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Building Database Applications with PyQt: Exploring Model-View Architecture

Connecting PyQt to an SQL Database: Basics of SQL Language and Relational Databases

Are you interested in creating applications that interact with databases? If so, you need to learn how to connect PyQt to an SQL database.

This article will cover the basics of SQL language and relational databases, creating a database connection with QSqlDatabase, handling multiple connections, and opening a database connection with .open(). SQL stands for Structured Query Language.

It is a language used to communicate with relational databases. A relational database is a database that organizes data into one or more tables with a unique key identifying each row in the table.

Each table consists of columns (also known as fields) and rows (also known as records). In a relational database, there is typically a primary key that helps keep the data organized.

Creating a Database Connection with QSqlDatabase

The first step to connect to an SQL database is to create a database connection with QSqlDatabase. To create a connection, you need to specify the database driver, hostname, database name, username, and password.

Here’s how you can create a connection to a PostgreSQL database:

import PyQt5.QtSql as QSql

db = QSql.QSqlDatabase.addDatabase('QPSQL')

  print('Database is open')
  print('Database Error: ' + db.lastError().text())

Handling Multiple Connections

If you need to handle multiple connections, you can create multiple database connections using different names. For example, let’s say you have two PostgreSQL databases: mydatabase1 and mydatabase2.

You can create two connections like this:

import PyQt5.QtSql as QSql

db1 = QSql.QSqlDatabase.addDatabase('QPSQL', 'db1')

db2 = QSql.QSqlDatabase.addDatabase('QPSQL', 'db2')

Opening a Database Connection with .open()

To open a database connection, you need to call the open() method of QSqlDatabase. You can check if the connection was successful by checking the boolean return value of open().

If it returns True, the connection was successful. If it returns False, there was an error.

In this case, you can use the lastError().text() method of QSqlDatabase to get a string representation of the error. Here’s an example:

  print('Database is open')
  print('Database Error: ' + db.lastError().text())

Running SQL Queries with PyQt:to QSqlQuery

Now that you have learned how to connect to an SQL database with PyQt, the next step is to learn how to run SQL queries.

QSqlQuery is the class used to execute SQL queries. You can create an instance of QSqlQuery by calling its constructor.

Here’s an example:

query = QSql.QSqlQuery()

Constructor Variations of QSqlQuery

There are several constructor variations of QSqlQuery. Some of them allow you to specify a database connection, while others do not.

Here are some examples:

# Constructor with no arguments
query = QSql.QSqlQuery()

# Constructor with a database connection name
query = QSql.QSqlQuery('db1')

# Constructor with a QSqlDatabase instance
query = QSql.QSqlQuery(db)

Executing DML and DDL Statements with QSqlQuery

You can use QSqlQuery to execute DML (Data Manipulation Language) and DDL (Data Definition Language) statements. Here are some examples:

# SELECT statement
query.exec_("SELECT * FROM mytable")

# INSERT statement
query.exec_("INSERT INTO mytable (name, age) VALUES ('John', 30)")

# UPDATE statement
query.exec_("UPDATE mytable SET age = 31 WHERE name = 'John'")

# DELETE statement
query.exec_("DELETE FROM mytable WHERE name = 'John'")

# CREATE TABLE statement
query.exec_("CREATE TABLE mytable (id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY, name TEXT, age INTEGER)")


By now, you should have a good understanding of how to connect PyQt to an SQL database and how to run SQL queries with QSqlQuery. Make sure to experiment with different queries and see what you can do with PyQt and SQL!

Using PyQts Model-View Architecture in Database Applications:

PyQt is a popular GUI and database development framework written in Python.

It offers developers a lot of features and enables them to create applications with ease. A key component of the PyQt framework is the Model-View Architecture.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the Model-View Architecture and how it can be used to build database applications using PyQt.

Overview of Model-View Architecture:

Model-View Architecture is a software design pattern that separates the representation of data from the user interface. It allows data to be presented in different ways without requiring changes to the underlying data.

The Model-View Architecture comprises three components:

  1. The Model: This represents the data and business logic of the application.
  2. The View: This represents the user interface for displaying and editing data.
  3. The Controller: This acts as an intermediary between the model and the view, responding to user input and updating the model and view accordingly.

In PyQt, the controller is often implemented within the framework, allowing for easy integration and a simplified development experience.

Using QSqlQueryModel as a Read-Only Model in a View:

QSqlQueryModel is a subclass of QSqlTableModel, which provides read-only access to a database query result.

This model allows data stored in an SQL database to be displayed in a view without the need for any additional code.

Here’s an example of how to implement a read-only model in a view using QSqlQueryModel:

from PyQt5.QtSql import QSqlQueryModel

model = QSqlQueryModel()
model.setQuery("SELECT * FROM customers")

The model can then be used by the view to display the data returned by the query.

Using a Custom Model Class from QAbstractTableModel:

Sometimes, we need to customize how data is displayed or processed within a view. In such cases, we can create our custom model class by subclassing the QAbstractTableModel class.

Here’s an example of how to create and implement a custom model class from QAbstractTableModel:

from PyQt5.QtCore import Qt, QAbstractTableModel

class CustomTableModel(QAbstractTableModel):
    def __init__(self, data=None):
        self._data = data or []
    def rowCount(self, parent=None):
        return len(self._data)
    def columnCount(self, parent=None):
        return len(self._data[0])
    def data(self, index, role=None):
        if role == Qt.DisplayRole:
            return str(self._data[index.row()][index.column()])
        return None
    def headerData(self, section, orientation, role=None):
        if role == Qt.DisplayRole:
            if orientation == Qt.Horizontal:
                return 'Column {}'.format(section + 1)
                return 'Row {}'.format(section + 1)
        return None

In this example, we’ve created a custom model class that displays data in a table view. To implement data retrieval, we’ve overridden the rowCount, columnCount, data, and headerData methods of the parent QAbstractTableModel.

Editing and Saving Data with QSqlTableModel:

QSqlTableModel is a subclass of QSqlQueryModel, which provides full read-write access to an SQL database table. This model allows data stored in an SQL database to be edited and saved within a view.

Here’s an example of how to implement a QSqlTableModel in a view:

from PyQt5.QtSql import QSqlTableModel

model = QSqlTableModel()

In this example, we’ve created a QSqlTableModel object and set it to display data from the customers table. We’ve also called the select() method to populate the model with the table data.

Displaying and formatting data with QTableView:

QTableView is a popular PyQt widget used to display data in a tabular format. When used with a model, it can display all types of data from a database table.

By default, QTableView does not have any specific formatting for cells in a table. Here’s an example of how to format data displayed in QTableView:

from PyQt5.QtWidgets import QTableView

view = QTableView()

In this example, we’ve created a QTableView object, set its model to the QSqlTableModel, and enabled the stretchLastSection property.

This property ensures that the last column in the table view fills the remaining space in the view.

Customizing the Look and Behavior of QTableView:

QTableView provides several customization options, such as changing the column headers’ text, changing the row heights, and applying custom colors to different parts of the table view.

Here’s an example of how to customize the look and behavior of QTableView:

from PyQt5.QtWidgets import QHeaderView

view.setHorizontalHeaderLabels(["Name", "Age", "Address"])
view.setStyleSheet("QTableView { alternate-background-color: #EEEEEE; }")

In this example, we’ve customized the column headers’ text, set a default row height, enabled the stretch property of the horizontal header, and applied a custom background color to the view.

Displaying and Editing Data with Other Widgets:

In addition to QTableView, PyQt provides other widgets that can be used to display and edit data sourced from a database table.

These widgets include QLineEdit for text input, QComboBox for selecting values from a list, and QCheckBox for selecting Boolean values. Here’s an example of how to use other widgets to display and edit data:

from PyQt5.QtWidgets import QLineEdit, QComboBox, QCheckBox

nameEdit = QLineEdit()
ageComboBox = QComboBox()
ageComboBox.addItems(["18", "19", "20"])
addressCheckBox = QCheckBox()

layout.addWidget(nameEdit, 0, 0)
layout.addWidget(ageComboBox, 0, 1)
layout.addWidget(addressCheckBox, 0, 2)

In this example, we’ve created three PyQt widgets that can be used to edit and display data.

We’ve also added them to a grid layout for proper arrangement and presentation.


In summary, the Model-View Architecture forms an essential component of PyQt, enabling developers to create flexible database applications with minimal effort. Using PyQt’s model-view architecture supports faster development and is recommended for those looking to create applications that work with databases.

In this article, we have explored how to use PyQt’s Model-View Architecture for building database applications. We have highlighted key concepts such as using QSqlQueryModel as a read-only model in a view, creating a custom model class from QAbstractTableModel, and editing and saving data with QSqlTableModel.

We have also covered different ways to display data using PyQt widgets, with a particular focus on QTableView, and how to customize its look and behavior. The takeaway from this article is the Model-View Architecture’s importance in building flexible database applications using PyQt. By employing the concepts and strategies explored in this article, developers can create applications with ease that work with databases efficiently.

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