PostgreSQL Drop function

The DROP FUNCTION statement in PostgreSQL is used to remove a user-defined function from the database. This statement permanently deletes the function and all its associated objects, such as triggers or rules.


The syntax for the DROP FUNCTION statement is as follows:

DROP FUNCTION [ IF EXISTS ] function_name 
( [ argument_data_type [, ...] ] ) [ CASCADE | RESTRICT ];

Let’s break down the components of this syntax:

IF EXISTS: This optional clause is used to avoid an error if the function does not exist. If specified, PostgreSQL will not throw an error and will silently continue if the function is not found.
function_name: This specifies the name of the function that you want to drop.
argument_data_type: These are the data types of the function’s arguments. You need to provide the data types in the same order as they were defined when creating the function.
CASCADE: This keyword is used to automatically drop objects that depend on the function, such as triggers or rules.
RESTRICT: This keyword is used to prevent the dropping of the function if there are dependent objects. If any dependent objects exist, an error will be thrown.


Now, let’s look at an example to illustrate the usage of the DROP FUNCTION statement:

-- Drop a function without arguments
DROP FUNCTION my_function;

-- Drop a function with arguments
DROP FUNCTION calculate_average(integer, integer);

-- Drop a function with arguments and specified argument data types
DROP FUNCTION calculate_average(integer, integer) CASCADE;

-- Drop a function if it exists

In the first example, we are dropping a function called my_function without any arguments. In the second example, we are dropping a function called calculate_average that takes two integer arguments. In the third example, we are dropping the same calculate_average function but also specifying the argument data types and using the CASCADE keyword to drop dependent objects. Finally, in the last example, we are dropping the function my_function but only if it exists, to avoid any errors.

Remember to exercise caution when using the DROP FUNCTION statement, as it permanently removes the function and its associated objects from the database.