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= RDBI - Low-level Database Access Re-imagined
RDBI is intended primarily as an alternative to the heavier database layers in
the Ruby ecosystem. It provides a consistent interface to databases for working
with query languages directly, instead of providing an extremely high level
interface which does this work for you. While usable, it largely targets
high-level database libraries, similar to how +rack+ targets web frameworks.
== I'd like to get started
If you'd prefer to head straight to sinking your teeth into the API, here's a
path down the rabbit hole:
* RDBI is what you'll use to get your RDBI::Database handle. If you need
collections of database handles, look at RDBI::Pool.
* RDBI::Database contains methods for dealing with database level operations
and preparing and executing RDBI::Statement objects.
* RDBI::Statement works with RDBI::Cursor to yield RDBI::Result objects, which
leverage RDBI::Result::Driver classes to yield data.
* If you're interested in how schemas and types are dealt with, see
RDBI::Schema, RDBI::Column, and RDBI::Type.
== Need a Driver?
=== Databases:
==== Maintained by the RDBI project:
* rdbi-driver-mysql:
* rdbi-driver-postgresql:
* rdbi-driver-sqlite3:
==== Maintained by third parties:
* rdbi-driver-odbc: by Shane Emmons
=== Results:
* rdbi-result-driver-json:
== Give me a code sample already!
# connect to an in-memory sqlite3 database:
dbh = RDBI.connect(:SQLite3, :database => ":memory:")
# execute this CREATE TABLE statement:
dbh.execute("create table tbl (string varchar(32), number integer)")
# prepare an insert statement for execution with two placeholders:
dbh.prepare("insert into tbl (string, number) values (?, ?)") do |sth|
# and execute it three times with bound variables:
sth.execute("foo", -37)
sth.execute("bar", 127)
sth.execute("quux", 1024)
# get a result handle from a select statement:
result = dbh.execute("select * from tbl")
# and fetch the first row
result.fetch(:first) # ["foo", -37]
== What +is+ RDBI all about, anyway?
Here are some important pieces of information about RDBI that you may find
compelling (or off-putting. We're pragmatists.):
* RDBI is, at the time of this writing, fewer than 1000 lines of code.
* RDBI is light and fast. Eventually we will show you benchmarks.
* RDBI can be tested without a database, or even a database driver.
* RDBI can transform your results through a driver system. Want a CSV? Use the
CSV driver, don't bother transforming it yourself. Transform to JSON or YAML
with another gem. Drivers can be independently installed, used and swapped.
* RDBI contains no monkeypatching, core extensions, or other hell that will
conflict with your other libraries.
* RDBI is designed around properties of a relational database, but there is
nothing in it that demands one -- use it with Mongo or Redis if you want.
* RDBI database drivers are *small* -- our sqlite driver is about 150 lines and
our PostgreSQL driver is about 300. Our mock driver is about 50.
* RDBI has an active community of experienced Rails and Ruby programmers.
== I'd like some more, please.
# result objects are very flexible and amenable to method chaining:
dbh.execute("select * from foo").fetch(2) # [[1, "foo"], [2, "bar"]]
result = dbh.execute("select * from foo")
# select iteratively, then rewind to the first item:
# change the way the results are presented: # '1,"foo"\n2,"bar"\n'
# :CSV is shorthand for RDBI::Result::Driver::CSV. you can also use literal
# class names:
# or maybe your own:
# Here's another included driver:
str = # 1
str.baz # "foo"
# select a single item in CSV format
csv = result.fetch(:first, :CSV)
# get the whole thing as an array of structs, keyed by column
ary_of_struct =
# as() automagically rewinds for you, so select twice for multi-dimension
# presentations:
ary =
# and we're done! Disconnect from the database.
Here are some things that it does:
* Connection pooling with aggregate transforms of your connections (that's a
fancy way of saying it uses Enumerable in the Pools). It can be responsible
for n segmented pools which relate to different logical databases.
* Native client binding *and* interpolated binding for databases that do not
support it.
* Don't like our drivers? No one's requiring you to use them -- RDBI drivers
aren't coupled with RDBI in any way.
* Result *drivers* can be used to transform your output into whatever you need --
never write a transformation skeleton again.
* Result *handles* can be used to work with results like real data structures.
Rewind them, ask the database to re-query the data, select a struct then select
an array (*without* requerying), select n items at a time as tuples (which
may be more than one or less than all).
* Cursors are used underneath the hood to ensure as performant a situation as
your database (and underlying driver) can provide.
* RDBI's core test suite passes in MRI 1.8, 1.9, and JRuby 1.5.
Aaaaaand here are some things RDBI won't do:
* RDBI won't write your queries for you. (There are libraries that use RDBI for
* RDBI won't dictate your schema.
* RDBI won't prevent you from being stupid or clever.
* It won't save you tons of time because you can't be bothered to think about
how you access your data.
* It won't make you (or anyone, really) a rockstar.
* Do not taunt RDBI.
== Show me even more awesome!
# retrieve cached handles 5 times -- handles will be yielded twice if there
# is a smaller Pool size:
5.times do
RDBI.connect_cached(:SQLite3, :database => ":memory:")
# omg! this handle is really already connected!
dbh = RDBI.connect_cached(:SQLite3, :database => ":memory:")
# finer-grained control via RDBI::Pool:
# 2 connections:
pool ="my_pool_name", [:SQLite3, :database => ":memory:"], 2)
# zomg!
dbh = pool.get_dbh
# oh lordy lord! still 2 connections
10.times { pool.get_dbh }
pool.disconnect # disconnect the entire pool
pool.reconnect # reconnect the entire pool
pool.resize(10) # resize the pool to 10 connections.
== Who is responsible for this madness?
* Erik Hollensbe (erikh)
* Pistos (... Pistos)
* Lee Jarvis (injekt)
* James Tucker (raggi)
== I found a bug!
We use the trackers in the github +RDBI+ project: for
each gem. Please find the appropriate place to add your ticket.
Not sure? Just add it to the +rdbi+ tracker:
== I'd like to patch and/or help maintain RDBI. How can I?
* Fork the project:
* Make your feature addition or bug fix.
* Please add tests for it, or indicate there are none. Patches without tests
will get integrated slower and must be very compelling.
* We use +jeweler+ for our repository management -- patches that mess with this
will be rejected regardless of merit.
* If you fork it permanently, be prepared to support it; we won't.
== Let's chat
* \#ruby-dbi on
* - for developers
== Copyright
Copyright (c) 2010 Erik Hollensbe. See LICENSE for details.