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Querying

This section will cover the basic CRUD operations commonly performed on a relational database:

Note

There is also a large collection of example queries taken from the Postgresql Exercises website. Examples are listed on the :ref:`query examples <query_examples>` document.

Creating a new record

You can use :py:meth:`Model.create` to create a new model instance. This method accepts keyword arguments, where the keys correspond to the names of the model's fields. A new instance is returned and a row is added to the table.

>>> User.create(username='Charlie')
<__main__.User object at 0x2529350>

This will INSERT a new row into the database. The primary key will automatically be retrieved and stored on the model instance.

Alternatively, you can build up a model instance programmatically and then call :py:meth:`~Model.save`:

>>> user = User(username='Charlie')
>>> user.save()  # save() returns the number of rows modified.
1
>>> user.id
1
>>> huey = User()
>>> huey.username = 'Huey'
>>> huey.save()
1
>>> huey.id
2

When a model has a foreign key, you can directly assign a model instance to the foreign key field when creating a new record.

>>> tweet = Tweet.create(user=huey, message='Hello!')

You can also use the value of the related object's primary key:

>>> tweet = Tweet.create(user=2, message='Hello again!')

If you simply wish to insert data and do not need to create a model instance, you can use :py:meth:`Model.insert`:

>>> User.insert(username='Mickey').execute()
3

After executing the insert query, the primary key of the new row is returned.

Note

There are several ways you can speed up bulk insert operations. Check out the :ref:`bulk_inserts` recipe section for more information.

Bulk inserts

There are a couple of ways you can load lots of data quickly. The naive approach is to simply call :py:meth:`Model.create` in a loop:

data_source = [
    {'field1': 'val1-1', 'field2': 'val1-2'},
    {'field1': 'val2-1', 'field2': 'val2-2'},
    # ...
]

for data_dict in data_source:
    MyModel.create(**data_dict)

The above approach is slow for a couple of reasons:

  1. If you are not wrapping the loop in a transaction then each call to :py:meth:`~Model.create` happens in its own transaction. That is going to be really slow!
  2. There is a decent amount of Python logic getting in your way, and each :py:class:`InsertQuery` must be generated and parsed into SQL.
  3. That's a lot of data (in terms of raw bytes of SQL) you are sending to your database to parse.
  4. We are retrieving the last insert id, which causes an additional query to be executed in some cases.

You can get a significant speedup by simply wrapping this in a transaction with :py:meth:`~Database.atomic`.

# This is much faster.
with db.atomic():
    for data_dict in data_source:
        MyModel.create(**data_dict)

The above code still suffers from points 2, 3 and 4. We can get another big boost by using :py:meth:`~Model.insert_many`. This method accepts a list of tuples or dictionaries, and inserts multiple rows in a single query:

data_source = [
    {'field1': 'val1-1', 'field2': 'val1-2'},
    {'field1': 'val2-1', 'field2': 'val2-2'},
    # ...
]

# Fastest way to INSERT multiple rows.
MyModel.insert_many(data_source).execute()

The :py:meth:`~Model.insert_many` method also accepts a list of row-tuples, provided you also specify the corresponding fields:

# We can INSERT tuples as well...
data = [('val1-1', 'val1-2'),
        ('val2-1', 'val2-2'),
        ('val3-1', 'val3-2')]

# But we need to indicate which fields the values correspond to.
MyModel.insert_many(data, fields=[MyModel.field1, MyModel.field2]).execute()

It is also a good practice to wrap the bulk insert in a transaction:

# You can, of course, wrap this in a transaction as well:
with db.atomic():
    MyModel.insert_many(data, fields=fields).execute()

Note

SQLite users should be aware of some caveats when using bulk inserts. Specifically, your SQLite3 version must be 3.7.11.0 or newer to take advantage of the bulk insert API. Additionally, by default SQLite limits the number of bound variables in a SQL query to 999.

Inserting rows in batches

Depending on the number of rows in your data source, you may need to break it up into chunks. SQLite in particular typically has a limit of 999 variables-per-query (batch size would then be roughly 1000 / row length).

You can write a loop to batch your data into chunks (in which case it is strongly recommended you use a transaction):

# Insert rows 100 at a time.
with db.atomic():
    for idx in range(0, len(data_source), 100):
        MyModel.insert_many(data_source[idx:idx+100]).execute()

Peewee comes with a :py:func:`chunked` helper function which you can use for efficiently chunking a generic iterable into a series of batch-sized iterables:

from peewee import chunked

# Insert rows 100 at a time.
with db.atomic():
    for batch in chunked(data_source, 100):
        MyModel.insert_many(batch).execute()

Alternatives

The :py:meth:`Model.bulk_create` method behaves much like :py:meth:`Model.insert_many`, but instead it accepts a list of unsaved model instances to insert, and it optionally accepts a batch-size parameter. To use the :py:meth:`~Model.bulk_create` API:

# Read list of usernames from a file, for example.
with open('user_list.txt') as fh:
    # Create a list of unsaved User instances.
    users = [User(username=line.strip()) for line in fh.readlines()]

# Wrap the operation in a transaction and batch INSERT the users
# 100 at a time.
with db.atomic():
    User.bulk_create(users, batch_size=100)

Note

If you are using Postgresql (which supports the RETURNING clause), then the previously-unsaved model instances will have their new primary key values automatically populated.

Alternatively, you can use the :py:meth:`Database.batch_commit` helper to process chunks of rows inside batch-sized transactions. This method also provides a workaround for databases besides Postgresql, when the primary-key of the newly-created rows must be obtained.

# List of row data to insert.
row_data = [{'username': 'u1'}, {'username': 'u2'}, ...]

# Assume there are 789 items in row_data. The following code will result in
# 8 total transactions (7x100 rows + 1x89 rows).
for row in db.batch_commit(row_data, 100):
    User.create(**row)

Bulk-loading from another table

If the data you would like to bulk load is stored in another table, you can also create INSERT queries whose source is a SELECT query. Use the :py:meth:`Model.insert_from` method:

res = (TweetArchive
       .insert_from(
           Tweet.select(Tweet.user, Tweet.message),
           fields=[TweetArchive.user, TweetArchive.message])
       .execute())

The above query is equivalent to the following SQL:

INSERT INTO "tweet_archive" ("user_id", "message")
SELECT "user_id", "message" FROM "tweet";

Updating existing records

Once a model instance has a primary key, any subsequent call to :py:meth:`~Model.save` will result in an UPDATE rather than another INSERT. The model's primary key will not change:

>>> user.save()  # save() returns the number of rows modified.
1
>>> user.id
1
>>> user.save()
>>> user.id
1
>>> huey.save()
1
>>> huey.id
2

If you want to update multiple records, issue an UPDATE query. The following example will update all Tweet objects, marking them as published, if they were created before today. :py:meth:`Model.update` accepts keyword arguments where the keys correspond to the model's field names:

>>> today = datetime.today()
>>> query = Tweet.update(is_published=True).where(Tweet.creation_date < today)
>>> query.execute()  # Returns the number of rows that were updated.
4

For more information, see the documentation on :py:meth:`Model.update` and :py:class:`Update`.

Note

If you would like more information on performing atomic updates (such as incrementing the value of a column), check out the :ref:`atomic update <atomic_updates>` recipes.

Atomic updates

Peewee allows you to perform atomic updates. Let's suppose we need to update some counters. The naive approach would be to write something like this:

>>> for stat in Stat.select().where(Stat.url == request.url):
...     stat.counter += 1
...     stat.save()

Do not do this! Not only is this slow, but it is also vulnerable to race conditions if multiple processes are updating the counter at the same time.

Instead, you can update the counters atomically using :py:meth:`~Model.update`:

>>> query = Stat.update(counter=Stat.counter + 1).where(Stat.url == request.url)
>>> query.execute()

You can make these update statements as complex as you like. Let's give all our employees a bonus equal to their previous bonus plus 10% of their salary:

>>> query = Employee.update(bonus=(Employee.bonus + (Employee.salary * .1)))
>>> query.execute()  # Give everyone a bonus!

We can even use a subquery to update the value of a column. Suppose we had a denormalized column on the User model that stored the number of tweets a user had made, and we updated this value periodically. Here is how you might write such a query:

>>> subquery = Tweet.select(fn.COUNT(Tweet.id)).where(Tweet.user == User.id)
>>> update = User.update(num_tweets=subquery)
>>> update.execute()

Upsert

Peewee provides support for varying types of upsert functionality. With SQLite prior to 3.24.0 and MySQL, Peewee offers the :py:meth:`~Model.replace`, which allows you to insert a record or, in the event of a constraint violation, replace the existing record.

Example of using :py:meth:`~Model.replace` and :py:meth:`~Insert.on_conflict_replace`:

class User(Model):
    username = TextField(unique=True)
    last_login = DateTimeField(null=True)

# Insert or update the user. The "last_login" value will be updated
# regardless of whether the user existed previously.
user_id = (User
           .replace(username='the-user', last_login=datetime.now())
           .execute())

# This query is equivalent:
user_id = (User
           .insert(username='the-user', last_login=datetime.now())
           .on_conflict_replace()
           .execute())

Note

In addition to replace, SQLite, MySQL and Postgresql provide an ignore action (see: :py:meth:`~Insert.on_conflict_ignore`) if you simply wish to insert and ignore any potential constraint violation.

MySQL supports upsert via the ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE clause. For example:

class User(Model):
    username = TextField(unique=True)
    last_login = DateTimeField(null=True)
    login_count = IntegerField()

# Insert a new user.
User.create(username='huey', login_count=0)

# Simulate the user logging in. The login count and timestamp will be
# either created or updated correctly.
now = datetime.now()
rowid = (User
         .insert(username='huey', last_login=now, login_count=1)
         .on_conflict(
             preserve=[User.last_login],  # Use the value we would have inserted.
             update={User.login_count: User.login_count + 1})
         .execute())

In the above example, we could safely invoke the upsert query as many times as we wanted. The login count will be incremented atomically, the last login column will be updated, and no duplicate rows will be created.

Postgresql and SQLite (3.24.0 and newer) provide a different syntax that allows for more granular control over which constraint violation should trigger the conflict resolution, and what values should be updated or preserved.

Example of using :py:meth:`~Insert.on_conflict` to perform a Postgresql-style upsert (or SQLite 3.24+):

class User(Model):
    username = TextField(unique=True)
    last_login = DateTimeField(null=True)
    login_count = IntegerField()

# Insert a new user.
User.create(username='huey', login_count=0)

# Simulate the user logging in. The login count and timestamp will be
# either created or updated correctly.
now = datetime.now()
rowid = (User
         .insert(username='huey', last_login=now, login_count=1)
         .on_conflict(
             conflict_target=[User.username],  # Which constraint?
             preserve=[User.last_login],  # Use the value we would have inserted.
             update={User.login_count: User.login_count + 1})
         .execute())

In the above example, we could safely invoke the upsert query as many times as we wanted. The login count will be incremented atomically, the last login column will be updated, and no duplicate rows will be created.

Note

The main difference between MySQL and Postgresql/SQLite is that Postgresql and SQLite require that you specify a conflict_target.

For more information, see :py:meth:`Insert.on_conflict` and :py:class:`OnConflict`.

Deleting records

To delete a single model instance, you can use the :py:meth:`Model.delete_instance` shortcut. :py:meth:`~Model.delete_instance` will delete the given model instance and can optionally delete any dependent objects recursively (by specifying recursive=True).

>>> user = User.get(User.id == 1)
>>> user.delete_instance()  # Returns the number of rows deleted.
1

>>> User.get(User.id == 1)
UserDoesNotExist: instance matching query does not exist:
SQL: SELECT t1."id", t1."username" FROM "user" AS t1 WHERE t1."id" = ?
PARAMS: [1]

To delete an arbitrary set of rows, you can issue a DELETE query. The following will delete all Tweet objects that are over one year old:

>>> query = Tweet.delete().where(Tweet.creation_date < one_year_ago)
>>> query.execute()  # Returns the number of rows deleted.
7

For more information, see the documentation on:

Selecting a single record

You can use the :py:meth:`Model.get` method to retrieve a single instance matching the given query. For primary-key lookups, you can also use the shortcut method :py:meth:`Model.get_by_id`.

This method is a shortcut that calls :py:meth:`Model.select` with the given query, but limits the result set to a single row. Additionally, if no model matches the given query, a DoesNotExist exception will be raised.

>>> User.get(User.id == 1)
<__main__.User object at 0x25294d0>

>>> User.get_by_id(1)  # Same as above.
<__main__.User object at 0x252df10>

>>> User[1]  # Also same as above.
<__main__.User object at 0x252dd10>

>>> User.get(User.id == 1).username
u'Charlie'

>>> User.get(User.username == 'Charlie')
<__main__.User object at 0x2529410>

>>> User.get(User.username == 'nobody')
UserDoesNotExist: instance matching query does not exist:
SQL: SELECT t1."id", t1."username" FROM "user" AS t1 WHERE t1."username" = ?
PARAMS: ['nobody']

For more advanced operations, you can use :py:meth:`SelectBase.get`. The following query retrieves the latest tweet from the user named charlie:

>>> (Tweet
...  .select()
...  .join(User)
...  .where(User.username == 'charlie')
...  .order_by(Tweet.created_date.desc())
...  .get())
<__main__.Tweet object at 0x2623410>

For more information, see the documentation on:

Create or get

Peewee has one helper method for performing "get/create" type operations: :py:meth:`Model.get_or_create`, which first attempts to retrieve the matching row. Failing that, a new row will be created.

For "create or get" type logic, typically one would rely on a unique constraint or primary key to prevent the creation of duplicate objects. As an example, let's say we wish to implement registering a new user account using the :ref:`example User model <blog-models>`. The User model has a unique constraint on the username field, so we will rely on the database's integrity guarantees to ensure we don't end up with duplicate usernames:

try:
    with db.atomic():
        return User.create(username=username)
except peewee.IntegrityError:
    # `username` is a unique column, so this username already exists,
    # making it safe to call .get().
    return User.get(User.username == username)

You can easily encapsulate this type of logic as a classmethod on your own Model classes.

The above example first attempts at creation, then falls back to retrieval, relying on the database to enforce a unique constraint. If you prefer to attempt to retrieve the record first, you can use :py:meth:`~Model.get_or_create`. This method is implemented along the same lines as the Django function of the same name. You can use the Django-style keyword argument filters to specify your WHERE conditions. The function returns a 2-tuple containing the instance and a boolean value indicating if the object was created.

Here is how you might implement user account creation using :py:meth:`~Model.get_or_create`:

user, created = User.get_or_create(username=username)

Suppose we have a different model Person and would like to get or create a person object. The only conditions we care about when retrieving the Person are their first and last names, but if we end up needing to create a new record, we will also specify their date-of-birth and favorite color:

person, created = Person.get_or_create(
    first_name=first_name,
    last_name=last_name,
    defaults={'dob': dob, 'favorite_color': 'green'})

Any keyword argument passed to :py:meth:`~Model.get_or_create` will be used in the get() portion of the logic, except for the defaults dictionary, which will be used to populate values on newly-created instances.

For more details read the documentation for :py:meth:`Model.get_or_create`.

Selecting multiple records

We can use :py:meth:`Model.select` to retrieve rows from the table. When you construct a SELECT query, the database will return any rows that correspond to your query. Peewee allows you to iterate over these rows, as well as use indexing and slicing operations:

>>> query = User.select()
>>> [user.username for user in query]
['Charlie', 'Huey', 'Peewee']

>>> query[1]
<__main__.User at 0x7f83e80f5550>

>>> query[1].username
'Huey'

>>> query[:2]
[<__main__.User at 0x7f83e80f53a8>, <__main__.User at 0x7f83e80f5550>]

:py:class:`Select` queries are smart, in that you can iterate, index and slice the query multiple times but the query is only executed once.

In the following example, we will simply call :py:meth:`~Model.select` and iterate over the return value, which is an instance of :py:class:`Select`. This will return all the rows in the User table:

>>> for user in User.select():
...     print user.username
...
Charlie
Huey
Peewee

Note

Subsequent iterations of the same query will not hit the database as the results are cached. To disable this behavior (to reduce memory usage), call :py:meth:`Select.iterator` when iterating.

When iterating over a model that contains a foreign key, be careful with the way you access values on related models. Accidentally resolving a foreign key or iterating over a back-reference can cause :ref:`N+1 query behavior <nplusone>`.

When you create a foreign key, such as Tweet.user, you can use the backref to create a back-reference (User.tweets). Back-references are exposed as :py:class:`Select` instances:

>>> tweet = Tweet.get()
>>> tweet.user  # Accessing a foreign key returns the related model.
<tw.User at 0x7f3ceb017f50>

>>> user = User.get()
>>> user.tweets  # Accessing a back-reference returns a query.
<peewee.ModelSelect at 0x7f73db3bafd0>

You can iterate over the user.tweets back-reference just like any other :py:class:`Select`:

>>> for tweet in user.tweets:
...     print(tweet.message)
...
hello world
this is fun
look at this picture of my food

In addition to returning model instances, :py:class:`Select` queries can return dictionaries, tuples and namedtuples. Depending on your use-case, you may find it easier to work with rows as dictionaries, for example:

>>> query = User.select().dicts()
>>> for row in query:
...     print(row)

{'id': 1, 'username': 'Charlie'}
{'id': 2, 'username': 'Huey'}
{'id': 3, 'username': 'Peewee'}

See :py:meth:`~BaseQuery.namedtuples`, :py:meth:`~BaseQuery.tuples`, :py:meth:`~BaseQuery.dicts` for more information.

Iterating over large result-sets

By default peewee will cache the rows returned when iterating over a :py:class:`Select` query. This is an optimization to allow multiple iterations as well as indexing and slicing without causing additional queries. This caching can problematic, however, when you plan to iterate over a large number of rows.

To reduce the amount of memory used by peewee when iterating over a query, use the :py:meth:`~BaseQuery.iterator` method. This method allows you to iterate without caching each model returned, using much less memory when iterating over large result sets.

# Let's assume we've got 10 million stat objects to dump to a csv file.
stats = Stat.select()

# Our imaginary serializer class
serializer = CSVSerializer()

# Loop over all the stats and serialize.
for stat in stats.iterator():
    serializer.serialize_object(stat)

For simple queries you can see further speed improvements by returning rows as dictionaries, namedtuples or tuples. The following methods can be used on any :py:class:`Select` query to change the result row type:

Don't forget to append the :py:meth:`~BaseQuery.iterator` method call to also reduce memory consumption. For example, the above code might look like:

# Let's assume we've got 10 million stat objects to dump to a csv file.
stats = Stat.select()

# Our imaginary serializer class
serializer = CSVSerializer()

# Loop over all the stats (rendered as tuples, without caching) and serialize.
for stat_tuple in stats.tuples().iterator():
    serializer.serialize_tuple(stat_tuple)

When iterating over a large number of rows that contain columns from multiple tables, peewee will reconstruct the model graph for each row returned. This operation can be slow for complex graphs. For example, if we were selecting a list of tweets along with the username and avatar of the tweet's author, Peewee would have to create two objects for each row (a tweet and a user). In addition to the above row-types, there is a fourth method :py:meth:`~BaseQuery.objects` which will return the rows as model instances, but will not attempt to resolve the model graph.

For example:

query = (Tweet
         .select(Tweet, User)  # Select tweet and user data.
         .join(User))

# Note that the user columns are stored in a separate User instance
# accessible at tweet.user:
for tweet in query:
    print(tweet.user.username, tweet.content)

# Using ".objects()" will not create the tweet.user object and assigns all
# user attributes to the tweet instance:
for tweet in query.objects():
    print(tweet.username, tweet.content)

For maximum performance, you can execute queries and then iterate over the results using the underlying database cursor. :py:meth:`Database.execute` accepts a query object, executes the query, and returns a DB-API 2.0 Cursor object. The cursor will return the raw row-tuples:

query = Tweet.select(Tweet.content, User.username).join(User)
cursor = database.execute(query)
for (content, username) in cursor:
    print(username, '->', content)

Filtering records

You can filter for particular records using normal python operators. Peewee supports a wide variety of :ref:`query operators <query-operators>`.

>>> user = User.get(User.username == 'Charlie')
>>> for tweet in Tweet.select().where(Tweet.user == user, Tweet.is_published == True):
...     print(tweet.user.username, '->', tweet.message)
...
Charlie -> hello world
Charlie -> this is fun

>>> for tweet in Tweet.select().where(Tweet.created_date < datetime.datetime(2011, 1, 1)):
...     print(tweet.message, tweet.created_date)
...
Really old tweet 2010-01-01 00:00:00

You can also filter across joins:

>>> for tweet in Tweet.select().join(User).where(User.username == 'Charlie'):
...     print(tweet.message)
hello world
this is fun
look at this picture of my food

If you want to express a complex query, use parentheses and python's bitwise or and and operators:

>>> Tweet.select().join(User).where(
...     (User.username == 'Charlie') |
...     (User.username == 'Peewee Herman'))

Note

Note that Peewee uses bitwise operators (& and |) rather than logical operators (and and or). The reason for this is that Python coerces the return value of logical operations to a boolean value. This is also the reason why "IN" queries must be expressed using .in_() rather than the in operator.

Check out :ref:`the table of query operations <query-operators>` to see what types of queries are possible.

Note

A lot of fun things can go in the where clause of a query, such as:

  • A field expression, e.g. User.username == 'Charlie'
  • A function expression, e.g. fn.Lower(fn.Substr(User.username, 1, 1)) == 'a'
  • A comparison of one column to another, e.g. Employee.salary < (Employee.tenure * 1000) + 40000

You can also nest queries, for example tweets by users whose username starts with "a":

# get users whose username starts with "a"
a_users = User.select().where(fn.Lower(fn.Substr(User.username, 1, 1)) == 'a')

# the ".in_()" method signifies an "IN" query
a_user_tweets = Tweet.select().where(Tweet.user.in_(a_users))

More query examples

Note

For a wide range of example queries, see the :ref:`Query Examples <query_examples>` document, which shows how to implements queries from the PostgreSQL Exercises website.

Get active users:

User.select().where(User.active == True)

Get users who are either staff or superusers:

User.select().where(
    (User.is_staff == True) | (User.is_superuser == True))

Get tweets by user named "charlie":

Tweet.select().join(User).where(User.username == 'charlie')

Get tweets by staff or superusers (assumes FK relationship):

Tweet.select().join(User).where(
    (User.is_staff == True) | (User.is_superuser == True))

Get tweets by staff or superusers using a subquery:

staff_super = User.select(User.id).where(
    (User.is_staff == True) | (User.is_superuser == True))
Tweet.select().where(Tweet.user.in_(staff_super))

Sorting records

To return rows in order, use the :py:meth:`~Query.order_by` method:

>>> for t in Tweet.select().order_by(Tweet.created_date):
...     print(t.pub_date)
...
2010-01-01 00:00:00
2011-06-07 14:08:48
2011-06-07 14:12:57

>>> for t in Tweet.select().order_by(Tweet.created_date.desc()):
...     print(t.pub_date)
...
2011-06-07 14:12:57
2011-06-07 14:08:48
2010-01-01 00:00:00

You can also use + and - prefix operators to indicate ordering:

# The following queries are equivalent:
Tweet.select().order_by(Tweet.created_date.desc())

Tweet.select().order_by(-Tweet.created_date)  # Note the "-" prefix.

# Similarly you can use "+" to indicate ascending order, though ascending
# is the default when no ordering is otherwise specified.
User.select().order_by(+User.username)

You can also order across joins. Assuming you want to order tweets by the username of the author, then by created_date:

query = (Tweet
         .select()
         .join(User)
         .order_by(User.username, Tweet.created_date.desc()))
SELECT t1."id", t1."user_id", t1."message", t1."is_published", t1."created_date"
FROM "tweet" AS t1
INNER JOIN "user" AS t2
  ON t1."user_id" = t2."id"
ORDER BY t2."username", t1."created_date" DESC

When sorting on a calculated value, you can either include the necessary SQL expressions, or reference the alias assigned to the value. Here are two examples illustrating these methods:

# Let's start with our base query. We want to get all usernames and the number of
# tweets they've made. We wish to sort this list from users with most tweets to
# users with fewest tweets.
query = (User
         .select(User.username, fn.COUNT(Tweet.id).alias('num_tweets'))
         .join(Tweet, JOIN.LEFT_OUTER)
         .group_by(User.username))

You can order using the same COUNT expression used in the select clause. In the example below we are ordering by the COUNT() of tweet ids descending:

query = (User
         .select(User.username, fn.COUNT(Tweet.id).alias('num_tweets'))
         .join(Tweet, JOIN.LEFT_OUTER)
         .group_by(User.username)
         .order_by(fn.COUNT(Tweet.id).desc()))

Alternatively, you can reference the alias assigned to the calculated value in the select clause. This method has the benefit of being a bit easier to read. Note that we are not referring to the named alias directly, but are wrapping it using the :py:class:`SQL` helper:

query = (User
         .select(User.username, fn.COUNT(Tweet.id).alias('num_tweets'))
         .join(Tweet, JOIN.LEFT_OUTER)
         .group_by(User.username)
         .order_by(SQL('num_tweets').desc()))

Or, to do things the "peewee" way:

ntweets = fn.COUNT(Tweet.id)
query = (User
         .select(User.username, ntweets.alias('num_tweets'))
         .join(Tweet, JOIN.LEFT_OUTER)
         .group_by(User.username)
         .order_by(ntweets.desc())

Getting random records

Occasionally you may want to pull a random record from the database. You can accomplish this by ordering by the random or rand function (depending on your database):

Postgresql and Sqlite use the Random function:

# Pick 5 lucky winners:
LotteryNumber.select().order_by(fn.Random()).limit(5)

MySQL uses Rand:

# Pick 5 lucky winners:
LotterNumber.select().order_by(fn.Rand()).limit(5)

Paginating records

The :py:meth:`~Query.paginate` method makes it easy to grab a page or records. :py:meth:`~Query.paginate` takes two parameters, page_number, and items_per_page.

Attention!

Page numbers are 1-based, so the first page of results will be page 1.

>>> for tweet in Tweet.select().order_by(Tweet.id).paginate(2, 10):
...     print(tweet.message)
...
tweet 10
tweet 11
tweet 12
tweet 13
tweet 14
tweet 15
tweet 16
tweet 17
tweet 18
tweet 19

If you would like more granular control, you can always use :py:meth:`~Query.limit` and :py:meth:`~Query.offset`.

Counting records

You can count the number of rows in any select query:

>>> Tweet.select().count()
100
>>> Tweet.select().where(Tweet.id > 50).count()
50

Peewee will wrap your query in an outer query that performs a count, which results in SQL like:

SELECT COUNT(1) FROM ( ... your query ... );

Aggregating records

Suppose you have some users and want to get a list of them along with the count of tweets in each.

query = (User
         .select(User, fn.Count(Tweet.id).alias('count'))
         .join(Tweet, JOIN.LEFT_OUTER)
         .group_by(User))

The resulting query will return User objects with all their normal attributes plus an additional attribute count which will contain the count of tweets for each user. We use a left outer join to include users who have no tweets.

Let's assume you have a tagging application and want to find tags that have a certain number of related objects. For this example we'll use some different models in a :ref:`many-to-many <manytomany>` configuration:

class Photo(Model):
    image = CharField()

class Tag(Model):
    name = CharField()

class PhotoTag(Model):
    photo = ForeignKeyField(Photo)
    tag = ForeignKeyField(Tag)

Now say we want to find tags that have at least 5 photos associated with them:

query = (Tag
         .select()
         .join(PhotoTag)
         .join(Photo)
         .group_by(Tag)
         .having(fn.Count(Photo.id) > 5))

This query is equivalent to the following SQL:

SELECT t1."id", t1."name"
FROM "tag" AS t1
INNER JOIN "phototag" AS t2 ON t1."id" = t2."tag_id"
INNER JOIN "photo" AS t3 ON t2."photo_id" = t3."id"
GROUP BY t1."id", t1."name"
HAVING Count(t3."id") > 5

Suppose we want to grab the associated count and store it on the tag:

query = (Tag
         .select(Tag, fn.Count(Photo.id).alias('count'))
         .join(PhotoTag)
         .join(Photo)
         .group_by(Tag)
         .having(fn.Count(Photo.id) > 5))

Retrieving Scalar Values

You can retrieve scalar values by calling :py:meth:`Query.scalar`. For instance:

>>> PageView.select(fn.Count(fn.Distinct(PageView.url))).scalar()
100

You can retrieve multiple scalar values by passing as_tuple=True:

>>> Employee.select(
...     fn.Min(Employee.salary), fn.Max(Employee.salary)
... ).scalar(as_tuple=True)
(30000, 50000)

Window functions

A :py:class:`Window` function refers to an aggregate function that operates on a sliding window of data that is being processed as part of a SELECT query. Window functions make it possible to do things like:

  1. Perform aggregations against subsets of a result-set.
  2. Calculate a running total.
  3. Rank results.
  4. Compare a row value to a value in the preceding (or succeeding!) row(s).

peewee comes with support for SQL window functions, which can be created by calling :py:meth:`Function.over` and passing in your partitioning or ordering parameters.

For the following examples, we'll use the following model and sample data:

class Sample(Model):
    counter = IntegerField()
    value = FloatField()

data = [(1, 10),
        (1, 20),
        (2, 1),
        (2, 3),
        (3, 100)]
Sample.insert_many(data, fields=[Sample.counter, Sample.value]).execute()

Our sample table now contains:

id counter value
1 1 10.0
2 1 20.0
3 2 1.0
4 2 3.0
5 3 100.0

Ordered Windows

Let's calculate a running sum of the value field. In order for it to be a "running" sum, we need it to be ordered, so we'll order with respect to the Sample's id field:

query = Sample.select(
    Sample.counter,
    Sample.value,
    fn.SUM(Sample.value).over(order_by=[Sample.id]).alias('total'))

for sample in query:
    print(sample.counter, sample.value, sample.total)

# 1    10.    10.
# 1    20.    30.
# 2     1.    31.
# 2     3.    34.
# 3   100    134.

For another example, we'll calculate the difference between the current value and the previous value, when ordered by the id:

difference = Sample.value - fn.LAG(Sample.value, 1).over(order_by=[Sample.id])
query = Sample.select(
    Sample.counter,
    Sample.value,
    difference.alias('diff'))

for sample in query:
    print(sample.counter, sample.value, sample.diff)

# 1    10.   NULL
# 1    20.    10.  -- (20 - 10)
# 2     1.   -19.  -- (1 - 20)
# 2     3.     2.  -- (3 - 1)
# 3   100     97.  -- (100 - 3)

Partitioned Windows

Let's calculate the average value for each distinct "counter" value. Notice that there are three possible values for the counter field (1, 2, and 3). We can do this by calculating the AVG() of the value column over a window that is partitioned depending on the counter field:

query = Sample.select(
    Sample.counter,
    Sample.value,
    fn.AVG(Sample.value).over(partition_by=[Sample.counter]).alias('cavg'))

for sample in query:
    print(sample.counter, sample.value, sample.cavg)

# 1    10.    15.
# 1    20.    15.
# 2     1.     2.
# 2     3.     2.
# 3   100    100.

We can use ordering within partitions by specifying both the order_by and partition_by parameters. For an example, let's rank the samples by value within each distinct counter group.

query = Sample.select(
    Sample.counter,
    Sample.value,
    fn.RANK().over(
        order_by=[Sample.value],
        partition_by=[Sample.counter]).alias('rank'))

for sample in query:
    print(sample.counter, sample.value, sample.rank)

# 1    10.    1
# 1    20.    2
# 2     1.    1
# 2     3.    2
# 3   100     1

Bounded windows

By default, window functions are evaluated using an unbounded preceding start for the window, and the current row as the end. We can change the bounds of the window our aggregate functions operate on by specifying a start and/or end in the call to :py:meth:`Function.over`. Additionally, Peewee comes with helper-methods on the :py:class:`Window` object for generating the appropriate boundary references:

To examine how boundaries work, we'll calculate a running total of the value column, ordered with respect to id, but we'll only look the running total of the current row and it's two preceding rows:

query = Sample.select(
    Sample.counter,
    Sample.value,
    fn.SUM(Sample.value).over(
        order_by=[Sample.id],
        start=Window.preceding(2),
        end=Window.CURRENT_ROW).alias('rsum'))

for sample in query:
    print(sample.counter, sample.value, sample.rsum)

# 1    10.    10.
# 1    20.    30.  -- (20 + 10)
# 2     1.    31.  -- (1 + 20 + 10)
# 2     3.    24.  -- (3 + 1 + 20)
# 3   100    104.  -- (100 + 3 + 1)

Note

Technically we did not need to specify the end=Window.CURRENT because that is the default. It was shown in the example for demonstration.

Let's look at another example. In this example we will calculate the "opposite" of a running total, in which the total sum of all values is decreased by the value of the samples, ordered by id. To accomplish this, we'll calculate the sum from the current row to the last row.

query = Sample.select(
    Sample.counter,
    Sample.value,
    fn.SUM(Sample.value).over(
        order_by=[Sample.id],
        start=Window.CURRENT_ROW,
        end=Window.following()).alias('rsum'))

# 1    10.   134.  -- (10 + 20 + 1 + 3 + 100)
# 1    20.   124.  -- (20 + 1 + 3 + 100)
# 2     1.   104.  -- (1 + 3 + 100)
# 2     3.   103.  -- (3 + 100)
# 3   100    100.  -- (100)

Filtered Aggregates

Aggregate functions may also support filter functions (Postgres and Sqlite 3.25+), which get translated into a FILTER (WHERE...) clause. Filter expressions are added to an aggregate function with the :py:meth:`Function.filter` method.

For an example, we will calculate the running sum of the value field with respect to the id, but we will filter-out any samples whose counter=2.

query = Sample.select(
    Sample.counter,
    Sample.value,
    fn.SUM(Sample.value).filter(Sample.counter != 2).over(
        order_by=[Sample.id]).alias('csum'))

for sample in query:
    print(sample.counter, sample.value, sample.csum)

# 1    10.    10.
# 1    20.    30.
# 2     1.    30.
# 2     3.    30.
# 3   100    130.

Note

The call to :py:meth:`~Function.filter` must precede the call to :py:meth:`~Function.over`.

Reusing Window Definitions

If you intend to use the same window definition for multiple aggregates, you can create a :py:class:`Window` object. The :py:class:`Window` object takes the same parameters as :py:meth:`Function.over`, and can be passed to the over() method in-place of the individual parameters.

Here we'll declare a single window, ordered with respect to the sample id, and call several window functions using that window definition:

win = Window(order_by=[Sample.id])
query = Sample.select(
    Sample.counter,
    Sample.value,
    fn.LEAD(Sample.value).over(win),
    fn.LAG(Sample.value).over(win),
    fn.SUM(Sample.value).over(win)
).window(win)  # Include our window definition in query.

for row in query.tuples():
    print(row)

# counter  value  lead()  lag()  sum()
# 1          10.     20.   NULL    10.
# 1          20.      1.    10.    30.
# 2           1.      3.    20.    31.
# 2           3.    100.     1.    34.
# 3         100.    NULL     3.   134.

Multiple window definitions

In the previous example, we saw how to declare a :py:class:`Window` definition and re-use it for multiple different aggregations. You can include as many window definitions as you need in your queries, but it is necessary to ensure each window has a unique alias:

w1 = Window(order_by=[Sample.id]).alias('w1')
w2 = Window(partition_by=[Sample.counter]).alias('w2')
query = Sample.select(
    Sample.counter,
    Sample.value,
    fn.SUM(Sample.value).over(w1).alias('rsum'),  # Running total.
    fn.AVG(Sample.value).over(w2).alias('cavg')   # Avg per category.
).window(w1, w2)  # Include our window definitions.

for sample in query:
    print(sample.counter, sample.value, sample.rsum, sample.cavg)

# counter  value   rsum     cavg
# 1          10.     10.     15.
# 1          20.     30.     15.
# 2           1.     31.      2.
# 2           3.     34.      2.
# 3         100     134.    100.

Frame types: RANGE vs ROWS

Depending on the frame type, the database will process ordered groups differently. Let's create two additional Sample rows to visualize the difference:

>>> Sample.create(counter=1, value=20.)
<Sample 6>
>>> Sample.create(counter=2, value=1.)
<Sample 7>

Our table now contains:

id counter value
1 1 10.0
2 1 20.0
3 2 1.0
4 2 3.0
5 3 100.0
6 1 20.0
7 2 1.0

Let's examine the difference by calculating a "running sum" of the samples, ordered with respect to the counter and value fields. To specify the frame type, we can use either:

The behavior of :py:attr:`~Window.RANGE`, when there are logical duplicates, may lead to unexpected results:

query = Sample.select(
    Sample.counter,
    Sample.value,
    fn.SUM(Sample.value).over(
        order_by=[Sample.counter, Sample.value],
        frame_type=Window.RANGE).alias('rsum'))

for sample in query.order_by(Sample.counter, Sample.value):
    print(sample.counter, sample.value, sample.rsum)

# counter  value   rsum
# 1          10.     10.
# 1          20.     50.
# 1          20.     50.
# 2           1.     52.
# 2           1.     52.
# 2           3.     55.
# 3         100     155.

With the inclusion of the new rows we now have some rows that have duplicate category and value values. The :py:attr:`~Window.RANGE` frame type causes these duplicates to be evaluated together rather than separately.

The more expected result can be achieved by using :py:attr:`~Window.ROWS` as the frame-type:

query = Sample.select(
    Sample.counter,
    Sample.value,
    fn.SUM(Sample.value).over(
        order_by=[Sample.counter, Sample.value],
        frame_type=Window.ROWS).alias('rsum'))

for sample in query.order_by(Sample.counter, Sample.value):
    print(sample.counter, sample.value, sample.rsum)

# counter  value   rsum
# 1          10.     10.
# 1          20.     30.
# 1          20.     50.
# 2           1.     51.
# 2           1.     52.
# 2           3.     55.
# 3         100     155.

Peewee uses these rules for determining what frame-type to use:

  • If the user specifies a frame_type, that frame type will be used.
  • If start and/or end boundaries are specified Peewee will default to using ROWS.
  • If the user did not specify frame type or start/end boundaries, Peewee will use the database default, which is RANGE.

Note

For information about the window function APIs, see:

For general information on window functions, the postgresql docs. have a good overview.

Retrieving row tuples / dictionaries / namedtuples

Sometimes you do not need the overhead of creating model instances and simply want to iterate over the row data without needing all the APIs provided :py:class:`Model`. To do this, use:

stats = (Stat
         .select(Stat.url, fn.Count(Stat.url))
         .group_by(Stat.url)
         .tuples())

# iterate over a list of 2-tuples containing the url and count
for stat_url, stat_count in stats:
    print(stat_url, stat_count)

Similarly, you can return the rows from the cursor as dictionaries using :py:meth:`~BaseQuery.dicts`:

stats = (Stat
         .select(Stat.url, fn.Count(Stat.url).alias('ct'))
         .group_by(Stat.url)
         .dicts())

# iterate over a list of 2-tuples containing the url and count
for stat in stats:
    print(stat['url'], stat['ct'])

Returning Clause

:py:class:`PostgresqlDatabase` supports a RETURNING clause on UPDATE, INSERT and DELETE queries. Specifying a RETURNING clause allows you to iterate over the rows accessed by the query.

For example, let's say you have an :py:class:`Update` that deactivates all user accounts whose registration has expired. After deactivating them, you want to send each user an email letting them know their account was deactivated. Rather than writing two queries, a SELECT and an UPDATE, you can do this in a single UPDATE query with a RETURNING clause:

query = (User
         .update(is_active=False)
         .where(User.registration_expired == True)
         .returning(User))

# Send an email to every user that was deactivated.
for deactivate_user in query.execute():
    send_deactivation_email(deactivated_user)

The RETURNING clause is also available on :py:class:`Insert` and :py:class:`Delete`. When used with INSERT, the newly-created rows will be returned. When used with DELETE, the deleted rows will be returned.

The only limitation of the RETURNING clause is that it can only consist of columns from tables listed in the query's FROM clause. To select all columns from a particular table, you can simply pass in the :py:class:`Model` class.

Common Table Expressions

Peewee supports the inclusion of common table expressions (CTEs) in all types of queries. CTEs may be useful for:

  • Factoring out a common subquery.
  • Grouping or filtering by a column derived in the CTE's result set.
  • Writing recursive queries.

To declare a :py:class:`Select` query for use as a CTE, use :py:meth:`~SelectQuery.cte` method, which wraps the query in a :py:class:`CTE` object. To indicate that a :py:class:`CTE` should be included as part of a query, use the :py:meth:`Query.with_cte` method, passing a list of CTE objects.

Simple Example

For an example, let's say we have some data points that consist of a key and a floating-point value. Let's define our model and populate some test data:

class Sample(Model):
    key = TextField()
    value = FloatField()

data = (
    ('a', (1.25, 1.5, 1.75)),
    ('b', (2.1, 2.3, 2.5, 2.7, 2.9)),
    ('c', (3.5, 3.5)))

# Populate data.
for key, values in data:
    Sample.insert_many([(key, value) for value in values],
                       fields=[Sample.key, Sample.value]).execute()

Let's use a CTE to calculate, for each distinct key, which values were above-average for that key.

# First we'll declare the query that will be used as a CTE. This query
# simply determines the average value for each key.
cte = (Sample
       .select(Sample.key, fn.AVG(Sample.value).alias('avg_value'))
       .group_by(Sample.key)
       .cte('key_avgs', columns=('key', 'avg_value')))

# Now we'll query the sample table, using our CTE to find rows whose value
# exceeds the average for the given key. We'll calculate how far above the
# average the given sample's value is, as well.
query = (Sample
         .select(Sample.key, Sample.value)
         .join(cte, on=(Sample.key == cte.c.key))
         .where(Sample.value > cte.c.avg_value)
         .order_by(Sample.value)
         .with_cte(cte))

We can iterate over the samples returned by the query to see which samples had above-average values for their given group:

>>> for sample in query:
...     print(sample.key, sample.value)

# 'a', 1.75
# 'b', 2.7
# 'b', 2.9

Complex Example

For a more complete example, let's consider the following query which uses multiple CTEs to find per-product sales totals in only the top sales regions. Our model looks like this:

class Order(Model):
    region = TextField()
    amount = FloatField()
    product = TextField()
    quantity = IntegerField()

Here is how the query might be written in SQL. This example can be found in the postgresql documentation.

WITH regional_sales AS (
    SELECT region, SUM(amount) AS total_sales
    FROM orders
    GROUP BY region
  ), top_regions AS (
    SELECT region
    FROM regional_sales
    WHERE total_sales > (SELECT SUM(total_sales) / 10 FROM regional_sales)
  )
SELECT region,
       product,
       SUM(quantity) AS product_units,
       SUM(amount) AS product_sales
FROM orders
WHERE region IN (SELECT region FROM top_regions)
GROUP BY region, product;

With Peewee, we would write:

reg_sales = (Order
             .select(Order.region,
                     fn.SUM(Order.amount).alias('total_sales'))
             .group_by(Order.region)
             .cte('regional_sales'))

top_regions = (reg_sales
               .select(reg_sales.c.region)
               .where(reg_sales.c.total_sales > (
                   reg_sales.select(fn.SUM(reg_sales.c.total_sales) / 10)))
               .cte('top_regions'))

query = (Order
         .select(Order.region,
                 Order.product,
                 fn.SUM(Order.quantity).alias('product_units'),
                 fn.SUM(Order.amount).alias('product_sales'))
         .where(Order.region.in_(top_regions.select(top_regions.c.region)))
         .group_by(Order.region, Order.product)
         .with_cte(regional_sales, top_regions))

Recursive CTEs

Peewee supports recursive CTEs. Recursive CTEs can be useful when, for example, you have a tree data-structure represented by a parent-link foreign key. Suppose, for example, that we have a hierarchy of categories for an online bookstore. We wish to generate a table showing all categories and their absolute depths, along with the path from the root to the category.

We'll assume the following model definition, in which each category has a foreign-key to its immediate parent category:

class Category(Model):
    name = TextField()
    parent = ForeignKeyField('self', backref='children', null=True)

To list all categories along with their depth and parents, we can use a recursive CTE:

# Define the base case of our recursive CTE. This will be categories that
# have a null parent foreign-key.
Base = Category.alias()
level = Value(1).alias('level')
path = Base.name.alias('path')
base_case = (Base
             .select(Base.name, Base.parent, level, path)
             .where(Base.parent.is_null())
             .cte('base', recursive=True))

# Define the recursive terms.
RTerm = Category.alias()
rlevel = (base_case.c.level + 1).alias('level')
rpath = base_case.c.path.concat('->').concat(RTerm.name).alias('path')
recursive = (RTerm
             .select(RTerm.name, RTerm.parent, rlevel, rpath)
             .join(base_case, on=(RTerm.parent == base_case.c.id)))

# The recursive CTE is created by taking the base case and UNION ALL with
# the recursive term.
cte = base_case.union_all(recursive)

# We will now query from the CTE to get the categories, their levels,  and
# their paths.
query = (cte
         .select_from(cte.c.name, cte.c.level, cte.c.path)
         .order_by(cte.c.path))

# We can now iterate over a list of all categories and print their names,
# absolute levels, and path from root -> category.
for category in query:
    print(category.name, category.level, category.path)

# Example output:
# root, 1, root
# p1, 2, root->p1
# c1-1, 3, root->p1->c1-1
# c1-2, 3, root->p1->c1-2
# p2, 2, root->p2
# c2-1, 3, root->p2->c2-1

Foreign Keys and Joins

This section have been moved into its own document: :ref:`relationships`.