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Version: 5.9

Events and Lifecycle Hooks

There are two ways to hook to the lifecycle of an entity:

  • Lifecycle hooks are methods defined on the entity prototype.
  • EventSubscribers are classes that can be used to hook to multiple entities or when we do not want to have the method present on the entity prototype.

Hooks are internally executed the same way as subscribers.

Hooks are executed before subscribers.


We can use lifecycle hooks to run some code when entity gets persisted. We can mark any of entity methods with them, we can also mark multiple methods with same hook.

All hooks support async methods with one exception - @OnInit.

  • @OnInit is fired when new instance of entity is created, either manually em.create(), or automatically when new entities are loaded from database

  • @OnLoad is fired when new entity is loaded into context (e.g. via em.find() or em.populate()). As opposed to @OnInit this will be fired only for fully loaded entities, not references, and this hook can be async.

  • @BeforeCreate() and @BeforeUpdate() is fired right before we persist the entity in database

  • @AfterCreate() and @AfterUpdate() is fired right after the entity is updated in database and merged to identity map. Since this event entity will have reference to EntityManager and will be enabled to call wrap(entity).init() method (including all entity references and collections).

  • @BeforeDelete() is fired right before we delete the record from database. It is fired only when removing entity or entity reference, not when deleting records by query.

  • @AfterDelete() is fired right after the record gets deleted from database and it is unset from the identity map.

@OnInit is not fired when we create the entity manually via its constructor (new MyEntity())

@OnInit can be sometimes fired twice, once when the entity reference is created, and once after its populated. To distinguish between those we can use wrap(this).isInitialized().

Upsert hooks

em.upsert() and em.upsertMany cannot fire the create/update hooks, as we don't know if the query is an insert or update, those methods offer their own hooks - beforeUpsert and afterUpsert. The beforeUpsert event might provide a DTO instead of entity instance, based on how you call the upsert method. You can use the EventArgs.meta object to detect what kind of entity it belongs to. afterUpsert event will always receive already managed entity instance.

Limitations of lifecycle hooks

Hooks are executed inside the commit action of unit of work, after all change sets are computed. This means that it is not possible to create new entities as usual from inside the hook. Calling em.flush() from hooks will result in validation error. Calling em.persist() can result in undefined behaviour like locking errors.

The internal instance of EntityManager accessible under wrap(this, true).__em is not meant for public usage.


Use EventSubscriber to hook to multiple entities or if we do not want to pollute the entity prototype. All methods are optional, if we omit the getSubscribedEntities() method, it means we are subscribing to all entities.

We can either register the subscribers manually in the ORM configuration (via subscribers array where we put the instance):

subscribers: [new AuthorSubscriber()],

Or use @Subscriber() decorator - keep in mind that we need to make sure the file gets loaded in order to make this decorator registration work (e.g. we import that file explicitly somewhere).

import { EntityName, EventArgs, EventSubscriber, Subscriber } from '@mikro-orm/core';

export class AuthorSubscriber implements EventSubscriber<Author> {

getSubscribedEntities(): EntityName<Author>[] {
return [Author];

async afterCreate(args: EventArgs<Author>): Promise<void> {
// ...

async afterUpdate(args: EventArgs<Author>): Promise<void> {
// ...


Do not mix and match the @Subscriber() decorator and the subscribers array in the configuration. If you use the decorator, you should not use the subscribers array, and vice versa.

This is due to an issue that will cause each subscriber in the configuration array annotated with @Subscriber() to be registered twice, which will result in duplicate events being fired.

Additionally, future versions of MikroORM will be dropping support for the@Subscriber() decorator in favor of the subscribers array in the configuration. Therefore, it is not recommended to use the @Subscriber() decorator and to instead use the subscribers array in the configuration.

Another example, where we register to all the events and all entities:

import { EventArgs, TransactionEventArgs, EventSubscriber } from '@mikro-orm/core';

export class EverythingSubscriber implements EventSubscriber {

// entity life cycle events
onInit<T>(args: EventArgs<T>): void { ... }
async onLoad<T>(args: EventArgs<T>): Promise<void> { ... }
async beforeCreate<T>(args: EventArgs<T>): Promise<void> { ... }
async afterCreate<T>(args: EventArgs<T>): Promise<void> { ... }
async beforeUpdate<T>(args: EventArgs<T>): Promise<void> { ... }
async afterUpdate<T>(args: EventArgs<T>): Promise<void> { ... }
async beforeUpsert<T>(args: EventArgs<T>): Promise<void> { ... }
async afterUpsert<T>(args: EventArgs<T>): Promise<void> { ... }
async beforeDelete<T>(args: EventArgs<T>): Promise<void> { ... }
async afterDelete<T>(args: EventArgs<T>): Promise<void> { ... }

// flush events
async beforeFlush<T>(args: FlushEventArgs): Promise<void> { ... }
async onFlush<T>(args: FlushEventArgs): Promise<void> { ... }
async afterFlush<T>(args: FlushEventArgs): Promise<void> { ... }

// transaction events
async beforeTransactionStart(args: TransactionEventArgs): Promise<void> { ... }
async afterTransactionStart(args: TransactionEventArgs): Promise<void> { ... }
async beforeTransactionCommit(args: TransactionEventArgs): Promise<void> { ... }
async afterTransactionCommit(args: TransactionEventArgs): Promise<void> { ... }
async beforeTransactionRollback(args: TransactionEventArgs): Promise<void> { ... }
async afterTransactionRollback(args: TransactionEventArgs): Promise<void> { ... }



As a parameter to the hook method we get EventArgs instance. It will always contain reference to the current EntityManager and the particular entity. Events fired from UnitOfWork during flush operation also contain the ChangeSet object.

interface EventArgs<T> {
entity: T;
em: EntityManager;
changeSet?: ChangeSet<T>;

interface ChangeSet<T> {
name: string; // entity name
collection: string; // db table name
type: ChangeSetType; // type of operation
entity: T; // up to date entity instance
payload: EntityData<T>; // changes that will be used to build the update query
persisted: boolean; // whether the changeset was already persisted/executed
originalEntity?: EntityData<T>; // snapshot of the entity when it was loaded from db

enum ChangeSetType {
CREATE = 'create',
UPDATE = 'update',
DELETE = 'delete',
DELETE_EARLY = 'delete_early',

Flush events

There is a special kind of events executed during the commit phase (flush operation). They are executed before, during and after the flush, and they are not bound to any entity in particular.

  • beforeFlush is executed before change sets are computed, this is the only event where it is safe to persist new entities.
  • onFlush is executed after the change sets are computed.
  • afterFlush is executed as the last step just before the flush call resolves. it will be executed even if there are no changes to be flushed.

Flush event args will not contain any entity instance, as they are entity agnostic. They do contain additional reference to the UnitOfWork instance.

interface FlushEventArgs extends Omit<EventArgs<unknown>, 'entity'> {
uow?: UnitOfWork;

Flush events are entity agnostic, specifying getSubscribedEntities() method will not have any effect for those. They are fired only once per the flush operation.

Transaction events

We can also tap into the database transaction events:

  • beforeTransactionStart
  • afterTransactionStart
  • beforeTransactionCommit
  • afterTransactionCommit
  • beforeTransactionRollback
  • afterTransactionRollback

Transaction event args will not contain any entity instance, as they are entity agnostic. They do contain additional reference to the UnitOfWork instance and native Transaction object (e.g. for SQL drivers it will be knex client instance).

export interface TransactionEventArgs extends Omit<EventArgs<unknown>, 'entity' | 'changeSet'> {
transaction?: Transaction;
uow?: UnitOfWork;

Getting the changes from UnitOfWork

We can observe all the changes that are part of given UnitOfWork via those methods:

UnitOfWork.getChangeSets(): ChangeSet<AnyEntity>[];
UnitOfWork.getOriginalEntityData(): Map<string, EntityData<AnyEntity>>;
UnitOfWork.getPersistStack(): Set<AnyEntity>;
UnitOfWork.getRemoveStack(): Set<AnyEntity>;
UnitOfWork.getCollectionUpdates(): Collection<AnyEntity>[];
UnitOfWork.getExtraUpdates(): Set<[AnyEntity, string, (AnyEntity | Reference<AnyEntity>)]>;

Using onFlush event

In following example we have 2 entities: FooBar and FooBaz, connected via M:1 relation. Our subscriber will automatically create new FooBaz entity and connect it to the FooBar when we detect it in the change sets.

We first use uow.getChangeSets() method to look up the change set of entity we are interested in. After we create the FooBaz instance and link it with FooBar, we need to do two things:

  1. Call uow.computeChangeSet(baz) to compute the change set of newly created FooBaz entity
  2. Call uow.recomputeSingleChangeSet(cs.entity) to recalculate the existing change set of the FooBar entity.
export class FooBarSubscriber implements EventSubscriber {

async onFlush(args: FlushEventArgs): Promise<void> {
const changeSets = args.uow.getChangeSets();
const cs = changeSets.find(cs => cs.type === ChangeSetType.CREATE && cs.entity instanceof FooBar);

if (cs) {
const baz = new FooBaz(); = 'dynamic';
cs.entity.baz = baz;


const bar = new FooBar(); = 'bar';
await em.persistAndFlush(bar);

To create a DELETE changeset, you can use the second parameter of uow.computeChangeSet():

async onFlush(args: FlushEventArgs): Promise<void> {
const changeSets = args.uow.getChangeSets();
const cs = changeSets.find(cs => cs.type === ChangeSetType.UPDATE && cs.entity instanceof FooBar);

if (cs) {
args.uow.computeChangeSet(cs.entity, ChangeSetType.DELETE);

Transaction events

Transaction events happen at the beginning and end of a transaction.

  • beforeTransactionStart is executed before a transaction starts.
  • afterTransactionStart is executed after a transaction starts.
  • beforeTransactionCommit is executed before a transaction is committed.
  • afterTransactionCommit is executed after a transaction is committed.
  • beforeTransactionRollback is executed before a transaction is rolled back.
  • afterTransactionRollback is executed after a transaction is rolled back.

They are also entity agnostic and will only reference the transaction, UnitOfWork instance and EntityManager instance.