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Convert sqlalchemy row object to python dict

Posted by: admin November 1, 2017 Leave a comment


Is there a simple way to iterate over column name and value pairs?

My version of sqlalchemy is 0.5.6

Here is the sample code where I tried using dict(row), but it throws exception , TypeError: ‘User’ object is not iterable

import sqlalchemy
from sqlalchemy import *
from sqlalchemy.ext.declarative import declarative_base
from sqlalchemy.orm import sessionmaker

print "sqlalchemy version:",sqlalchemy.__version__ 

engine = create_engine('sqlite:///:memory:', echo=False)
metadata = MetaData()
users_table = Table('users', metadata,
     Column('id', Integer, primary_key=True),
     Column('name', String),

class User(declarative_base()):
    __tablename__ = 'users'

    id = Column(Integer, primary_key=True)
    name = Column(String)

    def __init__(self, name):
        self.name = name

Session = sessionmaker(bind=engine)
session = Session()

user1 = User("anurag")

# uncommenting next line throws exception 'TypeError: 'User' object is not iterable'
#print dict(user1)
# this one also throws 'TypeError: 'User' object is not iterable'
for u in session.query(User).all():
    print dict(u)

Running this code on my system outputs:

sqlalchemy version: 0.5.6
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "untitled-1.py", line 37, in <module>
    print dict(u)
TypeError: 'User' object is not iterable

You may access the internal __dict__ of a SQLAlchemy object, like the following::

for u in session.query(User).all():
    print u.__dict__


I couldn’t get a good answer so I use this:

def row2dict(row):
    d = {}
    for column in row.__table__.columns:
        d[column.name] = str(getattr(row, column.name))

    return d

Edit: if above function is too long and not suited for some tastes here is a one liner (python 2.7+)

row2dict = lambda r: {c.name: str(getattr(r, c.name)) for c in r.__table__.columns}

for row in resultproxy:
    row_as_dict = dict(row)


This is the correct answer for modern SQLAlchemy (v0.8 – v1.2+).

Use the inspection system.

from sqlalchemy import inspect

def object_as_dict(obj):
    return {c.key: getattr(obj, c.key)
            for c in inspect(obj).mapper.column_attrs}

user = session.query(User).first()

d = object_as_dict(user)

Note that .key is the attribute name, which can be different from the column name, e.g. in the following case:

class_ = Column('class', Text)

This method also works for column_property.


rows have an _asdict() function which gives a dict

In [8]: r1 = db.session.query(Topic.name).first()

In [9]: r1
Out[9]: (u'blah')

In [10]: r1.name
Out[10]: u'blah'

In [11]: r1._asdict()
Out[11]: {'name': u'blah'}

from sqlalchemy.orm import class_mapper

def asdict(obj):
    return dict((col.name, getattr(obj, col.name))
                for col in class_mapper(obj.__class__).mapped_table.c)


as @balki mentioned:

The _asdict() method can be used if you’re querying a specific field because it is returned as a KeyedTuple.

In [1]: foo = db.session.query(Topic.name).first()
In [2]: foo._asdict()
Out[2]: {'name': u'blah'}

Whereas, if you do not specify a column you can use one of the other proposed methods – such as the one provided by @charlax. Note that this method is only valid for 2.7+.

In [1]: foo = db.session.query(Topic).first()
In [2]: {x.name: getattr(foo, x.name) for x in foo.__table__.columns}
Out[2]: {'name': u'blah'}


Following @balki answer, since SQLAlchemy 0.8 you can use _asdict(), available for KeyedTuple objects. This renders a pretty straightforward answer to the original question. Just, change in your example the last two lines (the for loop) for this one:

for u in session.query(User).all():
   print u._asdict()

This works because in the above code u is an object of type class KeyedTuple, since .all() returns a list of KeyedTuple. Therefore it has the method _asdict(), which nicely returns u as a dictionary.

WRT the answer by @STB: AFAIK, anithong that .all() returns is a list of KeypedTuple. Therefore, the above works either if you specify a column or not, as long as you are dealing with the result of .all() as applied to a Query object.


Old question, but since this the first result for “sqlalchemy row to dict” in Google it deserves a better answer.

The RowProxy object that SqlAlchemy returns has the items() method:

It simply returns a list of (key, value) tuples. So one can convert a row to dict using the following:

In Python <= 2.6:

rows = conn.execute(query)
list_of_dicts = [dict((key, value) for key, value in row.items()) for row in rows]

In Python >= 2.7:

rows = conn.execute(query)
list_of_dicts = [{key: value for (key, value) in row.items()} for row in rows]


I’ve found this post because I was looking for a way to convert a SQLAlchemy row into a dict. I’m using SqlSoup… but the answer was built by myself, so, if it could helps someone here’s my two cents:

a = db.execute('select * from acquisizioni_motes')
b = a.fetchall()
c = b[0]

# and now, finally...
dict(zip(c.keys(), c.values()))


The expression you are iterating through evaluates to list of model objects, not rows. So the following is correct usage of them:

for u in session.query(User).all():
    print u.id, u.name

Do you realy need to convert them to dicts? Sure, there is a lot of ways, but then you don’t need ORM part of SQLAlchemy:

result = session.execute(User.__table__.select())
for row in result:
    print dict(row)

Update: Take a look at sqlalchemy.orm.attributes module. It has a set of functions to work with object state, that might be useful for you, especially instance_dict().


Refer to Alex Brasetvik’s Answer, you can use one line of code to solve the problem

row_as_dict = [dict(row) for row in resultproxy]

Under the comment section of Alex Brasetvik’s Answer, zzzeek the creator of SQLAlchemy stated this is the “Correct Method” for the problem.


Assuming the following functions will be added to the class User the following will return all key-value pairs of all columns:

def columns_to_dict(self):
    dict_ = {}
    for key in self.__mapper__.c.keys():
        dict_[key] = getattr(self, key)
    return dict_

unlike the other answers all but only those attributes of the object are returned which are Column attributes at class level of the object. Therefore no _sa_instance_state or any other attribute SQLalchemy or you add to the object are included. Reference

EDIT: Forget to say, that this also works on inherited Columns.

hybrid_propery extention

If you also want to include hybrid_property attributes the following will work:

from sqlalchemy import inspect
from sqlalchemy.ext.hybrid import hybrid_property

def publics_to_dict(self) -> {}:
    dict_ = {}
    for key in self.__mapper__.c.keys():
        if not key.startswith('_'):
            dict_[key] = getattr(self, key)

    for key, prop in inspect(self.__class__).all_orm_descriptors.items():
        if isinstance(prop, hybrid_property):
            dict_[key] = getattr(self, key)
    return dict_

I assume here that you mark Columns with an beginning _ to indicate that you want to hide them, either because you access the attribute by an hybrid_property or you simply do not want to show them. Reference

Tipp all_orm_descriptors also returns hybrid_method and AssociationProxy if you also want to include them.

Remarks to other answers

Every answer (like 1, 2 ) which based on the __dict__ attribute simply returns all attributes of the object. This could be much more attributes then you want. Like I sad this includes _sa_instance_state or any other attribute you define on this object.

Every answer (like 1, 2 ) which is based on the dict() function only works on SQLalchemy row objects returned by session.execute() not on the classes you define to work with, like the class User from the question.

The solving answer which is based on row.__table__.columns will definitely not work. row.__table__.columns contains the column names of the SQL Database. These can only be equal to the attributes name of the python object. If not you get an AttributeError.
For answers (like 1, 2 ) based on class_mapper(obj.__class__).mapped_table.c it is the same.


Here is how Elixir does it. The value of this solution is that it allows recursively including the dictionary representation of relations.

def to_dict(self, deep={}, exclude=[]):
    """Generate a JSON-style nested dict/list structure from an object."""
    col_prop_names = [p.key for p in self.mapper.iterate_properties \
                                  if isinstance(p, ColumnProperty)]
    data = dict([(name, getattr(self, name))
                 for name in col_prop_names if name not in exclude])
    for rname, rdeep in deep.iteritems():
        dbdata = getattr(self, rname)
        #FIXME: use attribute names (ie coltoprop) instead of column names
        fks = self.mapper.get_property(rname).remote_side
        exclude = [c.name for c in fks]
        if dbdata is None:
            data[rname] = None
        elif isinstance(dbdata, list):
            data[rname] = [o.to_dict(rdeep, exclude) for o in dbdata]
            data[rname] = dbdata.to_dict(rdeep, exclude)
    return data


I have a variation on Marco Mariani’s answer, expressed as a decorator. The main difference is that it’ll handle lists of entities, as well as safely ignoring some other types of return values (which is very useful when writing tests using mocks):

def to_dict(f, *args, **kwargs):
  result = f(*args, **kwargs)
  if is_iterable(result) and not is_dict(result):
    return map(asdict, result)

  return asdict(result)

def asdict(obj):
  return dict((col.name, getattr(obj, col.name))
              for col in class_mapper(obj.__class__).mapped_table.c)

def is_dict(obj):
  return isinstance(obj, dict)

def is_iterable(obj):
  return True if getattr(obj, '__iter__', False) else False

class User(object):
    def to_dict(self):
        return dict([(k, getattr(self, k)) for k in self.__dict__.keys() if not k.startswith("_")])

That should work.


The easiest way I found (using sqla 0.7.8):

dictlist = [dict(row) for row in somequery.execute().fetchall()]


I am a newly minted Python programmer and ran into problems getting to JSON with Joined tables. Using information from the answers here I built a function to return reasonable results to JSON where the table names are included avoiding having to alias, or have fields collide.

Simply pass the result of a session query:

test = Session().query(VMInfo, Customer).join(Customer).order_by(VMInfo.vm_name).limit(50).offset(10)

json = sqlAl2json(test)

def sqlAl2json(self, result):
    arr = []
    for rs in result.all():
        proc = []
            iterator = iter(rs)
        except TypeError:
            for t in rs:

        dict = {}
        for p in proc:
            tname = type(p).__name__
            for d in dir(p):
                if d.startswith('_') | d.startswith('metadata'):
                    key = '%s_%s' %(tname, d)
                    dict[key] = getattr(p, d)
    return json.dumps(arr)


A solution that works with inherited classes too:

from itertools import chain
from sqlalchemy.ext.declarative import declarative_base
Base = declarative_base()

class Mixin(object):
    def as_dict(self):
        tables = [base.__table__ for base in self.__class__.__bases__ if base not in [Base, Mixin]]
        return {c.name: getattr(self, c.name) for c in chain.from_iterable([x.columns for x in tables])}


In most scenarios, column name is fit for them. But maybe you write the code like follows:

class UserModel(BaseModel):
    user_id = Column("user_id", INT, primary_key=True)
    email = Column("user_email", STRING)

the column.name “user_email” while the field name is “email”, the column.name could not work well as before.


also i write the answer here


Here is a super simple way of doing it

row2dict = lambda r: dict(r.items())


I don’t have much experience with this, but the following seems to work for what I’m doing:


This seems too simple (compared to the other answers here). What am I missing?


My take utilizing (too many?) dictionaries:

def serialize(_query):
#d = dictionary written to per row
#D = dictionary d is written to each time, then reset
#Master = dictionary of dictionaries; the id Key (int, unique from database) from D is used as the Key for the dictionary D entry in Master
Master = {}
D = {}
x = 0
for u in _query:
    d = u.__dict__
    D = {}
    for n in d.keys():
        if n != '_sa_instance_state':
            D[n] = d[n]
    x = d['id']
    Master[x] = D
return Master

Running with flask (including jsonify) and flask_sqlalchemy to print outputs as JSON.

Call the function with jsonify(serialize()).

Works with all SQLAlchemy queries I’ve tried so far (running SQLite3)