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Create and Integrate MySQL Database with the Flask App

MySQL is a widely used open-source relational database known for its performance, reliability, and scalability. It is suitable for various types of software applications, including web applications, e-commerce platforms, and content management systems.

In this article, you’ll learn how to create and integrate a MySQL database with a Flask application using the PyMySQL driver, which provides convenient access to MySQL databases within the Flask framework.


You must have Python, Flask, and MySQL installed in your system and have a basic understanding of the Flask framework, Jinja templating, and SQL.

A summary video of creating a MySQL database using PyMySQL lib in Python

Install PyMySQL Package

You must have the PyMySQL package installed in your project environment before proceeding with this tutorial.

To install the PyMySQL package in your local or virtual environment, open a terminal window and type the following command. It will be used to create and connect the MySQL database to your Flask app.

Creating MySQL Database using PyMySQL

The PyMySQL library makes it easy to interact with MySQL databases. It enables Python applications to connect to and manipulate MySQL databases. In this section, you’ll use the PyMySQL library to create a MySQL database.

Unlike SQLite database, you need to set a username, password, and hostname of the MySQL database using the configuration keys.

The pymysql library has been imported and will be used to connect to the MySQL server and create the database.

The connection to the MySQL server is initialized using the pymysql.connections.Connection object with required credentials such as hostname, username, and password. The instance is then stored inside the db variable.

The cursor object of the db is created and stored inside the cursor variable to interact with the MySQL database.

The first SQL query creates a books_db database on the MySQL server if no such database exists.

The second SQL query uses the SHOW DATABASES statement to retrieve a list of databases on the MySQL server. This query’s output is then iterated over and printed.

In the end, the cursor and database connection are closed using the cursor.close() and db.close() respectively.

As can be seen in the output, a database named books_db is created on the MySQL server.

Integrating MySQL Database with Flask App

In this section, you’ll learn to integrate MySQL database with your Flask app and create a model using SQLAlchemy.

Flask App and SQLALchemy Setup

The above code imports the Flask class as well as the flask module’s render_template, request, redirect, and url_for methods and functions. The SQLAlchemy is then imported from the flask_sqlalchemy module.

You need to install the Flask-SQLAlchemy library if you haven’t installed already.

Run pip install Flask-SQLAlchemy command in your terminal to install this dependency.

The Flask app is created by instantiating the Flask class with the value __name__ and storing it in the app variable.

The SQLAlchemy (SQLAlchemy()) instance is created and stored inside the db variable.

Configuring MySQL Database Connection URI

The database connection parameters are defined first. These variables store the database connection parameters, such as MySQL username (user), MySQL password (pin), hostname (host), and database name (db_name) to connect to.

The following line of code sets up the SQLAlchemy database URI to connect to the MySQL database. The URI is broken down as follows:

  • mysql+pymysql://: This means that the PyMySQL driver is to be used.
  • username: This is to specify the username and this will be replaced with the value of the user variable.
  • password: This will be replaced with the value of the pin variable.
  • hostname: This will be replaced with the value of the host variable.
  • database_name: This will be replaced with the value of the db_name variable.

In the end, the modification tracking is disabled using the app.config['SQLALCHEMY_TRACK_MODIFICATIONS'] = False configuration.

Initializing Flask App with SQLAlchemy

The SQLAlchemy instance (db) is initialized using the init_app() method with the Flask app (app).

Creating a Database Model

The code creates a SQLAlchemy model class (Books) that represents a database table. The __tablename__ specifies the name of the table (books).

Within the table, three columns are created: id, title, and author. The db.Column function is used to define database columns.

  • id: The id column is of type integer (db.Integer) and is a primary key (primary_key=True) which means it will be unique for each row.
  • title: It is of type string (db.String) and it cannot be left empty (nullable=False) and it will contain unique values (unique=True).
  • author: It is of type string (db.String) and cannot be left empty (nullable=False).

Creating Table in MySQL Database

The above code defines the function create_db(), which is used to create a table (books) within the MySQL database (books_db). Flask app (app) is run within the application context within this function to ensure that it has access to the Flask app and its configuration.

Within the context block, create_all() method is called on the SQLAlchemy instance (db) to create the table defined by the SQLAlchemy model class (Books).

Database Operation – Adding Data Using Flask App

Now that the MySQL database and table have been created, it is time to see if they work and if data can be added to the database. You can do this manually with MySQL workbench or other applications, but you’ll do it programmatically with the Flask framework on the frontend.

Creating Backend Logic

The above code defines two routes “Home” and “Add data” route for displaying and adding the book details.

Home Route:

  • The user can access the Home route by using the root URL "/", and when the user accesses the root URL, the home() function is executed.
  • Using Books.query.all(), the home() function retrieves all records from the database table.
  • The details variable is then used to pass all of the records to the home.html template, and the template is then rendered.

Add data Route:

  • Users can add data to the database table by visiting the "/add" URL path, which accepts both GET and POST requests.
  • When users enter the URL path or make a GET request, the books.html template is rendered, which includes a form with two fields.
  • The add_books() function is defined, and this function handles the user’s POST request.
  • The request.form.get() method is used to retrieve the value of the title and author from the form, which is then passed to the database table fields (title and author).
  • Then, using the db.session.add() method, all the details are added to the database, and the changes are committed to the MySQL database using the db.session.commit() method.
  • When all of this is completed, users are redirected to the home page via the url_for() method.

Running the Script

The above code will call the create_db() function, which will create the table within the database and the will launch the Flask app on the localhost server.

However, first, you must create the HTML template for the frontend.

Creating Frontend using BootStrap

Create a directory named templates in the root of your project directory and within this directory create three HTML files:

  • base.html
  • home.html
  • books.html

Using the Jinja templating, the data from the database will be displayed.


This HTML file contains the Bootstrap CSS and JavaScript CDN (Content Delivery Network). You can see some Jinja templating, this is for injecting content in the body section and dynamic title without using the basic HTML structure again.


In this template, base.html template is used as a layout using {% extends 'base.html' %} and page title is set with the title block and within the content block, data stored in the database (details) is iterated and displayed in the table format using the Bootstrap.


This HTML file contains a form with two input fields (Title and Author) and a submit button (“Add Book“). This form will be submitted on the "/add" URL (action="/add") and “method="POST"” specifies that POST HTTP method to be used.

Adding Data Using Frontend

Run your file, or whatever you named your main Flask app file, and navigate to http://localhost:5000 to access the frontend.

You will see a homepage with no records displayed, as shown in the image below. You must first enter the data on the "/add" URL or by clicking the “Add Book” button on the homepage.

Empty homepage due to no records in MySQL database

This is the page where you will enter your book information and submit the form. The submitted information will be entered into the database.

Details filled in the form and will be added in the MySQL database

After clicking the “Add Book” button, you’ll be taken to the homepage, where your entered data will be displayed.

Books detail displayed on the homepage


The PyMySQL driver is used in this tutorial to connect to the MySQL server and create the MySQL database after connecting to the MySQL server by executing the raw SQL query.

The Flask app then defines the database connection URI string, and SQLAlchemy is initialized with the Flask app.

The SQLAlchemy is then used to create a table within the database in an object-oriented way using Python class. The backend is designed to handle database operations, while the frontend is designed to add data to the MySQL database and display it on the homepage.

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How to display user-specific messages on the frontend using flash in Flask.

How to create a database on Appwrite cloud using only Python.

That’s all for now

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