One major disadvantage of CSV, JSON, XML, etc., files is that they are not very useful for random access and transaction processing because they are largely unstructured in nature. Hence, it becomes very difficult to modify the contents.
These flat files are not suitable for client-server environment as they lack asynchronous processing capability. Using unstructured data files leads to data redundancy and inconsistency.
These problems can be overcome by using a relational database. A database is an organized collection of data to remove redundancy and inconsistency, and maintain data integrity. The relational database model is vastly popular.
Its basic concept is to arrange data in entity table (called relation). The entity table structure provides one attribute whose value is unique for each row. Such an attribute is called 'primary key'.
When primary key of one table appears in the structure of other tables, it is called 'Foreign key' and this forms the basis of the relationship between the two. Based on this model, there are many popular RDBMS products currently available −
SQLite is a lightweight relational database used in a wide variety of applications. It is a self-contained, serverless, zero-configuration, transactional SQL database engine. The entire database is a single file, that can be placed anywhere in the file system. It's an open-source software, with very small footprint, and zero configuration. It is popularly used in embedded devices, IOT and mobile apps.
All relational databases use SQL for handling data in tables. However, earlier, each of these databases used to be connected with Python application with the help of Python module specific to the type of database.
Hence, there was a lack of compatibility among them. If a user wanted to change to different database product, it would prove to be difficult. This incompatibility issue was addresses by raising 'Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP 248)' to recommend consistent interface to relational databases known as DB-API. Latest recommendations are called DB-API Version 2.0. (PEP 249)
Python's standard library consists of the sqlite3 module which is a DB-API compliant module for handling the SQLite database through Python program. This chapter explains Python's connectivity with SQLite database.
As mentioned earlier, Python has inbuilt support for SQLite database in the form of sqlite3 module. For other databases, respective DB-API compliant Python module will have to be installed with the help of pip utility. For example, to use MySQL database we need to install PyMySQL module.
pip install pymysql
Following steps are recommended in DB-API −
Establish connection with the database using connect() function and obtain connection object.
Call cursor() method of connection object to get cursor object.
Form a query string made up of a SQL statement to be executed.
Execute the desired query by invoking execute() method.
Close the connection.
import sqlite3 db=sqlite3.connect('test.db')
Here, db is the connection object representing test.db. Note, that database will be created if it doesn’t exist already. The connection object db has following methods −
|Sr.No.||Methods & Description|
Returns a Cursor object which uses this Connection.
Explicitly commits any pending transactions to the database.
This optional method causes a transaction to be rolled back to the starting point.
Closes the connection to the database permanently.
A cursor acts as a handle for a given SQL query allowing the retrieval of one or more rows of the result. Cursor object is obtained from the connection to execute SQL queries using the following statement −
The cursor object has following methods defined −
|Sr.No||Methods & Description|
Executes the SQL query in a string parameter.
Executes the SQL query using a set of parameters in the list of tuples.
Fetches the next row from the query result set.
Fetches all remaining rows from the query result set.
Calls a stored procedure.
Closes the cursor object.
Following code creates a table in test.db:-
import sqlite3 db=sqlite3.connect('test.db') cur =db.cursor() cur.execute('''CREATE TABLE student ( StudentID INTEGER PRIMARY KEY AUTOINCREMENT, name TEXT (20) NOT NULL, age INTEGER, marks REAL);''') print ('table created successfully') db.close()
Data integrity desired in a database is achieved by commit() and rollback() methods of the connection object. The SQL query string may be having an incorrect SQL query that can raise an exception, which should be properly handled. For that, the execute() statement is placed within the try block If it is successful, the result is persistently saved using the commit() method. If the query fails, the transaction is undone using the rollback() method.
Following code executes INSERT query on the student table in test.db.
import sqlite3 db=sqlite3.connect('test.db') qry="insert into student (name, age, marks) values('Abbas', 20, 80);" try: cur=db.cursor() cur.execute(qry) db.commit() print ("record added successfully") except: print ("error in query") db.rollback() db.close()
If you want data in values clause of INSERT query to by dynamically provided by user input, use parameter substitution as recommended in Python DB-API. The ? character is used as a placeholder in the query string and provides the values in the form of a tuple in the execute() method. The following example inserts a record using the parameter substitution method. Name, age and marks are taken as input.
import sqlite3 db=sqlite3.connect('test.db') nm=input('enter name') a=int(input('enter age')) m=int(input('enter marks')) qry="insert into student (name, age, marks) values(?,?,?);" try: cur=db.cursor() cur.execute(qry, (nm,a,m)) db.commit() print ("one record added successfully") except: print("error in operation") db.rollback() db.close()
The sqlite3 module defines The executemany() method which is able to add multiple records at once. Data to be added should be given in a list of tuples, with each tuple containing one record. The list object is the parameter of the executemany() method, along with the query string. However, executemany() method is not supported by some of the other modules.
The UPDATE query usually contains a logical expression specified by WHERE clause The query string in the execute() method should contain an UPDATE query syntax. To update the value of 'age' to 23 for name='Anil', define the string as below:
qry="update student set age=23 where name='Anil';"
To make the update process more dynamic, we use the parameter substitution method as described above.
import sqlite3 db=sqlite3.connect('test.db') nm=input(‘enter name’) a=int(input(‘enter age’)) qry="update student set age=? where name=?;" try: cur=db.cursor() cur.execute(qry, (a, nm)) db.commit() print("record updated successfully") except: print("error in query") db.rollback() db.close()
Similarly, DELETE operation is performed by calling execute() method with a string having SQL’s DELETE query syntax. Incidentally, DELETE query also usually contains a WHERE clause.
import sqlite3 db=sqlite3.connect('test.db') nm=input(‘enter name’) qry="DELETE from student where name=?;" try: cur=db.cursor() cur.execute(qry, (nm,)) db.commit() print("record deleted successfully") except: print("error in operation") db.rollback() db.close()
One of the important operations on a database table is retrieval of records from it. SQL provides SELECT query for the purpose. When a string containing SELECT query syntax is given to execute() method, a result set object is returned. There are two important methods with a cursor object using which one or many records from the result set can be retrieved.
Fetches the next available record from the result set. It is a tuple consisting of values of each column of the fetched record.
Fetches all remaining records in the form of a list of tuples. Each tuple corresponds to one record and contains values of each column in the table.
Following example lists all records in student table
import sqlite3 db=sqlite3.connect('test.db') 37 sql="SELECT * from student;" cur=db.cursor() cur.execute(sql) while True: record=cur.fetchone() if record==None: break print (record) db.close()
If you plan to use a MySQL database instead of SQLite database, you need to install PyMySQL module as described above. All the steps in database connectivity process being same, since MySQL database is installed on a server, the connect() function needs the URL and login credentials.
import pymysql con=pymysql.connect('localhost', 'root', '***')
Only thing that may differ with SQLite is MySQL specific data types. Similarly, any ODBC compatible database can be used with Python by installing pyodbc module.