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Use SQLAlchemy ORMs to Access FreshBooks Data in Python

The CData Python Connector for FreshBooks enables you to create Python applications and scripts that use SQLAlchemy Object-Relational Mappings of FreshBooks data.

The rich ecosystem of Python modules lets you get to work quickly and integrate your systems effectively. With the CData Python Connector for FreshBooks and the SQLAlchemy toolkit, you can build FreshBooks-connected Python applications and scripts. This article shows how to use SQLAlchemy to connect to FreshBooks data to query, update, delete, and insert FreshBooks data.

With built-in optimized data processing, the CData Python Connector offers unmatched performance for interacting with live FreshBooks data in Python. When you issue complex SQL queries from FreshBooks, the CData Connector pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to FreshBooks and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations client-side (often SQL functions and JOIN operations).

Connecting to FreshBooks Data

Connecting to FreshBooks data looks just like connecting to any relational data source. Create a connection string using the required connection properties. For this article, you will pass the connection string as a parameter to the create_engine function.

To connect to FreshBooks, you can set the CompanyName and Token connection properties. Alternatively, you can use the OAuth authentication standard.

OAuth can be used to enable other users to access their own company data. To authenticate using OAuth, you will need to obtain the OAuthClientId and OAuthClientSecret by registering an app. See the "Getting Started" chapter of the help documentation for a guide to using OAuth.

Follow the procedure below to install SQLAlchemy and start accessing FreshBooks through Python objects.

Install Required Modules

Use the pip utility to install the SQLAlchemy toolkit:

pip install sqlalchemy

Be sure to import the module with the following:

import sqlalchemy

Model FreshBooks Data in Python

You can now connect with a connection string. Use the create_engine function to create an Engine for working with FreshBooks data.

engine = create_engine("freshbooks///?CompanyName=CData&Token=token")

Declare a Mapping Class for FreshBooks Data

After establishing the connection, declare a mapping class for the table you wish to model in the ORM (in this article, we will model the Clients table). Use the sqlalchemy.ext.declarative.declarative_base function and create a new class with some or all of the fields (columns) defined.

base = declarative_base()
class Clients(base):
	__tablename__ = "Clients"
	Username = Column(String,primary_key=True)
	Credit = Column(String)

Query FreshBooks Data

With the mapping class prepared, you can use a session object to query the data source. After binding the Engine to the session, provide the mapping class to the session query method.

Using the query Method

engine = create_engine("freshbooks///?CompanyName=CData&Token=token")
factory = sessionmaker(bind=engine)
session = factory()
for instance in session.query(Clients).filter_by(Email="Captain Hook"):
	print("Username: ", instance.Username)
	print("Credit: ", instance.Credit)

Alternatively, you can use the execute method with the appropriate table object. The code below works with an active session.

Using the execute Method

Clients_table = Clients.metadata.tables["Clients"]
for instance in session.execute( == "Captain Hook")):
	print("Username: ", instance.Username)
	print("Credit: ", instance.Credit)

For examples of more complex querying, including JOINs, aggregations, limits, and more, refer to the Help documentation for the extension.

Insert FreshBooks Data

To insert FreshBooks data, define an instance of the mapped class and add it to the active session. Call the commit function on the session to push all added instances to FreshBooks.

new_rec = Clients(Username="placeholder", Email="Captain Hook")

Update FreshBooks Data

To update FreshBooks data, fetch the desired record(s) with a filter query. Then, modify the values of the fields and call the commit function on the session to push the modified record to FreshBooks.

updated_rec = session.query(Clients).filter_by(SOME_ID_COLUMN="SOME_ID_VALUE").first()
updated_rec.Email = "Captain Hook"

Delete FreshBooks Data

To delete FreshBooks data, fetch the desired record(s) with a filter query. Then delete the record with the active session and call the commit function on the session to perform the delete operation on the provided recoreds (rows).

deleted_rec = session.query(Clients).filter_by(SOME_ID_COLUMN="SOME_ID_VALUE").first()

Free Trial & More Information

Download a free, 30-day trial of the FreshBooks Python Connector to start building Python apps and scripts with connectivity to FreshBooks data. Reach out to our Support Team if you have any questions.