Querying Data

Starting with this exercise, we're going to start migrating away from our in-memory database to our SQLite database. Because our seed data for each is the same for the Kody user (including IDs), you'll find lots of the app appears to work even for parts that haven't been migrated yet! ๐Ÿ˜† Just be aware of this if you notice some odd behavior (like deleting or editing a note and not seeing those changes reflected in the app, you deleted it from one database, but not the other! ๐Ÿ˜…).
With SQL, you query data using the SELECT statement. The SELECT statement is one of the most complex statements in SQL, but it's also the most powerful. It's used to query data from one or more tables. The SELECT statement is composed of several clauses, but the two most important are the FROM and WHERE clauses.
Let's start by looking at a simple SELECT statement:
SELECT * FROM user;
This will select everything from the user table. Let me state that again:
  • This will select (SELECT)
  • Everything (*)
  • From (FROM)
  • The user table (user)
The semicolon at the end is required. I guess nobody told SQL about ASI ๐Ÿ˜†
Let's add a bit more:
SELECT id, name, email FROM user;
  • This will select (SELECT)
  • The id, name, and email columns (id, name, email)
  • From (FROM)
  • The user table (user)

Where Clause

As mentioned earlier, the WHERE clause is one of the most important clauses in a SELECT statement. It allows you to filter the data that's returned from the database. Let's look at an example:
SELECT id, name, email FROM user WHERE id = 1;
  • This will select (SELECT)
  • The id, name, and email columns (id, name, email)
  • From (FROM)
  • The user table (user)
  • Where (WHERE)
  • The id column is equal to 1 (id = 1)
The WHERE clause makes it so the database will only return rows that match the condition in the WHERE clause.

Other clauses

There are quite a few other clauses that you can use in a SELECT statement. You can find a comprehensive list of keywords like select clauses in the SQLite keyword documentation, and then you can search any that interest you in the SQLite docs search.
If you ever see a SQL statement that's doing something you don't understand, you can paste it in astexplorer.net and select the SQL parser to see what different parts of the statement are called so you can look those things up.
Next-level learning of SQL is to ask an AI assistant like ChatGPT to help you learn. Just be sure to double-check your work. But it should help guide you to the right answer.

ORMs

SQL is a complex syntax that has a lot of power. There are professionals who see the world in SQL (poor souls). But for the rest of us, we have ORMs. ORMs are Object Relational Mappers. And that's what the Prisma Client is all about. So instead of writing SQL queries by hand, we can use the Prisma Client to generate and execute the SQL for us.
So, if we were to convert the SQL statement SELECT id, name, email FROM user WHERE id = 1; into a prisma call, it would look something like this:
const user1 = await prisma.user.findUnique({
	where: { id: 1 },
	select: { id: true, name: true, email: true },
})
The declarative nature of this API maps relatively well to the SQL that you would have written, so getting familiarity with SQL will help with using the Prisma Client.
It's important to note that the Prisma Client is not a traditional ORM. It's an ORM-like API that generates and executes SQL for you. The objects you get back from the Prisma Client do not have methods you can call to do things like save them to the database (by default). Instead, you use the Prisma Client to do that. This is one way, the Prisma Client sheds some of the things I don't like about ORMs and keeps the things I do like about them.

Prisma Limitations

It should be mentioned that the Prisma Client isn't as powerful as SQL. There are things that you may want to do which the Prisma Client cannot express. In any typical application, you'll have a handful of cases like this (if any) and in those cases, there's an API to drop down to SQL. We'll get to that in the next exercise.

Dealing with HMR

Hot Module Replacement (HMR) means that every time we make a file change, our code is re-evaluated. This makes it so we can develop quickly, but it causes an issue we'll need to deal with.
When we create a new PrismaClient instance in our application, we create a new connection to our database every time we make a change. Eventually, this will cause our application to crash! So we need a workaround.
The workaround is simple: "If we've already created a PrismaClient instance, let's use that one instead of creating a new one." Here's a simplified version of what that would be like:
import { PrismaClient } from '@prisma/client'

if (!global.prisma) {
	global.prisma = new PrismaClient()
}

export const prisma = global.prisma
So we store our PrismaClient instance in a variable on global (which is unchanged between re-evaluations of our server code), and then we check if it exists before creating a new one. If it does exist, we'll use that one, if it does not, then we create a new one.
While it is pretty simple, it also means that any change to the Prisma client configuration will require a server restart. Luckily, we don't change our client configuration that often, so this is a small price to pay for the benefits of HMR.
We have a utility that helps us with this (it's annoying otherwise because TypeScript doesn't love the global. stuff):
import { PrismaClient } from '@prisma/client'
import { singleton } from '#app/utils/singleton.server.ts'

export const prisma = singleton('prisma', () => new PrismaClient())

Lazy connection

The Prisma Client will not connect to the database until it needs to. This means your first query will take a bit longer than subsequent queries. This is normally fine, but since we're confident we're going to need to start querying the database quickly and connecting earlier doesn't cost anything, we can use the $connect method to connect to the database as soon as possible.
import { PrismaClient } from '@prisma/client'
import { singleton } from '#app/utils/singleton.server.ts'

export const prisma = singleton('prisma', () => {
	const client = new PrismaClient()
	client.$connect();
	return client
})

Logging

Prisma Client has a built-in logger that you can use to see what queries are being executed. This is super helpful for debugging. You can also enable events for queries so you can customize the logging. You can read more about that in the Prisma Client logging docs.