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Newt Query by Example

Project description

Newt QBE is a small Newt DB add-on that provides help building SQL WHERE clauses for searching Newt DB databases, especially when search is driven by form input. It also provides some abstraction of JSONB-search-expression details.

It is not a goal of of newt.qbe to replace use of SQL. PostgreSQL is powerful and well documented. You’ll get more out of Newt DB if you understand how to apply it when searching Newt databases. To that end, this package can provide some SQL construction hints.

Overview

To set up Newt QBE, you’ll create a QBE object, add some items to it, and add it to your database:

>>> import newt.qbe
>>> qbe = newt.qbe.QBE()
>>> qbe['email'] = newt.qbe.scalar('email')
>>> qbe['stars'] = newt.qbe.scalar("state->'rating'->'stars'", type='int')
>>> qbe['keywords'] = newt.qbe.text_array('keywords')
>>> qbe['path'] = newt.qbe.prefix('path', delimiter='/')
>>> qbe['text'] = newt.qbe.fulltext('content_text(state)', 'english')

Then, you can generate SQL using the sql method, which takes a dictionary of item names and values:

>>> import newt.db
>>> conn = newt.db.connection(dsn)
>>> sql = qbe.sql(conn, dict(path='/foo', text='newt'))
>>> result = conn.where(sql)

In addition to a criteria mapping, you can supply an order_by keyword argument to specify sorting information.

The items in a QBE are search helpers. There are several built-in helpers:

match
Exact match scalar values, leveraging the standard JSONB GIN index
scalar
Search scalar data, including range search
text_array
Search text-array data
prefix
Search string scalars by prefix.
fulltext
Full-text search of text fields
sql
Searcher that uses provided SQL

You can also define your own helpers by implementing a fairly simple API. A search helper provides the following methods, only one of which is required:

__call__(cursor, query)

Compute the helper’s contribution to s search WHERE clause.

This required method returns a bytes SQL expression.

The required format of the query is up to the helper.

The helper must use the mogrify method of the cursor argument to substitute data from the query.

order_by(cursor, query)

Compute a PostgreSQL expression to be used in an ORDER BY clause.

This required method returns a bytes SQL expression.

This method is optional. If it is not provided, then ordering on the helper won’t be allowed.

The helper must use the mogrify method of the cursor argument to substitute data from the query, if necessary.

index_sql(name)

Return a PostgreSQL string to be used to create a corresponding index.

This method is optional.

The constructor arguments and search criteria are specific to each helper.

QBE methods

QBE objects provide the following methods:

sql(query, order_by=())

Return contents of a PostgreSQL WHERE clause (as bytes).

An SQL boolean expression is returned by combining expressions given in the query. (If the query is empty, then 'true' is returned.)

The query argument must be a mapping object. The keys must also exist in the QBE. The values, who’s format is helper specific, are passed to helper’s __call__ methods.

The order_by argument is an iterable of ordering criteria. The items may be helper names or two-tuples containing helper names and descending flags.

To illustrate the usage, here are some examples using the QBE object created in the overview section:

>>> qbe.sql(conn, dict())
b'true'
>>> print(qbe.sql(conn, dict(text='database', path='/wiki'),
...               order_by=[('stars', True), 'text']).decode('ascii'))
(((state ->> 'path') || '/') like '/wiki' || '/%') AND
  content_text(state) @@ to_tsquery('english', 'database')
ORDER BY (state->'rating'->>'stars')::int DESC,
  ts_rank_cd(array[0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 1], content_text(state), to_tsquery('english', 'database'))

index_sql(*names)

Return a list of PostgreSQL texts to create indexes for the given helpers. If no helpers are specified, then statements for all of the helpers (that implement the optional index_sql method) are returned).

>>> for sql in qbe.index_sql():
...     print(sql)
CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY newt_email_idx ON newt ((state ->> 'email'))
CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY newt_keywords_idx ON newt USING GIN ((state -> 'keywords'))
CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY newt_path_idx ON newt (((state ->> 'path') || '/') text_pattern_ops)
CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY newt_stars_idx ON newt (((state->'rating'->>'stars')::int))
CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY newt_text_idx ON newt USING GIN (content_text(state))

A list is returned because the statements need to be executed individually (because of the user of CONCURRENTLY).

Built-in helpers

match(name, convert=None)

Match named scalar values (using the JSONB @> operator). This leverages the JSON GIN index that’s created by default for Newt databases. It doesn’t support range searches.

scalar(expr, type=None, convert=None)

The scalar helper searches based on scalar values. The constructor takes an expression that yields a text result. For convenience, if an identifier (for example 'email') is given, then it will be computed to an expression for accessing a top-level property. Also, for convenience, if a simple JSON accessor expression, like:

state -> 'x' -> 0

it will be modified to produce a text result:

state -> 'x' ->> 0

You can supply an optional second argument giving the name of a PostgreSQL data type to convert the text value to.

The optional convert argument provides callable to be used to convert query values to values that may be passed to psycopg2 cursor mogrify methods.

text_array(expr, convert=None)

The array helper searches based on text-array values. The constructor takes an expression that yields a PostgreSQL array of text.

Searches are based on overlap. Search criteria are satisfied if searched values have elements in common with the given query value. For example, a query: ['a', 'b'] matches a PostgreSQL array ['a', 'c'].

The optional convert argument provides callable to be used to convert query values to values that may be passed to psycopg2 cursor mogrify methods.

prefix(expr, delimiter=None, convert=None)

The prefix helper supports prefix queries against scalar text values. This will often be used for path searches.

The constructor takes an expression that yields a text result. As with the scalar helper, an identifier or JSON accessor will be converted to an expression, if necessary.

An optional second argument may be provided giving a path delimiter. If provided, the delimiter will be included in like queries. If an expression is generated from an identifier or simpler JSON accessor, then the delimiter will be included in the generated expression as well.

The optional convert argument provides callable to be used to convert query values to values that may be passed to psycopg2 cursor mogrify methods.

fulltext(expr, config, parer=None, weights=(.1, .2, .4, 1.0))

The fulltext helper supports full-text search. The constructor takes an expression that evaluates to a PostgreSQL ts_vector and the name of a test-search configuration.

For convenience, if an identifier or a JSON accessor (like state -> 'x' -> 0) is given, a tsvector expression is generated.

When searching, queries are provided as strings that are passed to_tsquery. An optional query parser function may be provided to transform the search queries.

If a text helper is used for ordering, the ts_rank_cd function will be called with the supplied weights.

sql(cond, order=None, convert=None)

The sql helper provides a way to encapsulate more or less arbitrary SQL as a search helper. The constructor takes an string SQL expression to use when searching. The string should contain a single placeholder for substituting query data.

An optional second argument provides an SQL expression to use for ordering.

The optional convert argument provides callable to be used to convert query values to values that may be passed to psycopg2 cursor mogrify methods.

Status

This project is in an early stage of development. The built-in helpers cover common cases. Initial helpers are convenient for the initial application for which this is being developed. It’s easy to imagine future enhancements. Contributions and suggestions are welcome, especially when motivated by specific needs.

It’s worth noting that the sql helper can cover a lot of gaps. For example the initial applications needs to search against PostgreSQL arrays returned from functions, rather than JSON arrays. This is easily handled by the sql helper:

sql("allowed_to_view(state) && %s")

Change history

0.1.1 (2017-06-21)

  • Fixed an sql-generation bug that caused invalid SQL to be generated when a full-text index was used for ordering.

0.1.0 (2017-04-26)

Initial release

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