Database Access


  1. Configuring the Database
  2. SQL
  3. SQL Queries
  4. Working with HugSQL

Configuring the Database

Kit has two database paradigms supported as libraries: XTDB (formerly known as Crux), and SQL-style database, however you can easily roll your own connection.


Kit defaults to using Migratus for SQL database migrations and HugSQL for database interaction.

The migrations and a default connection will be set up when using a database profile such as +sql. The default SQL implementation used with this profile is PostgreSQL, however any SQL solution will work.

Configuring Migrations

To start running migrations, you first have to configure the database connection in system.edn. In the +sql profile, for a development database, this is done through a connection string, like jdbc:postgresql://localhost/<app-name>?user=<app-name>&password=<app-name>. You can adjust it as necessary.

 #profile {:dev  {:jdbc-url "jdbc:postgresql://localhost/<app-name>?user=<app-name>&password=<app-name>"}
           :test {}
           :prod {:jdbc-url   #env JDBC_URL
                  :init-size  1
                  :min-idle   1
                  :max-idle   8
                  :max-active 32}}

You can then create SQL scripts to migrate the database schema, and to roll the migration back. Migrations are applied using the numeric order of ids. Conventionally, the current date is used to prefix the filename. The files are expected to be present under resources/migrations. The template will generate sample migration files for the users table.


The default configuration runs any new migrations on startup. You can change this by modifying the value for migrate-on-init? to false.

 {:store            :database
  :db               {:datasource #ig/ref :db/connection}
  :migrate-on-init? true}

You can also run the migrations via the REPL. The migratus.core namespace provides the following helper functions:

  • (migratus.core/reset (:db.sql/migrations state/system)) - resets the state of the database by rolling back all the applied migrations (by using the appropriate down-scripts), and running all migrations (up-scripts)
  • (migratus.core/migrate (:db.sql/migrations state/system)) - runs the pending migrations
  • (migratus.core/rollback (:db.sql/migrations state/system)) - rolls back the last set of migrations
  • (migratus.core/create (:db.sql/migrations state/system) "add-guestbook-table") - creates the up/down migration files with the given name

Important: the database connection must be initialized before migrations can be run in the REPL

SQL Queries

SQL queries are parsed by HugSQL as defined in your system.edn and resources/queries.sql file by default. You can update the filename to indicate a different path, e.g. `"sql/queries.sql".

{:conn     #ig/ref :db.sql/connection
 :options  {}
 :filename "queries.sql"}

This Integrant component is a reference to a function that executes the SQL query along with any arguments you wish to pass in. For example, let's say you have the following SQL:

-- :name get-user-by-id :? :1
-- :doc returns a user object by id, or nil if not present
FROM users
WHERE id = :id

You can run this SQL query using the following query-fn call:

(query-fn :get-user-by-id {:id 1})

For reference, here is the full definition from the Kit SQL edge:

(defmethod ig/init-key :db.sql/query-fn
  [_ {:keys [conn options filename]
      :or   {options {}}}]
  (let [queries (conman/bind-connection-map conn options filename)]
      ([query params]
       (conman/query queries query params))
      ([conn query params & opts]
       (apply conman/query conn queries query params opts)))))

As you can see, the two-arity query-fn uses the database that you pass in the initial system configuration. However, the three plus-arity variant allows you to pass in a custom connection, allowing for SQL transactions.

Working with HugSQL

HugSQL takes the approach similar to HTML templating for writing SQL queries. The queries are written using plain SQL, and the dynamic parameters are specified using Clojure keyword syntax. HugSQL will use the SQL templates to automatically generate the functions for interacting with the database.

Conventionally, the queries are placed in the resources/sql/queries.sql file. However, once your application grows you may consider splitting the queries into multiple files.

You can see the format of an example SQL function below:

-- :name create-user! :! :n
-- :doc creates a new user record
(id, first_name, last_name, email, pass)
VALUES (:id, :first_name, :last_name, :email, :pass)

You specify the name of the generated function using the -- :name comment. The name is followed by the command and the result flags.

The following command flags are available:

  • :? - query with a result-set (default)
  • :! - any statement
  • :<! - support for INSERT ... RETURNING
  • :i! - support for insert and jdbc .getGeneratedKeys

The result flags are:

  • :1 - one row as a hash-map
  • :* - many rows as a vector of hash-maps
  • :n - number of rows affected (inserted/updated/deleted)
  • :raw - pass through an untouched result (default)

The query itself is written using plain SQL and the dynamic parameters are denoted by prefixing the parameter name with a colon.

See the official documentation of HugSQL for more details.