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1.0 (stable)
CREATE MACRO Statement

The CREATE MACRO statement can create a scalar or table macro (function) in the catalog. A macro may only be a single SELECT statement (similar to a VIEW), but it has the benefit of accepting parameters. For a scalar macro, CREATE MACRO is followed by the name of the macro, and optionally parameters within a set of parentheses. The keyword AS is next, followed by the text of the macro. By design, a scalar macro may only return a single value. For a table macro, the syntax is similar to a scalar macro except AS is replaced with AS TABLE. A table macro may return a table of arbitrary size and shape.

If a MACRO is temporary, it is only usable within the same database connection and is deleted when the connection is closed.

Examples

Scalar Macros

Create a macro that adds two expressions (a and b):

CREATE MACRO add(a, b) AS a + b;

Create a macro for a case expression:

CREATE MACRO ifelse(a, b, c) AS CASE WHEN a THEN b ELSE c END;

Create a macro that does a subquery:

CREATE MACRO one() AS (SELECT 1);

Create a macro with a common table expression. Note that parameter names get priority over column names. To work around this, disambiguate using the table name.

CREATE MACRO plus_one(a) AS (WITH cte AS (SELECT 1 AS a) SELECT cte.a + a FROM cte);

Macros are schema-dependent, and have an alias, FUNCTION:

CREATE FUNCTION main.my_avg(x) AS sum(x) / count(x);

Create a macro with default constant parameters:

CREATE MACRO add_default(a, b := 5) AS a + b;

Create a macro arr_append (with a functionality equivalent to array_append):

CREATE MACRO arr_append(l, e) AS list_concat(l, list_value(e));

Table Macros

Create a table macro without parameters:

CREATE MACRO static_table() AS TABLE
    SELECT 'Hello' AS column1, 'World' AS column2;

Create a table macro with parameters (that can be of any type):

CREATE MACRO dynamic_table(col1_value, col2_value) AS TABLE
    SELECT col1_value AS column1, col2_value AS column2;

Create a table macro that returns multiple rows:

It will be replaced if it already exists, and it is temporary (will be automatically deleted when the connection ends):

CREATE OR REPLACE TEMP MACRO dynamic_table(col1_value, col2_value) AS TABLE
    SELECT col1_value AS column1, col2_value AS column2
    UNION ALL
    SELECT 'Hello' AS col1_value, 456 AS col2_value;

Pass an argument as a list: SELECT * FROM get_users([1, 5]):

CREATE MACRO get_users(i) AS TABLE
    SELECT * FROM users WHERE uid IN (SELECT unnest(i));

Syntax

Macros allow you to create shortcuts for combinations of expressions.

CREATE MACRO add(a) AS a + b;
Binder Error: Referenced column "b" not found in FROM clause!

This works:

CREATE MACRO add(a, b) AS a + b;

Usage example:

SELECT add(1, 2) AS x;
x
3

However, this fails:

SELECT add('hello', 3);
Binder Error: Could not choose a best candidate function for the function call "+(STRING_LITERAL, INTEGER_LITERAL)". In order to select one, please add explicit type casts.
	Candidate functions:
	+(DATE, INTEGER) -> DATE
	+(INTEGER, INTEGER) -> INTEGER

Macros can have default parameters. Unlike some languages, default parameters must be named when the macro is invoked.

b is a default parameter:

CREATE MACRO add_default(a, b := 5) AS a + b;

The following will result in 42:

SELECT add_default(37);

The following will throw an error:

SELECT add_default(40, 2);
Binder Error: Macro function 'add_default(a)' requires a single positional argument, but 2 positional arguments were provided.

Default parameters must used by assigning them like the following:

SELECT add_default(40, b := 2) AS x;
x
42

However, the following fails:

SELECT add_default(b := 2, 40);
Binder Error: Positional parameters cannot come after parameters with a default value!

The order of default parameters does not matter:

CREATE MACRO triple_add(a, b := 5, c := 10) AS a + b + c;
SELECT triple_add(40, c := 1, b := 1) AS x;
x
42

When macros are used, they are expanded (i.e., replaced with the original expression), and the parameters within the expanded expression are replaced with the supplied arguments. Step by step:

The add macro we defined above is used in a query:

SELECT add(40, 2) AS x;

Internally, add is replaced with its definition of a + b:

SELECT a + b; AS x

Then, the parameters are replaced by the supplied arguments:

SELECT 40 + 2 AS x;

Limitations

Using Named Parameters

Currently, positional macro parameters can only be used positionally, and named parameters can only be used by supplying their name. Therefore, the following will not work:

CREATE MACRO my_macro(a, b := 42) AS (a + b);
SELECT my_macro(32, 52);
Error: Binder Error: Macro function 'my_macro(a)' requires a single positional argument, but 2 positional arguments were provided.

Using Subquery Macros

If a MACRO is defined as a subquery, it cannot be invoked in a table function. DuckDB will return the following error:

Binder Error: Table function cannot contain subqueries
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Last modified: 2024-06-22