We have mentioned time and time again, one of the great selling points of PostgreSQL is that it has so many languages to choose from
for writing database stored functions and the code you write in those stored functions is almost exactly the same as what you would write when
writing in that language's environment. The reason for that is that PostgreSQL applies a thin layer around the environment the language lives in, so your code is really
running in that environment. The down-side of this approach is you must have that environment installed on the server. This is a bit different
from the Microsoft SQL Server model where code you write in VB.NET, C#, IronPython etc. gets translated into Common Runtime Logic (CLR) so your code is not
really running in the environment it would normally breathe in and if you have dependencies you have to enable them in the SQL Server GAC which is different
from the Server's .NET GAC.
In this section we shall introduce PL/Python - which is a PL language handler for Python that allows you to write PostgreSQL stored functions in Python. First of all I should start off
by saying that we are not proficient Python programmer's so if anyone sees anything wrong with what we say feel free to embarass us.
We are also taking this opportunity to test-drive PostgreSQL 8.4 on both Linux (OpenSUSE) and Windows,
using the EnterpriseDB PostgreSQL 8.4 beta
that Dave Page recently announced on his blog. This install is great if you are running Windows, MacOSX or Linux Desktop, but
sadly does not have PostGIS as part of the stack builder option.
For pure Linux Server CentOS/Redhat EL/Fedora no desktop installs or if you just feel more comfortable at the command-line,
PostgreSQL Yum repository generously maintained by Devrim is the one to go for.