Simple Access API

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The Simple Access API was introduced in Gramps version 3.0.x

It is a database API(Application programming interface) made for Gramps plugin/addon writers

The Simple Access API, accompanied by the Simple Document API interface for easy presentation of the data have been constructed, so as to hide as much complexity as possible.


The normal database routines are optimized for low memory usage, and if used properly, will take up almost no memory. This is key when using large databases. Typically, instead of maintaining dictionaries or lists of objects, we can use the database "handles", and access the data only when explicitly needed. This memory efficiency comes at the cost of being fairly complicated to use.

The simplified API hides most of the complexity. Full objects are returned, so you can easily consume a lot of memory with large databases. The routines themselves do not consume a significant amount of memory, but if you decided to keep your own lists or dictionaries of data, you will consume memory quickly.

These Simple Classes are specifically constructed for use in plugins/addons, or to make Quick Views (available in the context menu's).

What is available?

You can view the API in


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Example use:

from __future__ import print_function

from simple import simpleaccess

sdb = simpleaccess(database)

# grab our current id, so we can filter the active person out
# of the data
person = database.active_person()
gid = sdb.gid(database.active_person())

# loop through each family in which the person is a child
for family in sdb.child_in(person):

    # loop through each child in the family
    for child in sdb.children(family):

        #print something to terminal
        print(,sdb.gender(child), sdb.birth_date(child)))

See also