[DB-SIG] Getting a list of tables from a database

Chris Clark Chris.Clark at actian.com
Tue May 15 19:21:49 CEST 2012

On Tuesday 2012-05-15 10:16 (-0700), M.-A. Lemburg <mal at egenix.com> wrote:
> What you're describing sounds a lot like the catalog methods in
> the ODBC standard.
> Those are typically implemented by either
> having the ODBC drivers implement a set of queries that generate
> result sets in a predefined format, or by adding views to the
> database backend which implement them. Sometimes, both methods
> are used.
> The application can then call the catalog methods with a
> set of parameters and the database will run the queries to
> build the result set with meta data.
> Even though most databases provide the needed information,
> I'm not sure whether we should ask database module authors
> to implement similar catalog methods. The reason is that
> for some of them, the required information may not be
> readily available in the database, or may require installing
> views to allow users without full permissions to retrieve
> the data from the system tables.
> We could standardize those methods as optional add-ons to
> the DB-API specification, though, so that those modules
> which do want to implement them at least all use the
> same methods, parameters and result set layouts.
> If there is interest in this, I'd suggest to follow the
> ODBC standard for this and use method names derived from
> the ODBC API names. mxODBC implements these and also
> documents the result set layouts:
> http://www.egenix.com/products/python/mxODBC/doc/#_Toc269754615

I agree with this approach, it should be optional. The original Jython 
JDBC driver implemented meta data lookup functions with a similar API 
(JDBC and ODBC are very similar). See 
http://www.jython.org/archive/21/docs/zxjdbc.html for more details.

if you need this today, I'd recommend Vernon's idea, implement a 
separate package (possibly based on some code from 
http://halfcooked.com/code/gerald/schema_api.html )


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