Tracking foreign keys throughout a schema

I recently ran into the need with a customer to track the usage of a specific key throughout the schema. Basically, "what are all the tables and columns referencing this key, directly or indirectly". Luckily, with a little bit of catalog query, that's not hard:

WITH RECURSIVE what (tbl) AS (
   VALUES ('')
t (oid, key, constrid) AS (
 SELECT tbl::regclass::oid, conkey, NULL::oid
  FROM what INNER JOIN pg_constraint ON (contype='p' AND conrelid=tbl::regclass)
 SELECT conrelid, conkey, c.oid
 FROM pg_constraint c
 INNER JOIN t ON (c.confrelid=t.oid AND c.confkey=t.key)
 WHERE contype='f'
SELECT nspname, relname, key, ARRAY(
    SELECT attname FROM pg_attribute a WHERE a.attrelid=t.oid AND attnum=ANY(key)
INNER JOIN pg_class cl ON cl.oid=t.oid
INNER JOIN pg_namespace n ON n.oid=cl.relnamespace

The output can be similar to:

 nspname | relname | key | array 
 public  | tt      | {1} | {ttt}
 public  | foo1    | {1} | {a}
 public  | foo2    | {3} | {z}

for a single column key (tt being the table with the primary key in, and the foo1 and foo2 tables referencing it directly or through the other one), or:

 nspname | relname |  key  | array 
 public  | m1      | {1,2} | {a,b}
 public  | m2      | {1,2} | {a,b}

for a multi-column foreign key.

In this particular use-case, it was an efficient way to track down key usage where naming standards for using the key had not always been followed. And of course, we also found a couple of cases where the column had the correct name but lacked the actual FOREIGN KEY definition, but that was done by just looking at the column names.


How would you do it for all the tables in a specific schema?

Posted on Nov 10, 2018 at 13:47 by Michael Vitale.

You should be able to join it to the list of primary keys available without too much trouble. And those keys can be found from the pg_catalog schema directly, or through information_schema.

Posted on Nov 13, 2018 at 19:10 by Magnus.

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