Soufflé is extensible with userdefined functors. Functors are introduced via functor declarations and can be used subsequently. Functors are strongly typed and have a type signature. Userdefined functors are implemented in the form of a shared library, that will be loaded at evaluationtime. Userdefined functors can be used in the interpreter and for the compiled Soufflé program.
Functor Declaration
A functor declaration contains the name of the functor, the argument types, and the return type of the functor. A functor declaration has the following format:
.functor <name>():<type>
where the types <type<sub>1</sub>>,...,<type<sub>k</sub>>
define the types
of the functor arguments, and <type>
defines the return type. Currently,
the type arguments and result type can only assume the primitive types of Soufflé:
 Symbol type:
symbol
 Number type:
number
For example,
.functor f(number):number
introduces the functor f
that has a single number argument and
returns a number as a result.
UserDefined Functor
After declaring the functor, the functor can be used in rules and facts. Userdefined functors have the prefixnotation, i.e.,
<name>(<arg1>,...,<argk>)
For example,
// introduce new functor f: number > number
.functor f(number):number
.decl A(x:number)
.output A
A(1).
A(@f(i)) : A(i), @f(i) < 100.
declares a userdefined functor with name f
that has a number as an argument and produces a number as a result.
Implementation of UserDefined functors.
Userdefined functors can be implemented in any programming language of choice supporting callable external functions. There are strong requirements for the implementation of functors. If they are violated, the execution of Datalog program cannot be guaranteed.
The properties of the functor implementation are the following:

The implementation of a functor must return the same return value for the same input arguments. The functor implementation may have state but must follow strict pure functional semantics. For example, a functor cannot produce random numbers, however, f(x) = x + 1 would be a valid functor.

The implementation of a functor must be reentrant. Souffle is highly parallel and several threads may execute the implementation of a userdefined functor in parallel. Pthread synchronisation techniques may be required.

By default a single sharedlibrary
libfunctors.so
contains all userdefined functors. Custom libraries may be used by starting souffle withl<libraryname>
andL<library path>
, e.g.souffle a.dl lfunctors lmorefunctors
. The environment variableLD_LIBRARY_PATH
can also be used to specify library paths. Note that if you use souffle to compile a standalone executable, the path for dynamic dlls may still be required at execution time, soLD_LIBRARY_PATH
must be specified for the executable to run. 
The name of the userdefined functor must be a Clinkable name (not a C++ linkable name). For example, if the userdefined functor f is declared, the sharedlibrary must have a function f in the shared library with a C style argument passing mechanism.
For example, we can implement the userdefined functor in C++ with the following code:
#include <cstdint>
extern "C" {
int32_t f(int32_t x) {
return x + 1;
}
cost char *g() {
return "Hello world";
}
for the functor declarations
.functor f(number):number
.functor g():symbol
Note that number types are implmented as int32_t
and symbol types are implemented as char const *
. In Linux, a shared library can be generated with the following instructions:
g++ fPIC o functors.o
g++ shared o libfunctors.so functors.o
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=LD_LIBRARY_PATH:`pwd`
assuming that the source code of the userdefined functors is stored in the source file functors.cpp
. The export command ensures that either the Soufflé interpreter or the generated executable can find the shared library.