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Version: 6.3

Cascading persist, merge and remove

From v4.2, cascade merging is no longer configurable (and is kept enabled for all relations).

This section is about application level cascading. For that to work, we need to have relations populated.

When persisting or removing entity, all your references are by default cascade persisted. This means that by persisting any entity, ORM will automatically persist all of its associations.

You can control this behaviour via cascade attribute of @ManyToOne, @ManyToMany, @OneToMany and @OneToOne fields.

New entities without primary key will be always persisted, regardless of cascade value.

// cascade persist is default value
@OneToMany({ entity: () => Book, mappedBy: 'author' })
books = new Collection<Book>(this);

// same as previous definition
@OneToMany({ entity: () => Book, mappedBy: 'author', cascade: [Cascade.PERSIST] })
books = new Collection<Book>(this);

// only cascade remove
@OneToMany({ entity: () => Book, mappedBy: 'author', cascade: [Cascade.REMOVE] })
books = new Collection<Book>(this);

// no cascade
@OneToMany({ entity: () => Book, mappedBy: 'author', cascade: [] })
books = new Collection<Book>(this);

// cascade all (persist and remove)
@OneToMany({ entity: () => Book, mappedBy: 'author', cascade: [Cascade.ALL] })
books = new Collection<Book>(this);

// same as previous definition
@OneToMany({ entity: () => Book, mappedBy: 'author', cascade: [Cascade.PERSIST, Cascade.REMOVE] })
books = new Collection<Book>(this);

Cascade persist

Here is example of how cascade persist works:

const book = await orm.em.findOne(Book, 'id', { populate: ['author', 'tags'] }); = 'Foo Bar';
book.tags[0].name = 'new name 1';
book.tags[1].name = 'new name 2';
await orm.em.persist(book).flush(); // all book tags and author will be persisted too

When cascade persisting collections, keep in mind only fully initialized collections will be cascade persisted.

Cascade remove

Cascade remove works same way as cascade persist, just for removing entities. Following example assumes that Book.publisher is set to Cascade.REMOVE:

Note that cascade remove for collections can be inefficient as it will fire 1 query for each entity in collection.

await orm.em.remove(book).flush(); // this will also remove book.publisher

Keep in mind that cascade remove can be dangerous when used on @ManyToOne fields, as cascade removed entity can stay referenced in another entities that were not removed.

const publisher = new Publisher(...);
// all books with same publisher
book1.publisher = book2.publisher = book3.publisher = publisher;
await orm.em.remove(book1).flush(); // this will remove book1 and its publisher

// but we still have reference to removed publisher here
console.log(book2.publisher, book3.publisher);

Orphan removal

In addition to Cascade.REMOVE, there is also additional and more aggressive remove cascading mode which can be specified using the orphanRemoval flag of the @OneToOne and @OneToMany properties:

export class Author {

@OneToMany({ entity: () => Book, mappedBy: 'author', orphanRemoval: true })
books = new Collection<Book>(this);


orphanRemoval flag behaves just like Cascade.REMOVE for remove operation, so specifying both is redundant.

With simple Cascade.REMOVE, you would need to remove the Author entity to cascade the operation down to all loaded Books. By enabling orphan removal on the collection, Books will be also removed when they get disconnected from the collection (either via remove(), or by replacing collection items via set()):

await author.books.set([book1, book2]); // replace whole collection
await author.books.remove(book1); // remove book from collection
await orm.em.persist(author).flush(); // book1 will be removed, as well as all original items (before we called `set()`)

In this example, no Book would be removed with simple Cascade.REMOVE as no remove operation was executed.

Declarative Referential Integrity

This is only supported in SQL drivers.

As opposed to the application level cascading controlled by the cascade option, we can also define database level referential integrity actions: on update and on delete.

Their values are automatically inferred from the cascade option value. You can also control the value manually via updateRule and deleteRule options.

export class Book {

@ManyToOne({ updateRule: 'set null', deleteRule: 'cascade' })
author?: Author;