Version: Next

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). To use SQL functions like now(), use defaultRaw.

    Since v4 you should use defaultRaw for SQL functions, as default with string values will be automatically quoted.

    @Property({ default: 1 })
    foo!: number;
    @Property({ default: 'abc' })
    bar!: string;
    @Property({ defaultRaw: '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.

Another possibility is to provide the reference to the enum implementation in the decorator via @Enum(() => UserRole).

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

import { OutsideEnum } from './OutsideEnum.ts';
@Entity()
export class User {
@Enum()
role!: UserRole; // string enum
@Enum()
status!: UserStatus; // numeric enum
@Enum(() => OutsideEnum)
outside!: OutsideEnum; // string enum defined outside of this file
}
export enum UserRole {
ADMIN = 'admin',
MODERATOR = 'moderator',
USER = 'user',
}
export const enum UserStatus {
DISABLED,
ACTIVE,
}
// or we could reexport OutsideEnum
// export { OutsideEnum } from './OutsideEnum.ts';

Formulas

@Formula() decorator can be used to map some SQL snippet to your entity. The SQL fragment can be as complex as you want and even include subselects.

@Formula('obj_length * obj_height * obj_width')
objectVolume?: number;

Formulas will be added to the select clause automatically. In case you are facing problems with NonUniqueFieldNameException, you can define the formula as a callback that will receive the entity alias in the parameter:

@Formula(alias => `${alias}.obj_length * ${alias}.obj_height * ${alias}.obj_width`)
objectVolume?: number;

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.

Lazy scalar properties

You can mark any property as lazy: true to omit it from the select clause. This can be handy for properties that are too large and you want to have them available only some times, like a full text of an article.

@Entity()
export class Book {
@Property({ columnType: 'text', lazy: true })
text: string;
}

You can use populate parameter to load them.

const b1 = await em.find(Book, 1); // this will omit the `text` property
const b2 = await em.find(Book, 1, { populate: ['text'] }); // this will load the `text` property

If the entity is already loaded and you need to populate a lazy scalar property, you might need to pass refresh: true in the FindOptions.

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

This limitation applies only to folder based discovery. Another way around it is using EntitySchema for entity definition.

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. Single table inheritance is also supported.

Read more about this topic in Inheritance Mapping section.

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 PostgreSQL uuid-osp module function as primary key

Requires enabling the module via: create extension "uuid-ossp";

@Entity()
export class Book {
@PrimaryKey({ type: 'uuid', defaultRaw: 'uuid_generate_v4()' })
uuid: string;
@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 BaseEntity (previously WrappedEntity)

From v4 BaseEntity class is provided with init, isInitialized, assign and other methods that are otherwise available via the wrap() helper.

Usage of BaseEntity is optional.

import { BaseEntity } from '@mikro-orm/core';
@Entity()
export class Book extends BaseEntity {
@PrimaryKey()
id!: number;
@Property()
title!: string;
@ManyToOne()
author!: Author;
}
const book = new Book();
console.log(book.isInitialized()); // true

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

Last updated on by Martin Adámek