Relational database access



SqlConn manages a connection to a relational database.



Col models a column of a relational table.


Row models a row of a relational table.


SqlMeta provides access to database meta-data


Statement is an executable statement for a specific database.



SqlErr indicates an error from the SQL database driver.



The sql pod provides a standardized, low level API to work with relational databases. Its basic goals in life:

  • Connections: manage interaction with the database
  • Statements: execute SQL statements
  • Model: model meta-data and relational tables

Test Setup

The sql tests use the following config props to determine the database configuration:

  • test.uri: connection/jdbc url string, defaults to "jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/fantest"
  • test.username: defaults to "fantest"
  • test.password: defaults to "fantest"

You can change these defaults via "etc/sql/config.props".

We've been testing with MySql 5.0.41 running InnoDB using "fantest" for the database name, user name, and password. You can configure InnoDB as the default storage engine with this line in your "my.cfg":


To setup the fantest database and user account via the mysql command line:

mysql -u root -p
mysql> create user fantest identified by 'fantest';
mysql> create database fantest;
mysql> grant all privileges on fantest.* to fantest identified by 'fantest';


Connections are managed by the SqlConn class. To open and close connections to the database, simply call the SqlConn.open and SqlConn.close methods.

Connections in Java

When running in a Java VM, Fantom uses JDBC under the covers. Using MySQL as an example, follow these steps to open a connection in the JVM:

  1. Ensure your JDBC driver is installed and available via the system class path. The best place to stick it is in the "jre/lib/ext" directory. You can use fan -version to locate your JRE directory. For MySQL the driver is packaged up as something like "mysql-connector-java-5.0.6-bin.jar".
  2. Ensure the JDBC class is loaded into memory. The simplest way to preload the class is to ensure the classname is defined in "etc/sql/config.props" :
  3. Open a SqlConn instance using the JDBC URL:
    db := SqlConn.open("jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/fantest", "fantest", "fantest")

If using Microsoft SQL Server:

  1. Assuming you are running Java 1.6 or higher, then make sure you put only "sqljdbc4.jar" into your classpath (do not put "sqljdbc.jar" in the path)
  2. Classname is "com.microsoft.sqlserver.jdbc.SQLServerDriver" (for java.drivers in etc/sql/config.props)
  3. JDBC URL format is "jdbc:sqlserver://{host};database={name}"


SQL statements are created using the SqlConn.sql method. After a statement has been created, it can be executed immediately by calling execute or it can be prepared for later execution by calling prepare.

For example, to create a table in MySQL:

db.sql("create table Books (
        id integer auto_increment not null,
        title varchar(128) not null,
        author varchar(128) not null,
        year integer,
        primary key (id))").execute

Prepared statements can be parameterized by including named parameters in the SQL text. For example:

addBook := db.sql("insert into Books (title, author, year)
                   values (@title, @author, @year)").prepare

This statement can then be executed multiple times with different parameters.

addBook.execute(["title":"David Copperfield", "author":"Charles Dickens", "year":1850])
addBook.execute(["title":"Hard Times", "author":"Charles Dickens", "year":1854])
addBook.execute(["title":"The Jungle Book", "author":"Rudyard Kipling", "year":1894])
addBook.execute(["title":"Captains Courageous", "author":"Rudyard Kipling", "year":1897])


The result of an SQL query is always a relational table described by fixed columns with zero or more rows. Fantom supports two different mechanisms for retrieving query results: as a list of Rows or by iterating the rows with a closure.

To fetch as a list of rows:

stmt := db.sql("select title, year from Books
                where author = @author and year > @year").prepare
dickensNovels := stmt.query(["author":"Charles Dickens", "year":1850])
kiplingNovels := stmt.query(["author":"Rudyard Kipling", "year":1890])

Or to iterate through the rows:

lastPublished := 0
stmt.queryEach(["author":"Charles Dickens", "year":0]) |Row row|
  lastPublished = lastPublished.max(row->year)


The rows for a given query result all share a list of sql::Cols which describes the meta-data. You can use access the column of each row using the get(Col) or with dynamic invoke:

// using dynamic invoke
dickensNovels.each |Row book| { echo("${book->title}, ${book->year}") }

// using col
title := row.col("title")
year  := row.col("year")
dickensNovels.each |Row book| { echo("${book[title]}, ${book[year]}") }

If you have a large query result, using get(Col) provides a little better performance.

SQL/Fantom Type Mapping

The following type specifies the mapping of SQL types to Fantom types:

SQL Type       Fantom Type
--------       -----------
CHAR           sys::Str
VARCHAR        sys::Str

BIT            sys::Bool

TINYINT        sys::Int
SMALLINT       sys::Int
INTEGER        sys::Int
BIGINT         sys::Int

REAL           sys::Float
FLOAT          sys::Float
DOUBLE         sys::Float

DECIMAL        sys::Decimal
NUMERIC        sys::Decimal

BINARY         sys::Buf
VARBINARY      sys::Buf

TIMESTAMP      sys::DateTime
DATE           sys::Date
TIME           sys::Time

catch-all      sys::Str