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14.2. Example

Here is an example of creating an operator for adding two complex numbers. We assume we've already created the definition of type complex (see Chapter 13). First we need a function that does the work, then we can define the operator:

CREATE FUNCTION complex_add(complex, complex)
    RETURNS complex
    AS 'PGROOT/tutorial/complex'
    LANGUAGE C;

CREATE OPERATOR + (
    leftarg = complex,
    rightarg = complex,
    procedure = complex_add,
    commutator = +
);

Now we can do:

SELECT (a + b) AS c FROM test_complex;

        c
-----------------
 (5.2,6.05)
 (133.42,144.95)

We've shown how to create a binary operator here. To create unary operators, just omit one of leftarg (for left unary) or rightarg (for right unary). The procedure clause and the argument clauses are the only required items in CREATE OPERATOR. The commutator clause shown in the example is an optional hint to the query optimizer. Further details about commutator and other optimizer hints appear below.

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