Executing SQL statements that don't return data

When you perform database actions that don’t return data, use an Exec or ExecContext method from the database/sql package. SQL statements you’d execute this way include INSERT, DELETE, and UPDATE.

When your query might return rows, use a Query or QueryContext method instead. For more, see Querying a database.

An ExecContext method works as an Exec method does, but with an additional context.Context argument, as described in Canceling in-progress operations.

Code in the following example uses DB.Exec to execute a statement to add a new record album to an album table.

func AddAlbum(alb Album) (int64, error) {
    result, err := db.Exec("INSERT INTO album (title, artist) VALUES (?, ?)", alb.Title, alb.Artist)
    if err != nil {
        return 0, fmt.Errorf("AddAlbum: %v", err)

    // Get the new album's generated ID for the client.
    id, err := result.LastInsertId()
    if err != nil {
        return 0, fmt.Errorf("AddAlbum: %v", err)
    // Return the new album's ID.
    return id, nil

DB.Exec returns values: an sql.Result and an error. When the error is nil, you can use the Result to get the ID of the last inserted item (as in the example) or to retrieve the number of rows affected by the operation.

Note: Parameter placeholders in prepared statements vary depending on the DBMS and driver you’re using. For example, the pq driver for Postgres requires a placeholder like $1 instead of ?.

If your code will be executing the same SQL statement repeatedly, consider using an sql.Stmt to create a reusable prepared statement from the SQL statement. For more, see Using prepared statements.

Caution: Don’t use string formatting functions such as fmt.Sprintf to assemble an SQL statement! You could introduce an SQL injection risk. For more, see Avoiding SQL injection risk.

Functions for executing SQL statements that don’t return rows

Function Description
Execute a single SQL statement in isolation.
Execute a SQL statement within a larger transaction. For more, see Executing transactions.
Execute an already-prepared SQL statement. For more, see Using prepared statements.
Conn.ExecContext For use with reserved connections. For more, see Managing connections.