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The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 2 - Programming Guide
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 478 pages
ISBN 9781906966065
RRP £14.95 ($19.95)

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12.3.4 Composite Types

Composite-type arguments are passed to the function as Python mappings. The element names of the mapping are the attribute names of the composite type. If an attribute in the passed row has the null value, it has the value None in the mapping. Here is an example:

CREATE TABLE employee (
  name text,
  salary integer,
  age integer
);

CREATE FUNCTION overpaid (e employee)
  RETURNS boolean
AS $$
  if e["salary"] > 200000:
    return True
  if (e["age"] < 30) and (e["salary"] > 100000):
    return True
  return False
$$ LANGUAGE plpythonu;

There are multiple ways to return row or composite types from a Python function. The following examples assume we have:

CREATE TYPE named_value AS (
  name   text,
  value  integer
);

A composite result can be returned as a:

Sequence type (a tuple or list, but not a set because it is not indexable)
Returned sequence objects must have the same number of items as the composite result type has fields. The item with index 0 is assigned to the first field of the composite type, 1 to the second and so on. For example:
CREATE FUNCTION make_pair (name text, value integer)
  RETURNS named_value
AS $$
  return [ name, value ]
  # or alternatively, as tuple: return ( name, value )
$$ LANGUAGE plpythonu;
To return a SQL null for any column, insert None at the corresponding position.
Mapping (dictionary)
The value for each result type column is retrieved from the mapping with the column name as key. Example:
CREATE FUNCTION make_pair (name text, value integer)
  RETURNS named_value
AS $$
  return { "name": name, "value": value }
$$ LANGUAGE plpythonu;
Any extra dictionary key/value pairs are ignored. Missing keys are treated as errors. To return a SQL null value for any column, insert None with the corresponding column name as the key.
Object (any object providing method __getattr__)
This works the same as a mapping. Example:
CREATE FUNCTION make_pair (name text, value integer)
  RETURNS named_value
AS $$
  class named_value:
    def __init__ (self, n, v):
      self.name = n
      self.value = v
  return named_value(name, value)

  # or simply
  class nv: pass
  nv.name = name
  nv.value = value
  return nv
$$ LANGUAGE plpythonu;
ISBN 9781906966065The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 2 - Programming GuideSee the print edition