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  • node

  • typeOrm

  • REST

  • apis

  • express

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Connecting a Database to Our REST API

What is SQL TypeOrm?
Why Use an ORM?
  • For example:

What is SQL TypeOrm?

TypeORM is an Object-Relational Mapper / Mapping-tool, or ORM, which is a library developers use to create databases and manipulate their data without needing to know/use SQL.

Why Use an ORM?

ORMs have gained popularity because dealing directly with SQL language often requires a lot of effort. The goal of an ORM is to simplify the maintenance of your data.

Essentially, with an ORM, you won't need to write SQL again (95% of the time) and you can work with objects.

For example:

To insert a user with SQL, you would write:

1INSERT INTO user (name, last_name) VALUES ('Juan', 'McDonals');

With an ORM, your code remains familiar like this:

1user = User() = 'Juan' 3user.last_name = 'McDonals' 4 5# add the user to the database; 7

You simply say:, and everything you've done with your code will translate into SQL language code.


TypeOrm uses the design pattern called decorator to modify the behavior of a class. These decorators help us define elements of a model, like creating a column, defining if it has a primary key, etc.

To build our model, we will use the following decorators provided by TypeOrm.

  • @Entity(): Using this decorator, a class is created that maps to a database table.

  • @PrimaryGeneratedColumn(): Indicates that the column is a Primary Key and that its value should be auto-incremented. You can pass a parameter ('uuid') which makes the values in this column random text strings instead of sequential integers.

  • @Column(): A common database column. We can specify several parameters such as type (varchar, int, tinyint, decimal), whether it is mandatory (nullable: true | false), maximum length (length: int), and many more things. See Documentation

  • @CreateDateColumn() and @UpdateDateColumn(): Special decorators that indicate that the value of these columns is automatically assigned when creating a new record or updating an existing one respectively.

Reviewing the Most Typical Database Operation

Creating our database

The first step would be to define our model

1@Entity() 2export class Users extends BaseEntity{ 3 @PrimaryGeneratedColumn() 4 id: number; 5 6 @Column() 7 first_name: string; 8 9 @Column() 10 last_name: string; 11 12 @Column({unique: true}) 13 email: string; 14 15 @Column() 16 password: string; 17 18}

INSERT: Inserting a record in the database

1 2 const usersRepo = getRepository(User); 3 const user = usersRepo.create(req.body as ObjectLiteral); //I create a user 4 5 const result = await; //I save the new user 6

SELECT: Searching or retrieving records

There are 3 ways to return data from the database: 1. Search/Retrieve/Return all records from a particular Table/Model using getRepository(MyModel).find() 2. Search/Retrieve/Return a single record based on its primary key using getRepository(MyModel).findOne() 3. Search/Retrieve/Return a group of records based on their query Person.query.filter_by(arg1=value, arg2=value, ...)

1# here is how all the people are searched 2const users = await getRepository(Users).find(); 3 4# here is how a group of people with name = alex are searched 5const users = await getRepository(Users).find("first_name":"alex"); 6 7# here is how a person with id = 3 is searched (only works with primary keys) 8user = Users.query.get(3) 9const user = await getRepository(Users).findOne("3");

DELETE: Deleting a record from the database.

All you have to do is create a new Person object, add it to the database session, and commit!

1const users = await getRepository(Users).delete(ID_USER); 2

UPDATE: Updating a record.

To update, first you need to return/select the record from the database, then you can update the property you want and commit again.

1 const user = await getRepository(Users).findOne(req 2; //I search for the user in the table by the ID received 4 getRepository(Users).merge(user, req.body); // Merges existing data with that received through body 5 const results = await getRepository(Users).save(user); // Stores the change in the database



In English one-to-one, the decorator @OneToOne is used, it is a relationship where A contains an instance of B and B contains an instance of A.


In English many-to-one, the decorator @ManyToOne is used.


In English one-to-many, the decorator @OneToMany is used.


In English many-to-many, the decorator @ManyToMany is used, it is a relationship where A contains several instances of B and B contains several instances of A.

An example is the relationship between a Question entity and a Category entity. A question can have multiple categories and each category can have multiple questions.

1import {Entity, PrimaryGeneratedColumn, Column} from "typeorm"; 2 3@Entity() 4export class Category { 5 6 @PrimaryGeneratedColumn() 7 id: number; 8 9 @Column() 10 name: string; 11 12} 13 14@Entity() 15export class Question { 16 17 @PrimaryGeneratedColumn() 18 id: number; 19 20 @Column() 21 title: string; 22 23 @Column() 24 text: string; 25 26 @ManyToMany(() => Category) 27 @JoinTable() 28 categories: Category[]; 29 30}

@JoinTable() is used to define the owning entity in the relationship. In this example, the decorator @ManyToMany must be used.

  • To store a @ManyToMany relationship: here is an example where category instances are created and then assigned as an array to the Question entity.
1const category1 = new Category(); = "animals"; 3await; 4 5const category2 = new Category(); = "zoo"; 7await; 8 9const question = new Question(); 10question.title = "dogs"; 11question.text = "who let the dogs out?"; 12question.categories = [category1, category2]; 13await;
  • To delete a @ManyToMany relationship:

With cascades enabled, you can delete this relationship with just one save call. To remove a many-to-many relationship between two records, remove it from the corresponding field and save the record.

1const question = getRepository(Question); 2question.categories = question.categories.filter(category => { 3 !== 4}) 5await

Ready to Start Coding?

We have prepared this live coding example that you can run yourself on Gitpod and use as a basis for your project.

Expressjs Rest Hello: