Konstantin Kulikov edited this page Aug 8, 2015 · 3 revisions
Clone this wiki locally


The database/sql package provides a generic interface around SQL (or SQL-like) databases. See the official documentation for details.

This page provides example usage patterns.

Database driver

The database/sql package must be used in conjunction with a database driver. See http://golang.org/s/sqldrivers for a list of drivers.

The documentation below assumes a driver has been imported.

Connecting to a database

Open is used to create a database handle:

db, err := sql.Open(driver, dataSourceName)

Where driver specifies a database driver and dataSourceName specifies database-specific connection information such as database name and authentication credentials.

Note that Open does not directly open a database connection: this is deferred until a query is made. To verify that a connection can be made before making a query, use the Ping function:

if err := db.Ping(); err != nil {

After use, the database is closed using Close.

Executing queries

Exec is used for queries where no rows are returned:

result, err := db.Exec(
	"INSERT INTO users (name, age) VALUES ($1, $2)",

Where result contains the last insert ID and number of rows affected. The availability of these values is dependent on the database driver.

Query is used for retrieval:

rows, err := db.Query("SELECT name FROM users WHERE age = $1", age)
if err != nil {
for rows.Next() {
	var name string
	if err := rows.Scan(&name); err != nil {
	fmt.Printf("%s is %d\n", name, age)
if err := rows.Err(); err != nil {

QueryRow is used where only a single row is expected:

var age int64
row := db.QueryRow("SELECT age FROM users WHERE name = $1", name)
err := row.Scan(&age)

Prepared statements can be created with Prepare:

age := 27
stmt, err := db.Prepare("SELECT name FROM users WHERE age = $1")
if err != nil {
rows, err := stmt.Query(age)
// process rows

Exec, Query and QueryRow can be called on statements. After use, a statement should be closed with Close.


Transactions are started with Begin:

tx, err := db.Begin()
if err != nil {

The Exec, Query, QueryRow and Prepare functions already covered can be used in a transaction.

A transaction must end with a call to Commit or Rollback.

Dealing with NULL

If a database column is nullable, one of the types supporting null values should be passed to Scan.

For example, if the name column in the names table is nullable:

var name NullString
err := db.QueryRow("SELECT name FROM names WHERE id = $1", id).Scan(&name)
if name.Valid {
	// use name.String
} else {
	// value is NULL

Only NullBool, NullFloat64, NullInt64 and NullString are implemented in database/sql. Implementations of database-specific null types are left to the database driver.