0.7.14 • Public • Published

Ember RESTless Build Status

RESTless is a lightweight data model library for Ember.js.

Out of the box, you can quickly and easily map data between a JSON REST API and your Ember.js application. It's goal is to create a simple API to perform CRUD operations without having to write ajax requests or handle model serialization & deserialization. RESTless is not a client-side data store.

See the full API documentation.

See the change log for the latest features and API changes.


Getting started


npm install --save-dev ember-restless

Module usage:

import RL from 'ember-restless'; // imports entire library
import { Model, attr } from 'ember-restless'; // or import individual modules

Create an initializer in your ember-cli app: app/initializers/restless.js:

import Ember from 'ember';
import { Client } from 'ember-restless';
export function initialize() {
  var application = arguments[1] || arguments[0];
  application.set('Client', Client.create());
export default {
  name: 'restless',
  before: 'RESTless.Client'

Defining a RESTAdapter

The REST adapter is responsible for communicating with your backend REST service. Here, you can optionally set the host, and a namespace.
For example, if your REST API is located at http://api.example.com/v1

import { RESTAdapter } from 'ember-restless';
var adapter = RESTAdapter.create({
  host: 'http://api.example.com',
  namespace: 'v1'

You should then set your custom adapter as a property of the Client, created above.

application.set('Client', Client.create({
  adapter: adapter


Each model you create should extend Model:

import { Model, attr } from 'ember-restless';
var Post = Model.extend({
  title:       attr('string'),
  isPublished: attr('boolean'),
  readCount:   attr('number'),
  createdAt:   attr('date')
  resourceName: 'post'
export default Post;

Supported attribute types are string, number, boolean, and date. Defining a type is optional. You can define custom attribute type transforms in your adapter. See the advanced section below.


For one-to-one relationships use the belongsTo attribute helper.

var User = Model.extend({
  name: attr('string'),
  role: attr('number')
  resourceName: 'user'
var Profile = Model.extend({
  user: belongsTo('user')

For one-to-many relationships, use the hasMany helper.
For example, if a Post model contains an array of Tag models:

var Tag = Model.extend({
  name: attr('string'),
  count: attr('number')
var Post = Model.extend({
  tags: hasMany('tag')

Currently, all relational data should be embedded in the response. Also, see Loading records.

Finding records

Use the find() method to retrieve records.

To find all records of type 'post':

var posts = Post.find();
// => Array of 'post' records

To find a 'post' with an primary key of 1:

var post = Post.find(1);
// => 'post' record instance

To use a query to find records:

var posts = Post.find({ isPublished: true });
// => Array of 'post' records

To return a Promise when finding records, use fetch(). See the promises section.

Creating records

Create records like you would a normal Ember Object:

var post = Post.create({
  title: 'My First Post'

Saving records

Simply call: saveRecord()
The Adapter will automatically POST to save a new record, or PUT to update an existing record.

var post = Post.create({ title: 'My First Post' });


post.set('title', 'My Very First Post');

Deleting records

The Adapter will delete the record from the data store, then destroy the object when complete:


Reloading records

To refresh an existing record from the data store: reloadRecord()

var post = Post.find(1);
// ...

Loading records

You can manually populate records using raw data.
Use the load and loadMany convenience methods:

var post = Post.create();
// The following could have been retrieved from a separate ajax request
var commentData = { comment: { id: 101, message: 'This is awesome!' } };
var comment = Comment.load(commentData);
post.set('comment', comment);
var postTagData = [
  { id: 1, name: 'technology', count: 50 },
  { id: 2, name: 'entertainment', count: 11 }
var tags = Tag.loadMany(postTagData);
post.set('tags', tags);

Model lifecycle and state

All models have the following state properties added:

  • isNew: Record has been created but not yet saved
  • isLoaded: Record(s) have been retrieved
  • isDirty: The record has local changes that have not yet been stored
  • isSaving: Record is in the process of saving
  • isError: Record has been attempted to be saved, updated, or deleted but returned an error. Error messages are store in the errors property.

You can subscribe to events that are fired during the lifecycle:

  • didLoad
  • didCreate
  • didUpdate
  • becameError

Event Examples:

var post = Post.create({ title: 'My First Post' });
post.on('didCreate', function() {
  console.log('post created!');
post.on('becameError', function(error) {
  console.log('error saving post!');
var allPosts = Post.find();
allPosts.on('didLoad', function() {
  console.log('posts retrieved!');
allPosts.on('becameError', function(error) {
  console.log('error getting posts!');


CRUD actions return promises (saveRecord(), deleteRecord(), reloadRecord()), allowing you to do the following:

var post = Post.create({
  title: 'My First Post'
post.saveRecord().then(function(record) {
  // Success!
}, function(errors) {
  // Error!

To take advantage of promises when finding records, use fetch() instead of find()
fetch() returns a promise, while find() will return entities that will update when resolved.

var posts = Post.fetch().then(function(records) {
  // Success!
}, function(error) {
  // Error!

Using the router:

export default Ember.Route.extend({
  model: function() {


Changing resource endpoints

Sometimes the name of your Ember model is different than the API endpoint.
For example if a CurrentUser model needs to point to /users and /user/1

var CurrentUser = Model.extend();
  resourceName: 'user'

Custom plurals configuration

You can use a custom adapter to set irregular plural resource names

adapter.configure('plurals', {
  person: 'people'

Changing the the primary key for a model

The primary key for all models defaults to 'id'. You can customize it per model class to match your API:

adapter.map('post', {
  primaryKey: 'slug'

Mapping different property keys

For example, if your JSON has a key lastNameOfPerson and the desired attribute name is lastName:

var Person = Model.extend({
  lastName: attr('string')
apdater.map('person', {
  lastName: { key: 'lastNameOfPerson' }

Sending headers and/or data with every request (e.g. api keys)

To add a header to every ajax request:

var adapter = RESTAdapter.create({
  headers: { 'X-API-KEY' : 'abc1234' }

To add data to every request url:

var adapter = RESTAdapter.create({
  defaultData: { api_key: 'abc1234' }

Results in e.g. User.find() => http://api.example.com/users?api_key=abc1234

Forcing content type extensions

If you want the RESTAdapter to add extensions to requests: For example /users.json and /user/1.json

var adapter = RESTAdapter.create({
  useContentTypeExtension: true

Default attribute values

You can define default values to assign to newly created instances of a model:

var User = Model.extend({
  name: attr('string'),
  role: attr('number', { defaultValue: 3 })

Read-only attributes

You can make attributes 'read-only', which will exclude them from being serialized and transmitted when saving. For example, if you want to let the backend compute the date a record is created:

var Person = Model.extend({
  firstName: attr('string'),
  lastName: attr('string'),
  createdAt: attr('date', { readOnly: true })

Read-only models

You can make an entire model to read-only. This removes all 'write' methods and provides a slight performance increase since each property won't have to be observed for 'isDirty'.

import { ReadOnlyModel } from 'ember-restless';
var Post = ReadOnlyModel.extend({

Custom transforms

You can add custom transforms to modify data coming from and being sent to the persistence layer.

import { Transform } from 'ember-restless';
adapter.registerTransform('timeAgo', Transform.create({
  deserialize: function(serialized) {
    // return a custom date string, such as: '5 minutes ago'
var Comment = Model.extend({
  createdAt: attr('timeAgo')


npm run build


Install test dependencies: bower install

npm test

or open tests/index.html in a browser

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npm i ember-restless

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