Community Guide

A guide to getting involved with SQLAlchemy.

Get Support

Before requesting support, please try to make use of the available online resources, where the answers to a large number of questions can already be found. The most important is the documentation. A great majority of questions asked on the SQLAlchemy mailing list are easily answered through simple searches via the index page, the Sphinx documentation search, or a Google search. Note also that the documentation is worked on and improved constantly, sometimes dramatically so. Issues with the documentation may be reported as bugs (see reporting bugs).

SQLAlchemy is a very powerful tool that can serve your Python database development needs for years. An initial investment in careful study of the documentation is well worth it!

Other places to check for information include the FAQ (note the FAQ is undergoing an upgrade soon!), the usage recipes at Theatrum Chemicum, and Stack Overflow.

Mailing List

Ready to post on the mailing list ? This is the primary place for interactive support. We ask that posters try, to the best of their ability, to compose messages are both complete in their description as well as succinct with regards to the topic at hand:

  • Complete - important details like the version of SQLAlchemy in use, the type of database being worked with (MySQL 5, Postgresql 8.4, etc.), as well as full stack traces for error messages are provided, as well as clear sections of code illustrating the exact usage that leads to the symptom.
  • Succinct - code and output is trimmed and formatted to illustrate only the problem at hand - details that aren't directly relevant to the issue at hand should be trimmed out as much as possible, including unrelated tables and models, dependencies on internal or third party libraries, unrelated object methods and relationships, large numbers of column definitions that can be omitted, complicated internal variable names that are difficult for outsiders to read.

These are only guidelines to follow, as we can and regularly do accommodate users of all skill levels. As long as some effort is apparent on your part to research and thoughtfully describe the issue, you've earned support from us !

The mailing list is hosted at Google Groups. This list is moderated for new users, so your first post may not appear for up to 24 hours until a moderator can approve it. Once approved, subsequent posts should appear immediately.

A comprehensive archive of SQLAlchemy mailing list posts spanning across previous lists is available at Gmane.

IRC Channel

Another support resource is the IRC channel. In this forum, users of all skill levels can ask short questions, post pastes of code, and discuss techniques among other developers who happen to be present. The usual rules of IRC etiquette apply here - not unlike the mailing list, users who've put some effort into understanding their problem ahead of time will tend to get better results.

Core developers are sometimes present on the channel, but please do not single them out for individual assistance! There are usually about 80-100 members on at any given time - many of which can likely help with your issue. If your issue is genuinely more intricate and requiring of more skillful help than is currently available on the IRC channel, that's when it's time to post on the mailing list.

The IRC channel is on the Freenode network as #sqlalchemy.

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is a great resource for developer help across the full spectrum of software development issues. Search for questions tagged with sqlalchemy.

Next ... Participate