Examples for using SQL functions

We assume that you have already created a connection to the PostgreSQL database, as explained in the Basic examples:

>>> from pg import DB
>>> db = DB()
>>> query = db.query

Creating SQL Functions on Base Types

A CREATE FUNCTION statement lets you create a new function that can be used in expressions (in SELECT, INSERT, etc.). We will start with functions that return values of base types.

Let’s create a simple SQL function that takes no arguments and returns 1:

>>> query("""CREATE FUNCTION one() RETURNS int4
...     AS 'SELECT 1 as ONE' LANGUAGE SQL""")

Functions can be used in any expressions (eg. in the target list or qualifications):

>>> print(db.query("SELECT one() AS answer"))
(1 row)

Here’s how you create a function that takes arguments. The following function returns the sum of its two arguments:

>>> query("""CREATE FUNCTION add_em(int4, int4) RETURNS int4
...     AS $$ SELECT $1 + $2 $$ LANGUAGE SQL""")
>>> print(query("SELECT add_em(1, 2) AS answer"))
(1 row)

Creating SQL Functions on Composite Types

It is also possible to create functions that return values of composite types.

Before we create more sophisticated functions, let’s populate an EMP table:

>>> query("""CREATE TABLE EMP (
...     name   text,
...     salary int4,
...     age f   int4,
...     dept   varchar(16))""")
>>> emps = ["'Sam', 1200, 16, 'toy'",
...     "'Claire', 5000, 32, 'shoe'",
...     "'Andy', -1000, 2, 'candy'",
...     "'Bill', 4200, 36, 'shoe'",
...     "'Ginger', 4800, 30, 'candy'"]
>>> for emp in emps:
...     query("INSERT INTO EMP VALUES (%s)" % emp)

Every INSERT statement will return a ‘1’ indicating that it has inserted one row into the EMP table.

The argument of a function can also be a tuple. For instance, double_salary takes a tuple of the EMP table:

>>> query("""CREATE FUNCTION double_salary(EMP) RETURNS int4
...     AS $$ SELECT $1.salary * 2 AS salary $$ LANGUAGE SQL""")
>>> print(query("""SELECT name, double_salary(EMP) AS dream
...     FROM EMP WHERE EMP.dept = 'toy'"""))
Sam | 2400
(1 row)

The return value of a function can also be a tuple. However, make sure that the expressions in the target list are in the same order as the columns of EMP:

>>> query("""CREATE FUNCTION new_emp() RETURNS EMP AS $$
...     SELECT 'None'::text AS name,
...         1000 AS salary,
...         25 AS age,
...         'None'::varchar(16) AS dept
...     $$ LANGUAGE SQL""")

You can then extract a column out of the resulting tuple by using the “function notation” for projection columns (i.e. bar(foo) is equivalent to foo.bar). Note that new_emp().name isn’t supported:

>>> print(query("SELECT name(new_emp()) AS nobody"))
(1 row)

Let’s try one more function that returns tuples:

>>> query("""CREATE FUNCTION high_pay() RETURNS setof EMP
...         AS 'SELECT * FROM EMP where salary > 1500'
...     LANGUAGE SQL""")
>>> query("SELECT name(high_pay()) AS overpaid")
(3 rows)

Creating SQL Functions with multiple SQL statements

You can also create functions that do more than just a SELECT.

You may have noticed that Andy has a negative salary. We’ll create a function that removes employees with negative salaries:

>>> query("SELECT * FROM EMP")
 name |salary|age|dept
Sam   |  1200| 16|toy
Claire|  5000| 32|shoe
Andy  | -1000|  2|candy
Bill  |  4200| 36|shoe
Ginger|  4800| 30|candy
(5 rows)
>>> query("""CREATE FUNCTION clean_EMP () RETURNS int4 AS
...         'DELETE FROM EMP WHERE EMP.salary < 0;
...          SELECT 1 AS ignore_this'
...     LANGUAGE SQL""")
>>> query("SELECT clean_EMP()")
(1 row)
>>> query("SELECT * FROM EMP")
 name |salary|age|dept
Sam   |  1200| 16|toy
Claire|  5000| 32|shoe
Bill  |  4200| 36|shoe
Ginger|  4800| 30|candy
(4 rows)

Remove functions that were created in this example

We can remove the functions that we have created in this example and the table EMP, by using the DROP command:

query("DROP FUNCTION clean_EMP()")
query("DROP FUNCTION high_pay()")
query("DROP FUNCTION new_emp()")
query("DROP FUNCTION add_em(int4, int4)")
query("DROP FUNCTION one()")