Python mysqld format mapping error on insert

Posted on 2013-11-26
Last Modified: 2013-11-30
I am trying to insert values into a mysql table containing 75 fields; the python mysqldb syntax to insert those values without specifying the field names in the sql statement is needed (otherwise the insert statement would be very long!).  I tried this:

my_dictionary = {'Local_Time':'Tuesday', 'Last_Name':'Smith', 'First_Name':'Sally', 'Middle_Name':'Jolie'}
	#use to do this...
        con = mdb.connect('localhost', 'admin', 'password', 'db_name');

        with con:
            cursor = con.cursor()
	    for field in my_dictionary:
		value = my_dictionary[field]
		sql = "INSERT into table_name (field) VALUES %(value)s" 
            cursor.executemany(sql, my_dictionary)

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but when I execute this, the query error reads "TypeError: format requires a mapping"
What to do?
Question by:sara_bellum
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

ID: 39680093
Peeping shortly to the doc, the .executemany does expect a list of tuples as the second argument, not the dictionary. The tuples in the list are the records to be inserted. You still need to supply the command template with that many of %s how many of columns you have (i.e. how many tuples). You also need to name the columns in the first part of the INSERT INTO.

However, if you have one record in a dict, it is possible to construct the string of the INSERT INTO command. Here with commented-out execution of the command:
my_dictionary = {'Local_Time':'Tuesday', 'Last_Name':'Smith', 'First_Name':'Sally', 'Middle_Name':'Jolie'}

sql_command = 'INSERT INTO table_name (' + ', '.join(my_dictionary.keys())        \
              + ') VALUES (' + ', '.join(repr(v) for v in my_dictionary.values()) \
              + ')'
#con = mdb.connect('localhost', 'admin', 'password', 'db_name');
#cursor = con.cursor()

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It prints on my console (manually reformated):
INSERT INTO table_name (First_Name, Last_Name, Middle_Name, Local_Time) 
VALUES ('Sally', 'Smith', 'Jolie', 'Tuesday')

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Author Comment

ID: 39682859
Thanks Pepr I was astounded at how quickly I was able to get this working, all things considered.  Your solution produced a substitution error on insert that I can't seem to find at the moment, but thanks to help you provided on this occasion and earlier I found that this works:

#user_data is the dictionary passed to the function
#form_list matches/orders the dictionary keys 
 value_list = [] 
 model, name = modelAndNameDictionaries(user_data)
 for i in form_list: 
	for k, v in model.items():    
	    if k == i:
 #format list values to build query    
 sql_1 = ', '.join(form_list)
 sql_2 = "','".join(value_list)    
 sql_cmd = ("INSERT INTO shc_students(" + sql_1 + ") VALUES ('" + sql_2 + "')")
 #print sql_cmd #verify syntax
        con = mdb.connect('localhost', 'username', 'password', 'dbname');
        with con:
            cursor = con.cursor()

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I've been working other issues that I had hoped to fix by now but will close this out tomorrow or the next day.  Happy Thanksgiving!!
LVL 29

Accepted Solution

pepr earned 500 total points
ID: 39682917
Well, we do not have that Turkey custom here. Thanks anyway. :)

For the substitution error, I know I did use the repr(v) for the values. It means the values are quoted the Python way if Python thinks it should be represented as a string literal. Similarly, you are single-quoting every value. This should probably be rethought and implemented in a more robust way.

For dict.keys() and dict.values() -- they both traverse the dict item in an unpredictable order. Anyway, when the dictionary is not modified, the order is the same for both keys and values. However, composing of the name list and of the value list could be done in parallel (I do not mean parallel in the sense of more procesors, you know).

You are repeating your earlier inefficient nested for loops at the lines 5 to 8:
for i in form_list: 
	for k, v in model.items():    
	    if k == i:

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Whenever you find youself nesting the for loops, think twice what you do (no offence). Here you loop through the form_list (this is OK). Then you loop through all items in the model dictionary only to find one element with the given key k. This is not OK. The dictionary is good just because you can find the items more easily when the key is given. The code should look like:
for i in form_list:
    v = model.get(i, default_value)    # or v = model[i] if you know it is inside

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Author Comment

ID: 39687785
Thanks so much, I'm still figuring out how the model works.  I used

v = model[i]

and fixed up the sql command like so:

sql_cmd = ("INSERT INTO shc_students(%s) VALUES ('%s')" % (cgi.escape( sql_1, True), (cgi.escape( sql_2, True))) )

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Spent much of the past few days patching up loop-from-hell errors, my code is too long.  When I know more I'll rewrite this, but it works well enough for now.

Happy holidays :-)

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