Getting started with PostgreSQL

This tutorial assumes that the latest version of sqlc is installed and ready to use.

We’ll generate Go code here, but other language plugins are available. You’ll naturally need the Go toolchain if you want to build and run a program with the code sqlc generates, but sqlc itself has no dependencies.

We’ll also rely on sqlc’s managed databases, which require a sqlc Cloud project and auth token. You can get those from the sqlc Cloud dashboard. Managed databases are an optional feature that improves sqlc’s query analysis in many cases, but you can turn it off simply by removing the cloud and database sections of your configuration.

Setting up

Create a new directory called sqlc-tutorial and open it up.

Initialize a new Go module named

go mod init

sqlc looks for either a sqlc.(yaml|yml) or sqlc.json file in the current directory. In our new directory, create a file named sqlc.yaml with the following contents:

version: "2"
  # Replace <PROJECT_ID> with your project ID from the sqlc Cloud dashboard
  project: "<PROJECT_ID>"
  - engine: "postgresql"
    queries: "query.sql"
    schema: "schema.sql"
      managed: true
        package: "tutorial"
        out: "tutorial"
        sql_package: "pgx/v5"

Replace <PROJECT_ID> with your project ID from the sqlc Cloud dashboard. It will look something like 01HA8SZH31HKYE9RR3N3N3TSJM.

And finally, set the SQLC_AUTH_TOKEN environment variable:

export SQLC_AUTH_TOKEN="<your sqlc auth token>"

Schema and queries

sqlc needs to know your database schema and queries in order to generate code. In the same directory, create a file named schema.sql with the following content:

CREATE TABLE authors (
  name text      NOT NULL,
  bio  text

Next, create a query.sql file with the following five queries:

-- name: GetAuthor :one
SELECT * FROM authors
WHERE id = $1 LIMIT 1;

-- name: ListAuthors :many
SELECT * FROM authors
ORDER BY name;

-- name: CreateAuthor :one
INSERT INTO authors (
  name, bio
  $1, $2

-- name: UpdateAuthor :exec
UPDATE authors
  set name = $2,
  bio = $3
WHERE id = $1;

-- name: DeleteAuthor :exec
WHERE id = $1;

If you prefer, you can alter the UpdateAuthor query to return the updated record:

-- name: UpdateAuthor :one
UPDATE authors
  set name = $2,
  bio = $3
WHERE id = $1

Generating code

You are now ready to generate code. You shouldn’t see any output when you run the generate subcommand, unless something goes wrong:

sqlc generate

You should now have a tutorial subdirectory with three files containing Go source code. These files comprise a Go package named tutorial:

├── go.mod
├── query.sql
├── schema.sql
├── sqlc.yaml
└── tutorial
    ├── db.go
    ├── models.go
    └── query.sql.go

Using generated code

You can use your newly-generated tutorial package from any Go program. Create a file named tutorial.go and add the following contents:

package main

import (



func run() error {
	ctx := context.Background()

	conn, err := pgx.Connect(ctx, "user=pqgotest dbname=pqgotest sslmode=verify-full")
	if err != nil {
		return err
	defer conn.Close(ctx)

	queries := tutorial.New(conn)

	// list all authors
	authors, err := queries.ListAuthors(ctx)
	if err != nil {
		return err

	// create an author
	insertedAuthor, err := queries.CreateAuthor(ctx, tutorial.CreateAuthorParams{
		Name: "Brian Kernighan",
		Bio:  pgtype.Text{String: "Co-author of The C Programming Language and The Go Programming Language", Valid: true},
	if err != nil {
		return err

	// get the author we just inserted
	fetchedAuthor, err := queries.GetAuthor(ctx, insertedAuthor.ID)
	if err != nil {
		return err

	// prints true
	log.Println(reflect.DeepEqual(insertedAuthor, fetchedAuthor))
	return nil

func main() {
	if err := run(); err != nil {

Before this code will compile you’ll need to fetch the relevant PostgreSQL driver. You can use lib/pq with the standard library’s database/sql package, but in this tutorial we’ve used pgx/v5:

go get
go build ./...

The program should compile without errors. To make that possible, sqlc generates readable, idiomatic Go code that you otherwise would’ve had to write yourself. Take a look in tutorial/query.sql.go.

Of course for this program to run successfully you’ll need to compile after replacing the database connection parameters in the call to pgx.Connect() with the correct parameters for your database. And your database must have the authors table as defined in schema.sql.

You should now have a working program using sqlc’s generated Go source code, and hopefully can see how you’d use sqlc in your own real-world applications.