title: SQLInterface


The database/sql package provides a generic interface around SQL (or SQL-like) databases. See the official documentation for details.

This page provides example usage patterns.

Database driver

The database/sql package must be used in conjunction with a database driver. See https://go.dev/s/sqldrivers for a list of drivers.

The documentation below assumes a driver has been imported.

Connecting to a database

Open is used to create a database handle:

db, err := sql.Open(driver, dataSourceName)

Where driver specifies a database driver and dataSourceName specifies database-specific connection information such as database name and authentication credentials.

Note that Open does not directly open a database connection: this is deferred until a query is made. To verify that a connection can be made before making a query, use the PingContext method:

if err := db.PingContext(ctx); err != nil {

After use, the database is closed using Close.

Executing queries

ExecContext is used for queries where no rows are returned:

result, err := db.ExecContext(ctx,
	"INSERT INTO users (name, age) VALUES ($1, $2)",

Where result contains the last insert ID and number of rows affected. The availability of these values is dependent on the database driver.

QueryContext is used for retrieval:

rows, err := db.QueryContext(ctx, "SELECT name FROM users WHERE age = $1", age)
if err != nil {
defer rows.Close()
for rows.Next() {
	var name string
	if err := rows.Scan(&name); err != nil {
	fmt.Printf("%s is %d\n", name, age)
if err := rows.Err(); err != nil {

QueryRowContext is used where only a single row is expected:

var age int64
err := db.QueryRowContext(ctx, "SELECT age FROM users WHERE name = $1", name).Scan(&age)

Prepared statements can be created with PrepareContext:

age := 27
stmt, err := db.PrepareContext(ctx, "SELECT name FROM users WHERE age = $1")
if err != nil {
rows, err := stmt.Query(age)
// process rows

ExecContext, QueryContext and QueryRowContext can be called on statements. After use, a statement should be closed with Close.


Transactions are started with BeginTx:

tx, err := db.BeginTx(ctx, nil)
if err != nil {

The ExecContext, QueryContext, QueryRowContext and PrepareContext methods already covered can be used in a transaction.

A transaction must end with a call to Commit or Rollback.

Dealing with NULL

If a database column is nullable, one of the types supporting null values should be passed to Scan.

For example, if the name column in the names table is nullable:

var name sql.NullString
err := db.QueryRowContext(ctx, "SELECT name FROM names WHERE id = $1", id).Scan(&name)
if name.Valid {
	// use name.String
} else {
	// value is NULL

Only NullByte, NullBool, NullFloat64, NullInt64, NullInt32 NullInt16, NullString and NullTime are implemented in database/sql. Implementations of database-specific null types are left to the database driver. User types supporting NULL can be created by implementing interfaces database/sql/driver.Valuer and database/sql.Scanner.

You can also pass pointer types. Be careful for performance issues as it requires extra memory allocations.

var name *string
err := db.QueryRowContext(ctx, "SELECT name FROM names WHERE id = $1", id).Scan(&name)

Getting a table

If you want an struct array from your SQL query.

func getTable[T any](rows *sql.Rows) (out []T) {
	var table []T
	for rows.Next() {
		var data T
		s := reflect.ValueOf(&data).Elem()
		numCols := s.NumField()
		columns := make([]interface{}, numCols)

		for i := 0; i < numCols; i++ {
			field := s.Field(i)
			columns[i] = field.Addr().Interface()

		if err := rows.Scan(columns...); err != nil {
			fmt.Println("Case Read Error ", err)

		table = append(table, data)
	return table

Make sure to deal with nulls from the database.

type User struct {
  UUID  sql.NullString
  Name  sql.NullString

rows, err := db.Query("SELECT * FROM Users")
cases := getTable[User](rows)