I have created a plpythonu function that should return a table with multiple columns. At present, it returns a single column with multiple components.

I came across this answer which is A) a little old and B) requires me to separate the components into a table outside of the function.

Here's a simple function that illustrates the problem:

    return [(1,2),(3,4)]
$$ LANGUAGE plpythonu;

SELECT bar();

This returns two records but only a single column. I want it to return a table with two records and two columns. Is this not possible? That would seem odd but an hour's worth of Googling has gotten me nowhere.

  • What about return [((1,2),(3,4)] ( a one-element list, containing a tuple with inner tuples) ? Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 4:04
  • Nope. Still doesn't work. You have a typo, but I assume you intended it to be [((1,2)),((3,4))]. Trying it as [((1,2),(3,4))] returns a syntax error. Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 10:53
  • No, I meant [((1,2),(3,4))]. You're right that I had a typo, I missed a closing paren. It should be a 1-element list, containing a 2-element tuple, each element of which is a 2-element tuple. If plpythonu supports representing composite types as tuples, that should work. I haven't tested. Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 10:54

1 Answer 1


The simple way to do that would be to call your bar() function like this:

postgres@[local]:5432:postgres:=# SELECT * FROM bar();
 a | b
 1 | 2
 3 | 4
(2 rows)

Time: 0.622 ms

Which returns as a record type in this context, with two rows and two columns.

Hope that helps. =)

  • Perhaps my code runs differently on your machine, but that's not the output that I get.from my code snippet. I see two rows but the two values are combined into a single column as a tuple. Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 19:35
  • Oh. Interesting. I got those results on PostgreSQL 9.4 by copy-pasting your code and doing SELECT * FROM bar() above instead of the SELECT bar(). Which leads me to ask the question I should have asked beforehand, what version of PostgreSQL are you using?
    – Kassandry
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 22:02
  • Huh. i never thought to try SELECT * FROM bar() instead of SELECT bar(). Rookie mistake, I guess. Thanks for pointing it out. Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 1:03

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