (default 6). For the %s (string) format, it is the maximum number of characters to print.


var output = Sql.stringFormat("Error number %5.3d:", 5);
/* output = "Error number   005:" */

output = Sql.stringFormat("The %1.6s is %4.2f.",
   "answering machine", 123.456789);
/* output="The answer is 123.46." */

The field width or precision, or both, may be given as a parameter instead of a digit string by using an * (asterisk) character instead. In this case, the width or precision will be taken from the next (integer) argument. Example (note spacing):

var width = 10;
var prec = 2;
var output = Sql.stringFormat("%*.*f", width, prec, 123.4567);
/* output = "    123.46" */

An h or l (el) flag may appear immediately before the format code for numeric formats, indicating a short or long value (l has a different meaning for %H, %/ and %:, see Extended Flags). These flags are for compatibility with the C function printf(), and are not generally needed.

Printing Date/Time Values

Dates can be printed with stringFormat() by using the %at format. The t code indicates a time is being printed, and the a flag indicates that the next argument is a strftime()-style format string. Following that is a time argument.


var output=Sql.stringFormat("%at", "%B", "now");
/* "%B" is the strftime()-style string
   (indicating the month should be printed) */

A capital T may be used insteadof lower-case t to change the timezone to Universal Time (GMT/UTC) instead of local time for output. These strftime() codes are available:

  • %a for the abbreviated weekday name (e.g. Sun, Mon, Tue, etc.)

  • %A for the full weekday name (e.g. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc.)

  • %b for the abbreviated month name (e.g. Jan, Feb, Mar, etc.)

  • %B for the full month name (e.g. January, February, March, etc.)

  • %c for the preferred date and time representation.

  • %d for the day of the month as a decimal number (range 01 through 31).

  • %H for the hour as a decimal number using a 24-hour clock (range 00 through 23).

  • %I for the hour as a decimal number using a 12-hour clock (range 01 through 12).

  • %j for the day of the year as a decimal number (range 001 through 366).

  • %m for the month as a decimal number (range 01 through 12).

  • %M for the minute as a decimal number (range 00 through 59).

  • %p for AM or PM, depending on the time.

  • %S for the second as a decimal number (range 00 through 60; 60 to allow for possible leap second if implemented).

  • %U for the week number of the current year as a decimal number, starting with the first Sunday as the first day of the first week (range 00 through 53).

  • %W for the week number of the current year as a decimal number, starting with the first Monday as the first day of the first week (range 00 through 53).

  • %w for the day of the week as a decimal, Sunday being 0.

  • %x for the preferred date representation without the time.

  • %X for the preferred time representation without the date.

  • %y for the year as a decimal number without a century (range 00 through 99).

  • %Y for the year as a decimal number including the century.

  • %Z for the time zone or name or abbreviation.

  • %% for a literal % character.

Since stringFormat arguments are typecast if needed, the date argument can be a Texis date or counter type, or a Texis-parseable date string. For example, to print today’s date in the form month/day/year:

var output=Sql.stringFormat("%at", "%m/%d/%y", "now");

Or to print the title and insertion date of books matching a query, in the style “February 20, 1997” (assuming the id field is a Texis counter data type):

sql.exec("select id, Title from books where Desc like ?q",
         function(res) {
             Sql.stringFormat("%at %s", "%B %d, %Y",, res.Title)

To use a default strftime() format, eliminate the a flag and its corresponding strftime() format argument:

var curDate = Sql.stringFormat("%t", "now");

This will print today’s date in a default format.


As dates are printed using the standard C library, not all strftime() codes are available or behave identically on all platforms.

Latitude, Longitude and Location

The %L code may be used with stringFormat to print a latitude, longitude or location (geocode) value, in a manner similar to how date/time values are printed with %t. Flags indicate what type of value is expected, and/or if a subformat is provided:

  • - (minus) A latitude argument is expected (memory aid: latitude lines are horizontal, so is minus sign). This is the default.

  • | (pipe) A longitude is expected (memory aid: longitude lines are vertical; so is pipe).

  • + (plus) A location is expected; either a geocode long value, or a latitude and longitude (e.g. comma-separated).

  • a Like %at (date/time format), the next argument (before the latitude/longitude/location) is a subformat indicating how to print the latitude and/or longitude. Without this flag, no subformat argument is expected, and a default subformat is used.

Latitude, longitude and location arguments should be in one of the formats supported by the parselatitude(), parselongitude(), or latlon2geocode() (with single arg) SQL functions, as appropriate. If the a flag is given, the subformat string may contain the following codes:

  • %D for degrees

  • %M for minutes

  • %S for seconds

  • %H for the hemisphere letter (“N”, “S”, “E” or “W”)

  • %h for the hemisphere sign (“+” or “-“)

  • %o for an ISO-8859-1 degree sign

  • %O for a UTF-8 degree sign

  • %% for a percent sign

A field width, precision, space, zero and/or minus flags may be given with the %D/%M/%S codes, with the same meaning as for numeric stringFormat() codes. If no flags are given to a code, the width is set to 2 (or 3 for longitude degrees), with space padding for degrees and zero padding for minutes and seconds.

Additionally, a single d, i, f or g numeric-type flag may be given with the %D/%M/%S codes. This flag will print the value with the corresponding stringFormat() numeric code, e.g. truncated to an integer for d or i, floating-point with potential roundoff for f or g. This flag is only valid for the smallest unit (degrees/minutes/seconds) printed: larger units will always be printed in integer format. This ensures that a fractional value will not be printed twice erroneously, e.g. 20.5 degrees will not have its “.5” degrees fractional part printed if “30” minutes is also being printed, because the degrees numeric-type will be forced to integer regardless of flags.

The default numeric-type flag is g for the smallest unit. This helps ensure values are printed with the least number of decimal places needed (often none), yet with more (sub-second) accuracy if specified in the original value. Additionally, for the g type, if a degrees/minutes/seconds value is less than ( 10^-(p-2) ), where p is the format code’s precision (default 6), it will be truncated to 0. This helps prevent exponential-format printing of values, which is often merely an artifact of floating-point roundoff during unit conversion, and not part of the original user-specified value.


sql.exec("create table geotest(city varchar(64), lat double, lon double, geocode long);");
sql.exec("insert into geotest values('Cleveland, OH, USA', 41.4,  -81.5,  -1);");
sql.exec("insert into geotest values('Seattle, WA, USA',   47.6, -122.3,  -1);");
sql.exec("insert into geotest values('Dayton, OH, USA',    39.75, -84.19, -1);");
sql.exec("insert into geotest values('Columbus, OH, USA',  39.96, -83.0,  -1);");
sql.exec("update geotest set geocode = latlon2geocode(lat, lon);");
sql.exec("create index xgeotest_geocode on geotest(geocode);");

var nres=sql.exec("select city, lat, lon, geocode, distlatlon(41.4, -81.5, lat, lon) MilesAway "+
   "from geotest " +
   "where geocode between (select latlon2geocodearea(41.4, -81.5, 3.0)) " +
   "order by 4 asc;",
   function(row,i) {
      console.log(Sql.stringFormat("  Loc: %+L", row.geocode));
/* expected output:
1 {city:"Dayton, OH, USA",lat:39.75,lon:-84.19,geocode:253806089136,MilesAway:181.31350567274416}
  Loc: 39°45'00"N  84°11'24"W
2 {city:"Columbus, OH, USA",lat:39.96,lon:-83,geocode:253824238336,MilesAway:126.70040182902217}
  Loc: 39°57'36"N  83°00'00"W
3 {city:"Cleveland, OH, USA",lat:41.4,lon:-81.5,geocode:253913441856,MilesAway:0}
  Loc: 41°24'00"N  81°30'00"W

Other Format Codes

In addition to the standard printf() formatting codes, other stringFormat codes are available:

  • %t, %T strftime()-style output of a date or counter field (see above)

  • %L Output of a latitude, longitude, or location (geocode); see above

  • %H Prints its string (e.g. varchar) argument, applying HTML escape codes where needed to make the string “safe” for HTML output (", &, <, >, DEL and control chars less than 32 except TAB, LF, FF and CR are escaped). With the ! flag, decodes instead (to ISO-8859-1); see also the l (el) flag, here. The j flag (here) may be given for newline translation. When decoding with !, out-of-ISO-8859-1-range characters are output as ?; to decode HTML to UTF-8 instead, use %hV.

  • %U Prints its string argument, encoding for a URL, i.e using %-codes. With the ! flag, decodes instead. With the p (path) flag, spaces are encoded as %20 instead of +. With the q flag, / (slash) and @ (at-sign) are encoded as well (or only unreserved/safe chars are decoded, if ! too). See Extended Flags.

  • %V (upper-case vee) Prints its string argument, encoding 8-bit ISO-8859-1 chars for UTF-8 (compressed Unicode). With the ! flag, decodes instead (to ISO-8859-1). Illegal, truncated, or out-of-range sequences are translated as question-marks (?); this can be modified with the h flag (here). The j flag (here) may be given for newline translation.

  • %v (lower-case vee) Prints its UTF-8 string argument, encoding to UTF-16. With the ! flag (here), decodes to UTF-8 instead. Illegal, truncated, or out-of-range sequences are translated as ? (question-marks). This can be modified with the h flag. The < (less-than) flag forces UTF-16LE (little-endian) output (encode) or treats input as little-endian (decode). The > flag forces UTF-16BE (big-endian) output (encode) or treats input as big-endian (decode). The default endian-ness is big-endian; for decode, a leading byte-order-mark character (hex 0xFEFF) will determine endian-ness if present. The _ (underscore) flag skips printing a leading byte-order-mark when encoding; when decoding the _ flag saves (does not delete) a leading byte-order-mark in the input. The j flag may be given for newline translation.

  • %B Prints its string argument, encoding to base64. If a non-zero field width is given, a newline is output after every “width” bytes output (absolute value, rounded up to 4) and at the end of the base64 output. Thus “%64B” would format with no more than 64 bytes per line. This is useful for encoding into a MIME mail message with line length restraints. A ! flag indicates that the string is to be decoded instead of encoded. The j flag (here) may be given to set the newline style, though it only applies to soft (output) newlines; input CR/LF bytes are never modified since base64 is a binary encoding.

  • %Q Prints its string argument, encoding to quoted-printable (per RFC 2045). If a non-zero field width is given, a newline is output after every “width” bytes output (absolute value, rounded up where needed). A negative field width or - flag indicates “binary” encoding: input CR and LF bytes are also hex-encoded; normally they are output as-is (or subject to the j flag, here) and therefore subject to possible newline translation by a mail transfer agent etc. A ! flag indicates that decoding instead of encoding is to be done (and the field width and negative flag are ignored). The j flag (here) may be given for newline translation. If an _ (underscore) flag is given, “Q” encoding (per RFC 2047) is used instead of quoted-printable: it is similar, except that U+0020 (space) is output as underscore (_), no whitespace is ever output (e.g. tab/CR/LF are hex-encoded, and the field width is ignored), and certain other special characters are hex-encoded that normally would not be (e.g. dollar sign, percent, ampersand etc.). With the underscore flag, the resulting output is safe for all RFC 2047 “Q” encoding contexts.

  • %W Prints its UTF-8 string argument, encoding linear-whitespace-separated tokens to RFC 2047 encoded-word format (i.e. “=?…?=” mail header tokens) as needed. Tokens that do not require encoding are left as-is. A ! flag indicates that decoding instead of encoding should be done. A q flag for %W indicates that only the “Q” encoding should be used for encoded words; normally either “Q” or base64 - whichever is shorter - is used. The hh, hhh, j, ^ and | flags are respected. The h flag is aslo supported for %``!W``. If a non-zero field width is given, it is used as the desired maximum byte length of encoded words: if an encoded word would be longer than this, it is split atomically into multiple words, separated by newline-space.

  • %z Prints its argument, encoded (compressed) in the gzip deflate format. The ! flag will decode (decompress) the argument instead. A precision value will limit the output to that many bytes, as with %s; this can be used to “peek” at the start of compressed data without decoding all of it (and consuming memory to do so).

  • For either encode or decode, a single l flag may be given to indicate zlib deflate format instead, or a ll (double el) to indicate raw deflate format instead. All variants use the same deflate algorithm, but gzip adds (typically) 18 bytes of headers/footers, zlib 6, and raw none. Additionally, decoding with %!z (no flags) will accept any of the three variants.

  • %b Binary output of an integer.

  • %F Prints a float as a fraction: whole number plus fraction.

  • %r Lowercase Roman numeral output of an integer.

  • %R Uppercase Roman numeral output of an integer.

All the standard flags, as well as the extended flags (below), can be given to these codes, where applicable.


    Sql.stringFormat("Year %R %H %R", 1977, "<", 1997)

    Sql.stringFormat("%F", 5.75)
/* 5 3/4 */

Extended Flags

The following flags are available for format codes, in addition to the standard printf() flags described above:

  • a Next argument is strftime() format string; used for %t/%T time code (here).

  • k For numeric formats, print a comma (,) every 3 places to the left of the decimal (e.g. every multiple of a thousand).

  • K (upper case “K”) Same as k, but print the next argument instead of a comma.

  • & (ampersand) Use the HTML entity &nbsp; instead of space when padding fields. This is of some use when printing in an HTML environment where spaces are normally compressed when displayed, and thus space padding would be lost.

  • ! (exclamation point) When used with %H, %U, %V, %B, %c, %W or %z, decode appropriately instead of encoding. (Note that for %H, only ampersand-escaped entities are decoded)

  • _ (underscore) Use decimal ASCII value 160 instead of 32 (space) when padding fields. This is the ISO Latin-1 character for the HTML entity &nbsp;. For the %v (UTF-16 encode) format code, a leading BOM (byte-order-mark) will not be output. For the %!v (UTF-16 decode) format code, a leading BOM in the input will be preserved instead of stripped in the output. For the %Q/%!Q (quoted-printable encode/decode) format codes, the “Q” encoding will be used instead of quoted-printable.

  • ^ (caret) Output only XML-safe characters; unsafe characters are replaced with a question mark. Valid for %V, %=V, %!V, %v, %!v, %W, %!W and %s format codes (text is assumed to be ISO-8859-1 for %s). XML safe characters are all characters except: U+0000 through U+0008 inclusive, U+000B, U+000C, U+000E through U+001F inclusive, U+FFFE and U+FFFF.

  • = (equal sign) Input encoding is “equal to” (the same) as output encoding, i.e. just validate it and replace illegal encoding sequences with “?”. Unescaping of HTML sequences in the source (h flag) is disabled. Valid for %V format code.

  • | (pipe) Interpret illegal encoding sequences in the source as individual ISO-8859-1 bytes, instead of replacing with the “?” character. When used with %=V for example, this allows UTF-8 to be validated and passed through as-is, yet isolated ISO-8859-1 characters (if any) will still be converted to UTF-8. Valid for %!V, %=V, %v, %W and %``!W`` format codes.

  • h For %!V (UTF-8 decode) and %v (UTF-16 encode): if given once, HTML-escapes out-of-range (over 255 for %!V , over 0x10FFFF for %v) characters instead of replacing with ?. For %V (UTF-8 encode) and %!v (UTF-16 decode): if given once, unescapes HTML sequences first; this allows characters that are out-of-range in the input encoding to be represented natively in the output encoding. For %V, %!V, %v, %!v, %W and %!W, if given twice (e.g. hh), also HTML-escapes low (7-bit) values (e.g. control chars, <, >) in the output. If given three times (e.g. hhh), just HTML-escapes 7-bit values; does not also decode HTML entities in the input. Note that the h flag is also used in another context as a sub-flag for Metamorph Hit Mark-up.

  • j (jay) For the %s, %H, %v, %V, %B and %Q format codes (and their !-decode variants), also do newline translation. Any of the newline byte sequences CR, LF, or CRLF in the input will be replaced with the machine-native newline sequence in the output, instead of being output as-is. This allows text newlines to be portably “cleaned up” for the current system, without having to detect what the system is. If c is given immediately after the j, CR is used as the output sequence, instead of the machine-native sequence. If l (el) is given immediately after the j, LF is used as the output sequence. If both c and l are given (in either order), CRLF is used. The c and l subflags allow a non-native system’s newline convention to be used, e.g. by a web application that is adapting to browsers of varying operating systems. Note that for the %B format code, input CR/LF bytes are never translated (since it is a binary encoding); j and its subflags only affect the output of “soft” line-wrap newlines that do not correspond to any input character.

  • l (el) For %H, only encode low (7-bit) characters; leave characters above 127 as-is. This is useful when HTML-escaping UTF-8 text, to avoid disturbing multi-byte characters. When combined with ! (decode), escape sequences are decoded to low (7-bit) strings, e.g. “&copy;” is replaced with “(c)” instead of ASCII character 169. (The l flag is also used with numeric format codes to indicate a long integer or double, and with the j flag as a subflag.) The l flag has yet another meaning when used with the %/ or %: format codes; see discussion of those codes above.

  • m For the %s, %H, %V and %v codes, mark up with a Metamorph query. See next section for a discussion of this flag and its subflags b, B, U, R, h, n, p, P, c and e.

  • p Perform paragraph markup (for %s and %H codes). Paragraph breaks (text matching the REX expression “$=space+”) are replaced with “<p/>” tags in the output. For the %U code, do path escapement: space is encoded to %20 not +, and &+;= are left as-is and + is not decoded when also using !.

  • P (upper case “P”) For %s and %H, same as p, but use the next additional argument as the REX expression to match paragraph breaks. If given twice (PP), use another additional argument after the REX expression as the replacement string, instead of “<p/>”. PP was added in version 6.

  • q For the %U code, in version 7 and earlier, do full-encoding: encode “/” (forward slash) and “@” (at-sign) as well (implies p flag as well).

For the %W code, only the “Q” encoding will be used (no base64).


var output = Sql.stringFormat("You owe $%10.2kf to us.", 56387.34);
/* output  = "You owe $ 56,387.34 to us." */

Metamorph Hit Mark-up

The %s, %H, %V and %v stringFormat codes can execute Metamorph queries on the String argument and mark-up the resulting hits. An m flag to these codes indicates that Metamorph hit mark-up should occur; the Metamorph query string is then taken to be the next argument (before the normal String argument to be searched and printed). The m flag and its sub-flags are only valid for the %s and %H codes.

Following the m flag can be any of the following sub-flags. These must immediately follow the m flag, as some letters have other meanings elsewhere:

  • I for inline stylesheet (<span style=…>) highlighting with different styles per term

  • C for class (<span class=…>) highlighting with different classes per term

  • b for HTML bold highlighting of hits

  • B for VT100 bold highlighting of hits

  • U for VT100 underline highlighting of hits

  • R for VT100 reverse-video highlighting of hits

  • h for HTML HREF highlighting (default)

  • n indicates that hits that overlap tags should not be truncated/moved

  • p for paragraph formatting: print “<p/>” at paragraph breaks

  • P same as p, but use (next additional argument) REX expression to match paragraph breaks. If given twice (PP), use another additional argument after REX expression as replacement string, instead of “<p/>”.

  • c to continue hit count into next query call

  • N to mark up NOT terms as well

  • q to mark up the query itself, not the text, e.g. as a legend


To highlight query terms from query in the text contained in text in different colors, insert paragraph breaks, and escape the output to be HTML-safe, use:

var query = "format javascript";
var text = "Highlight formatting made easy in javascript.\n\n<Try some formatting today!>";
var output = Sql.stringFormat("%mIpH", query, text);
/* output  = `
Highlight <span style="background:#ffff66;color:black;font-weight:bold;">formatting</span> made easy in <span style="background:#a0ffff;color:black;font-weight:bold;">javascript</span>.

&lt;Try some <span style="background:#ffff66;color:black;font-weight:bold;">formatting</span> today!&gt;`

To highlight query terms from query in text in bold with anchors and links, insert paragraph breaks, and escape the output to be HTML-safe, use:

var query  = "format javascript";
var text   = "Highlight formatting made easy in javascript.\n\n<Try some formatting today!>";
                              /* qc = mark up query itself and continue counting hits   *
                               *                 hb = create links, highlight in bold   *
                               *                   pH = mark paragraphs and html escape */
var output = Sql.stringFormat("%mqchbpH\n<p/>\n%mhbpH", query, "", query, text);
/* output  = `
<a name="hit1" href="#hit2"><b>format</b></a> <a name="hit2" href="#hit3"><b>javascript</b></a>
Highlight <a name="hit3" href="#hit4"><b>formatting</b></a> made easy in <a name="hit4" href="#hit5"><b>javascript</b></a>.

&lt;Try some <a name="hit5" href="#hit1"><b>formatting</b></a> today!&gt;`

Server Properties may be given inline. For example, in the above example, if you did not want to match “formatting” from the query term “format” but still wanted to highlight “javascript” where “format” is not present (@0 for zero intersections; see this section of the Texis documentation for full explanation), the following could be used:

             /* no suffix proc, 0 intersections required */
var query  = "@suffixproc=0 @0 format javascript";
var text   = "Highlight formatting made easy in javascript.\n\n<Try some formatting today!>";
var output = Sql.stringFormat("%mbpH", query, text);
/* output  = `
Highlight formatting made easy in <b>javascript</b>.

&lt;Try some formatting today!&gt;

Each hit found by the query has each of its sets’ hits (e.g. each term) highlighted in the output. With I and/or C highlighting, if there are delimiters used in the query, the entire delimited region is also highlighted. The Metamorph query uses the same apicp defaults and parameters as SQL queries. These can be changed as described above.

If a width is given for the format code, it indicates the character offset in the string argument to begin the query and printing (0 is the first character). Thus a large text argument can be marked up in several chunks. Note that this differs from the normal behavior of the width, which is to specify the overall width of the field to print in. The precision is the same - it gives the maximum number of characters of the input string to print - only it starts counting from the width.

The h flag sets HREF highlighting (the default). Each hit becomes an HREF that links to the next hit in the output, with the last hit pointing back to the first. In the output, the anchors for the hits are named hitN, where N is the hit number (starting with 1).

Hits can be bold highlighted in the output with the b flag; this surrounds them with <b> and </b> tags. b and h can be combined; the default if neither is given is HREF highlighting.

The B and U flags may be given for VT100-terminal bold and underline highlighting; this may be useful for command-line scripts. The R flag may be given for VT100-terminal reverse-video highlighting.

The I or C flags may be given, for inline styles or classes. This allows much more flexibility in defining the markup, as a style or class for each distinct query term may then be defined.

The q flag may be given, to highlight the query itself, instead of the following text buffer (which must still be given but is ignored). This can be used at the top of a highlighted document to give a highlighting “legend” to illustrate what terms are highlighted and how. The n and e flags are also implicitly enabled when q is given. Note that settings given inline with the query (e.g. “@suffixproc=0”) will not be highlighted since they do not themselves ever find or match any terms - this helps avoid misleading the user that such “terms” will ever be found in the text. However, since they are still considered separate query sets - because their order in the query is significant, as they only affect following sets - a class/style is “reserved” (i.e. not used) for them in the querycyclenum rotation.

Normally, hits that overlap HTML tags in the search string are truncated or moved to appear outside the tag in the output, so that the highlighting tags do not overlap them and muddle the HTML output. The n tag indicates that this truncation should not be done. (It is also not done for the %H (HTML escapement) format code, since the tags in the string will be escaped already.)

The p and P flags do paragraph formatting as documented previously.

The c flag indicates that the hit count should be continued for the next query. By default, the last hit marked up is linked back to the first hit. Therefore, each %-code query markup is self-contained: if multiple calls are made, the hit count (and resulting HREFs) will start over for each call, which may not be desired. If the c flag is given, the last hit in the string is linked to the “next” hit (N+1) instead of the first, and the next query will start numbering hits at N+1 instead of 1. Thus, all but the last query markup call by a script should use the c flag.

The following example creates an abstract, marks up each abstract value from a table that matches the user’s submitted query string. Each set (term) is color-coded differently, and the abstract(body) is HTML-escaped:

var results='<div class="results">';
sql.exec("select abstract(body) abs from data_tbl where body like ?q",
     function(row) {
        results += Sql.stringFormat('<div class="hit">%mIH</div>', query, row.abs);
results +="</div>";

For more information on abstract, see abstract() below and abstract in Server Functions.


The abstract function generates an abstract of a given portion of text.

var Sql = require("rampart-sql");
var options=
      max: max,
      style: style,
      query: query
var abstract = Sql.abstract(text, options);


var Sql = require("rampart-sql");
var abstract = Sql.abstract(text [,max [,style [,query [,markup]]]]);






The text from which an abstract will be generated.



Maximum length in characters of the abstract.



Method used to generate the abstract.



query or keywords used to center the abstract.


String or Boolean

perform markup as Metamorph Hit Mark-up above. May be true for “%mbH” or a String for a custom format (such as “%mCH”).

Return Value:

String. The abstract text.

The abstract will be less than max characters long, and will attempt to end at a word boundary. If max is not specified (or is less than or equal to 0) then a default size of 230 characters is used.

The style argument allows a choice between several different ways of creating the abstract. Note that some of these styles require the query argument as well, which is a Metamorph search query:

  • dumb Start the abstract at the top of the document.

  • smart This style will look for the first meaningful chunk of text, skipping over any headers at the top of the text. This is the default if neither style nor query is given.

  • querysingle Center the abstract contiguously on the best occurrence of query in the document.

  • querymultiple Like querysingle, but also break up the abstract into multiple sections (separated with ...) if needed to help ensure all terms are visible. Also it wll take care with URLs to try to show the start and end.

  • querybest An alias for the best available query-based style; currently the same as querymultiple. Using querybest in a script ensures that if improved styles become available in future releases, the script will automatically “upgrade” to the best style.

If no query is given with a query* mode (querysingle, querymultiple or querybest), it falls back to dumb mode. If a query is given with anything other than a query* mode (dumb/smart), the mode is promoted to querybest. The current locale and index expressions also have an effect on the abstract in the query* modes, so that it more closely reflects an index-obtained hit.


var gba= "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on " +
"this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to " +
"the proposition that all men are created equal.\n" +

"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, " +
"or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.  We are " +
"met on a great battle-field of that war.  We have come to dedicate a " +
"portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here " +
"gave their lives that that nation might live.  It is altogether " +
"fitting and proper that we should do this.\n" +

"But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate " +
"-- we can not hallow -- this ground.  The brave men, living and dead, " +
"who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to " +
"add or detract.  The world will little note, nor long remember what we " +
"say here, but it can never forget what they did here.  It is for us " +
"the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which " +
"they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.  It is rather " +
"for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- " +
"that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause " +
"for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here " +
"highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that " +
"this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that " +
"government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not " +
"perish from the earth.\n";

var abstract = Sql.abstract(gba);
/* abstract =
   Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this
   continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the
   proposition that all men are created equal.  Now we are engaged in a
   great civil war, testing ...

abstract = Sql.abstract(gba, 100, "querybest", "unfinished work");
/* abstract =
   It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the
   unfinished work which they who fought ...

abstract = Sql.abstract(gba, {
    style: "querybest",
    query: "unfinished work",
    markup: "%mCH"
/* abstract =
   The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can
   never forget what they did here. <span class="query">It is for us the living,
   rather, to be dedicated here to the <span class="queryset1">unfinished</span>
   <span class="queryset2">work</span> which they who fought here have thus far
   so nobly advanced. </span>It is ...


The sandr function replaces in data every occurrence of expr (rex() expression(s)) with the corresponding String(s) from replace. It returns dataOut, a String or Array of Strings with any replacements.

If replace has fewer values than expr, it is “padded” with empty replacement Strings for the extra search values.

var Sql = require("rampart-sql");

var dataOut = Sql.sandr(expr, replace, data);

/* or */

var dataOut = Sql.sandr(rexargs, data);





String/Array of Strings

rex() expression(s) to search for


String/Array of Strings

Text to replace the rex() expressions


Array of Arrays - search/replace pairs

pairs of expr and replace strings


String/Array of Strings

string(s) as input for search and replace

Return Value:

If data is an Array, an Array of Strings corresponding to the data Array with replacements made.

If data is a String, a String corresponding to the data String with replacements made.

Replacement Strings:

  • The characters ? # { } + and \ are special. To use them literally, precede them with the escapement character \.

  • Replacement strings may just be a literal string or they may include the “ditto” character ?. The ditto character will copy the character in the position specified in the replace-string from the same position in the located expression.

  • A decimal digit placed within curly-braces (e.g. {5}) will place that character of the located expression to the output.

  • A \ followed by a decimal number will place that subexpression to the output. Subexpressions are numbered starting at 1.

  • The sequence \& will place the entire expression match (not including \P and \F portions) to the output.

  • A plus-character + will place an incrementing decimal number to the output. One purpose of this operator is to number lines.

  • A # followed by a number will cause the numbered subexpression to be printed in hexadecimal form.

  • Any character in the replace-string may be represented by the hexadecimal value of that character using the following syntax: \xhh where hh is the hexadecimal value.


var data="I am not unhappy and am not unwilling to participate";
var expr=["participate", "not un"];
var replace="try"; /* "participate"->"try", "not un"->"" */
var dataOut=Sql.sandr(expr, replace, data);
/* dataOut = "I am happy and am willing to try" */

Example using search/replace argument pairs :

var data="I am not unhappy and am not unwilling to participate";
var rexargs =[ ["participate","try"], ["not un",""]];
var dataOut=Sql.sandr(rexargs, data);
/* dataOut = "I am happy and am willing to try" */

See rex() for rex regular expression syntax.


The sandr2 function operates in the same manner as sandr, with the exception that it uses re2() regular expressions.


The rex function uses special (non-perlre) regular expressions to search for substrings in text.

var Sql = require("rampart-sql");
var ret = Sql.rex(expr, data [, callback] [, options]);





String/Array of Strings

rex Expressions to search for



string(s)/buffers() as input text to be searched



Optional callback Function



exclude and submatches options


A String or Array of Strings of rex regular expressions used to match the text in data. See Expressions below for full syntax.


A String, buffer or an Array with Strings and/or Buffers containing the text to be searched.


The rex function may take an Object of options:

   "exclude":    [ "none" | "overlap" | "duplicate" ],
   "submatches": [ true | false ]

The default value of submatches is true if there is a callback, otherwise false.

If the submatches option is set false and no callback is provided, an Array of matching Strings is returned.

If the submatches option is set true and no callback is provided, the return value is set to an Array of Objects, one per match containing the following information:

  • match - the matched String.

  • expressionIndex - the index in ``expr of the expression that produced match, if expr is an Array. Otherwise 0.

  • sumbatches - Array of submatches (one per substring matched with a +, *, = or {x,y}) from search expression in the order specified in the search pattern. For * or {0,y}, this may be an empty String (“”).

See Callback below for callback() parameters where submatches is set true or false.

The exclude option is used for when there are multiple expressions (as provided by an Array of Strings for the expr argument) that might match the same portion of text.

  • none returns all possible matches, even if the portion of text that matches is the same or overlaps with another.

  • overlap will remove the shorter (in character length) of two matches where one match overlaps with the other.

  • duplicate (the default mode) will remove the shorter (in character length) of two matches where one match is entirely encompassed in the other.


var search =  ['th=','>>is=','this ','his= is='];
var txt    =  'hello, this is a message';

var ret = Sql.rex(search, txt, {exclude:'duplicate'});
/* ret == [ "this", "his is" ] */

ret = Sql.rex(search, txt, {exclude:'overlap'});
/* ret == [ "his is" ] */

ret = Sql.rex(search, txt, {exclude:'none'});
/* ret == ["this ", "th", "his is", "is", "is"] */

The callback function will be passed the following:

var ret = Sql.rex(search, txt,
   function(match, submatches, index)
     console.log(index,  'matched string "' + match +'"')
     console.log("    ", 'submatches: ', submatches);

var ret = Sql.rex(search, txt, {submatches:false},
   function(match, index)
     console.log(index, 'matched string "' + match +'"')
  • match - the current String matched.

  • sumbatches - Array of submatches (one per substring matched with a +, *, = or {x,y}) from search expression in the order specified in the search pattern. For * or {0,y}, this may be an empty String ("").

  • index - ordinal position of current match.

Return Value:

Depending on the submatches option, an Array of matching Strings or an Array of Objects with matching String and submatch information.

If a callback function is specified, a Number, the number of matches is returned.


  • Expressions are composed of characters and operators. Operators are characters with special meaning to REX. The following characters have special meaning: \=?+*{},[]^$.-! and must be escaped with a \ if they are meant to be taken literally. The string “>>” is also special and if it is to be matched, it should be written \>>. Not all of these characters are special all the time; if an entire string is to be escaped so it will be interpreted literally, only the characters \=?+*{[^$.!> need be escaped.

  • A \ followed by an R or an I means to begin respecting or ignoring alphabetic case distinction, until the end of the sub-expression. (Ignoring case is the default, and will re-apply at the next sub-expression.) These switches DO NOT apply to characters inside range brackets.

  • A \ followed by an L indicates that the characters following are to be taken literally up to the next \L. The purpose of this operation is to remove the special meanings from characters.

  • A sub-expression following \F (followed by) or \P (preceded by) can be used to root the rest of an expression to which it is tied. It means to look for the rest of the expression “as long as followed by …” or ” as long as preceded by …” the sub-expression following the F or P, but the designated sub-expression will be considered excluded from the located expression itself.

  • A \ followed by one of the following C language character classes matches any character in that class: alpha, upper, lower, digit, xdigit, alnum, space, punct, print, graph, cntrl, ascii. Note that the definition of these classes may be affected by the current locale.

  • A \ followed by one of the following special characters will assume the following meaning: n = newline, t = tab, v = vertical tab, b = backspace, r = carriage return, f = form feed, 0 = the null character.

  • A \ followed by Xn or Xnn where n is a hexadecimal digit will match that character.

  • A \ followed by any single character (not one of the above special escape characters/tokens) matches that character. Escaping a character that is not a special escape is not recommended, as the expression could change meaning if the character becomes an escape in a future release.

  • The character ^ placed anywhere in an expression (except after a [) matches the beginning of a line (same as x0A).

  • The character $ placed anywhere in an expression matches the end of a line (x0A in Unix).

  • The character . matches any character.

  • A single character not having special meaning matches that character.

  • A string enclosed in brackets ([]) is a set, and matches any single character from the string. Ranges of ASCII character codes may be abbreviated with a dash, as in [a-z] or [0-9]. A ^ occurring as the first character of the set will invert the meaning of the set, i.e. any character NOT in the set will match instead. A literal - must be preceded by a \. The case of alphabetic characters is always respected within brackets.

    A double-dash (--) may be used inside a bracketed set to subtract characters from the set; e.g. [\alpha--x] for all alphabetic characters except x. The left-hand side of a set subtraction must be a range, character class, or another set subtraction. The right-hand side of a set subtraction must be a range, character class, or a single character. Set subtraction groups left-to-right. The range operator - has precedence over set subtraction.

  • The >> operator in the first position of a fixed expression will force REX to use that expression as the “root” expression off which the other fixed expressions are matched. This operator overrides one of the optimizers in REX. This operator can be quite handy if you are trying to match an expression with a ! operator or if you are matching an item that is surrounded by other items. For example: x+>>y+z+ would force REX to find the “y’s’ first then go backwards and forwards for the leading “x’s” and trailing “z’s”.

  • The ! character in the first position of an expression means that it is NOT to match the following fixed expression. For example: start=!finish+ would match the word “start” and anything past it up to (but not including the word “finish”. Usually operations involving the NOT operator involve knowing what direction the pattern is being matched in. In these cases the >> operator comes in handy. If the >> operator is used, it comes before the !. For example: >>start=!finish+finish would match anything that began with “start” and ended with “finish”. THE NOT OPERATOR CANNOT BE USED BY ITSELF in an expression, or as the root expression in a compound expression.

    Note that ! expressions match a character at a time, so their repetition operators count characters, not expression-lengths as with normal expressions. E.g. !finish{2,4} matches 2 to 4 characters, whereas finish{2,4} matches 2 to 4 times the length of finish.

Repetition Operators

  • A regular expression may be followed by a repetition operator in order to indicate the number of times it may be repeated.

  • An expression followed by the operator {X,Y} indicates that from X to Y occurrences of the expression are to be located. This notation may take on several forms: “{X}” means X occurrences of the expression, “{X,}” means X or more occurrences of the expression, and “{,Y}” means from 0 (no occurrences) to Y occurrences of the expression.

  • The ‘?’ operator is a synonym for the operation {0,1}. Read as: “Zero or one occurrence.”

  • The ‘*’ operator is a synonym for the operation {0,}. Read as: “Zero or more occurrences.”

  • The ‘+’ operator is a synonym for the operation {1,}. Read as: “One or more occurrences.”

  • The ‘=’ operator is a synonym for the operation {1}. Read as: “One occurrence.”


rex is a highly optimized pattern recognition tool that has been modeled after the Unix family of tools: GREP, EGREP, FGREP, and LEX. Wherever possible its syntax has been held consistent with these tools, but there are several major departures that may bite those who are used to using GREP or Perl Regular Expression families.

rex uses a combination of techniques that allow it to surpass the speed of anything similar to it by a very wide margin.

The technique that provides the largest advantage is called “state-anticipation or state-skipping” which works as follows:

if we were looking for the pattern:


in the text:


a normal pattern matcher would do the following:


The state-anticipation scheme would do the following:


The normal algorithm moves one character at time through the text, comparing the leading character of the pattern to the current text character of text, and if they match, it compares the leading pattern character +1 to the current text character +1 , and so on…

The state anticipation pattern matcher is aware of the length of the pattern to be matched, and compares the last character of the pattern to the corresponding text character. If the two are not equal, it moves over by an amount that would allow it to match the next potential hit.

If one were to count the number of comparison cycles for each pattern matching scheme using the example above, the normal pattern matcher would have to perform 13 compare operations before locating the first occurrence vs. 6 compare operations for the state-anticipation pattern matcher.

One concept to grasp here is that: “The longer the pattern to be found, the faster the state-anticipation pattern matcher will be.” While a normal pattern matcher will slow down as the pattern gets longer.

Herein lies the first major syntax departure: rex always applies repetition operators to the longest preceding expression. It does this so that it can maximize the benefits of using the state-skipping pattern matcher.

If you were to give GREP the expression : ab*de+ It would interpret it as:

an “a” then 0 or more “b“‘s then a “d” then 1 or more “e“‘s.

rex will interpret this as

0 or more occurrences of “ab” followed by 1 or more occurrences of “de”.

The second technique that provides rex with a speed advantage is ability to locate patterns both forwards and backwards indiscriminately.

Given the expression: “abc*def”, the pattern matcher is looking for “Zero to N occurrences of ‘abc’ followed by a ‘def’”.

The following text examples would be matched by this expression:


But consider these patterns if they were embedded within a body of text:

My country 'tis of abcabcabcabcdef sweet land of def, abcdef.

A normal pattern matching scheme would begin looking for ‘abc*’ . Since ‘abc*’ is matched by every position within the text, the normal pattern matcher would plod along checking for ‘abc*’ and then whether it’s there or not it would try to match “def”. rex examines the expression in search of the the most efficient fixed length sub-pattern and uses it as the root of search rather than the first sub-expression. So, in the example above, rex would not begin searching for “abc*” until it has located a “def”.

There are many other techniques used in rex to improve the rate at which it searches for patterns, but these should have no effect on the way in which you specify an expression.

The three rules that will cause the most problems to experienced Perl Regular Expression users are:

  1. Repetition operators are always applied to strings, rather than single characters.

  2. There must be at least one sub-expression that has one or more repetitions.

  3. No matched sub-expression will be located as part of another.

Rule 1 example:

abc=def* means one “abc” followed by 0 or more “def“‘s .

Rule 2 example:

abc*def* can not be located because it matches every position within the text.

Rule 3 example:

a+ab Is idiosyncratic because “a+” is a subpart of “ab”.

Note that when using \ escapes in JavaScript Strings, they must be double escaped as javascript interprets the \ before it is passed on to the rex function (.e.g. Sql.rex("\\n=[^\\n]+", text)). However the following unsupported syntax can also be used in limited cases: Sql.rex(/\n=[^\n]+/, text). This may be useful for quick scripting, but as the /pattern/ is compiled by javascript, and then again by rex, this will perform unnecessary computation and can fail if the syntax of the statement is supported by rex but not by javascript.


var html    =  '<img src="/img.gif" alt="my image">' +
               '<img alt = "second img" src ="/img2.gif">' +
                  '<area shape="rect" coords="34,44,270,350" ' +
                      'alt="not an img"href="/nai.html"></area>'+

/* find alt text in img tags
   start at "alt", search forward for alt text
   and backwards for "<img"
   exclude all but the alt text.
var ret = Sql.rex('<img=!<...*>>alt=\\space*\\==\\space*"\\P=[^"]+', html );
/* ret == [ "my image", "second img" ] */

Note that this example is not robust and would also match <img src="/img.gif"><a alt="alt">link text</a>. A more robust solution would be as follows:

var html    =  '<img src="/img.gif" alt="my image">' +
               '<img alt = "second img" src ="/img2.gif">' +
                  '<area shape="rect" coords="34,44,270,350" ' +
                      'alt="not an img"href="/nai.html"></area>'+
               '<img src="/img.gif"><a alt="alt">link text</a>';

var ret = Sql.rex(">><img =[^>]*>=", html);
ret = Sql.rex('>>alt=\\space*\\==\\space*"\\P=[^"]+', ret);
/* ret == [ "my image", "second img" ] */


The re2 function operates identically to the rex function except that it uses Perl Regular Expressions and no submatch information is returned (empty Array). See rex() above.

var Sql = require("rampart-sql");
var ret = Sql.re2(re2_expr, data [, callback] [, options]);


The rexFile function operates identically to the rex function except that it takes a file name for the text to search. See rex() above.

var Sql = require("rampart-sql");
var ret = Sql.rexFile(expr, filename [, callback] [, options]);

It includes ths same options as available in rex().


The re2File function operates identically to the rexFile function except that it uses Perl Regular Expressions and no submatch information is returned (empty Array). See rexFile() above.

var Sql = require("rampart-sql");
var ret = Sql.re2File(re2_expr, filename [, callback] [, options]);


The searchFile function performs a Fulltext keyword search on a file and returns the matching portions of that file.


var Sql = require("rampart-sql");
var res = Sql.searchFile(query, filename [, options]);


  • query is a String containing the terms used for the search.

  • filename is a String specifying the file to be searched.

  • options is an Object containing optional search settings. The following can be set (see Server Properties for usage): alIntersects, suffixProc, prefixProc, defSuffRm, rebuild, withinProc, intersects, minWordLen, useEquiv, keepNoise, eqPrefix, uEqPrefix, suffixLst, prefixLst, noiseLst, qMaxSets, qMaxSetWords, qMaxWords, qMinWordLen, qMinPreLen, wordc and langc.

Return Value:

An Array of Objects (one Object per match) where each Object contains the properties match (a selection of text matching the query) and offset (the position in the file of the match).


var res = Sql.searchFile(
   { minwordlen:3 }

rampart.utils.printf("%3J\n", res);

/* expected output:
      "offset": 359,
      "match": " We have come to dedicate a portion of that\nfield, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that\nthat nation might live. "
      "offset": 668,
      "match": " The brave men, living and dead, who\nstruggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or\ndetract. "
      "offset": 895,
      "match": " It is for us the living,\nrather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought\nhere have thus far so nobly advanced. "