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Version: 3.6

Smart Nested Populate

MikroORM is capable of loading large nested structures while maintaining good performance, querying each database table only once. Imagine you have this nested structure:

  • Book has one Publisher (M:1), one Author (M:1) and many BookTags (M:N)
  • Publisher has many Tests (M:N)

When you use nested populate while querying all BookTags, this is what happens in the background:

const tags = await orm.em.findAll(BookTag, ['books.publisher.tests', '']);
console.log(tags[0].books[0].publisher.tests[0].name); // prints name of nested test
console.log(tags[0].books[0]; // prints name of nested author
  1. Load all BookTags
  2. Load all Books associated with previously loaded BookTags
  3. Load all Publishers associated with previously loaded Books
  4. Load all Tests associated with previously loaded Publishers
  5. Load all Authors associated with previously loaded Books

You can also populate all relationships by passing populate: true.

For SQL drivers with pivot tables this means:

SELECT `e0`.* FROM `book_tag` AS `e0`;

SELECT `e0`.*, `e1`.`book_id`, `e1`.`book_tag_id`
FROM `book` AS `e0` LEFT JOIN `book_to_book_tag` AS `e1` ON `e0`.`id` = `e1`.`book_id`
WHERE `e1`.`book_tag_id` IN (?, ?, ?, ?, ?)
ORDER BY `e1`.`id` ASC;

SELECT `e0`.* FROM `publisher` AS `e0` WHERE `e0`.`id` IN (?, ?, ?);

SELECT `e0`.*, `e1`.`test_id`, `e1`.`publisher_id`
FROM `test` AS `e0` LEFT JOIN `publisher_to_test` AS `e1` ON `e0`.`id` = `e1`.`test_id`
WHERE `e1`.`publisher_id` IN (?, ?, ?)
ORDER BY `e1`.`id` ASC;

SELECT `e0`.* FROM `author` AS `e0` WHERE `e0`.`id` IN (?);

For mongo driver its even simpler as no pivot tables are involved:


Populating already loaded entities

To populate existing entities, you can use em.populate().

const authors = await orm.em.createQueryBuilder(Author).select('*').getResult();
await em.populate(authors, ['books.tags']);

// now your Author entities will have `books` collections populated,
// as well as they will have their `tags` collections populated.
console.log(authors[0].books[0].tags[0]); // initialized BookTag