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An ODBC-powered MS SQL Server DB backend for Django 1.4+
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Latest commit 46adda7 Apr 17, 2018




django-pyodbc is a Django SQL Server DB backend powered by the pyodbc library. pyodbc is a mature, viable way to access SQL Server from Python in multiple platforms and is actively maintained. It's also used by SQLAlchemy for SQL Server connections.

This is a fork of the original django-pyodbc, hosted on Google Code and last updated in 2011.


  • [x] Alpha support for Django 2.0 via pip install django-pyodbc>=2.0.0a1
  • [x] Support for Django 1.4-1.10.
  • [x] Support for SQL Server 2000, 2005, 2008, and 2012 (please let us know if you have success running this backend with another version of SQL Server)
  • [x] Support for Openedge 11.6
  • [x] Support for IBM's DB2
  • [x] Native Unicode support. Every string that goes in is stored as Unicode, and every string that goes out of the database is returned as Unicode. No conversion to/from intermediate encodings takes place, so things like max_length in CharField works just like expected.
  • [x] Both Windows Authentication (Integrated Security) and SQL Server Authentication.
  • [x] LIMIT+OFFSET and offset w/o LIMIT emulation under SQL Server 2005.
  • [x] LIMIT+OFFSET under SQL Server 2000.
  • [x] Django's TextField both under SQL Server 2000 and 2005.
  • [x] Passes most of the tests of the Django test suite.
  • [x] Compatible with SQL Server and SQL Server Native Client from Microsoft (Windows) and FreeTDS ODBC drivers (Linux).


  • [ ] Python 3 support. See #47 for details.


  1. Install django-pyodbc.

    pip install django-pyodbc
  2. Now you can now add a database to your settings using standard ODBC parameters.

       'default': {
           'ENGINE': "django_pyodbc",
           'HOST': ",1433",
           'USER': "mssql_user",
           'PASSWORD': "mssql_password",
           'NAME': "database_name",
           'OPTIONS': {
               'host_is_server': True
  3. That's it! You're done.*

    * You may need to configure your machine and drivers to do an ODBC connection to your database server, if you haven't already. For Linux this involves installing and configuring Unix ODBC and FreeTDS . Iterate on the command line to test your pyodbc connection like:

    python -c 'import pyodbc; print(pyodbc.connect("DSN=foobar_mssql_data_source_name;UID=foo;PWD=bar").cursor().execute("select 1"))'

    extended instructions here


The following settings control the behavior of the backend:

Standard Django settings

NAME String. Database name. Required.

HOST String. SQL Server instance in server\instance or ip,port format.

PORT String. SQL Server port.

USER String. Database user name. If not given then MS Integrated Security
will be used.

PASSWORD String. Database user password.

OPTIONS Dictionary. Current available keys:

  • driver

    String. ODBC Driver to use. Default is "SQL Server" on Windows and "FreeTDS" on other platforms.

  • dsn

    String. A named DSN can be used instead of HOST.

  • autocommit

    Boolean. Indicates if pyodbc should direct the the ODBC driver to activate the autocommit feature. Default value is False.

  • MARS_Connection

    Boolean. Only relevant when running on Windows and with SQL Server 2005 or later through MS SQL Server Native client driver (i.e. setting driver to "SQL Server Native Client 11.0"). See Default value is False.

  • host_is_server

    Boolean. Only relevant if using the FreeTDS ODBC driver under Unix/Linux.

    By default, when using the FreeTDS ODBC driver the value specified in the HOST setting is used in a SERVERNAME ODBC connection string component instead of being used in a SERVER component; this means that this value should be the name of a dataserver definition present in the freetds.conf FreeTDS configuration file instead of a hostname or an IP address.

    But if this option is present and it's value is True, this special behavior is turned off.

    See for more information.

  • extra_params

    String. Additional parameters for the ODBC connection. The format is "param=value;param=value".

  • collation

    String. Name of the collation to use when performing text field lookups against the database. For Chinese language you can set it to "Chinese_PRC_CI_AS". The default collation for the database will be used if no value is specified.

  • encoding

    String. Encoding used to decode data from this database. Default is 'utf-8'.

  • driver_needs_utf8

    Boolean. Some drivers (FreeTDS, and other ODBC drivers?) don't support Unicode yet, so SQL clauses' encoding is forced to utf-8 for those cases.

    If this option is not present, the value is guessed according to the driver set.

  • limit_table_list

    Boolean. This will restrict the table list query to the dbo schema.

  • openedge

    Boolean. This will trigger support for Progress Openedge

  • left_sql_quote , right_sql_quote

    String. Specifies the string to be inserted for left and right quoting of SQL identifiers respectively. Only set these if django-pyodbc isn't guessing the correct quoting for your system.

OpenEdge Support

For OpenEdge support make sure you supply both the deiver and the openedge extra options, all other parameters should work the same


To run the test suite:

python tests/ --settings=test_django_pyodbc


This project originally started life as django-sql-server. This project was abandoned in 2011 and was brought back to life as django-pyodbc by our team in 2013. In the process, most of the project was refactored and brought up to speed with modern Django best practices. The work done prior to the 2013 rewrite is licensed under BSD (3-Clause). Improvements since then are licensed under Apache 2.0. See LICENSE for more details.


This project implements Semantic Versioning .


From the original project README.

  • All the Django core developers, especially Malcolm Tredinnick. For being an example of technical excellence and for building such an impressive community.
  • The Oracle Django team (Matt Boersma, Ian Kelly) for some excellent ideas when it comes to implement a custom Django DB backend.
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