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Databases - Practical PostgreSQL
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Returning Variables

PL/pgSQL functions must return a value that matches the data type specified as their return type in the CREATE FUNCTION command that created them. Values are returned with a RETURN statement. A RETURN statement is typically located at the end of a function, but will also often be located within an IF statement or other statement that directs the flow of the function. If a function's RETURN statement is located within one of these control statements, you should still include a return statement at the end of the function (even if the function is designed to never reach that last RETURN statement). The syntax of a RETURN statement is shown in Example 11-26.

Example 11-26. Syntax of the RETURN statement

CREATE FUNCTION 
function_identifier
 (
arguments
) RETURNS 
type
 AS '
  DECLARE
    
declaration;

    [...]
  BEGIN
    
statement;

    [...]
    RETURN { 
variable_name
 | 
value
 }
  END;
' LANGUAGE 'plpgsql';

For a demonstration of the RETURN statement, examine any PL/pgSQL function example within this chapter.

Databases - Practical PostgreSQL
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