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How to Generate Flask-SQLAlchemy Models Using Vertabelo

Flask is a web microframework for Python. It uses Flask-SQLAlchemy for object relational mapping. It is a Flask wrapper for SQLAlchemy – a powerful relational database framework that offers a high level ORM and low level access to a database’s native SQL functionality.

For each database table, SQLAlchemy uses a regular Python class with attributes that match the columns of a corresponding database table. The database instance from Flask-SQLAlchemy provides a base class for models called db.Model.

Now, you can generate Flask-SQLAlchemy classes using the online database modeler Vertabelo and a Python script called vertabelo-flask, which is hosted on GitHub.


Clone the repo:

git clone


  • First, log in to your Vertabelo account and create a new database model or import an existing database structure using a reverse engineering tool. If you don’t have an account, you can register for a trial plan here.

    Note that in Vertabelo you can also import a database structure from SQL script.

    Assume that we have our model created and opened in Vertabelo. For our purposes we will use the following example:

  • Download the model as an XML file.

    Vertabelo XML

  • Generate classes using the script:

    ./ -i employees.xml -o

  • The output file contains Python classes.

    # -*- encoding: utf-8 -*-
    # begin
    from flask.ext.sqlalchemy import SQLAlchemy
    app = Flask(__name__)
    db = SQLAlchemy(app)
    class Employee (db.Model):
        __tablename__ = "employee"
        id = db.Column('id', db.Integer, primary_key=True)
        name = db.Column('name', db.Unicode)
        surname = db.Column('surname', db.Unicode)
        address = db.Column('address', db.Unicode)
        phone_number = db.Column('phone_number', db.Unicode)
    class Schedule (db.Model):
        __tablename__ = "schedule"
        id = db.Column('id', db.Integer, primary_key=True)
        employee_id = db.Column('employee_id', db.Integer, db.ForeignKey(''))
        work_date = db.Column('work_date', db.Date)
        start_work_hour = db.Column('start_work_hour', db.BigInteger)
        end_work_hour = db.Column('end_work_hour', db.BigInteger)
        is_holiday = db.Column('is_holiday', db.Boolean)
        is_weekend = db.Column('is_weekend', db.Boolean)
        employee = db.relationship('Employee', foreign_keys=employee_id)
    # end

It’s possible to use SQLAlchemy in Flask directly. To generate SQLAlchemy classes, follow the instructions: Visual design of SQLAlchemy models in 6 steps.

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