Insert test data in a database

When you're developing locally, it's often useful to seed databases with test data. This can be done is several ways depending on your use case.

Perhaps the most straightforward way is to conditionally insert the data on startup, using go:embed in combination with Encore's metadata API to ensure the data is only inserted in your local environment.


Create a file with your test data named fixtures.sql. Then, for the service where you want to insert test data, add the following to its .go file in order to run on startup.

import (
    _ "embed"


//go:embed fixtures.sql
var fixtures string

func init() {
    if encore.Meta().Environment.Type == encore.EnvLocal {
        if err := sqldb.Exec(context.Background(), fixtures); err != nil {
            log.Fatalln("unable to add fixtures:", err)

Not included in the above example is preventing adding duplicate data. This is straightforward to do by making the fixtures idempotent, or by tracking it with a database table.