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SQL Anywhere 11.0.1 » SQL Anywhere Server - SQL Reference » Using SQL » SQL statements » SQL statements (A-D)


CREATE FUNCTION statement (web services)

Use this statement to create a new web services function in the database. To create a user-defined SQL function, see CREATE FUNCTION statement.

CREATE [ OR REPLACE ] FUNCTION [ owner.]function-name ( [ parameter, ... ] )
RETURNS data-type
URL url-string
[ HEADER header-string ]
[ SOAPHEADER soap-header-string ]
[ TYPE { 
  'HTTP[ :{ GET | POST[:MIME-type ] | PUT[:MIME-type ] | DELETE | HEAD } ]' | 
  'SOAP[:{ RPC | DOC } ]' } ]
[ NAMESPACE namespace-string ]
[ CERTIFICATE certificate-string ]
[ CLIENTPORT clientport-string ]
[ PROXY proxy-string ]
[ SET protocol-option-string ]
url-string :
' { HTTP | HTTPS | HTTPS_FIPS }://[user:password@]hostname[:port][/path]'
parameter :
   [ IN ] parameter-name data-type [ DEFAULT expression ]
  • CREATE FUNCTION   Parameter names must conform to the rules for database identifiers. They must have a valid SQL data type, and must be prefixed by the keyword IN, signifying that the argument is an expression that provides a value to the function.

    When functions are executed, not all parameters need to be specified. If a default value is provided in the CREATE FUNCTION statement, missing parameters are assigned the default values. If an argument is not provided by the caller and no default is set, an error is given.

    Specifying OR REPLACE (CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION) creates a new function, or replaces an existing function with the same name. This clause changes the definition of the function, but preserves existing permissions. You cannot use the OR REPLACE clause with temporary functions.

  • RETURNS clause   Return data types can be VARCHAR, BINARY, VARBINARY, or LONG BINARY. The data type does not affect how the HTTP response is processed.

  • URL clause   For use only when defining an HTTP or SOAP web services client function. Specifies the URL of the web service. The optional user name and password parameters provide a means of supplying the credentials needed for HTTP basic authentication. HTTP basic authentication base-64 encodes the user and password information and passes it in the Authentication header of the HTTP request.

    Specifying HTTPS_FIPS forces the system to use the FIPS libraries. If HTTPS_FIPS is specified, but no FIPS libraries are present, non-FIPS libraries are used instead.

  • HEADER clause   When creating HTTP web service client functions, use this clause to add or modify HTTP request header entries. Only printable ASCII characters can be specified for HTTP headers, and they are case-insensitive. For more information about how to use this clause, see the HEADER clause of the CREATE PROCEDURE statement (web services).

    For more information about using HTTP headers, see Working with HTTP headers.

  • SOAPHEADER clause   When declaring a SOAP web service as a function, use this clause to specify one or more SOAP request header entries. A SOAP header can be declared as a static constant, or can be dynamically set using the parameter substitution mechanism (declaring IN, OUT, or INOUT parameters for hd1, hd2, and so on). A web service function can define one or more IN mode substitution parameters, but can not define an INOUT or OUT substitution parameter. For more information about how to use this clause, see the SOAPHEADER clause of the CREATE PROCEDURE statement (web services).

    For more information about using SOAP headers, see Working with SOAP headers.

  • TYPE clause   Used to specify the format used when making the web service request. If SOAP is specified or no type clause is included, the default type SOAP:RPC is used. HTTP implies HTTP:POST. Since SOAP requests are always sent as XML documents, HTTP:POST is always used to send SOAP requests.

  • NAMESPACE clause   Applies to SOAP client functions only. This clause identifies the method namespace usually required for both SOAP:RPC and SOAP:DOC requests. The SOAP server handling the request uses this namespace to interpret the names of the entities in the SOAP request message body. The namespace can be obtained from the WSDL (Web Services Description Language) of the SOAP service available from the web service server. The default value is the function's URL, up to but not including, the optional path component.

  • CERTIFICATE clause   To make a secure (HTTPS) request, a client must have access to the certificate used by the HTTPS server. The necessary information is specified in a string of semicolon-separated key/value pairs. The certificate can be placed in a file and the name of the file provided using the file key, or the whole certificate can be placed in a string, but not both. The following keys are available:

    Key Abbreviation Description
    file The file name of the certificate.
    certificate cert The certificate itself.
    company co The company specified in the certificate.
    unit The company unit specified in the certificate.
    name The common name specified in the certificate.

    Certificates are required only for requests that are directed to an HTTPS server, or for requests that can be redirected from a non-secure to a secure server.

  • CLIENTPORT clause   Identifies the port number on which the HTTP client function communicates using TCP/IP. It is provided for and recommended only for connections across firewalls, as firewalls filter according to the TCP/UDP port. You can specify a single port number, ranges of port numbers, or a combination of both; for example, CLIENTPORT '85,90-97'. See ClientPort protocol option [CPORT].

  • PROXY clause   Specifies the URI of a proxy server. For use when the client must access the network through a proxy. this clause indicates that the function is to connect to the proxy server and send the request to the web service through it.


The CREATE FUNCTION statement creates a web services function in the database. A function can be created for another user by specifying an owner name.

The return type of SOAP and HTTP functions must be one of the character data types, such as VARCHAR. The value returned is the body of the HTTP response. No HTTP header information is included. If more information is required, such as status information, use a procedure instead of a function.

Parameter values are passed as part of the request. The syntax used depends on the type of request. For HTTP:GET, the parameters are passed as part of the URL; for HTTP:POST requests, the values are placed in the body of the request. Parameters to SOAP requests are always bundled in the request body.


RESOURCE authority.

DBA authority for external functions, including Java functions.

Side effects

Automatic commit.

See also
Standards and compatibility
  • SQL/2003   Persistent Stored Module feature.


The following statement creates a function named cli_test1 that returns images from the get_picture service running on localhost:

URL 'http://localhost/get_picture' 

The following statement issues an HTTP request with the URL http://localhost/get_picture?image=widget:

SELECT cli_test1( 'widget' );

The following statement uses a substitution parameter to allow the request URL to be passed as an input parameter. The SET clause is used to turn off CHUNK mode transfer-encoding.

URL '!myurl' 

The following statement issues an HTTP request with the URL http://localhost/get_picture?image=widget:

a_binary = cli_test2('widget', 'http://localhost/get_picture');
SELECT a_binary;