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Getting Started

This guide gives a brief, high-level overview of the basic CRUD operations and features of Butane. The complete code can be found at examples/getting_started. We deliberately follow the same goal as Diesel’s getting-started guide: building the database portions of a blog.

Let’s begin by creating a new rust project

cargo new --lib getting_started && cd getting_started

In Cargo.toml, add a dependency on Butane:

[dependencies]
butane = { version = "0.1", features=["default", "sqlite"] }

Substitute another backend instead of “sqlite” as desired (“pg” for PostgreSQL). This will apply throughout this guide, we’ll assume SQLite, but Postgres can be used instead.

A word on error-handling: for simplicity, this example unwraps errors to panic on failure. In a real program, you would of course handle your errors.

Initialization

Butane provides a CLI to help with database connection and migration. It’s optional – it uses only public Butane APIs – but it helps with common tasks. Let’s install it and initialze our database. It’s intended to be run from the same directory as the Cargo package (i.e. the one containing Cargo.toml).

cargo install butane_cli
butane init sqlite example.db

This will have created an example.db sqlite file in the current directory as well as a .butane subdirectory. Inside that subdirectory, we see a connection.json file containing our connection parameters. At this point, we can add a method (in our lib.rs) to establish a connection in code.

use butane::db::{Connection, ConnectionSpec};
pub fn establish_connection() -> Connection {
    butane::db::connect(&ConnectionSpec::load(".butane/connection.json").unwrap()).unwrap()
}

Models

We can connect to our database, but we can’t really do anything yet. Let’s define some models for our blog objects (in src/models.rs). We’ll start with the Blog itself.

use butane::prelude::*;
use butane::{model, ForeignKey, Many, ObjectState};

#[model]
#[derive(Debug, Default)]
pub struct Blog {
    #[auto]
    pub id: i64,
    pub name: String,
}
impl Blog {
    pub fn new(name: impl Into<String>) -> Self {
        Blog {
            name: name.into(),
            ..Default::default()
        }
    }
}

The #[model] attribute does the heavy lifting here:

  1. it generates automatic impls of butane::DataResult and butane::DataObject.
  2. It adds an additional field state: butane::ObjectState used to store internal Butane state information. In general we can ignore this field, but it must be initialized when the struct is constructed and there may not be another field named state, although it is acceptable to manually include the state: ObjectState field in the struct definition to make its presence more obvious (and rust-analyzer happier).
  3. It tells Butane that instances of this struct should be represented in the database, recording migration info (more on this later).

The id field is special – it’s the primary key. All models must have a primary key. If we didn’t want to name ours id, we could have added a #[pk] attribute to denote the primary key field. The #[auto] attribute says that the field should be populated automatically from an incrementing value. It is only allowed on integer types and will cause the underlying column to be AUTOINCREMENT for SQLite or SERIAL/BIGSERIAL for PostgreSQL. Since it’s marked as #[auto] the value of id at construction time doesn’t matter: it will be automatically set when the object is created (via its save method).

Now let’s add a model to represent a blog post, and in the process take a look at a few more features.

#[model]
pub struct Post {
    #[auto]
    pub id: i32,
    pub title: String,
    pub body: String,
    pub published: bool,
    pub blog: ForeignKey<Blog>,
    pub tags: Many<Tag>,
    pub byline: Option<String>,
	// listed for clarity, generated automatically if omitted
    state: butane::ObjectState,
}
impl Post {
    pub fn new(blog: &Blog, title: String, body: String) -> Self {
        Post {
            id: -1,
            title,
            body,
            published: false,
            blog: blog.into(),
            tags: Many::default(),
            byline: None,
            state: ObjectState::default(),
        }
    }
}

Each post is associated with a single blog, represented by the ForeignKey<Blog>. Posts and tags, however, have a many-to-many relationship, represented here by Many<Tag>.

The Tag model itself is trivial

#[model]
#[derive(Debug, Default)]
pub struct Tag {
    #[pk]
    pub tag: String,
}
impl Tag {
    pub fn new(tag: impl Into<String>) -> Self {
        Tag {
            tag: tag.into(),
            ..Default::default()
        }
    }
}

Then we can use them in our lib.rs:

pub mod models;

use models::{Blog, Post};

Let’s build our package now. If we look in the .butane directory, it has new items! There’s a migrations/current subdirectory recording information about our models. These files are necessary for migrations to work, but their format is not part of Butane’s public API.

Initial Migration

Butane has recorded our current state, but no tables have been created in the database yet! We need to create our first migration. It doesn’t matter what we name it, so let’s call it “init”.

butane makemigration init

The migration is created using our supplied name and the current date. If we now run

butane list

It prints our migration and tell us that it’s “(not applied”). So let’s go ahead and apply it!

butane migrate

Now that the database matches our models, let’s write some more code.

Create

To create an object in the database, we just instantiate a struct as normal, then save it. Let’s write create_blog and create_post methods (in lib.rs):

use butane::db::{Connection, ConnectionSpec};
use butane::prelude::*;

pub fn create_blog(conn: &Connection, name: impl Into<String>) -> Blog {
    let mut blog = Blog::new(name);
    blog.save(conn).unwrap();
    blog
}

pub fn create_post(conn: &Connection, blog: &Blog, title: String, body: String) -> Post {
    let mut new_post = Post::new(blog, title, body);
    new_post.save(conn).unwrap();
    new_post
}

The butane::prelude::* import brings some common Butane traits into scope. If you’d prefer to avoid star-imports, you can import the necessary traits explicitly (in this case use butane::{DataObject, DataResult};)

We don’t need to create a new blog every time, if we have an existing one we want to reuse it (for simplicity we’ll only add one blog in this example), so let’s add a method to find that existing blog.

pub fn existing_blog(conn: &Connection) -> Option<Blog> {
    Blog::query().load_first(conn).unwrap()
}

At this point we have everything we need to create a short program to write a post. Let’s add a write_post binary to Cargo.toml:

[[bin]]
name = "write_post"
doc = false

And write its code (in src/bin/write_post.rs).

use getting_started::*;
use std::io::{stdin, Read};

fn main() {
    let conn = establish_connection();

    let blog = match existing_blog(&conn) {
        Some(blog) => blog,
        None => {
            println!("Enter blog name");
            let name = readline();
            create_blog(&conn, name)
        }
    };

    println!("Enter post title");
    let title = readline();
    println!("\nEnter text for {} ({} when finished)\n", title, EOF);
    let mut body = String::new();
    stdin().read_to_string(&mut body).unwrap();

    let post = create_post(&conn, &blog, title, body);
    println!(
        "\nSaved unpublished post {} with id {}",
        post.title, post.id
    );
}

fn readline() -> String {
    let mut s = String::new();
    stdin().read_line(&mut s).unwrap();
    s.pop(); // Drop the newline
    s
}

#[cfg(not(windows))]
const EOF: &str = "CTRL+D";

#[cfg(windows)]
const EOF: &str = "CTRL+Z";

Let’s run this (cargo run --bin write_post) and author our first post.

Read

Ok, that’s great, we put some data in the database, but at some point we’re going to want to get it back to display it. The most ergonmic and typesafe way to construct Butane queries is to use the query! macro. To find all published posts, we’d write

query!(Post, published == true)

The heavy lifting is actually done by the filter! macro. The above is just shorthand for.

Post::query().filter(filter!(Post, published == true))

filter! creates a butane::query::BoolExpr, but does so in a more ergonomic and typesafe manner. If we had a typo and wrote query!(Post, publish == true) (“publish” instead of “published”) we’d get a compiler error.

Let’s add another binary to Cargo.toml, this one called show_posts, and write its code (in src/bin/show_posts.rs).

use butane::query;
use getting_started::models::*;
use getting_started::*;

fn main() {
    let conn = establish_connection();
    let results = query!(Post, published == true)
        .limit(5)
        .load(&conn)
        .expect("Error loading posts");
    println!("Displaying {} posts", results.len());
    for post in results {
        println!("{}", post.title);
        println!("----------\n");
        println!("{}", post.body);
 
 }
}

If we run it (cargo run --bin show_posts) we don’t see any posts though. That’s because it only prints published posts, and we haven’t published our post yet.

Update

Let’s create yet another program, publish_post. It needs to be given the id of a post to publish. To publish the post, we find it by id, mark it as published, and save it again.

Add publish_post binary to Cargo.toml, and write its code (in src/bin/publish_post.rs).

use self::models::Post;
use butane::prelude::*;
use getting_started::*;
use std::env::args;

fn main() {
    let id = args()
        .nth(1)
        .expect("publish_post requires a post id")
        .parse::<i32>()
        .expect("Invalid ID");
    let conn = establish_connection();

    let mut post = Post::get(&conn, id).expect(&format!("Unable to find post {}", id));
    // Just a normal Rust assignment, no fancy set methods
    post.published = true;
    post.save(&conn).unwrap();
    println!("Published post {}", post.title);
}

Let’s publish our first post: cargo run --bin publish_post 1. Now when we run show_posts again, it should display our newly published post!

Delete

We’ve gotten most of the way through CRUD. For completeness, let’s see how to delete a post. This can be done with either the delete method on DataObject (to delete an object we’ve already loaded) or (more commonly) with the delete method on Query to delete directly. Here’s our delete_post program (in src/bin/delete_post.rs):

use self::models::Post;
use getting_started::*;
use butane::query;
use std::env::args;

fn main() {
    let target = args().nth(1).expect("Expected a target to match against");
    let pattern = format!("%{}%", target);

    let conn = establish_connection();
    let cnt = query!(Post, title.like({ pattern }))
        .delete(&conn)
        .expect("error deleting posts");
    println!("Deleted {} posts", cnt);
}

We’re showing off another feature of the query!/filter! macro here too. We look for the post(s) to be deleted based on title pattern. The like method-like invocation on title transforms into the SQL LIKE operator. So if we named our first post “First post” we could match it with e.g. “First%”.

But what about the braces in { pattern }? Normally names within the macro refer to database columns/operators. The braces escape us back to referring names in Rust code, so the value of the pattern variable is used as the RHS for the LIKE operator.

If you delete a post, you can run show_posts again to confirm that it is fact deleted.

Migrate

At some point we’ll need to expand our models. Let’s say we decide to add a feature to allow visitors to “like” posts. Now we need to add a likes field to Post. Let’s go ahead and add

pub likes: i32,

making the full model

#[model]
pub struct Post {
    #[auto]
    pub id: i32,
    pub title: String,
    pub body: String,
    pub published: bool,
    pub tags: Many<Tag>,
    pub blog: ForeignKey<Blog>,
    pub byline: Option<String>,
    pub likes: i32,
    state: butane::ObjectState,
}
impl Post {
    pub fn new(blog: &Blog, title: String, body: String) -> Self {
        Post {
            id: -1,
            title,
            body,
            published: false,
            tags: Many::default(),
            blog: blog.into(),
            byline: None,
            likes: 0,
            state: ObjectState::default(),
        }
    }
}

Now we have to update our database. To do that, we create a new migration, we’ll call this one “likes”.

cargo build
butane makemigration likes

And then apply it

butane migrate

And that’s it! Now we can use our new field.

Summary

While there are lots of aspects of Butane not covered in this tutorial, hopefully it’s conveyed an idea of how to get started. More details can be found in the API docs.