Monday, May 22, 2023

A Dev Container for SQLAlchemy with SQLTools

SQLAlchemy 2.0 was recently released, with a few significant interface differences. I'm working on a video that walks through a SQLAlchemy 2.0 example, and in the process of making that video, I created a Dev Container optimized for SQLAlchemy + SQLite + SQLTools.

You can get the Dev Container here (or try it in Codespaces first!):

Dev Container contents

The devcontainer.json includes:

  • A base image of
  • Python linting extensions:
  • SQLTools extension and SQLite driver:
  • The node feature (necessary for the SQLTools SQLite driver)
  • A related setting necessary for SQLite driver:
    "sqltools.useNodeRuntime": true,
  • Preset connection for a SQLite DB stored in my_database.db file:
    "sqltools.connections": [
        "previewLimit": 50,
        "driver": "SQLite",
        "name": "database",
        "database": "my_database.db"
  • A post-create command that installs SQLAlchemy and Faker:
    python3 -m pip install -r requirements.txt

Besides the .devcontainer folder and requirements.txt, the repository also contains, a file with SQLAlchemy 2.0 example code.

Using the Dev Container

  1. Open the project in either GitHub Codespaces or VS Code with the Dev Containers extension. As part of starting up, it will auto-install the requirements and SQLTools will detect node is already installed: Screenshot of VS Code terminal after installing pip requirements, with pop-up about node being detected
  2. Run Screenshot of python file with cursor on run icon in top left
  3. Select the SQLTools icon in the sidebar: Screenshot of VS Code sidebar with cursor over SQLTools icon
  4. Next to the preset connection, select the connect icon (a plug): Screenshot of VS Code sidebar with SQLTools extension open, cursor on right side of database connection
  5. When it prompts you to install the sqlite npm package, select Install now: Screenshot of VS Code terminal with prompt from SQLTools about installing sqlite package
  6. When it's done installing, select Connect to database. Screenshot of VS Code with prompt from SQLTools about sqlite successful installation
  7. Browse the table rows by selecting the magnifying glass next to teach table. Screenshot from SQLTools VS Code extension with customers table open and rows of generated data

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