Use SQLAlchemy ORMs to Access IBM Informix Data in Python

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IBM Informix Python Connector

Python Connector Libraries for IBM Informix Data Connectivity. Integrate IBM Informix with popular Python tools like Pandas, SQLAlchemy, Dash & petl.

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

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

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

Connecting to IBM Informix Data

Connecting to IBM Informix 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.

Set the following properties to connect to IBM Informix

  • Server: Set this to the name of the server running IBM Informix.
  • Port: Set this to the port the IBM Informix server is listening on.
  • Database: Set this to the name of the IBM Informix database.
  • User: Set this to the username of a user allowed to access the database.
  • Password: Set this to the password of a user allowed to access the database.

Follow the procedure below to install SQLAlchemy and start accessing IBM Informix 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 IBM Informix Data in Python

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

engine = create_engine("informix:///?Server=")

Declare a Mapping Class for IBM Informix 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 Books 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 Books(base):
	__tablename__ = "Books"
	Id = Column(String,primary_key=True)
	Price = Column(String)

Query IBM Informix 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("informix:///?Server=")
factory = sessionmaker(bind=engine)
session = factory()
for instance in session.query(Books).filter_by(Category="US"):
	print("Id: ", instance.Id)
	print("Price: ", instance.Price)

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

Using the execute Method

Books_table = Books.metadata.tables["Books"]
for instance in session.execute( == "US")):
	print("Id: ", instance.Id)
	print("Price: ", instance.Price)

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

Insert IBM Informix Data

To insert IBM Informix 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 IBM Informix.

new_rec = Books(Id="placeholder", Category="US")

Update IBM Informix Data

To update IBM Informix 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 IBM Informix.

updated_rec = session.query(Books).filter_by(SOME_ID_COLUMN="SOME_ID_VALUE").first()
updated_rec.Category = "US"

Delete IBM Informix Data

To delete IBM Informix 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 records (rows).

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

Free Trial & More Information

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