Tortoise ORM

Tortoise ORM is an easy-to-use asyncio ORM (Object Relational Mapper) inspired by Django.

Tortoise ORM was built with relations in mind and admiration for the excellent and popular Django ORM. It’s engraved in it’s design that you are working not with just tables, you work with relational data.


Tortoise ORM is young project and breaking changes are to be expected. We keep a Changelog and it will have possible breakage clearly documented.

Source & issue trackers are available at

Tortoise ORM is supported on CPython >= 3.8 for SQLite, MySQL and PostgreSQL.


Why was Tortoise ORM built?

Python has many existing and mature ORMs, unfortunately they are designed with an opposing paradigm of how I/O gets processed. asyncio is relatively new technology that has a different concurrency model, and the largest change is regarding how I/O is handled.

However, Tortoise ORM is not first attempt of building asyncio ORM, there are many cases of developers attempting to map synchronous python ORMs to the async world, initial attempts did not have a clean API.

Hence we started Tortoise ORM.

Tortoise ORM is designed to be functional, yet familiar, to ease the migration of developers wishing to switch to asyncio.

It also performs well when compared to other Python ORMs, trading places with Pony ORM:


How is an ORM useful?

When you build an application or service that uses a relational database, there is a point when you can’t just get away with just using parametrized queries or even query builder, you just keep repeating yourself, writing slightly different code for each entity. Code has no idea about relations between data, so you end up concatenating your data almost manually. It is also easy to make a mistake in how you access your database, making it easy for SQL-injection attacks to occur. Your data rules are also distributed, increasing the complexity of managing your data, and even worse, is applied inconsistently.

An ORM (Object Relational Mapper) is designed to address these issues, by centralizing your data model and data rules, ensuring that your data is managed safely (providing immunity to SQL-injection) and keeps track of relationships so you don’t have to.


Clean, familiar python interface

Define your models like so:

from tortoise.models import Model
from tortoise import fields

class Tournament(Model):
    id = fields.IntField(primary_key=True)
    name = fields.TextField()

Initialise your models and database like so:

from tortoise import Tortoise, run_async

async def init():
    # Here we create a SQLite DB using file "db.sqlite3"
    #  also specify the app name of "models"
    #  which contain models from "app.models"
    await Tortoise.init(
        modules={'models': ['app.models']}
    # Generate the schema
    await Tortoise.generate_schemas()

# run_async is a helper function to run simple async Tortoise scripts.

And use it like so:

# Create instance by save
tournament = Tournament(name='New Tournament')

# Or by .create()
await Tournament.create(name='Another Tournament')

# Now search for a record
tour = await Tournament.filter(name__contains='Another').first()

Pluggable Database backends

Tortoise ORM currently supports the following Databases:

  • PostgreSQL >= 9.4 (using asyncpg)

  • SQLite (using aiosqlite)

  • MySQL/MariaDB (using asyncmy)

  • Microsoft SQL Server/Oracle (using asyncodbc)

And more

Tortoise ORM supports the following features:

  • Designed to be used in an existing project:
    • Testing framework uses existing Python Unittest framework, just requires that initializer() and finalizer() gets called to set up and tear down the test databases. (See UnitTest support)

    • ORM Init app configures entirely from provided parameters

  • Composable, Django-inspired Models

  • Supports relations, such as ForeignKeyField and ManyToManyField

  • Supports many standard Fields

  • Comprehensive Query API

  • Transactions Transactions

  • PyLint plugin

If you want to contribute check out issues, or just straightforwardly create PR