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Dapper for Go

This is a simple object mapper for Google Go.

It is based on the idea of Dapper.

Is fairly limited, e.g. query only. But if you can use it (or like it to implement your own simple object mapper), here it is.


This is still a work in progress. Use at your own risk.


Install via go get


Dapper has two concepts: Generating SQL statements (limited to MySQL) and running SQL statements and returning results in Go structs.

SQL generation

Maybe you're like me and want your program to generate a SQL statement based on some conditions. While you can build SQL manually, that's rather cumbersome.

I'd rather do something like this:

sql := dapper.Q("users").Alias("u").
    Join("tweets").Alias("t").On("", "t.user_id").
    Project("", "t.message").

=> SELECT,t.message
     FROM users u
     JOIN tweets t ON
    ORDER BY ASC,t.created DESC
    LIMIT 10


You can use the SQL generation as input for querying, or you create the SQL manually. Either way, querying works as follows.

First, specify the "entities" and apply tags to let Dapper find a mapping between the struct field and the database column:

type User struct {
    Id        int64    `dapper:"id,primarykey,autoincrement,table=users"`
    Name      string   `dapper:"name"`
    Country   string   `dapper:"country"`
    Karma     *float64 `dapper:"karma"`
    Suspended bool
    Ignored   string   `dapper:"-"`

Notice the dapper field tags:

  • If you do not tag a field with dapper, the column name in the generated SQL is the same as the field name. In the User struct above, the Suspended field is generated as column name Suspended.
  • By default, all fields in the struct will be used to generate SQL. If you do want a field to be ignored in SQL generation, mark it with dapper:"-" (see Ignored above).
  • The first element of the dapper tag specifies the DB column name (see dapper:"name" in Name field).
  • You may specify the table name in one dapper tag, see Id field in the example above.
  • Use the primarykey tag element to mark a column as primary key.
  • Use the autoincrement tag element to mark a column as auto-increment.

Of course, you need to connect to a database and get yourself a *sql.DB:

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

Then create a Dapper session:

session := dapper.New(db)

Now you can throw some SQL at Dapper and let it fill your result set:

// Build SQL statement (or use a manually crafted SQL string)
sql := dapper.Q("users").Alias("u").
    Join("tweets").Alias("t").On("", "t.user_id").
    Project("", "t.message").

// Run the query and return all users in a slice
var users []User
err := session.Find(sql, nil).All(&users)
if err != nil {
    // ...

// Iterate
for _, user := range users {

But there's a second way of executing SQL queries. You can use with a struct that serves as a binding to the query. Here's how:

// A binding with a UserId field in it
type UserByIdQuery struct {
    UserId    int64

// Another binding with some more fields
type UserbyComplexQuery struct {
    MinKarma  float64
    MaxKarma  float64
    Country   string

To get the first result of a query:

// Reserve a User variable for the result
var user User

// Fill the binding for the query: UserId=1
queryParam := UserByIdQuery{UserId: 1}

// Now run the query:
// Notice the ":UserId" will be retrieved from the binding, so the
// SQL statement is: "select * from users where id=1"
err := session.Find("select * from users where id=:UserId", queryParam).Single(&user)
if err != nil {
	// ...

To perform a query returning not a single entity but a slice:

// Another binding
queryParam := UsersByComplexQuery{MinKarma: 17.0, Country: "DE"}

// Retrieve the results
var results []User
err := session.Find("select * from users "+
    "where karma > :MinKarma and country = :Country "+
    "order by name limit 30", queryParam).All(&results)
if err != nil {
    // ...

// Iterate
for _, user := range users {

You can also retrieve the first column of the first row by using the Scalar function:

// Create a var for the result
var name string

// Stores the user name
err := session.Find("select name from users where id=1", nil).Scalar(&name)

As counting is a very common operating, there is a shortcut:

// Returns the number of users
  count, err := session.Count("select count(*) from users", nil)

Insert, Update, and Delete

For insert, update, and delete to work, you need to mark the struct with a primary key and a table name. Here's the example from above:

type User struct {
    Id        int64    `dapper:"id,primarykey,autoincrement,table=users"`

Then insert some data:

// Create a session
session := dapper.New(db)

// Create a user
u := &User{
    Name:    "Steve",
    Country: "DE",

// Now insert
err := session.Insert(u)
if err != nil { ... }

// BTW u.Id is now set

Now let's update the user:

u.Name = "Peter"

err := session.Update(u)
if err != nil { ... }

... and delete:

err := session.Delete(u)
if err != nil { ... }

If you want to insert, update, or delete in the context of a database transaction, use InsertTx(tx, ...), UpdateTx(tx, ...), and DeleteTx(tx, ...).

Running tests

To run tests, you need a MySQL database called dapper_test and a user travis (empty password) with access.

To run tests on PostgreSQL, you need to create a database dapper_test and allow access to the user travis.

Then run go test.

Known issues

  • Dapper is not targeting a specific Go MySQL driver. However, at the current time, we are limited to Michał Derkacz's mymysql driver. The reason for this is that it provides a mapping between the various date/time-types in MySQL and time.Time in Golang. However, the DATE type in MySQL is mapped to mysql.Date, and Dapper handles that.
  • We are looking forward to support Julien Schmidt Go-SQL-Driver/MySQL as well. Julien has not yet decided how to handle time.Time (see issue #9).



MIT LICENSE. See LICENSE or the LICENSE file in the repository.


Dapper for Google Go.







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