structscanner is a simple library to make going from database queries to structs easier, while retaining the flexibility of joins and mapping using struct tags.

It has the following features:

  • Works with database/sql without extra dependencies.
  • Mapping based on db: struct tags—only fields with a db: tag are mapped.
  • Mapping of NULLs to zero values—this makes handling outer joins much more practical without having to create alternate, nullable versions of your structs or peppering your queries with IFNULL or COALESCE.
  • Mapping using an optional prefix at query time—this allows structs to be mapped more easily when table aliases are being used with column names (such as with the columnsWithAlias option with go-sql-driver/mysql).
  • Convenient querying for single structs or slices of structs.
  • Thread-safe caching of reflection metadata.

Example usage

When passed a single struct as the destination, Select will populate it with the results of the first row, or return sql.ErrNoRows if there is none.

var result struct {
	AppleCount int `db:"fruit_count"`
	TotalFruit int `db:"total_fruit"`

err := structscanner.Select(db &result, "", `
        SUM(CASE WHEN type = ? THEN 1 ELSE 0 END) AS fruit_count,
        COUNT(1) AS total_fruit
    FROM fruit_basket
`, "apple")

Often, you will have a struct with fields already tagged. When querying for such a struct, a problem that can arise is that the columns are returned with a table alias, which is missing from your struct tags. You can provide a prefix to Select in order to correctly map these to your existing struct:

type Fruit struct {
	ID     uint64 `db:"id"`
	Name   string `db:"name"`
	Colour string `db:"colour"`

var result Fruit

err := structscanner.Select(db, &result, "f", `
    SELECT f.* FROM fruits f WHERE id = ?
`, fruitID)

When passed a slice as the destination, Select will populate it with all rows that are returned from the query. If there are no rows, the destination slice will be empty.

In cases where the returned result set may be very large or unbounded, you can perform the query manually using database/sql, then create a StructScanner and pass the rows to its Scan method to scan one row at a time instead.

Querying for a collection of related entities:

var result []struct {
	Org    Organisation `db:"o"`
	Member Person       `db:"p"`

err := structscanner.Select(db, &result, "", `
    FROM organisations o
    JOIN people p ON p.organisation_id =
    WHERE = ?
`, organisationID)

Querying for a collection of related entities where one side might be missing:

var result []struct {
	Individual Person `db:"i"`
	Sibling    Person `db:"s"`

err := structscanner.Select(db, &result, "", `
    FROM people i
    LEFT JOIN people s ON i.sibling_id =

In this case, if an individual doesn’t have a sibling, the LEFT JOIN will produce NULLs. As this sort of usage is quite common, the fields of Sibling are set to their zero values rather than this being treated as an error condition.


This software is Copyright © 2022 Folktale Global Pty Ltd, and made available under an MIT license.


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