New pg_msvc_generator tool available

Posted on 2021-08-24 by Julien Rouhaud
Related Open Source


I'm pleased to announce the release of pg_msvc_generator, version 1.0.0 beta.

pg_msvc_generator is a new tool created to help extension authors to provide Windows versions of their extensions. It's written in Perl and is open source with a PostgreSQL license.

You can refer to the project's README for a complete description, or the bug tracker if you experience any problem.

This tool is composed of 2 scripts:


The main script will generate an msvc subdirectory in the given extension directory, containing the required .sln and .vcxproj files to be able to compile the extension using Visual Studio 2019, with support for Debug/Release and 32/64 bits builds. It will also create copy the and generate a build.bat scripts that can automatically compile and create release archive files and installers for all locally installed PostgreSQL versions.

Usage [ options ]


--default version pgver  : default PostgreSQL version. This is only used
            if you compile the project without specifying a specific major
            version, or when the project is opened with Visual Studio
            IDE.  If not provided, a default value based on the year will
            be chosen (13 for 2021, 14 for 2022 and so on).
-d | --dir ext_directory : root directory of the extension source code.
-e | --extension         : extension name.  If not provided, the extension
            name will be assumed using the last part of the given root
-h | --help              : Show this message.

For instance: -d C:\git\hypopg


At project generation time:

  • A Windows host with Perl installed to generate the project files

At extension compilation time:

  • Perl
  • Visual Studio 2019
  • All major PostgreSQL versions for which you want to build the extension, installed from PGDG packages in the default location (C:\Program Files\PostgreSQL\$MAJOR_VERSION)
  • Optionally, NSIS installed in the default location (`C:\Program Files (x86)\NSIS) to generate installers

Doing a release of your extension

All you need to do is to execute the msvc\release.bat script. It will setup the MSVC environment and call the script. That script will prepare everything for a release under a msvc\${extension_name}-${extension_version} directory.

It will automatically find the installed PostgreSQL version reading the HKLM/SOFTWARE/PostgreSQL/Installations/ registry, compile the extension with all those versions and for each will generate a subdirectory containing the dll and the SQL scripts if any, a zip archive with the same content and optionally an installer.

For instance, assuming that you have PostgreSQL 12 and 13 installed and released HypoPG 1.3.2 and NSIS installed, your msvc directory will now have this additional content:

  • msvc\hypopg-1.3.2\12-x64\lib\hypopg.dll
  • msvc\hypopg-1.3.2\12-x64\share\extension\hypopg.control
  • msvc\hypopg-1.3.2\12-x64\share\extension\*.sql
  • msvc\hypopg-1.3.2\13-x64\lib\hypopg.dll
  • msvc\hypopg-1.3.2\13-x64\share\extension\hypopg.control
  • msvc\hypopg-1.3.2\13-x64\share\extension\*.sql
  • msvc\hypopg-1.3.2\hypopg-1.3.2-pg12-x64.exe
  • msvc\hypopg-1.3.2\
  • msvc\hypopg-1.3.2\hypopg-1.3.2-pg13-x64.exe
  • msvc\hypopg-1.3.2\


If you have NSIS installed in the default location (C:\Program Files (x86)\NSIS), the script will generate a .nsi file and compile it using makensis.exe to generate an specific installer for each PostgreSQL major versions found when running the script. At execution time, the installer will try to discover the server's PostgreSQL installation path by reading the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\PostgreSQL\Installations\postgresql-$architecture-$majorversion\Base Directory.

If the key is found, the installer will inform the user and use it as the default installation location. Otherwise, the installer will inform the user that no installation was automatically found and will force the user to choose a location before being able to continue the installation.