Defining SQL Queries

Query Names & Comments

Name definitions are how anosql determines how to name the SQL code blocks which are loaded. A query name definition is a normal SQL comment starting with “– name:” and is followed by the name of the query. You can use - or _ in your query names, but the methods in python will always be valid python names using underscores.

-- name: get-all-blogs
select * from blogs;

The above example when loaded by anosql.from_path will return an object with a .get_all_blogs(conn) method.

Your SQL comments will be added to your methods as python documentation, and accessible by calling help() on them.

-- name: get-all-blogs
-- Fetch all fields for every blog in the database.
select * from blogs;
queries = anosql.from_path("blogs.sql", "sqlite3")


Help on function get_user_blogs in module anosql.anosql:

get_all_blogs(conn, *args, **kwargs)
    Fetch all fields for every blog in the database.

Query Operations

Adding query operator symbols to the end of query names will inform anosql of how to execute and return results. In the above section the get-all-blogs name has no special operator characters trailing it. This lack of operator is actually the most basic operator which performs SQL select statements and returns a list of rows. When writing an application you will often need to perform other operations besides selects, like inserts, deletes, and bulk opearations. The operators detailed in this section let you declare in your SQL, how your code should be executed by the database driver.

Insert/Update/Delete with !

The ! operator will execute SQL without returning any results. It is meant for use with insert, update, and delete statements for which returned data is not required.

-- name: publish-blog!
insert into blogs(userid, title, content) values (:userid, :title, :content);

-- name: remove-blog!
-- Remove a blog from the database
delete from blogs where blogid = :blogid;

The methods generated are:

  • publish_blog(conn, *args, **kwargs)
  • remove_blog(conn, *args, **kwargs)

Each of them can be run to alter the database, but both will return None.

Insert Returning with <!

Sometimes when performing an insert it is necessary to receive some information back about the newly created database row. The <! operator tells anosql to perform execute the insert query, but to also expect and return some data.

In SQLite this means the cur.lastrowid will be returned.

-- name: publish-blog<!
insert into blogs(userid, title, content) values (:userid, :title, :content);

Will return the blogid of the inserted row.

PostgreSQL however allows returning multiple values via the returning clause of insert queries.

-- name: publish-blog<!
insert into blogs (
values (
returning blogid, title;

This will insert the new blog row and return both it’s blogid and title value as follows:

queries = anosql.from_path("blogs.sql", "psycopg2")
blogid, title = queries.publish_blog(conn, userid=1, title="Hi", content="word.")

Insert/Update/Delete Many with *!

The DB-API 2.0 drivers like sqlite3 and psycopg2 have an executemany method which execute a SQL command against all parameter sequences or mappings found in a sequence. This is useful for bulk updates to the database. The below example is a PostgreSQL statement to insert many blog rows.

-- name: bulk-publish*!
-- Insert many blogs at once
insert into blogs (
values (

Applying this to a list of blogs in python:

queries = anosql.from_path("blogs.sql", "psycopg2")
blogs = [
    {"userid": 1, "title": "First Blog", "content": "...", published: datetime(2018, 1, 1)},
    {"userid": 1, "title": "Next Blog", "content": "...", published: datetime(2018, 1, 2)},
    {"userid": 2, "title": "Hey, Hey!", "content": "...", published: datetime(2018, 7, 28)},
queries.bulk_publish(conn, blogs)

Execute SQL script statements with #

Executes some sql statements as a script. These methods don’t do variable substitution, or return any rows. An example usecase is using data definition statements like create table in order to setup your database.

-- name: create-schema#
create table users (
    userid integer not null primary key,
    username text not null,
    firstname integer not null,
    lastname text not null

create table blogs (
    blogid integer not null primary key,
    userid integer not null,
    title text not null,
    content text not null,
    published date not null default CURRENT_DATE,
    foreign key(userid) references users(userid)

From code:

queries = anosql.from_path("create_schema.sql", "sqlite3")