Contents

FastAPI: Simple application structure from scratch - Part 2

Continuing where we left off in part one of this series, we will add migrations to our project using Alembic.

Series Content πŸ“–

  • Part 1: Laying the foundation
  • Part 2: Migrations (this post)
  • Part 3: Dockerize
Before getting started...
To avoid any issues, make sure to drop the posts table from your database and run poetry install again.

What we will cover in this post? πŸ“

  • What is Alembic?
  • Install Alembic
  • Restructure project to support auto migrations
  • Create a migrations directory
  • Configure Alembic
  • Generate migration file

What is Alembic? πŸ€”

From Alembic’s GitHub repository.

Alembic is a database migrations tool written by the author of SQLAlchemy.

Install Alembic

Since we will be running many commands in our virtual environment, let’s switch that shell now.

poetry shell  

The first thing we need to do is add Alembic as a dependency.

poetry add alembic  

Create a migrations directory πŸ“

Now that we have Alembic installed let’s go ahead and generate the migrations directory.

alembic init migrations  

After executing the above command a migrations directory and alembic.ini file will be generated. Our new project structure will look like this now.

.
β”œβ”€β”€ alembic.ini
β”œβ”€β”€ app
β”œβ”€β”€ migrations
β”œβ”€β”€ mypy.ini
β”œβ”€β”€ poetry.lock
β”œβ”€β”€ pyproject.toml
β”œβ”€β”€ README.md
└── tests

The alembic.ini file holds the configurations parameter for Alembic, such as the path to our migration scripts. Let’s also go over the content of the migrations directroy.

migrations
β”œβ”€β”€ env.py
β”œβ”€β”€ README
β”œβ”€β”€ script.py.mako
└── versions

The env.py file reads the configurations from the alembic.ini and handles running the migration scripts. We can also edit this file and tweak to our needs, something we will do later.

The README file can be used to add informative details about our migrations. We will leave this file as-is is for now.

The script.py.mako file is a Mako template file. Alembic uses this template when generating revision files (migration scripts).

Finally, we have the versions directory this is where all our revision files will live.

Restructure project to support auto migrations

In order for us to take advantage of Alembics auto generated migrations we need to restructure our project and make some minor changes to existing files.

Let’s create a new db directory now.

mkdir app/db

We going to add three new files to this directroy, __init__.py, base.py and session.py

touch app/db/__init__.py app/db/base.py app/db/session.py

What we now have is an empty db package. This will replace the db.py module and we will delete this file later.

Edit __init__.py file.

app/db/__init__.py

from .base import Base  # noqa

# Import all the models, so that the Base class 
# has them before being imported by Alembic.
from .. import models # noqa

The schema for each table is derived from the attributes specified on each model. We import all our models afterwards to make sure the Base.metadata attribute gets populates with all the table schemas. Alembic makes use of this when using autogenerate.

Info
Base.metadata.tables contains a collection of SQLAlchemy Table objects.

Edit base.py file.

We going to move the original Base class from the db.py module into this file, but we will make a few changes to it.

First, we going to update our Base class to automatically generate the __tablename__ attribute for or models. The name will be derived from the model class name. For example, in our case, the Post class would generate a post table.

I prefer my table names to be in plural form, so instead of post it would posts. For this, we can make use of the inflect.py module. If you share the same preference, then let’s install that now quick.

poetry add inflect

app/db/base.py

from typing import Any    
    
import inflect     
from sqlalchemy.ext.declarative import as_declarative, declared_attr    
   
p = inflect.engine()    
    
    
@as_declarative()    
class Base:    
    id: Any    
    __name__: str    
    
    # Generate __tablename__ automatically in plural form.   
    # i.e 'Post' model will generate table name 'posts'   
    @declared_attr    
    def __tablename__(cls) -> str:    
        return p.plural(cls.__name__.lower())

The main changes to the Base class are we added a new __name__ and declarative __tablename__ attribute.

This means we no longer need to declare the __tablename__ attribute on our models. Let’s edit the Post model in our models.py file to reflect this change.

Update models.py file

app/models.py

from uuid import uuid4

from sqlalchemy import Column, String, Text
from sqlalchemy.dialects.postgresql import UUID

from .db.base import Base


class Post(Base):
    id = Column(UUID(as_uuid=True), primary_key=True, index=True, default=uuid4)
    title = Column(String)
    body = Column(Text)

We updated our import statement for the Base class and dropped the __tablename__ attribute on the Post model.

Edit session.py file

Again we can copy the session details from db.py file into this one.

app/db/session.py

from sqlalchemy import create_engine
from sqlalchemy.orm import sessionmaker

from ..config import settings

engine =  create_engine(settings.SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI, pool_pre_ping=True)
SessionLocal =  sessionmaker(autocommit=False, autoflush=False, bind=engine)

Update main.py file

We need to update our import statements on line 8 and 9. Also, let’s comment out line 13 since we will be using migrations.

app/main.py

...
from . import actions, schemas
from .db.session import SessionLocal
...

# Create all tables in database.
# Comment this out if you using migrations.
# models.Base.metadata.create_all(bind=engine)
...

We can now delete the db.py file.

rm app/db.py

Configure Alembic βš™οΈ

Update alembic.ini file

We going to configure our connection details in the env.py file. So let’s open up the alembic.ini and comment out the line sqlalchemy.url = driver://user:pass@localhost/dbname, like below.

alembic.ini

...
# the output encoding used when revision files
# are written from script.py.mako
# output_encoding = utf-8

# sqlalchemy.url  = driver://user:pass@localhost/dbname
...

Update env.py file

Let’s configure the env.py file now.

migrations/env.py line 21:22

...
# add your model's MetaData object here
# for 'autogenerate' support
# from myapp import mymodel
# target_metadata = mymodel.Base.metadata

from app.db import Base # noqa
target_metadata = Base.metadata
...
Note
We import the Base class from app.db and not app.db.base for reason explained before.

Next we will create our own function the will get the URL to our database connection.

migrations/env.py line 31:38

...
def get_url():
    from app.config import settings

    user = settings.POSTGRES_USER
    password = settings.POSTGRES_PASSWORD
    server = settings.POSTGRES_SERVER
    db = settings.POSTGRES_DB
    return f"postgresql://{user}:{password}@{server}/{db}"
...

All we are doing here is importing and using our database configuration settings to generate the connection URL.

To make use of this new function we need to update the run_migrations_offline and run_migrations_online functions. Let’s do that now.

migrations/env.py line 53 and 72:78

...
def run_migrations_offline():
    ...
    url = get_url()
    ...

def run_migrations_online():
    """Run migrations in 'online' mode.

    In this scenario we need to create an Engine
    and associate a connection with the context.

    """
    configuration = config.get_section(config.config_ini_section)
    configuration["sqlalchemy.url"] = get_url()
    connectable = engine_from_config(
        configuration,
        prefix="sqlalchemy.",
        poolclass=pool.NullPool,
    )
    ...
...

The final env.py file should like this now.

migrations/env.py

from logging.config import fileConfig

from sqlalchemy import engine_from_config
from sqlalchemy import pool

from alembic import context

# this is the Alembic Config object, which provides
# access to the values within the .ini file in use.
config = context.config

# Interpret the config file for Python logging.
# This line sets up loggers basically.
fileConfig(config.config_file_name)

# add your model's MetaData object here
# for 'autogenerate' support
# from myapp import mymodel
# target_metadata = mymodel.Base.metadata

from app.db import Base # noqa
from app import models # noqa
target_metadata = Base.metadata

# other values from the config, defined by the needs of env.py,
# can be acquired:
# my_important_option = config.get_main_option("my_important_option")
# ... etc.


def get_url():
    from app.config import settings

    user = settings.POSTGRES_USER
    password = settings.POSTGRES_PASSWORD
    server = settings.POSTGRES_SERVER
    db = settings.POSTGRES_DB
    return f"postgresql://{user}:{password}@{server}/{db}"


def run_migrations_offline():
    """Run migrations in 'offline' mode.

    This configures the context with just a URL
    and not an Engine, though an Engine is acceptable
    here as well.  By skipping the Engine creation
    we don't even need a DBAPI to be available.

    Calls to context.execute() here emit the given string to the
    script output.

    """
    url = get_url()
    context.configure(
        url=url,
        target_metadata=target_metadata,
        literal_binds=True,
        dialect_opts={"paramstyle": "named"},
    )

    with context.begin_transaction():
        context.run_migrations()


def run_migrations_online():
    """Run migrations in 'online' mode.

    In this scenario we need to create an Engine
    and associate a connection with the context.

    """
    configuration = config.get_section(config.config_ini_section)
    configuration["sqlalchemy.url"] = get_url()
    connectable = engine_from_config(
        configuration,
        prefix="sqlalchemy.",
        poolclass=pool.NullPool,
    )

    connectable = engine_from_config(
        config.get_section(config.config_ini_section),
        prefix="sqlalchemy.",
        poolclass=pool.NullPool,
    )

    with connectable.connect() as connection:
        context.configure(
            connection=connection, target_metadata=target_metadata
        )

        with context.begin_transaction():
            context.run_migrations()


if context.is_offline_mode():
    run_migrations_offline()
else:
    run_migrations_online()

Generate migration file ✨

Finally, at this point we can now generate our first migraion script.

alembic revision --autogenerate -m "Create posts table"

This will generate a new migration file in the migrations/versions/ directory. In my case it created a file named ee48ba03fe9f_create_posts_table.py with the below content.

migrations/versions/ee48ba03fe9f_create_posts_table.py

"""Create posts table

Revision ID: ee48ba03fe9f
Revises: 
Create Date: 2020-05-24 15:39:50.164129

"""
import sqlalchemy as sa
from alembic import op
from sqlalchemy.dialects import postgresql

# revision identifiers, used by Alembic.
revision = "ee48ba03fe9f"
down_revision = None
branch_labels = None
depends_on = None


def upgrade():
    # ### commands auto generated by Alembic - please adjust! ###
    op.create_table(
        "posts",
        sa.Column("id", postgresql.UUID(as_uuid=True), nullable=False),
        sa.Column("title", sa.String(), nullable=True),
        sa.Column("body", sa.Text(), nullable=True),
        sa.PrimaryKeyConstraint("id"),
    )
    op.create_index(op.f("ix_posts_id"), "posts", ["id"], unique=False)
    # ### end Alembic commands ###


def downgrade():
    # ### commands auto generated by Alembic - please adjust! ###
    op.drop_index(op.f("ix_posts_id"), table_name="posts")
    op.drop_table("posts")
    # ### end Alembic commands ###

To run this migration now all we need to do is run the following command.

alembic upgrade head

We can also roll back changes by running the below.

alembic downgrade head

Conclusion πŸ’‘

Alembic is now in place to manage all our migration scripts. We had to make some minor changes to achieve this and refactored db.py file into multiple files that make up a package.

The final code for this post can be found on GitHub.

If you enjoyed reading this article and would like to stay tuned for more, or just want to connect, follow me on twitter @alexvanzyl.