PostgreSQL support

Use drift with PostgreSQL database servers.

While drift has originally been designed as a client-side database wrapper for SQLite databases, it can also be used with PostgreSQL database servers. Without having to change your query code, drift can generate Postgres-compatible SQL for most queries. Please keep in mind that some drift APIs, like those for date time modification, are only supported with SQLite. Most queries will work without any modification though.

Setup

Begin by adding both drift and drift_postgres to your pubspec:

dependencies:
  drift: ^2.18.0
  drift_postgres: ^1.2.3

dev_dependencies:
  drift_dev: ^2.18.0
  build_runner: ^2.4.9

Defining a database with Postgres is no different than defining it for sqlite3 - the pages on Dart and SQL explain how to define tables picked up by drift.

Different dialects require changes in generated code in some cases. Since most drift users are targeting sqlite3, drift generates code optimized for sqlite3 by default. To enable code generation for PostgreSQL as well, create a build.yaml next to your pubspec with this content:

targets:
  $default:
    builders:
      drift_dev:
        options:
          sql:
            dialects:
              - sqlite # remove this line if you only need postgres
              - postgres

Then, perhaps this example database is helpful as a starting point:

import 'package:drift/drift.dart';
import 'package:drift_postgres/drift_postgres.dart';
import 'package:postgres/postgres.dart';

part 'postgres.g.dart';

class Users extends Table {
  UuidColumn get id => customType(PgTypes.uuid).withDefault(genRandomUuid())();
  TextColumn get name => text()();
  DateTimeColumn get birthDate => dateTime().nullable()();
}

@DriftDatabase(tables: [Users])
class MyDatabase extends _$MyDatabase {
  MyDatabase(super.e);

  @override
  int get schemaVersion => 1;
}

void main() async {
  final pgDatabase = PgDatabase(
    endpoint: Endpoint(
      host: 'localhost',
      database: 'postgres',
      username: 'postgres',
      password: 'postgres',
    ),
    settings: ConnectionSettings(
      // If you expect to talk to a Postgres database over a public connection,
      // please use SslMode.verifyFull instead.
      sslMode: SslMode.disable,
    ),
  );

  final driftDatabase = MyDatabase(pgDatabase);

  // Insert a new user
  await driftDatabase.users.insertOne(UsersCompanion.insert(name: 'Simon'));

  // Print all of them
  print(await driftDatabase.users.all().get());

  await driftDatabase.close();
}

After starting a database server, for example by running docker run -p 5432:5432 -e POSTGRES_PASSWORD=postgres postgres, you can run the example to see drift talking to Postgres.

API extensions

The postgres library provides a few custom types enabling you to use postgres-specific types when writing queries in drift. For instance, the PgTypes.uuid type used in the example maps to a native UUID column type in Postgres. The gen_random_uuid() function in postgres is also exposed.

PostgreSQL provides a much larger set of functions, of which currently only a few are exported in the drift_postgres package. You can call others with a FunctionCallExpression - if you do, contributions extending drift_postgres are always welcome!

Migrations

In sqlite3, the current schema version is stored in the database file. To support drift's migration API being built ontop of this mechanism in Postgres as well, drift creates a __schema table storing the current schema version.

This migration mechanism works for simple deployments, but is unsuitable for large database setups with many application servers connecting to postgres. For those, an existing migration management tool is a more reliable alternative. If you chose to manage migrations with another tool, you can disable migrations in postgres by passing enableMigrations: false to the PgDatabase constructor.

Current state

Drift's support for PostgreSQL is stable in the sense that the current API is unlikely to break. Still, it is a newer implementation and integration tests for PostgreSQL are less extensive than the tests for SQLite databases. And while drift offers typed wrappers around most functions supported by SQLite, only a tiny subset of PostgreSQL's advanced operators and functions are exposed by drift_postgres.

If you're running into problems or bugs with the postgres database, please let us know by creating an issue or a discussion. Contributions expanding wrappers around PosgreSQL functions are also much appreciated.