I have a pandas DataFrame and a (MySQL) database with the same columns. The database is not managed by me.

I want to update the values in the database in an "UPDATE... WHERE" style, updating only some columns wherever some other columns match.

Here's my code:

import sqlalchemy as sqla

def save_to_db(final_df, passwd):

    engine_str = 'mysql+mysqldb://username:{}@localhost/mydb'.format(passwd)

    engine = sqla.create_engine(engine_str)

    sm = sessionmaker(bind=engine)
    session = sm()

    metadata = sqla.MetaData(bind=engine)

    datatable = sqla.Table('AdcsLogForProduct', metadata, autoload=True)

    for ind, row in final_df.iterrows():
        u = sqla.sql.update(datatable) \
            .values({"q_ECI_B_x": row.q_ECI_B_x,
                     "q_ECI_B_y": row.q_ECI_B_y,
                     "q_ECI_B_z": row.q_ECI_B_z,
                     "q_ECI_B_s": row.q_ECI_B_s}) \
            .where(sqla.and_(datatable.c.year == row.year,
                             datatable.c.month == row.month,
                             datatable.c.day == row.day,
                             datatable.c.hours == row.hours,
                             datatable.c.minutes == row.minutes,
                             datatable.c.seconds == row.seconds,
                             datatable.c.milliseconds == row.milliseconds,
                             datatable.c.microseconds == row.microseconds))



I'm doing this with plain sqlalchemy because apparently pandas' built-in SQL functions can't handle "UPDATE... WHERE" scenarios. However, this is really slow.

Isn't there a more efficient way to do this?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I've now shown the full function, with only minimal editing. Can I take that the function inputs as given? Sorry if this takes a few iterations. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18 '15 at 3:30

You have eight conditions to match for every UPDATE. A typical solution would store timestamps using a DATETIME or TIMESTAMP column, so that there is only one value to match.

For reasonable performance, ensure that the timestamp field is indexed.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. As I've now included in my question, I'm not in control of the database. Do you think this multiple matching could be the main bottleneck rather than the pandas side (iterrows)? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18 '15 at 7:37
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Ensure that there is an index on (year, …, microseconds). Otherwise, dump final_df to a table using .to_sql() and do one UPDATE AdcsLogForProduct log JOIN tmp ON log.year=tmp.year AND … log.microseconds=tmp.microseconds SET log.q_ECI_B_x = tmp.q_ECI_B_x, log.q_ECI_B_y = tmp.q_ECI_B_y, …. If that giant update is slow, then make your whoever is in charge of the database deal with it — you can't blame PANDAS anymore. Design decisions have consequences, and I think this performance problem is one of them. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18 '15 at 7:51

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