Version: 3.4

Defining Entities

There are two ways how you can define your entities:

  • Decorated classes
  • EntitySchema helper

EntitySchema helper

With EntitySchema helper you define the schema programmatically.

./entities/Book.ts
export interface Book extends BaseEntity {
title: string;
author: Author;
publisher: Publisher;
tags: Collection<BookTag>;
}
export const schema = new EntitySchema<Book, BaseEntity>({
name: 'Book',
extends: 'BaseEntity',
properties: {
title: { type: 'string' },
author: { reference: 'm:1', entity: 'Author', inversedBy: 'books' },
publisher: { reference: 'm:1', entity: 'Publisher', inversedBy: 'books' },
tags: { reference: 'm:n', entity: 'BookTag', inversedBy: 'books', fixedOrder: true },
},
});

When creating new entity instances, you will need to use em.create() method that will create instance of internally created class.

const repo = em.getRepository<Author>('Author');
const author = repo.create('Author', { name: 'name', email: 'email' }); // instance of internal Author class
await repo.persistAndFlush(author);

You can optionally use custom class for entity instances. Read more about this approach in Defining Entities via EntitySchema section.

Classes and Decorators

Entities are simple javascript objects (so called POJO), decorated with @Entity decorator. No real restrictions are made, you do not have to extend any base class, you are more than welcome to use entity constructors, just do not forget to specify primary key with @PrimaryKey decorator.

./entities/Book.ts
@Entity()
export class Book {
@PrimaryKey()
id!: number;
@Property()
createdAt = new Date();
@Property({ onUpdate: () => new Date() })
updatedAt = new Date();
@Property()
title!: string;
@ManyToOne() // when you provide correct type hint, ORM will read it for you
author!: Author;
@ManyToOne(() => Publisher) // or you can specify the entity as class reference or string name
publisher?: Publisher;
@ManyToMany() // owning side can be simple as this!
tags = new Collection<BookTag>(this);
constructor(title: string, author: Author) {
this.title = title;
this.author = author;
}
}

As you can see, entity properties are decorated either with @Property decorator, or with one of reference decorators: @ManyToOne, @OneToMany, @OneToOne and @ManyToMany.

From v3 you can also use default exports when defining your entity.

Here is another example of Author entity, that was referenced from the Book one, this time defined for mongo:

./entities/Author.ts
@Entity()
export class Author {
@PrimaryKey()
_id!: ObjectId;
@SerializedPrimaryKey()
id!: string;
@Property()
createdAt = new Date();
@Property({ onUpdate: () => new Date() })
updatedAt = new Date();
@Property()
name!: string;
@Property()
email!: string;
@Property()
age?: number;
@Property()
termsAccepted = false;
@Property()
identities?: string[];
@Property()
born?: Date;
@OneToMany(() => Book, book => book.author)
books = new Collection<Book>(this);
@ManyToMany()
friends = new Collection<Author>(this);
@ManyToOne()
favouriteBook?: Book;
@Property({ version: true })
version!: number;
constructor(name: string, email: string) {
this.name = name;
this.email = email;
}
}

More information about modelling relationships can be found on modelling relationships page.

If you want to define your entity in Vanilla JavaScript, take a look here.

Optional Properties

When you define the property as optional (marked with ?), this will be automatically considered as nullable property (mainly for SQL schema generator).

This auto-detection works only when you omit the type/entity attribute.

@ManyToOne()
favouriteBook?: Book; // correct: no `type` or `entity` provided, **will** be marked as `nullable`
@ManyToOne(() => Book, { nullable: true })
favouriteBook?: Book; // correct, `entity` provided and explicitly marked as `nullable`
@ManyToOne(() => Book)
favouriteBook?: Book; // wrong, not marked as `nullable`

Default values

You can set default value of a property in 2 ways:

  1. Use runtime default value of the property. This approach should be preferred as long as you are not using any native database function like now(). With this approach your entities will have the default value set even before it is actually persisted into the database (e.g. when you instantiate new entity via new Author() or em.create(Author, { ... }).

    @Property()
    foo!: number = 1;
    @Property()
    bar!: string = 'abc';
    @Property()
    baz!: Date = new Date();
  2. Use default parameter of @Property decorator. This way the actual default value will be provided by the database, and automatically mapped to the entity property after it is being persisted (after flush). Also note that with this approach, you need to wrap string default values in quotes as without quoting the value is considered a function.

    @Property({ default: 1 })
    foo!: number;
    @Property({ default: "'abc'" })
    bar!: string;
    @Property({ default: 'now' })
    baz!: Date;

Enums

To define enum property, use @Enum() decorator. Enums can be either numeric or string valued.

For schema generator to work properly in case of string enums, you need to define the enum is same file as where it is used, so its values can be automatically discovered. If you want to define the enum in another file, you should reexport it also in place where you use it.

You can also set enum items manually via items: string[] attribute.

@Entity()
export class User {
@Enum()
role!: UserRole; // string enum
@Enum()
status!: UserStatus; // numeric enum
}
export enum UserRole {
ADMIN = 'admin',
MODERATOR = 'moderator',
USER = 'user',
}
export const enum UserStatus {
DISABLED,
ACTIVE,
}

Indexes

You can define indexes via @Index() decorator, for unique indexes, use @Unique() decorator. You can use it either on entity class, or on entity property:

@Entity()
@Index({ properties: ['name', 'age'] }) // compound index, with generated name
@Index({ name: 'custom_idx_name', properties: ['name'] }) // simple index, with custom name
@Unique({ properties: ['name', 'email'] })
export class Author {
@Property()
@Unique()
email!: string;
@Property()
@Index() // generated name
age?: number;
@Index({ name: 'born_index' })
@Property()
born?: Date;
}

Custom Types

You can define custom types by extending Type abstract class. It has 4 optional methods:

  • convertToDatabaseValue(value: any, platform: Platform): any

    Converts a value from its JS representation to its database representation of this type.

  • convertToJSValue(value: any, platform: Platform): any

    Converts a value from its database representation to its JS representation of this type.

  • toJSON(value: any, platform: Platform): any

    Converts a value from its JS representation to its serialized JSON form of this type. By default converts to the database value.

  • getColumnType(prop: EntityProperty, platform: Platform): string

    Gets the SQL declaration snippet for a field of this type.

More information can be found in Custom Types section.

Virtual Properties

You can define your properties as virtual, either as a method, or via JavaScript get/set.

Following example defines User entity with firstName and lastName database fields, that are both hidden from the serialized response, replaced with virtual properties fullName (defined as a classic method) and fullName2 (defined as a JavaScript getter).

For JavaScript getter you need to provide { persist: false } option otherwise the value would be stored in the database.

@Entity()
export class User {
@Property({ hidden: true })
firstName!: string;
@Property({ hidden: true })
lastName!: string;
@Property({ name: 'fullName' })
getFullName() {
return `${this.firstName} ${this.lastName}`;
}
@Property({ persist: false })
get fullName2() {
return `${this.firstName} ${this.lastName}`;
}
}
const repo = em.getRepository(User);
const author = repo.create({ firstName: 'Jon', lastName: 'Snow' });
console.log(author.getFullName()); // 'Jon Snow'
console.log(author.fullName2); // 'Jon Snow'
console.log(author.toJSON()); // { fullName: 'Jon Snow', fullName2: 'Jon Snow' }

Entity file names

You are free to choose one of those formats for entity filename (for a BookTag entity):

  • BookTag.ts
  • BookTag.model.ts
  • book-tag.ts
  • book-tag.model.ts
  • book-tag.entity.ts

Entity name is inferred from the first part of file name before first dot occurs, so you can add any suffix behind the dot, not just .model.ts or .entity.ts.

You can change this behaviour by defining custom NamingStrategy.getClassName() method.

Using BaseEntity

You can define your own base entity with properties that you require on all entities, like primary key and created/updated time.

If you are initializing the ORM via entities option, you need to specify all your base entities as well.

./entities/BaseEntity.ts
import { v4 } from 'uuid';
export abstract class BaseEntity {
@PrimaryKey()
uuid = v4();
@Property()
createdAt = new Date();
@Property({ onUpdate: () => new Date() })
updatedAt = new Date();
}

Examples of entity definition with various primary keys

Using id as primary key (SQL drivers)

@Entity()
export class Book {
@PrimaryKey()
id!: number; // string is also supported
@Property()
title!: string;
@ManyToOne()
author!: Author;
}

Using UUID as primary key (SQL drivers)

import { v4 } from 'uuid';
@Entity()
export class Book {
@PrimaryKey()
uuid = v4();
@Property()
title!: string;
@ManyToOne()
author!: Author;
}

Using BigInt as primary key (MySQL and PostgreSQL)

You can use BigIntType to support bigints. By default it will represent the value as a string.

@Entity()
export class Book {
@PrimaryKey({ type: BigIntType })
id: string;
}

If you want to use native bigints, read the following guide: Using native BigInt PKs.

Example of Mongo entity

@Entity()
export class Book {
@PrimaryKey()
_id!: ObjectId;
@SerializedPrimaryKey()
id!: string; // string variant of PK, will be handled automatically
@Property()
title!: string;
@ManyToOne()
author!: Author;
}

Using WrappedEntity interface

@Entity()
export class Book {
@PrimaryKey()
id!: number;
@Property()
title!: string;
@ManyToOne()
author!: Author;
}
export interface Book extends WrappedEntity<Book, 'id'> { };

With your entities set up, you can start using entity manager and repositories as described in following sections.

Last updated on by Martin Adámek