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Database Operations

SQL and Relational Databases

Relational databases are the primary means of storage for structured data. They organize data into tables that each contain data related to one another.

We commonly use SQL, which stands for Structured Query Language, to query and play around with relational databases. This programming language is designed to manage data stored in relational databases.

We can visualize a relational database in the image of tables below.

This image shows a relational database. The lines in the diagram show that certain rows within each table are interconnected, showing off the idea of a relational database.

Python and SQLite Working Together

Thanks to Python’s Database-API (DB-API 2.0), we can connect Python to RDBMS (Relational Database Management Systems) like SQLite. To access a SQLite database, we must import the sqlite3 into the Python environment.

The following image demonstrates how Python and SQLite function together.

This image shows a diagram that is encircled with a label that says "Python DB API". This is to portray that Python and SQLite can only work together because of the API. Inside the circle are shapes. The box on the far left says "Python Application" and the box on the far right says "SQLite Database". The box in between these two boxes says "Python Module sqlite3" to depict that one must import the sqlite3 module in order to have access to SQLite from Python. Then there are arrows going from "Python Application" to "SQLite Database" that say "Data Request" and "Fetch Request". The arrows going from "SQLite Database" to "Python Application" say "Results". This depicts the relationship between the two applications

Connecting to the SQLite Database

In order to edit a new or pre-existing SQLite database from a Python environment, one must connect with the database using sqlite3.connect().

# Create connection to database
connection = sqlite3.connect("example.db")

The connection object is like a cable that connects our python environment to our SQLite database.

This is a gif that shows a two-sided arrow pointing between a box labeled "Python" and a box labeled "SQLite." Above this two-sided arrow is a label that says "sqlite3.connect()" symbolizing the idea that our connection object acts as a cable that connects our python environment to our SQLite database.

Creating a Cursor Object

In a database, a cursor allows us to call statements and return data.

To create a cursor object from a Python environment, one must attach the connection object (in this case connection) to the .cursor() method.

# Create cursor object
cursor = connection.cursor()
This is a gif that is similar to the previous one above. It shows a box labeled "Python" and a box labeled "SQLite" connected by a yellow rectangle labeled "connection." A small pink box labeled "cursor" continuously travels between the "Python" box and the "SQLite" box through the "connection" rectangle to simulate the idea the cursor uses the connection object to move back and forth to send messages and exchange data between our Python environment and SQLite environment.

Executing SQL Statements in Python

Once we have connected to the SQLite database, we can use our cursor object and the .execute() method to execute a SQL statement.

Using the .execute() method with the CREATE clause will create a table within our SQLite database.

# Create cursor object
curs = connection.cursor()
# Create table named members
curs.execute('''CREATE TABLE members (
name TEXT)''')

We can also use the INSERT clause to insert data into a pre-existing table.

# Insert a row of data in the members table
curs.execute('''INSERT INTO members VALUES (2244560, 'Jerry Larson')''')

Fetching SQLite Data in Python

We can pull data from a SQLite data table into our Python environment by using the fetch methods: .fetchone(), .fetchmany(), and .fetchall().

.fetchone() example:

# Return first row in students
cursor.execute("SELECT * FROM students").fetchone()
# Output
(101, 'Alex', 32, '2022-05-16', 'Pass')


# Return first three rows in students
cursor.execute("SELECT * FROM students").fetchmany(3)
# Output
[(101, 'Alex', 32, '2022-05-16', 'Pass'),
(102, 'Joe', 32, '2022-05-16', 'Pass'),
(103, 'Stacy', 10, '2022-05-16', 'Pass')]

.fetchall() example:

# Return all rows in students
cursor.execute("SELECT * FROM students").fetchall()

For Loop with SQLite Statement

We can use a for loop and a SQL statement to retrieve SQLite data.

The following code will iterate through each row in the students table and print each row where the Grade field is 'Pass'.

for row in cursor.execute(```SELECT * FROM students WHERE Grade = 'Pass';```):

You can also use a for loop to iterate through a table field and calculate a measurement.

# save all rows from a field, then use a for loop to find the average
major_codes = cursor.execute("SELECT major_code FROM students;").fetchall()
# Find the average of the tuple list using a for loop
sum = 0
for num in major_codes:
for i in num:
sum = sum + i
average = sum / len(major_codes)
# Show average

Committing and Closing SQLite

After making changes to the SQLite database, we must commit the changes using the .commit() method. Committing the changes ensures that others can view these changes in the database.

# commit changes to database

When we’ve finished editing the SQLite database and have committed the changes, we may use the .close() method to close the database connection.

# close connection

Inserting many rows with SQLite

To insert multiple rows/records of data into a SQLite database via Python, use the .executemany() method.

In the example below, the object new_students containing a list of rows is inserted into the already existing students data table. Remember, these rows follow the same table schema as the students table.

# Insert multiple values into table at once
new_students = [(102, 'Joe', 32, '2022-05-16', 'Pass'),
(103, 'Stacy', 10, '2022-05-16', 'Pass'),
(104, 'Angela', 21, '2022-12-20', 'Pass'),
(105, 'Mark', 21, '2022-12-20', 'Fail'),
(106, 'Nathan', 21, '2022-12-20', 'Pass')
# Insert values into the students table
cursor.executemany('''INSERT INTO students VALUES (?,?,?,?,?)''', new_students)

In the last line of code, there is a list of question marks that act as field placeholders. The five question marks represent each of the five fields in the database we are inserting values into.

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