The example app used by this tutorial is available at examples/simple inside the Eve-SQLAlchemy repository.

Schema registration

The main goal of the SQLAlchemy integration in Eve is to separate dependencies and keep model registration depend only on sqlalchemy library. This means that you can simply use something like that:

from sqlalchemy import Column, DateTime, ForeignKey, Integer, String, func
from sqlalchemy.ext.declarative import declarative_base
from sqlalchemy.orm import column_property, relationship

Base = declarative_base()

class CommonColumns(Base):
    __abstract__ = True
    _created = Column(DateTime, default=func.now())
    _updated = Column(DateTime, default=func.now(), onupdate=func.now())
    _etag = Column(String(40))

class People(CommonColumns):
    __tablename__ = 'people'
    id = Column(Integer, primary_key=True, autoincrement=True)
    firstname = Column(String(80))
    lastname = Column(String(120))
    fullname = column_property(firstname + " " + lastname)

class Invoices(CommonColumns):
    __tablename__ = 'invoices'
    id = Column(Integer, primary_key=True, autoincrement=True)
    number = Column(Integer)
    people_id = Column(Integer, ForeignKey('people.id'))
    people = relationship(People, uselist=False)

We have used CommonColumns abstract class to provide attributes used by Eve, such as _created and _updated. These are not needed if you are only reading from the database. However, if your API is also writing to the database, then you need to include them.

Eve settings

All standard Eve settings will work with SQLAlchemy support. However, you need to manually decide which SQLAlchemy declarative classes you wish to register. You can do so using DomainConfig and ResourceConfig, which will give you a default schema (DOMAIN dictionary) derived from your SQLAlchemy models. This is intended as a starting point and to save you from redundant configuration, but there’s nothing wrong with customizing this dictionary if you need to!

from eve_sqlalchemy.config import DomainConfig, ResourceConfig
from eve_sqlalchemy.examples.simple.tables import Invoices, People

DEBUG = True

# The following two lines will output the SQL statements executed by
# SQLAlchemy. This is useful while debugging and in development, but is turned
# off by default.
# --------

# The default schema is generated using DomainConfig:
DOMAIN = DomainConfig({
    'people': ResourceConfig(People),
    'invoices': ResourceConfig(Invoices)

# But you can always customize it:
    'item_title': 'person',
    'cache_control': 'max-age=10,must-revalidate',
    'cache_expires': 10,
    'resource_methods': ['GET', 'POST', 'DELETE']

# Even adding custom validations just for the REST-layer is possible:
    'min': 10000

A note about using update

A common mistake is to use update to try to update values in a nested dictionary. This will overwrite the entire dictionary and probably cause KeyErrors.

# Instead of this...
  'datasource': {  # 'datasource' will only contain 'default_sort'!
    'default_sort': [('id', -1)]
# ... do this:
DOMAIN['foo']['datasource']['default_sort'] = [('id', -1)]

Authentication example

This example is based on the Token-Based tutorial from Eve Authentication. First we need to create eve-side authentication:


Securing an Eve-powered API with Token based Authentication and

This snippet by Andrew Mleczko can be used freely for anything
you like. Consider it public domain.

from eve import Eve
from eve.auth import TokenAuth
from .models import User
from .views import register_views

class TokenAuth(TokenAuth):
    def check_auth(self, token, allowed_roles, resource, method):
        """First we are verifying if the token is valid. Next
        we are checking if user is authorized for given roles.
        login = User.verify_auth_token(token)
        if login and allowed_roles:
            user = app.data.driver.session.query(User).get(login)
            return user.isAuthorized(allowed_roles)
            return False

if __name__ == '__main__':
    app = Eve(auth=TokenAuth)

Next step is the User SQLAlchemy model:


Securing an Eve-powered API with Token based Authentication and

This snippet by Andrew Mleczko can be used freely for anything
you like. Consider it public domain.

import hashlib
import string
import random

from itsdangerous import TimedJSONWebSignatureSerializer \
    as Serializer
from itsdangerous import SignatureExpired, BadSignature

from werkzeug.security import generate_password_hash, \

from sqlalchemy.orm import validates
from sqlalchemy.ext.declarative import declarative_base

Base = declarative_base()
SECRET_KEY = 'this-is-my-super-secret-key'

class User(Base):
    __tablename__ = 'users'

    login = Column(String, primary_key=True)
    password = Column(String)
    roles = relationship("Role", backref="users")

    def generate_auth_token(self, expiration=24*60*60):
        """Generates token for given expiration
        and user login."""
        s = Serializer(SECRET_KEY, expires_in=expiration)
        return s.dumps({'login': self.login })

    def verify_auth_token(token):
        """Verifies token and eventually returns
        user login.
        s = Serializer(SECRET_KEY)
            data = s.loads(token)
        except SignatureExpired:
            return None # valid token, but expired
        except BadSignature:
            return None # invalid token
        return data['login']

    def isAuthorized(self, role_names):
        """Checks if user is related to given role_names.
        allowed_roles = set([r.id for r in self.roles])\
        return len(allowed_roles) > 0

    def encrypt(self, password):
        """Encrypt password using werkzeug security module.
        return generate_password_hash(password)

    def _set_password(self, key, value):
        """Using SQLAlchemy validation makes sure each
        time password is changed it will get encrypted
        before flushing to db.
        return self.encrypt(value)

    def check_password(self, password):
        if not self.password:
            return False
        return check_password_hash(self.password, password)

And finally a flask login view:


Securing an Eve-powered API with Token based Authentication and

This snippet by Andrew Mleczko can be used freely for anything
you like. Consider it public domain.

import json
import base64

from flask import request, jsonify
from werkzeug.exceptions import Unauthorized
from .models import User

def register_views(app):

    @app.route('/login', methods=['POST'])
    def login(**kwargs):
        """Simple login view that expect to have username
        and password in the request POST. If the username and
        password matches - token is being generated and return.
        data = request.get_json()
        login = data.get('username')
        password = data.get('password')

        if not login or not password:
            raise Unauthorized('Wrong username and/or password.')
            user = app.data.driver.session.query(User).get(login)
            if user and user.check_password(password):
                token = user.generate_auth_token()
                return jsonify({'token': token.decode('ascii')})
        raise Unauthorized('Wrong username and/or password.')

Start Eve

That’s almost everything. Before you can start Eve you need to bind SQLAlchemy from the Eve data driver:

app = Eve(validator=ValidatorSQL, data=SQL)
db = app.data.driver
Base.metadata.bind = db.engine
db.Model = Base

Now you can run Eve:


and start it:

$ python app.py
 * Running on

and check that everything is working like expected, by trying requesting people:

$ curl
    "id": 1,
    "fullname": "George Washington",
    "firstname": "George",
    "lastname": "Washington",
    "_etag": "31a6c47afe9feb118b80a5f0004dd04ee2ae7442",
    "_created": "Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:18:24 GMT",
    "_updated": "Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:18:24 GMT",
    "_links": {
        "self": {
        "parent": {
            "href": "",
            "title": "home"
        "collection": {
            "href": "/people",
            "title": "people"

Using Flask-SQLAlchemy

If you are using Flask-SQLAlchemy, you can use your existing db object in the SQL class driver, rather than the empty one it creates.

You can do this by subclassing SQL and overriding the driver.

from eve_sqlalchemy import SQL as _SQL
from flask_sqlalchemy import SQLAlchemy

db = SQLAlchemy(app)

class SQL(_SQL):
   driver = db

app = Eve(validator=ValidatorSQL, data=SQL)

SQLAlchemy expressions

With this version of Eve you can use SQLAlchemy expressions such as: like, in, any, etc. For more examples please check SQLAlchemy internals.

Query strings are supported, allowing for filtering and sorting. Both native Mongo queries and Python conditional expressions are supported. For more examples please check SQLAlchemy filtering.


Generating ‘exact’ matches

Here we are asking for all people where lastname value is Smith:


which produces where closure:

people.lastname = "Smith"

Generating multiple ‘exact’ matches

Here we are asking for all people where age value is between 50 and 60:

/people?where=age>50 and age<60

which produces where closure:

people.age > 50 AND people.age < 60

Generating ‘like’ matches

Here we are asking for all people where lastname value contains Smi:


which produces where closure:

people.lastname LIKE "Smi%"

Generating ‘in’ matches

Here we are asking for all people where firstname value is John or Fred:


or you can also use the other syntax query


which produces where closure:

people.firstname IN ("John", "Fred")

Generating ‘similar to’ matches

/people?where={"firstname":"similar to(\"(\'%ohn\'|\'%acob\')\")"}

which produces where closure:

people.firstname SIMILAR TO '("%ohn"|"%acob")'

Generating ‘any’ matches

If you have postgresql ARRAY column you can use any:


which produces where closure:

"critical" = ANY(documents.keywords)

Generating ‘not null’ matches


which produces where closure:

documents.keywords IS NOT NULL

Generating ‘datetime’ matches

Here we are asking for all documents that where _created after Mon, 17 Oct 2019 03:00:00 GMT:

/documents?where=_created> \"Mon, 17 Oct 2019 03:00:00 GMT\"

which produces where closure:

documents._created > 2019-10-17 03:00:00


Starting from version 0.2 you can use SQLAlchemy ORDER BY expressions such as: nullsfirst, nullslast, etc.

Using those expresssion is straightforward, just pass it as 3 argument to sorting:

/people?sort=[("lastname", -1, "nullslast")]

which produces order by expression:

people.lastname DESC NULLS LAST

You can also use the following python-Eve syntax:




Keep in mind that every browser or cURL generator can implement its own encoder, and not all produce the same result. So, adding –data-urlencode to the curl query should work.

curl -iG --data-urlencode where='_created> "Thu, 22 Nov 2018 09:00:00 GMT"' localhost:5000/people

Embedded resources

Eve-SQLAlchemy support the embedded keyword of python-eve (Eve Embedded Resource Serialization).


For example, the following request will list the people and embedded their addresses.

Starting from version 0.4.0a, only the fields that have the projection (Eve Projections) enabled are included in the associated resource. This was necessary to avoid endless loops when relationship between resources were referring each other.