2017-12-26T19:34:07Z

The Flask Mega-Tutorial Part IV: Database

This is the fourth installment of the Flask Mega-Tutorial series, in which I'm going to tell you how to work with databases.

For your reference, below is a list of the articles in this series.

Note 1: If you are looking for the legacy version of this tutorial, it's here.

Note 2: If you would like to support my work on this blog, or just don't have patience to wait for weekly articles, I am offering the complete version of this tutorial packaged as an ebook or a set of videos. For more information, visit courses.miguelgrinberg.com.

The topic of this chapter is extremely important. For most applications, there is going to be a need to maintain persistent data that can be retrieved efficiently, and this is exactly what databases are made for.

The GitHub links for this chapter are: Browse, Zip, Diff.

Databases in Flask

As I'm sure you have heard already, Flask does not support databases natively. This is one of the many areas in which Flask is intentionally not opinionated, which is great, because you have the freedom to choose the database that best fits your application instead of being forced to adapt to one.

There are great choices for databases in Python, many of them with Flask extensions that make a better integration with the application. The databases can be separated into two big groups, those that follow the relational model, and those that do not. The latter group is often called NoSQL, indicating that they do not implement the popular relational query language SQL. While there are great database products in both groups, my opinion is that relational databases are a better match for applications that have structured data such as lists of users, blog posts, etc., while NoSQL databases tend to be better for data that has a less defined structure. This application, like most others, can be implemented using either type of database, but for the reasons stated above, I'm going to go with a relational database.

In Chapter 3 I showed you a first Flask extension. In this chapter I'm going to use two more. The first is Flask-SQLAlchemy, an extension that provides a Flask-friendly wrapper to the popular SQLAlchemy package, which is an Object Relational Mapper or ORM. ORMs allow applications to manage a database using high-level entities such as classes, objects and methods instead of tables and SQL. The job of the ORM is to translate the high-level operations into database commands.

The nice thing about SQLAlchemy is that it is an ORM not for one, but for many relational databases. SQLAlchemy supports a long list of database engines, including the popular MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite. This is extremely powerful, because you can do your development using a simple SQLite database that does not require a server, and then when the time comes to deploy the application on a production server you can choose a more robust MySQL or PostgreSQL server, without having to change your application.

To install Flask-SQLAlchemy in your virtual environment, make sure you have activated it first, and then run:

(venv) $ pip install flask-sqlalchemy

Database Migrations

Most database tutorials I've seen cover creation and use of a database, but do not adequately address the problem of making updates to an existing database as the application needs change or grow. This is hard because relational databases are centered around structured data, so when the structure changes the data that is already in the database needs to be migrated to the modified structure.

The second extension that I'm going to present in this chapter is Flask-Migrate, which is actually one created by yours truly. This extension is a Flask wrapper for Alembic, a database migration framework for SQLAlchemy. Working with database migrations adds a bit of work to get a database started, but that is a small price to pay for a robust way to make changes to your database in the future.

The installation process for Flask-Migrate is similar to other extensions you have seen:

(venv) $ pip install flask-migrate

Flask-SQLAlchemy Configuration

During development, I'm going to use a SQLite database. SQLite databases are the most convenient choice for developing small applications, sometimes even not so small ones, as each database is stored in a single file on disk and there is no need to run a database server like MySQL and PostgreSQL.

We have two new configuration items to add to the config file:

config.py: Flask-SQLAlchemy configuration

import os
basedir = os.path.abspath(os.path.dirname(__file__))

class Config(object):
    # ...
    SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI = os.environ.get('DATABASE_URL') or \
        'sqlite:///' + os.path.join(basedir, 'app.db')
    SQLALCHEMY_TRACK_MODIFICATIONS = False

The Flask-SQLAlchemy extension takes the location of the application's database from the SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI configuration variable. As you recall from Chapter 3, it is in general a good practice to set configuration from environment variables, and provide a fallback value when the environment does not define the variable. In this case I'm taking the database URL from the DATABASE_URL environment variable, and if that isn't defined, I'm configuring a database named app.db located in the main directory of the application, which is stored in the basedir variable.

The SQLALCHEMY_TRACK_MODIFICATIONS configuration option is set to False to disable a feature of Flask-SQLAlchemy that I do not need, which is to signal the application every time a change is about to be made in the database.

The database is going to be represented in the application by the database instance. The database migration engine will also have an instance. These are objects that need to be created after the application, in the app/__init__.py file:

app/__init__.py: Flask-SQLAlchemy and Flask-Migrate initialization

from flask import Flask
from config import Config
from flask_sqlalchemy import SQLAlchemy
from flask_migrate import Migrate

app = Flask(__name__)
app.config.from_object(Config)
db = SQLAlchemy(app)
migrate = Migrate(app, db)

from app import routes, models

I have made three changes to the init script. First, I have added a db object that represents the database. Then I have added another object that represents the migration engine. Hopefully you see a pattern in how to work with Flask extensions. Most extensions are initialized as these two. Finally, I'm importing a new module called models at the bottom. This module will define the structure of the database.

Database Models

The data that will be stored in the database will be represented by a collection of classes, usually called database models. The ORM layer within SQLAlchemy will do the translations required to map objects created from these classes into rows in the proper database tables.

Let's start by creating a model that represents users. Using the WWW SQL Designer tool, I have made the following diagram to represent the data that we want to use in the users table:

users table

The id field is usually in all models, and is used as the primary key. Each user in the database will be assigned a unique id value, stored in this field. Primary keys are, in most cases, automatically assigned by the database, so I just need to provide the id field marked as a primary key.

The username, email and password_hash fields are defined as strings (or VARCHAR in database jargon), and their maximum lengths are specified so that the database can optimize space usage. While the username and email fields are self-explanatory, the password_hash fields deserves some attention. I want to make sure the application that I'm building adopts security best practices, and for that reason I will not be storing user passwords in the database. The problem with storing passwords is that if the database ever becomes compromised, the attackers will have access to the passwords, and that could be devastating for users. Instead of writing the passwords directly, I'm going to write password hashes, which greatly improve security. This is going to be the topic of another chapter, so don't worry about it too much for now.

So now that I know what I want for my users table, I can translate that into code in the new app/models.py module:

app/models.py: User database model

from app import db

class User(db.Model):
    id = db.Column(db.Integer, primary_key=True)
    username = db.Column(db.String(64), index=True, unique=True)
    email = db.Column(db.String(120), index=True, unique=True)
    password_hash = db.Column(db.String(128))

    def __repr__(self):
        return '<User {}>'.format(self.username)    

The User class created above inherits from db.Model, a base class for all models from Flask-SQLAlchemy. This class defines several fields as class variables. Fields are created as instances of the db.Column class, which takes the field type as an argument, plus other optional arguments that, for example, allow me to indicate which fields are unique and indexed, which is important so that database searches are efficient.

The __repr__ method tells Python how to print objects of this class, which is going to be useful for debugging. You can see the __repr__() method in action in the Python interpreter session below:

>>> from app.models import User
>>> u = User(username='susan', email='susan@example.com')
>>> u
<User susan>

Creating The Migration Repository

The model class created in the previous section defines the initial database structure (or schema) for this application. But as the application continues to grow, there is going to be a need change that structure, very likely to add new things, but sometimes also to modify or remove items. Alembic (the migration framework used by Flask-Migrate) will make these schema changes in a way that does not require the database to be recreated from scratch.

To accomplish this seemingly difficult task, Alembic maintains a migration repository, which is a directory in which it stores its migration scripts. Each time a change is made to the database schema, a migration script is added to the repository with the details of the change. To apply the migrations to a database, these migration scripts are executed in the sequence they were created.

Flask-Migrate exposes its commands through the flask command. You have already seen flask run, which is a sub-command that is native to Flask. The flask db sub-command is added by Flask-Migrate to manage everything related to database migrations. So let's create the migration repository for microblog by running flask db init:

(venv) $ flask db init
  Creating directory /home/miguel/microblog/migrations ... done
  Creating directory /home/miguel/microblog/migrations/versions ... done
  Generating /home/miguel/microblog/migrations/alembic.ini ... done
  Generating /home/miguel/microblog/migrations/env.py ... done
  Generating /home/miguel/microblog/migrations/README ... done
  Generating /home/miguel/microblog/migrations/script.py.mako ... done
  Please edit configuration/connection/logging settings in
  '/home/miguel/microblog/migrations/alembic.ini' before proceeding.

Remember that the flask command relies on the FLASK_APP environment variable to know where the Flask application lives. For this application, you want to set FLASK_APP=microblog.py, as discussed in Chapter 1.

After you run this command, you will find a new migrations directory, with a few files and a versions sub-directory inside. All these files should be treated as part of your project from now on, and in particular, should be added to source control.

The First Database Migration

With the migration repository in place, it is time to create the first database migration, which will include the users table that maps to the User database model. There are two ways to create a database migration: manually or automatically. To generate a migration automatically, Alembic compares the database schema as defined by the database models, against the actual database schema currently used in the database. It then populates the migration script with the changes necessary to make the database schema match the application models. In this case, since there is no previous database, the automatic migration will add the entire User model to the migration script. The flask db migrate sub-command generates these automatic migrations:

(venv) $ flask db migrate -m "users table"
INFO  [alembic.runtime.migration] Context impl SQLiteImpl.
INFO  [alembic.runtime.migration] Will assume non-transactional DDL.
INFO  [alembic.autogenerate.compare] Detected added table 'user'
INFO  [alembic.autogenerate.compare] Detected added index 'ix_user_email' on '['email']'
INFO  [alembic.autogenerate.compare] Detected added index 'ix_user_username' on '['username']'
  Generating /home/miguel/microblog/migrations/versions/e517276bb1c2_users_table.py ... done

The output of the command gives you an idea of what Alembic included in the migration. The first two lines are informational and can usually be ignored. It then says that it found a user table and two indexes. Then it tells you where it wrote the migration script. The e517276bb1c2 code is an automatically generated unique code for the migration (it will be different for you). The comment given with the -m option is optional, it adds a short descriptive text to the migration.

The generated migration script is now part of your project, and needs to be incorporated to source control. You are welcome to inspect the script if you are curious to see how it looks. You will find that it has two functions called upgrade() and downgrade(). The upgrade() function applies the migration, and the downgrade() function removes it. This allows Alembic to migrate the database to any point in the history, even to older versions, by using the downgrade path.

The flask db migrate command does not make any changes to the database, it just generates the migration script. To apply the changes to the database, the flask db upgrade command must be used.

(venv) $ flask db upgrade
INFO  [alembic.runtime.migration] Context impl SQLiteImpl.
INFO  [alembic.runtime.migration] Will assume non-transactional DDL.
INFO  [alembic.runtime.migration] Running upgrade  -> e517276bb1c2, users table

Because this application uses SQLite, the upgrade command will detect that a database does not exist and will create it (you will notice a file named app.db is added after this command finishes, that is the SQLite database). When working with database servers such as MySQL and PostgreSQL, you have to create the database in the database server before running upgrade.

Note that Flask-SQLAlchemy uses a "snake case" naming convention for database tables by default. For the User model above, the corresponding table in the database will be named user. For a AddressAndPhone model class, the table would be named address_and_phone. If you prefer to choose your own table names, you can add an attribute named __tablename__ to the model class, set to the desired name as a string.

Database Upgrade and Downgrade Workflow

The application is in its infancy at this point, but it does not hurt to discuss what is going to be the database migration strategy going forward. Imagine that you have your application on your development machine, and also have a copy deployed to a production server that is online and in use.

Let's say that for the next release of your app you have to introduce a change to your models, for example a new table needs to be added. Without migrations you would need to figure out how to change the schema of your database, both in your development machine and then again in your server, and this could be a lot of work.

But with database migration support, after you modify the models in your application you generate a new migration script (flask db migrate), you probably review it to make sure the automatic generation did the right thing, and then apply the changes to your development database (flask db upgrade). You will add the migration script to source control and commit it.

When you are ready to release the new version of the application to your production server, all you need to do is grab the updated version of your application, which will include the new migration script, and run flask db upgrade. Alembic will detect that the production database is not updated to the latest revision of the schema, and run all the new migration scripts that were created after the previous release.

As I mentioned earlier, you also have a flask db downgrade command, which undoes the last migration. While you will be unlikely to need this option on a production system, you may find it very useful during development. You may have generated a migration script and applied it, only to find that the changes that you made are not exactly what you need. In this case, you can downgrade the database, delete the migration script, and then generate a new one to replace it.

Database Relationships

Relational databases are good at storing relations between data items. Consider the case of a user writing a blog post. The user will have a record in the users table, and the post will have a record in the posts table. The most efficient way to record who wrote a given post is to link the two related records.

Once a link between a user and a post is established, the database can answer queries about this link. The most trivial one is when you have a blog post and need to know what user wrote it. A more complex query is the reverse of this one. If you have a user, you may want to know all the posts that this user wrote. Flask-SQLAlchemy will help with both types of queries.

Let's expand the database to store blog posts to see relationships in action. Here is the schema for a new posts table:

posts table

The posts table will have the required id, the body of the post and a timestamp. But in addition to these expected fields, I'm adding a user_id field, which links the post to its author. You've seen that all users have a id primary key, which is unique. The way to link a blog post to the user that authored it is to add a reference to the user's id, and that is exactly what the user_id field is. This user_id field is called a foreign key. The database diagram above shows foreign keys as a link between the field and the id field of the table it refers to. This kind of relationship is called a one-to-many, because "one" user writes "many" posts.

The modified app/models.py is shown below:

app/models.py: Posts database table and relationship

from datetime import datetime
from app import db

class User(db.Model):
    id = db.Column(db.Integer, primary_key=True)
    username = db.Column(db.String(64), index=True, unique=True)
    email = db.Column(db.String(120), index=True, unique=True)
    password_hash = db.Column(db.String(128))
    posts = db.relationship('Post', backref='author', lazy='dynamic')

    def __repr__(self):
        return '<User {}>'.format(self.username)

class Post(db.Model):
    id = db.Column(db.Integer, primary_key=True)
    body = db.Column(db.String(140))
    timestamp = db.Column(db.DateTime, index=True, default=datetime.utcnow)
    user_id = db.Column(db.Integer, db.ForeignKey('user.id'))

    def __repr__(self):
        return '<Post {}>'.format(self.body)

The new Post class will represent blog posts written by users. The timestamp field is going to be indexed, which is useful if you want to retrieve posts in chronological order. I have also added a default argument, and passed the datetime.utcnow function. When you pass a function as a default, SQLAlchemy will set the field to the value of calling that function (note that I did not include the () after utcnow, so I'm passing the function itself, and not the result of calling it). In general, you will want to work with UTC dates and times in a server application. This ensures that you are using uniform timestamps regardless of where the users are located. These timestamps will be converted to the user's local time when they are displayed.

The user_id field was initialized as a foreign key to user.id, which means that it references an id value from the users table. In this reference the user part is the name of the database table for the model. It is an unfortunate inconsistency that in some instances such as in a db.relationship() call, the model is referenced by the model class, which typically starts with an uppercase character, while in other cases such as this db.ForeignKey() declaration, a model is given by its database table name, for which SQLAlchemy automatically uses lowercase characters and, for multi-word model names, snake case.

The User class has a new posts field, that is initialized with db.relationship. This is not an actual database field, but a high-level view of the relationship between users and posts, and for that reason it isn't in the database diagram. For a one-to-many relationship, a db.relationship field is normally defined on the "one" side, and is used as a convenient way to get access to the "many". So for example, if I have a user stored in u, the expression u.posts will run a database query that returns all the posts written by that user. The first argument to db.relationship is the model class that represents the "many" side of the relationship. This argument can be provided as a string with the class name if the model is defined later in the module. The backref argument defines the name of a field that will be added to the objects of the "many" class that points back at the "one" object. This will add a post.author expression that will return the user given a post. The lazy argument defines how the database query for the relationship will be issued, which is something that I will discuss later. Don't worry if these details don't make much sense just yet, I'll show you examples of this at the end of this article.

Since I have updates to the application models, a new database migration needs to be generated:

(venv) $ flask db migrate -m "posts table"
INFO  [alembic.runtime.migration] Context impl SQLiteImpl.
INFO  [alembic.runtime.migration] Will assume non-transactional DDL.
INFO  [alembic.autogenerate.compare] Detected added table 'post'
INFO  [alembic.autogenerate.compare] Detected added index 'ix_post_timestamp' on '['timestamp']'
  Generating /home/miguel/microblog/migrations/versions/780739b227a7_posts_table.py ... done

And the migration needs to be applied to the database:

(venv) $ flask db upgrade
INFO  [alembic.runtime.migration] Context impl SQLiteImpl.
INFO  [alembic.runtime.migration] Will assume non-transactional DDL.
INFO  [alembic.runtime.migration] Running upgrade e517276bb1c2 -> 780739b227a7, posts table

If you are storing your project in source control, also remember to add the new migration script to it.

Play Time

I have made you suffer through a long process to define the database, but I haven't shown you how everything works yet. Since the application does not have any database logic yet, let's play with the database in the Python interpreter to familiarize with it. So go ahead and fire up Python by running python. Make sure your virtual environment is activated before you start the interpreter.

Once in the Python prompt, let's import the database instance and the models:

>>> from app import db
>>> from app.models import User, Post

Start by creating a new user:

>>> u = User(username='john', email='john@example.com')
>>> db.session.add(u)
>>> db.session.commit()

Changes to a database are done in the context of a session, which can be accessed as db.session. Multiple changes can be accumulated in a session and once all the changes have been registered you can issue a single db.session.commit(), which writes all the changes atomically. If at any time while working on a session there is an error, a call to db.session.rollback() will abort the session and remove any changes stored in it. The important thing to remember is that changes are only written to the database when db.session.commit() is called. Sessions guarantee that the database will never be left in an inconsistent state.

Let's add another user:

>>> u = User(username='susan', email='susan@example.com')
>>> db.session.add(u)
>>> db.session.commit()

The database can answer a query that returns all the users:

>>> users = User.query.all()
>>> users
[<User john>, <User susan>]
>>> for u in users:
...     print(u.id, u.username)
...
1 john
2 susan

All models have a query attribute that is the entry point to run database queries. The most basic query is that one that returns all elements of that class, which is appropriately named all(). Note that the id fields were automatically set to 1 and 2 when those users were added.

Here is another way to do queries. If you know the id of a user, you can retrieve that user as follows:

>>> u = User.query.get(1)
>>> u
<User john>

Now let's add a blog post:

>>> u = User.query.get(1)
>>> p = Post(body='my first post!', author=u)
>>> db.session.add(p)
>>> db.session.commit()

I did not need to set a value for the timestamp field because that field has a default, which you can see in the model definition. And what about the user_id field? Recall that the db.relationship that I created in the User class adds a posts attribute to users, and also a author attribute to posts. I assign an author to a post using the author virtual field instead of having to deal with user IDs. SQLAlchemy is great in that respect, as it provides a high-level abstraction over relationships and foreign keys.

To complete this session, let's look at a few more database queries:

>>> # get all posts written by a user
>>> u = User.query.get(1)
>>> u
<User john>
>>> posts = u.posts.all()
>>> posts
[<Post my first post!>]

>>> # same, but with a user that has no posts
>>> u = User.query.get(2)
>>> u
<User susan>
>>> u.posts.all()
[]

>>> # print post author and body for all posts 
>>> posts = Post.query.all()
>>> for p in posts:
...     print(p.id, p.author.username, p.body)
...
1 john my first post!

# get all users in reverse alphabetical order
>>> User.query.order_by(User.username.desc()).all()
[<User susan>, <User john>]

The Flask-SQLAlchemy documentation is the best place to learn about the many options that are available to query the database.

To complete this section, let's erase the test users and posts created above, so that the database is clean and ready for the next chapter:

>>> users = User.query.all()
>>> for u in users:
...     db.session.delete(u)
...
>>> posts = Post.query.all()
>>> for p in posts:
...     db.session.delete(p)
...
>>> db.session.commit()

Shell Context

Remember what you did at the start of the previous section, right after starting a Python interpreter? The first thing you did was to run some imports:

>>> from app import db
>>> from app.models import User, Post

While you work on your application, you will need to test things out in a Python shell very often, so having to repeat the above imports every time is going to get tedious. The flask shell command is another very useful tool in the flask umbrella of commands. The shell command is the second "core" command implemented by Flask, after run. The purpose of this command is to start a Python interpreter in the context of the application. What does that mean? See the following example:

(venv) $ python
>>> app
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
NameError: name 'app' is not defined
>>>

(venv) $ flask shell
>>> app
<Flask 'app'>

With a regular interpreter session, the app symbol is not known unless it is explicitly imported, but when using flask shell, the command pre-imports the application instance. The nice thing about flask shell is not that it pre-imports app, but that you can configure a "shell context", which is a list of other symbols to pre-import.

The following function in microblog.py creates a shell context that adds the database instance and models to the shell session:

from app import app, db
from app.models import User, Post

@app.shell_context_processor
def make_shell_context():
    return {'db': db, 'User': User, 'Post': Post}

The app.shell_context_processor decorator registers the function as a shell context function. When the flask shell command runs, it will invoke this function and register the items returned by it in the shell session. The reason the function returns a dictionary and not a list is that for each item you have to also provide a name under which it will be referenced in the shell, which is given by the dictionary keys.

After you add the shell context processor function you can work with database entities without having to import them:

(venv) $ flask shell
>>> db
<SQLAlchemy engine=sqlite:////Users/migu7781/Documents/dev/flask/microblog2/app.db>
>>> User
<class 'app.models.User'>
>>> Post
<class 'app.models.Post'>

If you try the above and get NameError exceptions when you access db, User and Post, then the make_shell_context() function is not being registered with Flask. The most likely cause of this is that you have not set FLASK_APP=microblog.py in the environment. In that case, go back to Chapter 1 and review how to set the FLASK_APP environment variable. If you often forget to set this variable when you open new terminal windows, you may consider adding a .flaskenv file to your project, as described at the end of that chapter.

692 comments

  • #51 Miguel Grinberg said 2018-02-14T06:32:20Z

    @Smpq: Something is definitely wrong, but hard to say what. I suggest you compare your code against mine on GitHub to find out what's different.

  • #52 Mohd Ejaz said 2018-02-19T08:20:43Z

    Hi Miguel,

    If we modify multiple models, so can we migrate all the models together? How to do that.

    Lets say I modified User and Post models. So how to migrate both models in a single migrate command.

  • #53 Nathan said 2018-02-19T17:58:33Z

    Hi Miguel,

    Thanks for the tutorial!! Everything goes great with flask migrate until I go to experiment in the python console. I get an error unable to open database file. https://pastebin.com/TvGVuJxa

    I have experimented with permissions, and the database is created already.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • #54 Miguel Grinberg said 2018-02-19T18:33:01Z

    @Mohd: You can modify as many models as you like. When you invoke the "flask db migrate" command, all the changes are going to be included in a single migration script.

  • #55 Miguel Grinberg said 2018-02-19T18:35:52Z

    @Nathan: the database URL that you are using probably has an invalid path. Make sure the path that you use is correct.

  • #56 Dan said 2018-02-23T07:47:32Z

    While using flask-migrate and sqlite how would you suggest dropping columns?

  • #57 Miguel Grinberg said 2018-02-24T00:03:55Z

    @Dan: I use sqlite for development only, so it is never difficult for me to toss away a database and start a new one. For production deployments I use either MySQL or Postgres, and both support dropping columns in migrations. Alembic has an optional feature for sqlite that can drop columns from tables by copying the data to a new table, but I have not used it enough to know if it works well.

  • #58 Serge said 2018-02-26T19:26:24Z

    Hi, I've been following your steps and i stumbled across a problem. i'm installing this on my raspberry pi. After doing the pip install sql-alchemy and migrate i can't get the SQL Designer site to work for me. i can't add a single table to start making the db. I then tried it normally through using Pycharm and it worked fine there.

    i have no clue what the problem is

  • #59 Miguel Grinberg said 2018-02-26T21:22:42Z

    @Serge: The SQL Designer site is just to generate diagrams, it does not make changes to your database. The changes need to be made in a text editor or IDE.

  • #60 Jack said 2018-03-01T07:24:45Z

    Hi Miguel, One of best Flask tutorials I have come across. Keep up the good work.

    Being new to Flask web framework, I would like to learn if Flask can be used to build a simple web interface for URD (without C)? I have an already populated repository in Oracle and look for building a web interface that allows power users to search, update and delete records in Oracle. The 'C' part will be taken care of by db procedure that syncs the repository with external systems. In other words, would it possible to exclude the 'database migration' part in Flask? If not, any recommendations for drafting a simple db editing web interface?

    Thanks.

  • #61 Miguel Grinberg said 2018-03-01T18:12:38Z

    @Jack: database migrations are optional. If you don't need that, then create your model(s) so that they match the current state of your database schema and work directly with the existing database.

  • #62 funani said 2018-03-02T15:26:50Z

    Hie @Miguel if i try to run flask db migrate -m "users table" i get the following error

    TypeError: option values must be strings

    any pointers of what i am doing wrong

    i am loving the tutorial series btw.

  • #63 Miguel Grinberg said 2018-03-02T18:12:51Z

    Did you look at the stack trace to see where the problem lies? A common issue that triggers this error is not having the SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI configuration item set. Maybe you missed to add that?

  • #64 Dennis Meek said 2018-03-04T19:30:39Z

    Miguel,

    I purchased a copy of the tutorial book and so far it is exceptional. I have been struggling with the os.path portion of the database lesson and hoped the book would go into it further.

    I started learning Python a few months ago and I’m still having troubles with understanding the documentation. Do you know of a good tutorial or a way I can walk through how the various parts of os.path work? I’m a visual learner so being able to draw out or visually track a path helps me with the concept.

    Again, great book - I’m just struggling a little

  • #65 Drew said 2018-03-04T21:13:54Z

    Hi Miguel,

    Thanks for the great tutorials. I am having trouble using the flask db library. I made a mistake trying to use the downgrade function, and ended up just deleting the migrations folder. Now when I try to re-create the database migration scripts I get a strange error: "Can't locate revision identified by '34873660a586'".

    It looks like the flask db library is still looking for a revision that I have since deleted. I don't know how it knows there was an old revision as I have tried deleting the migrations folder and the venv folder and reinstalling all requirements. The error persists however. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Drew

  • #66 Miguel Grinberg said 2018-03-04T21:59:43Z

    @Dennis: The os.path package provides a few minor, yet very useful functions to deal with pathnames. Things such as splitting a path into its components, or joining these components into a complete path. You can totally go about things without using os.path and implement the parsing of pathnames by hand, but the nice thing about os.path is that it considers all those corner cases that can break your application if you parse paths by hand. There is really no much more than that. Any specific function you have trouble with?

  • #67 Miguel Grinberg said 2018-03-04T22:02:11Z

    @Drew: The error that you get happens because the database has a migration ID stored in it, and you have deleted that migration from your migrations directory. The easiest way to get back on track is to delete the database and start over. If you don't want to lose your data you can also take the migration script that I have in my GitHub repository and then edit it so that it uses the ID that your database expects.

  • #68 Antonio G said 2018-03-06T16:10:34Z

    I was wondering about shadowing the Python builtin id (because vim kept highlighting it), then I realized that those variables are only scoped within "User" and "Post", so no ill effects. This comment is just in case somebody else gets the same impression I did.

  • #69 Terence said 2018-03-07T03:44:46Z

    I'm not running things in a virtual environment, instead just using the standard windows command line.

    The following works fine: python -m flask db init --directory d:\ex\ex\migrations The required directories and files are created where you would expect.

    However when I go to migrate: python -m flask db migrate --directory "d:\ex\ex\migrations"

    I'm getting TypeError: options must be strings.

    Just running python -m flask db migrate I'm getting: alembic.util.exc.CommandError: Path doesn't exist: 'migrations'

    Is there a method for running this straight from the windows command line that will work?

  • #70 Miguel Grinberg said 2018-03-07T04:01:55Z

    @Terence: You should run things in a virtual environment, what you are doing is not recommended. You seem to imply that you cannot use a virtual environment on Windows, and that is incorrect, the instructions in the first part of this tutorial do apply to Windows as well.

    The method that works straight from the Windows command line is the one I follow myself. My instructions work on all operating systems, and any time the Windows side is different I make a note of it.

  • #71 Jaideep SIngh said 2018-03-07T05:25:47Z

    Hi Miguel,

    Thanks a lot for every line of code you provide, it's helping me in a lot of ways. QUE: Can we recover passwords for all the users we have ever created.

    Thanks and Regards Jaideep

  • #72 Miguel Grinberg said 2018-03-07T06:58:53Z

    @Jaideep: No, passwords should never be recoverable. If you can recover them, a hacker that obtained access to your server can as well. A lost password needs to be reset, not recovered.

  • #73 Legacy said 2018-03-07T12:54:19Z

    p = Post(body='my first post!', author=u)

    This gives me an error

    TypeError: 'author' is an invalid keyword argument for Post

  • #74 Miguel Grinberg said 2018-03-07T15:41:24Z

    @Legacy: you are missing the declaration of the posts/author relationship. Compare your models against mine if you can't find what you are missing.

  • #75 Alexandre Costa said 2018-03-08T19:46:46Z

    Hi Miguel, In my project's models I've defined some properties as wrappers for database data using SQLAlchemy. I pretend to start using Flask-SQLAchemy in order to make an web interface more easier. Is there any problem in maintain the properties? Do I will face some dificult in the future, like in quering?

Leave a Comment