Like dbkit itself, this documentation is a work in progress. Unlike dbkit, it is nowhere near complete yet. Bear with me.


dbkit is intended to be used in circumstances where it is impractical or overkill to use an ORM such as SQLObject or SQLAlchemy, but it would be useful to at least abstract away some of the pain involved in dealing with the database.


  • Rather than passing around database connections, statements are executed within a database context, thus helping to decouple modules that interface with the database from the database itself and its connection details.
  • Database contexts contain references to the exceptions exposed by the database driver, thus decoupling exception handling from the database driver.
  • Easier to use transaction handling.
  • Easier iteration over resultsets.
  • Connection pooling. In addition, any code using pooled connections has no need to know connection pooling is in place.
  • Query logging.


  • Abstraction of SQL statements. The idea is to get rid of the more annoying but necessary boilerplate code involved in dealing with DB-API 2 drivers, not to totally abstract away SQL itself.

Comparison with straight DB-API 2 code

Need a “Hello, World!” example? Here’s how you’d set up a connection context, query a database table, and print out its contents with dbkit:

from dbkit import connect, query
from contextlib import closing
import sqlite3

with connect(sqlite3, 'counters.db') as ctx, closing(ctx):
    for counter, value in query('SELECT counter, value FROM counters'):
        print "%s: %d" % (counter, value)

And here’s how you’d so it with a DB-API 2 (using just PEP 249, no driver-specific extensions):

import sqlite3
from contextlib import closing

with closing(sqlite3.connect('counters.db')) as conn:
    with closing(conn.cursor()) as cur:
        cur.execute('SELECT counter, value FROM counters')
        while True:
            row = cur.fetchone()
            if row is None:
            print "%s: %d" % row


The latest development version can be found in the dbkit Git repository:

git clone https://github.com/kgaughan/dbkit

The project has yet to be submitted to PyPI, but I’m hoping to do that as soon as I’m happy with the documentation. To build a source package for installation and subsequently install it, do:

python setup.py sdist
pip install dist/dbkit-0.2.5.tar.gz

Alternatively, you can install it directly, bypassing package creation:

python setup.py install


dbkit will work with Python 2.6, 2.7, and 3.3+ without issue. It appears to have some minor issues with PyPy, but it ought to work fine. Since 0.2.3, it is no longer compatible with Python 2.5.

dbkit has no dependencies other than requiring a database driver and six to allow Python 2 and Python 3 support.