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A Database Query Language (core & SQLite backend)

Project description

HTSQL is a comprehensive navigational query language for relational databases. HTSQL is designed for data analysts and other accidental programmers who have complex business inquiries to solve and need a productive tool to write and share database queries. HTSQL is free and open source software. For more detail, visit

This package provides HTSQL core and SQLite backend.

Installation Instructions

To install HTSQL using pip package manager, run:

# pip install HTSQL

HTSQL works out of the box with SQLite databases. To run HTSQL on top of other database servers, you need to install additional database backends.

To install a PostgreSQL backend, run:

# pip install HTSQL-PGSQL

To install a MySQL backend, run:

# pip install HTSQL-MYSQL

To install an Oracle backend, run:

# pip install HTSQL-ORACLE

To install a backend for Microsoft SQL Server, run:

# pip install HTSQL-MSSQL

Alternatively, you may download binary packages for various Linux distributions from

Quick Start

To verify that HTSQL is installed correctly, run:

$ htsql-ctl --version

You can use HTSQL on top of any relational database. In our examples, we use the HTSQL Demo database, which can be downloaded from

To start a command-line shell where you can type and execute HTSQL queries, run:

$ htsql-ctl shell sqlite:htsql_demo.sqlite
Type 'help' for more information, 'exit' to quit the shell.

The parameter sqlite:htsql_demo.sqlite is a database connection URI, which has the general form:


For example, the following are valid connection URI:


Use option --password to make htsql-ctl ask you to type the password.

In the shell, you can type and execute HTSQL queries:

htsql_demo$ /school
 | school                                        |
 | code | name                          | campus |
 | art  | School of Art & Design        | old    |
 | bus  | School of Business            | south  |
 | edu  | College of Education          | old    |

The htsql-ctl script also provides a built-in web server. It could be started as follows:

$ htsql-ctl serve sqlite:htsql_demo.sqlite
Starting an HTSQL server on localhost:8080 over htsql_demo.sqlite

You could then access HTSQL using your browser or any other HTTP user agent.

For more information on using and configuring HTSQL, see

Using HTSQL from Python

Create an HTSQL instance:

>>> from htsql import HTSQL
>>> demo = HTSQL("sqlite:htsql_demo")

Use the instance to execute HTSQL queries. For example, to find all school records matching the given pattern, write:

>>> query = "/school?name~$pattern"
>>> for row in demo.produce(query, pattern='art'):
...     print row
school(code=u'art', name=u'School of Art & Design', campus=u'old')
school(code=u'la', name=u'School of Arts and Humanities', campus=u'old')

In the next example, for all schools in the old campus, we get the number of associated programs and departments:

>>> query = "/school{name, count(program), count(department)}?campus='old'"
>>> for row in demo.produce(query):
...     print "%s: %d programs, %d departments" % row
School of Art & Design: 3 programs, 2 departments
College of Education: 7 programs, 2 departments
School of Arts and Humanities: 9 programs, 5 departments
School of Natural Sciences: 6 programs, 4 departments

For detailed instructions on use of HTSQL with Python, see


HTSQL is copyright by Prometheus Research, LLC. HTSQL is written by Clark C. Evans <> and Kirill Simonov <>.

Generous support for HTSQL was provided by the Simons Foundation. This material is also based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #0944460.

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