pg_sysdatetime: a simple cross-platform PostgreSQL extension

A while ago I wrote about compiling PostgreSQL extensions under Visual Studio – without having to recompile the whole PostgreSQL source tree.

I just finished the pg_sysdatetime extension, which is mainly for Windows but also supports compilation with PGXS on *nix. It’s small enough that it serves as a useful example of how to support Windows compilation in your extension, so it’s something I think is worth sharing with the community.

The actual Visual Studio project creation process took about twenty minutes, and would’ve taken less if I wasn’t working remotely over Remote Desktop on an AWS EC2 instance. Most of the time was taken by the simple but fiddly and annoying process of adding the include paths and library path for the x86 and x64 configurations. That’s necessary because MSVC can’t just get them from pg_config and doesn’t have seem to have user-defined project variables to let you specify a $(PGINSTALLDIR) in one place.

Working on Windows isn’t always fun – but it’s not as hard as it’s often made out to be either. If you maintain an extension but haven’t added Windows support it might be easier than you expect to do so.

Packaging it for x86 and x64 versions of each major PostgreSQL release, on the other hand… well, lets just say we could still use PGXS support for Windows with a “make installer” target.

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