Qore Programming Language  1.0.0
Implementing Qore DBI Drivers

Implementing Qore DBI Drivers

DBI Function Overview

To write a DBI driver, you have to provide implementations for the following functions supporting the Datasource class (listed by their function signatures):

  • open: opens the connection to the database
  • close: closes the connection to the database
  • select: executes a select statement and returns the result as a QoreHashNode (columns) of QoreListNode objects (rows)
  • select_rows: executes a select statement and returns the result as a QoreListNode (rows) or QoreHashNode objects (columns and values)
  • exec: executes arbitrary SQL on the connection and returns the result
  • commit: commits a transaction
  • rollback: rolls back a transaction

For databases where transactions must be started explicitly (for example, with a "begin transaction" statement), the following two functions should be implemented (and must not be implemented for databases where transactions are started implicitly):

  • begin_transaction(): explicitly starts a transaction (ex: executes a "begin transaction" statement)
  • abort_transaction_start(): rolls back the transation, necessary for databases where an error in the first statement of a transaction where "begin_transaction" was implicitly executed by the Qore DBI subsystem requires a "rollback" statement to be executed in order to use the datasource further (ex: pgsql driver)

The following functions are always optional:

More detail about each function is provided in the following sections.

These functions must be registered in the DBI subsystem by populating a qore_dbi_method_list structure with pointers to the methods and then calling DBIDriverList::registerDriver() on the DBI object. This should be done in the module_init() function as in the following example from the mysql driver:

QoreStringNode *qore_mysql_module_init()
// initialize thread key to test for mysql_thread_init()
pthread_key_create(&ptk_mysql, NULL);
tclist.push(mysql_thread_cleanup, NULL);
// populate the method list structure with the method pointers
methods.add(QDBI_METHOD_OPEN, qore_mysql_open_datasource);
methods.add(QDBI_METHOD_CLOSE, qore_mysql_close_datasource);
methods.add(QDBI_METHOD_SELECT, qore_mysql_select);
methods.add(QDBI_METHOD_SELECT_ROWS, qore_mysql_select_rows);
methods.add(QDBI_METHOD_EXEC, qore_mysql_exec);
methods.add(QDBI_METHOD_COMMIT, qore_mysql_commit);
methods.add(QDBI_METHOD_ROLLBACK, qore_mysql_rollback);
methods.add(QDBI_METHOD_GET_SERVER_VERSION, qore_mysql_get_server_version);
methods.add(QDBI_METHOD_GET_CLIENT_VERSION, qore_mysql_get_client_version);
// register database functions with DBI subsystem
DBID_MYSQL = DBI.registerDriver("mysql", methods, mysql_caps);
return 0;
Any functions requiring an open connection (select, select_rows, exec, commit, rollback, and get_server_version) will have a connection opened implicitly before the call is executed by the Qore library. Therefore any function requiring an open database connection can assume that the connection has already been established (and therefore that the private data representing the state of the connection is available).

DBI Open Method

Function signature: q_dbi_open_t

This method will be called whenever the connection to the database must be opened. The connection parameters can be queried from the Datasource argument as follows:

If Datasource::getDBEncoding() returns 0, then the character encoding for the connection should be set based on QCS_DEFAULT.

Here is a connection example from the sybase driver:

static int sybase_open(Datasource *ds, ExceptionSink *xsink)
// username is a required parameter
if (!ds->getUsername()) {
xsink->raiseException("DATASOURCE-MISSING-USERNAME", "Datasource has an empty username parameter");
return -1;
// DB name is a required parameter
if (!ds->getDBName()) {
xsink->raiseException("DATASOURCE-MISSING-DBNAME", "Datasource has an empty dbname parameter");
return -1;
// set the encoding for the connection
if (ds->getDBEncoding()) {
const QoreEncoding *enc = name_to_QoreEncoding(ds->getDBEncoding());
else {
const char *enc = QoreEncoding_to_SybaseName(QCS_DEFAULT);
// if the encoding cannot be mapped, throw a Qore-language exception and return
if (!enc) {
xsink->raiseException("DBI:SYBASE:UNKNOWN-CHARACTER-SET", "cannot find the Sybase character encoding equivalent for '%s'", QCS_DEFAULT->getCode());
return -1;
// create the connection object
std::auto_ptr<connection> sc(new connection);
// make the actual connection to the database
sc->init(ds->getUsername(), ds->getPassword() ? ds->getPassword() : "", ds->getDBName(), ds->getDBEncoding(), ds->getQoreEncoding(), xsink);
// return with an error if it didn't work
if (*xsink)
return -1;
// set the private data
// return 0 for OK
return 0;

If the connection is successfully established, then Datasource::setPrivateData() should be called to save the connection state and 0 should be returned. This state will lated be retrieved in each DBI method with Datasource::getPrivateData().

If a connection cannot be established, then -1 should be returned and a Qore-language exception should be added to the ExceptionSink object.

Qore DBI drivers must initialize each connection manually to use transaction isolation level "read committed" if necessary when opening the connection. For example the mysql driver does this for each connection as follows after opening a connection:

// set transaction handling
if (mysql_query(db, "set transaction isolation level read committed")) {
xsink->raiseException("DBI:MYSQL:INIT-ERROR", (char *)mysql_error(db));
return 0;

DBI Close Method

Function signature: q_dbi_close_t

This method should unconditionally close the connection to the database. There is currently no facility for registering errors when closing a connection; the return value for this function is currently ignored.

This function must clear the private data structure by calling Datasource::setPrivateData() with the argument 0. The private data structure should also be deleted here.

Here is the implementation of this function in the sybase driver:

static int sybase_close(Datasource *ds)
connection* sc = (connection*)ds->getPrivateData();
delete sc;
return 0;

DBI Select Method

Function signature: q_dbi_select_t

This function must be capable of executing an SQL select against an open connection and returning the result as a QoreHashNode (the columns) of QoreListNode objects (the rows). This is the minimum requirement for this function, but some Qore DBI drivers use the same implementation for this and the DBI Exec Method exec method. It depends on the database's API if it's possible or not. Some database API's have a different functions for each operation.

Note that the SQL string passed as an argument may not be in the encoding required by the connection. It is the resposibility of this function to convert the string to the proper encoding before passing it to the database's API for execution.

Furthermore, DBI placeholders and bind specifications must be processed as well before executing the query. The following DBI-specific format codes can appear in the query string:

  • v means bind the corresponding argument by value
  • :name means "name" is an output parameter and should be returned as an output value in an output hash (only valid for DBI Exec Method exec)
  • s means include the string directly in the query as-is without any escaping (useful for table or database name prefixes)
  • d means interpret the corresponding argument as a number (either integer or float, depending on the type of the argument) and include directly in the string

If an Qore-language exceptions are thrown due to errors while processing the select request, 0 must be returned.

DBI SelectRows Method

Function signature: q_dbi_select_rows_t

This function is the same as the select method, except that a QoreListNode (the rows) of QoreHashNode objects (the columns) should be returned.

This format is less efficient than the QoreHashNode or QoreListNode objects, but is easier to work with in some circumstances by Qore code.

DBI Exec Method

Function signature: q_dbi_exec_t

This function is designed for executing insert or update statements or for executing stored procedures, functions, or other database code. The same rules about placeholders and bind specifications apply as documented in the select method.

For insert and update statements, the number of affected rows should be returned as an integer.

For all other statements, a data structure appropriate to the action executed should be returned.

DBI Commit Method

Function signature: q_dbi_commit_t

This function should commit any open transaction in the database.

Here is an example from the mysql driver (simplified for the example):

static int qore_mysql_commit(Datasource *ds, ExceptionSink *xsink)
MySQLConnection *d_mysql =(MySQLConnection *)ds->getPrivateData();
// calls mysql_commit() on the connection
if (d_mysql->commit()) {
xsink->raiseException("DBI:MYSQL:COMMIT-ERROR", d_mysql->error());
return -1;
return 0;
For databases having implicit transactions (i.e. a transaction is always in effect even without an explicit "begin transaction" statement), this method is executed after every statement when the Datasource object is in auto commit mode.

DBI Rollback Method

Function signature: q_dbi_rollback_t

This function should roll back any open transaction in the database.

Here is an example from the mysql driver (simplified for the example):

static int qore_mysql_rollback(Datasource *ds, ExceptionSink *xsink)
MySQLConnection *d_mysql =(MySQLConnection *)ds->getPrivateData();
// calls mysql_rollback() on the connection
if (d_mysql->rollback()) {
xsink->raiseException("DBI:MYSQL:ROLLBACK-ERROR", d_mysql->error());
return -1;
return 0;

DBI BeginTransaction Method

Function signature: q_dbi_begin_transaction_t

This function should only be implemented for datasources that require an explicit "begin transaction" statement to begin a transaction (such as the pgsql driver).

Here is an example from the pgsql driver:

static int qore_pgsql_begin_transaction(class Datasource *ds, ExceptionSink *xsink)
QorePGConnection *pc = (QorePGConnection *)ds->getPrivateData();
// executes "begin" on the connection and returns the return value
return pc->begin_transaction(ds, xsink);

DBI AbortTransactionStart Method

"This is not implemented in Qore in 0.9"

Function signature: q_dbi_abort_transaction_start_t

This function is required for datasources that implement the begin_transaction method, and if an error occurs as the first statement of after the begin_transaction method is implictly executed, a rollback call must immediately be made in order to continue to use the connection.

This method is implemented for the pgsql driver by aliasing it to the rollback function, for example.

DBI GetServerVersion Method

Function signature: q_dbi_get_server_version_t

This function should return version information for the database server. As such it requires an active connection (which will be established by the Qore library before this function is called).

There is no pre-defined format for the output of this function. Here is the implementation of this method for the oracle driver:

#define VERSION_BUF_SIZE 512
static AbstractQoreNode *oracle_get_server_version(Datasource *ds, ExceptionSink *xsink)
// get private data structure for connection
OracleData *d_ora = (OracleData *)ds->getPrivateData();
// buffer for version information
char version_buf[VERSION_BUF_SIZE + 1];
// execute OCIServerVersion and check status code
OCIServerVersion(d_ora->svchp, d_ora->errhp, (OraText *)version_buf, VERSION_BUF_SIZE, OCI_HTYPE_SVCCTX),
"oracle_get_server_version", ds, xsink);
if (*xsink)
return 0;
return new QoreStringNode(version_buf);

DBI GetClientVersion Method

Function signature: q_dbi_get_client_version_t

This function should return version information for the database client library in use, and therefore does not require an open connection to the database.

Like the get_server_version method, there is no pre-defined format for the output of this function. Here is the implementation of this method for the oracle driver:

static AbstractQoreNode *oracle_get_client_version(const Datasource *ds, ExceptionSink *xsink)
sword major, minor, update, patch, port_update;
OCIClientVersion(&major, &minor, &update, &patch, &port_update);
h->setKeyValue("major", new QoreBigIntNode(major), NULL);
h->setKeyValue("minor", new QoreBigIntNode(minor), NULL);
h->setKeyValue("update", new QoreBigIntNode(update), NULL);
h->setKeyValue("patch", new QoreBigIntNode(patch), NULL);
h->setKeyValue("port_update", new QoreBigIntNode(port_update), NULL);
return h;
const DLLEXPORT QoreEncoding * getQoreEncoding() const
returns the QoreEncoding pointer used for this connection
this is the data structure Qore DBI drivers will use to pass the supported DBI methods
Definition: DBI.h:292
const DLLEXPORT QoreEncoding * QCS_DEFAULT
the default encoding for the Qore library
const DLLEXPORT char * getUsername() const
returns the username used for the last connection
DLLEXPORT void setDBEncoding(const char *name)
sets the database-specific character encoding name used for the current connection
const DLLEXPORT char * getPassword() const
returns the password used for the last connection
DLLEXPORT int setKeyValue(const char *key, QoreValue value, ExceptionSink *xsink)
sets the value of "key" to "value"
This is the hash or associative list container type in Qore, dynamically allocated only,...
Definition: QoreHashNode.h:50
DLLEXPORT DBIDriver * registerDriver(const char *name, const qore_dbi_method_list &methods, int caps)
registers a new DBI driver
list of DBI drivers currently reigsted by the Qore library
DLLEXPORT void setQoreEncoding(const QoreEncoding *enc)
sets the QoreEncoding used for this connection
DLLEXPORT AbstractQoreNode * raiseException(const char *err, const char *fmt,...)
appends a Qore-language exception to the list
DLLEXPORT void * getPrivateData() const
returns the private DBI-specific data structure for this object
const DLLEXPORT char * getCode() const
returns the string code (ex: "UTF-8") for the encoding
const DLLEXPORT char * getDBName() const
returns the database (or schema) name used for the last connection
DLLEXPORT ThreadCleanupList tclist
the interface to the thread cleanup list
container for holding Qore-language exception information and also for registering a "thread_exit" ca...
Definition: ExceptionSink.h:48
DLLEXPORT void setPrivateData(void *data)
sets the private DBI-specific data structure for this object
DLLEXPORT void push(qtdest_t func, void *arg)
must only be called in the module initialization function
the base class for accessing databases in Qore through a Qore DBI driver
Definition: Datasource.h:55
defines string encoding functions in Qore
Definition: QoreEncoding.h:83
const DLLEXPORT char * getDBEncoding() const
returns the database-specific character encoding name used for the last connection
Qore's string value type, reference counted, dynamically-allocated only.
Definition: QoreStringNode.h:50
The base class for all value and parse types in Qore expression trees.
Definition: AbstractQoreNode.h:57