License: MIT

OOOK is some data manipulation magic on top of the venerable CL-SQL package, which has been providing a solid SQL abstraction in Common Lisp for years.

The goal of OOOK is to greatly decrease "standard" database-driven web application development time with the trade-off of slightly less flexiblity. With that in mind, some of the features include: - Clean data "model" (table) definitions - Automatic handling of model associations (joins) during save / delete - Serialisation / deserialisation of data for serving as JSON or building from POST data

Note: Database design should be driven by the data, not by the code that uses it! To encourage this, OOOK will never have functionality to manipulate the database schema.


Create models of tables in the database with defmodel:

(oook:defmodel post (:belongs-to user)
  "Some interesting prose, full of wisdom"
  (date_published :type :timestamp)
  (title :column "post-title")

(oook:defmodel user (:has-many posts)
  "Someone who writes posts"
  (level :type :integer :documentation "Skill level"))

This creates two CLOS classes which model the "post" and "user" database tables, including the relationship between the two. The models have brief dostrings, custom slots (including types) and associations with other models.

Note: the defmodel macro creates two CLSQL view-classes, using clsql:def-view-class, containing the specified slots and a number of additional slots for managing the joins.

Example Workflow:

Create a new user using the standard CLOS make-instance:

(defvar wizzard
  (make-instance 'user :name "Rincewind" :level 0))

Create a new post and add it to the user:

(push (posts wizzard) (make-instance 'post :title "On Staying Alive")))

Save the new user (and post) in the database:

(oook:save wizzard)  ; Will save both the user and his post

Find something, either by ID with the built-in find-by-id helper, or construct a CLSQL statement for more complex queries (OOOK provides a few other helpers, see the documentation).

(oook:find-by-id 'post 2)  ; Find the post row with ID == 2
(clsql:select 'user)  ; Select all users

Models Implementation Notes


Like another well known library, all tables are expected to have at least these three columns: - id: A unique (for this model type) ID for the row (the table's primary key) - created-at: Time of creation - last-modified: Time of last modification

These have historically been found to be useful in typical web applications. The id field is always required, and will be an index into the table. The second two can be disabled by passing :timestamped nil to defmodel.

In addition, models you define will typically have a number of other fields, corresponding to columns in the table, and possibly a number of associated models.

Associated models

A model can be associated to other models in a number of ways. - belongs-to - has-one - owns-one - owns-many

Models are selected exactly as you would with CL-SQL, and, by default, the joins are lazily loaded (i.e. a "join" slot is only populated from the DB when it is accessed).

The fun part is saving.

oook:save will save any associated models that belong to the instance it is called with. New rows will be created as necessary.

has-one (FK in Left)

Left requires one instance of Right, but Right doesn't care or know about this relationship. (e.g. ingredient -> unit).

  • Get: get the relevant Right and merge it into Left
  • Save: only save the reference to Right
  • Delete: do nothing with Right

owns-one (FK in right) - use with belongs-to (blargh redundancy)

Left owns one Right, and Right knows it. Left cannot have more than one Right. (e.g. user <- config)

  • Get: get the Right and merge into Left
  • Save: update Right with any changes, ensure reference (ID) has not changed
  • Delete: delete right as well

belongs-to (FK in Left) - use with owns-many or owns-one

Left is owned by one Right. Left cannot have more than one owner. (e.g. config <- user). However Right might have more than one Left (e.g. step* <- recipe)

  • Get: do not try to resolve the parent relation (circular dep)
  • Save: ensure the reference to Right has not changed
  • Delete: do nothing

owns-many (FK in Right) - use with belongs-to

Left has many Rights, and the Rights know which Left they belong to. (e.g. recipe <- step*)

  • Get: Find all Right that match Left's ID
  • Save: Save new Rights in Left, delete old Rights no longer in Left
  • Delete: delete all rights as well

many-to-many (intersection table)

Not implemented yet

Left references many instances of Right, and Right might be referenced by many instances of Left. (e.g. programmer <-> project, a programmer is part of many projects and a project has many programmers)

Get: do not try to resolve the parent relation (circular dep)