Last Update: 2014-04-01 10:01:57 -0700

Performance Enhancements

  • Dataset::PlaceholderLiteralizer has been added as an optimization framework. This allows you to record changes to a given dataset using placeholder arguments, and later quickly execute the query providing values for the placeholders. This is similar in idea to prepared statements, except that the SQL for each query can change depending on the values for the placeholders.

    Using this optimization framework, generating the SQL for query is about 3x faster, and since SQL generation time is a significant portion of total time for simple queries, simple queries can execute up to 50% faster.

    There are two APIs for this optimization framework. There is a lower level dataset API:

    loader = Sequel::Dataset::PlaceholderLiteralizer.
     loader(DB[:items]) do |pl, ds|
    loader.first(1, "foo")
    # SELECT * FROM items WHERE ((id = 1) AND (name != 'foo')) LIMIT 1
    loader.first([1, 2], %w"foo bar")
    # SELECT * FROM items WHERE ((id IN (1, 2)) AND
    #   (name NOT IN ('foo', 'bar'))) LIMIT 1

    There is also a higher level model API (Model.finder):

    class Item < Sequel::Model
      # Given class method that returns a dataset
      def self.by_id_and_not_name(id, not_name)
      # Create optimized method that returns first value
      finder :by_id_and_not_name
    # Call optimized method
    Album.first_by_id_and_not_name(1, 'foo')
    # SELECT * FROM items WHERE ((id = 1) AND (name != 'foo')) LIMIT 1

    Model.finder defaults to creating a method that returns the first matching row, but using the :type option you can create methods that call each, all, or get. There is also an option to choose the method name (:name), as well as one to specify the number of arguments to use if the method doesn’t take a fixed number (:arity).

    Finally, Model.find, .first, and .first! now automatically use an optimized finder if given a single argument. Model.[] uses an optimized finder if given a single hash, and Model.[], .with_pk, and .with_pk! use an optimized finder if the model has a composite primary key. In all of these cases, these methods are about 50% faster than before.

  • The pure-ruby PostgreSQL array parser that ships with Sequel has been replaced with a strscan-based parser. This parser avoids O(n^2) performance for arrays with multibyte strings, and in general is much faster. Parsing an array with a single string with 100,000 multibyte characters is about 1000x faster, and now about half the speed of the C implementation in sequel_pg.

  • Dataset#paged_each now has a :strategy=>:filter option that dramatically improves performance, especially if the columns being ordered by are indexed.

    Unfortunately, there are enough corner cases to this approach that it cannot be used by default. At the least, the dataset needs to be selecting the columns it is ordering by, not aliasing the columns it is ordering by in the SELECT clause, not have NULLs in any of the columns being ordered by, and not itself use a limit or offset.

    If you are ordering by expressions that are not simple column values, you can provide a :filter_value option proc that takes the last retrieved row and array of order by expressions, and returns an array of values in the last retrieved row for those order by expressions.

  • In the postgres adapter, Dataset#paged_each now automatically uses a cursor for improved performance.

  • In the mysql2 adapter, Dataset#paged_each now automatically uses streaming for improved performance, if streaming is supported.

  • Dataset#with_sql_{each,all,first,single_value,insert,update} have been added. These methods take specific SQL and execute it on the database, returning the appropriate value. They are significantly faster than the previous approach of with_sql(SQL).{each,all,first,single_value,insert,update}, as they don’t require cloning the dataset.

New Features

  • Database#create_join_table! and create_join_table? have been added, for consistency with create_table! and create_table?.

  • A :hold option has been added to Dataset#use_cursor in the postgres adapter, which uses WITH HOLD in the query, allowing for usage of the cursor outside the enclosing transaction. When :hold is used, Sequel does not automatically use a transaction around the cursor call.

  • Dataset#where_current_of has been added to the postgres adapter, for updating rows based on a cursor’s current position. This can be used to update a large dataset where new values depend on some ruby method, without keeping all rows in memory.

    ds = DB[:huge_table]
    ds.use_cursor(:rows_per_fetch=>1).each do |row|
  • A current_datetime_timestamp extension has been added, for creating Time/DateTime instances that are literalized as CURRENT_TIMESTAMP. When the dataset uses this extension, models that use the touch and timestamps plugins will use CURRENT_TIMESTAMP for the timestamps.

  • The jdbc adapter now supports a :driver option, useful when Sequel doesn’t have direct support for the underlying driver, and where java.sql.DriverManager.getConnection does not work correctly due to Java class loading issues.

Other Improvements

  • Multiple corner cases in Dataset#eager_graph have been fixed.

  • Calling Dataset#columns when using the eager_each plugin no longer triggers eager loading.

  • Database#column_schema_to_ruby_default is now a public method in the schema_dumper extension.

  • When validating associated objects for one_to_many and one_to_one associations in the nested_attributes plugin, don’t remove column values if the association’s foreign key is the associated model’s primary key.

  • On PostgreSQL, Dataset#disable_insert_returning has been added back. This disables the automatic use of RETURNING for INSERTs for the dataset. This is necessary in cases where INSERT RETURNING doesn’t work, such as PostgreSQL <8.2 (or PostgreSQL variants that forked before 8.2), or when using partitioning with trigger functions, or conditional rules.

    Note that if you use disable_insert_returning, insert will not return the autoincremented primary key. You need to call currval or lastval manually using the same connection to get the value, or use nextval to get the value to use before inserting.

  • The pg_array extension now uses the correct database type when typecasting values for smallint, oid, real, character, and varchar arrays. Previously, Sequel did not use the correct database type in some cases (e.g. text[] for a varchar[]), which resulted in errors if the value was used in a filter expression.

  • Additional unique constraint violations are now recognized on SQLite.

  • Check constraint violations are now recognized on SQLite >=3.8.2.

  • Adapters that emulate bitwise operators now do so using an append only design, similar to how all other queries are built in Sequel.

Backwards Compatibility

  • In some cases Sequel no longer adds superfluous parentheses when constructing SQL strings. If you are testing for specific SQL, this can cause test failures.

  • The pg_array extension no longer recognizes the :typecast_method option when registering an array type. The option allowed reuse of an existing typecast method, but as that results in an incorrect type at the database level, the option was fundementally broken.

  • The internals of the PostgreSQL array parser have changed. If you were relying on them, you’ll need to update your code.

  • Dataset#complex_expression_arg_pairs private method now returns nested expression objects instead of an already literalized string in some cases. Custom adapters that call this method will probably need to be changed. It’s recommended that such adapters switch to using the new Dataset#complex_expression_emulate_append method if possible.