What Is the Data Type for UUID in Postgres?


Angela Bailey

What Is the Data Type for UUID in Postgres?

PostgreSQL is a powerful and versatile relational database management system that offers various data types to store different kinds of information. One such data type is the universally unique identifier (UUID), which is used to store unique identifiers across different tables and databases.

In this article, we will explore what a UUID is and how it can be used in PostgreSQL.

Understanding UUID

UUID, short for universally unique identifier, is a 128-bit value that is guaranteed to be unique across all devices and time. It provides a way to generate unique identifiers without relying on centralized systems or sequential numbers.

A UUID typically looks like this: 550e8400-e29b-41d4-a716-446655440000.

The UUID Data Type in Postgres

In PostgreSQL, the UUID data type allows you to store UUID values in a table column. This data type ensures that each stored value conforms to the specified format of a UUID, making it easier to work with and compare against other UUID values.

To define a column with the UUID data type in PostgreSQL, you can use the following syntax:

CREATE TABLE table_name (
column_name UUID

Generating UUID Values

PostgreSQL provides several functions to generate UUID values. The most commonly used function is uuid_generate_v4(), which generates a random version 4 (random) UUID.

Here’s an example of how you can use this function to insert a new row with a generated UUID value into a table:

INSERT INTO table_name (id, name)
VALUES (uuid_generate_v4(), 'John Doe');

Comparing UUIDs

When comparing UUID values in PostgreSQL, you can use the standard comparison operators (=, >, <, etc.) to determine their relative order.

The comparison is based on the binary representation of the UUIDs.


In summary, the UUID data type in PostgreSQL provides a reliable and efficient way to store and work with unique identifiers. It ensures that each stored value adheres to the format of a UUID and offers functions for generating random UUIDs.

By utilizing the power of UUIDs, you can maintain data integrity and uniqueness across different tables and databases in your PostgreSQL applications.

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