Database Export

Database Flow lets you generate a Scala project based on Boilerplay from your database schema.

You can see an example of the generated project at, and view the source on Github.

This has never been used by anyone but myself and a few peers, and it has only been tested on a few schemas.

The Pitch

You’ve got a PostgreSQL schema somewhere. You make a local copy of that schema that can be destroyed without consequence if something breaks. You load that schema in Database Flow, the funkiest database client. You then hit the export option, making sure it sees your tables and picked the right names, then hit a big blue export button. You enjoy the newly-generated SBT project with loads of features, based on Boilerplay.


Holy shit it does too much. For each of your tables (and their relations), the export generates:

  • A case class representing your table row, available in Scala.js, along with JSON (via circe) and binary (via BooPickle) serialization macros.

  • Async queries to retrieve your model by id or foreign key, insert or update models, and search. Batch and sequence queries are also available.

  • Slick tables and column types, and doobie queries including strong support for Json, enums, and java.time classes.

  • A search result model with binary and json serialization that allows paging, sorting, and filtering with strongly-typed parameters.

  • Dependency-injected service that provides (optionally audited) methods to search or change your models.

  • A high-performance GraphQL schema (via Sangria) that provides methods to concurrently search, query, and mutate using GraphQL.

  • Twirl view templates for administration, including system-wide search, model forms, and foreign key relations.

  • Play Framework controllers, integrated with authentication and admin security, providing results in HTML, JSON, or even freakin’ CSV.

  • Deep integration with Prometheus, OpenTracing, system-wide auditing, authentication, a full admin site, docker publishing, and just a whole bunch of stuff.

Do it yourself

  • If you want to use a sample Postgres schema, grab one here.

  • Download and run Database Flow, and add a connection to your PostgreSQL schema.

  • Add a “Project Location” in the connection settings, pointing to the directory that will store generated files.

  • On the home screen, select the “Generate” button for your connection.

  • Ok, this next page is important. It shows the full details of your database, with options for each table. Take some time to review the options available.

  • The top section lets you choose the output directory, which defaults to ./tmp/{projectId}.
  • Each table has a “package” setting, which helps you organize large projects with many tables.
  • The table can be exported to Scala.js (or, by default, just the JVM), or ignored completely.
  • Each column can be renamed, included in search results, added to the summary, or ignored.
  • Once you’re comfortable with the settings (make sure you have the correct output directory in the main database options), select “Export Project”.

  • The results page shows all of the generated code, as well as a summary of the decisions made. Or it may crash, it’s a work in progress.

  • Head to the output directory you configured, run “sbt”, try to compile the project, then open a github issue telling me where it all went wrong.

  • Start the SBT task run, and point your browser to localhost:9000.

  • Hit the admin section, and start exploring! You can re-run the export at any time, and it will preserve the changes you’ve made.

Work with an existing generated project

  • Clone
  • Launch sbt and type “run”
  • Wait for the world to compile, then hit http://localhost:4260
  • Once it loads, you’ll need to create a local Database Flow account
  • Create a new connection, pointing to the database you wish to use, and adding a project location.
  • Add your stuff, make your database changes, then hit “Refresh Schema” from the query interface
  • Open your project on the home screen, then hit “Generate”
  • Find your newly created stuff, make sure it’s in the right package, and all info is correct
  • Export that thing.
The source code for this page can be found here.