Skip to main content
Version: 6.2

Events and Lifecycle Hooks

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

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

Hooks are internally executed the same way as subscribers.

Hooks are executed before subscribers.


You can use lifecycle hooks to run arbitrary code when an entity gets persisted. You can mark any of entity methods with them, and multiple methods can be marked with the 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 you persist an entity in database

  • @AfterCreate() and @AfterUpdate() is fired right after an 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 you 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 you create an entity manually via its constructor (new MyEntity())

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

Upsert hooks

em.upsert() and em.upsertMany cannot fire the create/update hooks, as you 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.

Collections and @OnUpdate

The @OnUpdate hook is fired when some values of an entity change and cause an UPDATE query. This means that only changes to the scalar properties and owning sides of M:1 and 1:1 relations are considered here - changes to Collections won't trigger an update event.

When you modify a 1:M collection, you are in fact changing the owning side of this relation, which is the M:1 property on the other entity (which will get the event triggered).

For M:N relations with pivot entities (all SQL drivers), you won't get the update event fired on either of the sides, as the changes are made to the pivot table only. You can get the updated collection via uow.getCollectionUpdates(), and check how their last known database state looked like via Collection.getSnapshot().

Limitations of lifecycle hooks

Hooks (as youll as event subscribers) 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 behavior 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 you do not want to pollute the entity prototype. All methods are optional, if you omit the getSubscribedEntities() method, it means you are subscribing to all entities.

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

subscribers: [new AuthorSubscriber()],

Another example, where you 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 you 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 an 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

You 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

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

UnitOfWork.getChangeSets(): ChangeSet<AnyEntity>[];
UnitOfWork.getOriginalEntityData(entity): 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.persist(bar).flush();

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.