instant.dev

0.1.45 • Public • Published

JavaScript + Postgres API Framework with ORM, Migrations and Vectors

instant.dev provides a fast, reliable and battle-tested ORM and migration management system for Postgres 13+ built in JavaScript. For those familiar with Ruby on Rails, instant.dev adds functionality similar to ActiveRecord to the Node.js, Deno and Bun ecosystems. We have been using it since 2016 in production at Autocode where it has managed over 1 billion records in a 4TB AWS Aurora Postgres instance.

With instant.dev you can:

  • Add the Instant ORM and migrations to your existing JavaScript or TypeScript project
  • Scaffold new Postgres-backed API projects from scratch using Instant API
  • Generate new migrations, models and endpoints
  • Migrate remote databases and deploy in a single step
  • Connect to any PostgreSQL host: AWS RDS, Railway, Vercel Postgres, Neon, Supabase
  • Instantly deploy to Vercel

Are you interested in connecting? Join us on Discord or follow us on X, @instantdevs.


Features

  • CRUD operations
    • Create, Read, Update and Destroy records easily
  • Vector fields
    • Build AI-integrated applications and add search by easily creating, updating and querying against vectorized representations of your data
  • Query composition
    • Build complex SELECT and UPDATE queries with many layers of nested joins and conditional statements
  • Transactions
    • Ensure data consistency within logical transaction blocks that can be rolled back to prevent writing orphaned data
  • Input validation
    • Synchronously validate object fields to ensure the right data is stored
  • Relationship verification
    • Asynchronously validate relationships between one or more fields and external resources before saving
  • Calculated and hidden fields
    • Automatically populate object fields based on existing data
  • Lifecycle callbacks
    • Execute custom logic beforeSave(), afterSave(), beforeDestroy() and afterDestroy() to perform necessary build and teardown steps inside of transactions
  • Migrations
    • Manage local database state via the filesystem to make branched git development a breeze
  • Seeding
    • Provide custom JSON files so that all developers can share the same test data across development, testing and staging environments
  • Code generation
    • Automatically generate models, migrations and endpoints for your project

Table of Contents

  1. Installation and Usage
  2. Getting Started
  3. Using the instant CLI
  4. Using the Instant ORM
  5. Feature breakdown
  6. Kits
    1. Kit: auth
      1. Kit: auth on Autocode
      2. Kit: auth on Vercel
  7. Acknowledgements

Installation and Usage

npm i instant.dev -g
cd ~/projects/my-awesome-project
instant init

That's it! The command line tool will walk you through the process of initializing your instant.dev project. It will;

  • Automatically detect whether this is a new project or an existing one
  • Scaffold a new Vercel or Autocode project, if necessary
  • Ask for your local database credentials
  • Initialize necessary files in the _instant/ directory of your project
  • Create an initial migration

To install the basic auth kit which comes with a User and AccessToken model and associated user registration and login endpoints, use:

instant kit auth

You can read more in Kit: auth

Using the instant CLI

You can look up documentation for the instant command line utility at any point by running instant or instant help. The most commonly used methods are:

  • instant g:model to create a new model
  • instant g:relationship to create one-to-one or one-to-many relationships between models
  • instant g:endpoint to automatically scaffold Vercel or Autocode endpoints, if applicable
  • instant db:migrate to run migrations
  • instant db:rollback to rollback migrations
  • instant db:rollbackSync to rollback to last synchronized (filesystem x database) migration
  • instant db:bootstrap to reset your database, run migrations, and seed data
  • instant db:add to add remote databases (AWS RDS, Railway, Vercel Postgres, Neon, Supabase)
  • instant serve to run your server using Vercel, Autocode or the command specified in package.json["scripts"]["start"]
  • instant sql is a shortcut to psql into any of your databases
  • instant deploy to run outstanding migrations and deploy to Vercel or Autocode

Using the Instant ORM

Full documentation for the ORM can be found in the @instant.dev/orm repository. Here's a quick overview of using the ORM:

Importing with CommonJS:

const InstantORM = require('@instant.dev/orm');
const Instant = new InstantORM();

Importing with ESM:

import InstantORM from '@instant.dev/orm';
const Instant = new InstantORM();

Using the ORM:

// Connect to your database
// Defaults to using instant/db.json[process.env.NODE_ENV || 'development']
await Instant.connect();

// Get the user model: can also use 'user', 'users' to same effect
const User = Instant.Model('User');

// Create a user
let user = await User.create({username: 'Billy'});

// log user JSON
// {id: 1, username: 'Billy', created_at: '...', updated_at: '...'}
console.log(user.toJSON());

// Create multiple models at once
const UserFactory = Instant.ModelFactory('User');
let createdUsers = await UserFactory.create([
  {username: 'Sharon'},
  {username: 'William'},
  {username: 'Jill'}
]);

// Retrieves users with username containing the string 'ill'
let users = await User.query()
  .where({username__icontains: 'ill'})
  .orderBy('username', 'ASC')
  .select();

// [{username: 'Billy'}, {username: 'Jill'}, {username: 'William'}]
console.log(users.toJSON());

users[0].set('username', 'Silly Billy');
await users[0].save();

// [{username: 'Silly Billy'}, {username: 'Jill'}, {username: 'William'}]
console.log(users.toJSON());

Feature breakdown

CRUD operations

const User = Instant.Model('User');

/* Create */
let user = await User.create({
  email: 'keith@instant.dev',
  username: 'keith'
});
// Can also use new keyword to create, must save after
user = new User({
  email: 'keith@instant.dev',
  username: 'keith'
});
await user.save();

/* Read */
user = await User.find(1); // uses id
user = await User.findBy('email', 'keith@instant.dev');
user = await User.query()
  .where({email: 'keith@instant.dev'})
  .first();
let users = await User.query()
  .where({email: 'keith@instant.dev'})
  .select();

/* Update */
user.set('username', 'keith_h');
await user.save();

// Update by reading from data
user.read({username: 'keith_h'});
await user.save();

// Update or Create By
user = await User.updateOrCreateBy(
  'username',
  {username: 'keith', email: 'keith+new@instant.dev'}
);

// Update query: this will bypass validations and verifications
users = await User.query()
  .where({username: 'keith_h'})
  .update({username: 'keith'});

/* Destroy */
await user.destroy();
await user.destroyCascade(); // destroy model + children (useful for foreign keys)

/* ModelArray methods */
users.setAll('username', 'instant');
users.readAll({username: 'instant'});
await users.saveAll();
await users.destroyAll();
await users.destroyCascade();

Vector fields

instant.dev comes with built-in support for pgvector and the vector field type. For full instructions on using vectors please check out the Instant ORM: Vector fields documentation.

Set a vector engine via a plugin (OpenAI is the default):

File _instant/plugins/000_set_vector_engine.mjs:

import OpenAI from 'openai';
const openai = new OpenAI({apiKey: process.env.OPENAI_API_KEY});

export const plugin = async (Instant) => {
  Instant.Vectors.setEngine(async (values) => {
    const embedding = await openai.embeddings.create({
      model: 'text-embedding-ada-002',
      input: values
    });
    return embedding.data.map(entry => entry.embedding);
  });
};

Explain how we want to automatically store vector fields:

File: _instant/models/blog_post.mjs

import InstantORM from '@instant.dev/orm';

class BlogPost extends InstantORM.Core.Model {

  static tableName = 'blog_posts';

}

// Stores the `title` and `content` fields together as a vector
// in the `content_embedding` vector field
BlogPost.vectorizes(
  'content_embedding',
  (title, content) => `Title: ${title}\n\nBody: ${content}`
);
// optional, just prevents .toJSON() printing the entire array
BlogPost.hides('content_embedding');

export default BlogPost;

And query our vector fields:

const blogPost = await BlogPost.create({title: `My first post`, content: `some content`});
const vector = blogPost.get('content_embedding'); // length 1,536 array

// Find the top 10 blog posts matching "blog posts about dogs"
// Automatically converts query to a vector
let searchBlogPosts = await BlogPost.query()
  .search('content_embedding', 'blog posts about dogs')
  .limit(10)
  .select();

You can read more on vector queries at Composer#search and Composer#similarity.

Query composition

const User = Instant.Model('User');

// Basic querying
let users = await User.query()
  .where({id__in: [7, 8, 9]})
  .orderBy('username', 'ASC')
  .limit(2)
  .select();

// Query with OR by sending in a list of where objects
users = await User.query()
  .where( // Can pass in arguments or an array
    {id__in: [7, 8, 9]},
    {username__istartswith: 'Rom'}
  )
  .select();

// evaluate custom values with SQL commands
// in this case, get users where their username matches the first part of their
// email address
users = await User.query()
  .where({
    username: email => `SPLIT_PART(${email}, '@', 1)`
  })
  .select();

// Joins
users = await User.query()
  .join('posts', {title__icontains: 'hello'}) // JOIN ON
  .where({
    username: 'fred',
    posts__like_count__gt: 5 // query joined table
  })
  .select();
users.forEach(user => {
  let posts = user.joined('posts');
  console.log(posts.toJSON()); // log all posts
});

// Deeply-nested joins:
// only get users who have followers that have posts with images from imgur
users = await User.query()
  .join('followers__posts__images')
  .where({followers__posts__images__url__contains: 'imgur.com'})
  .select();
// Access user[0].followers[0].posts[0].images[0] with...
users[0].joined('followers')[0].joined('posts')[0].joined('images')[0];

// Queries are immutable and composable
// Each command creates a new query object from the previous one
let query = User.query();
let query2 = query.where({username__istartswith: 'Rom'});
let query3 = query2.orderBy('username', 'ASC');
let allUsers = await query.select();
let romUsers = await query2.select();
let orderedUsers = await query3.select();

// You can also just query raw SQL!
await Instant.database().query(`SELECT * FROM users`);

Transactions

const User = Instant.Model('User');
const Account = Instant.Model('Account');

const txn = Instant.database().createTransaction();

const user = await User.create({email: 'keith@instant.dev'}, txn);
const account = await Account.create({user_id: user.get('id')}, txn);
await txn.commit(); // commit queries to database
// OR...
await txn.rollback(); // if anything went wrong, rollback nullifies the queries

// Can pass transactions to the following Class methods
await Model.find(id, txn);
await Model.findBy(field, value, txn);
await Model.create(data, txn);
await Model.update(id, data, txn);
await Model.updateOrCreateBy(field, data, txn);
await Model.query().count(txn);
await Model.query().first(txn);
await Model.query().select(txn);
await Model.query().update(fields, txn);
// Instance methods
await model.save(txn);
await model.destroy(txn);
await model.destroyCascade(txn);
// Instance Array methods
await modelArray.saveAll(txn);
await modelArray.destroyAll(txn);
await modelArray.destroyCascade(txn);

Input validation

File: _instant/models/user.mjs

import InstantORM from '@instant.dev/orm';

class User extends InstantORM.Core.Model {

  static tableName = 'users';

}

// Validates email and password before .save()
User.validates(
  'email',
  'must be valid',
  v => v && (v + '').match(/.+@.+\.\w+/i)
);
User.validates(
  'password',
  'must be at least 5 characters in length',
  v => v && v.length >= 5
);

export default User;

Now validations can be used;

const User = Instant.Model('User');

try {
  await User.create({email: 'invalid'});
} catch (e) {
  // Will catch a validation error
  console.log(e.details);
  /*
    {
      "email": ["must be valid"],
      "password": ["must be at least 5 characters in length"]
    }
  */
}

Relationship verification

File: _instant/models/user.mjs

import InstantORM from '@instant.dev/orm';

class User extends InstantORM.Core.Model {

  static tableName = 'users';

}

// Before saving to the database, asynchronously compare fields to each other
User.verifies(
  'phone_number',
  'must correspond to country and be valid',
  async (phone_number, country) => {
    let phoneResult = await someAsyncPhoneValidationAPI(phone_number);
    return (phoneResult.valid === true && phoneResult.country === country);
  }
);

export default User;

Now verifications can be used;

const User = Instant.Model('User');

try {
  await User.create({phone_number: '+1-416-555-1234', country: 'SE'});
} catch (e) {
  // Will catch a validation error
  console.log(e.details);
  /*
    {
      "phone_number": ["must correspond to country and be valid"],
    }
  */
}

Calculated and hidden fields

File: _instant/models/user.mjs

import InstantORM from '@instant.dev/orm';

class User extends InstantORM.Core.Model {

  static tableName = 'users';

}

User.calculates(
  'formatted_name',
  (first_name, last_name) => `${first_name} ${last_name}`
);
User.hides('last_name');

export default User;
const User = Instant.Model('User');

let user = await User.create({first_name: 'Steven', last_name: 'Nevets'});
let name = user.get('formatted_name') // Steven Nevets
let json = user.toJSON();
/*
  Last name is hidden from .hides()
  {
    first_name: 'Steven',
    formatted_name: 'Steven Nevets'
  }
*/

Lifecycle callbacks

File: _instant/models/user.mjs

import InstantORM from '@instant.dev/orm';

class User extends InstantORM.Core.Model {

  static tableName = 'users';

  async beforeSave (txn) {
    const NameBan = this.getModel('NameBan');
    const nameBans = NameBan.query()
      .where({username: this.get('username')})
      .limit(1)
      .select(txn);
    if (nameBans.length) {
      throw new Error(`Username "${this.get('username')}" is not allowed`);
    }
  }

  async afterSave (txn) {
    // Create an account after the user id is set
    // But only when first creating the user
    if (this.isCreating()) {
      const Account = this.getModel('Account');
      await Account.create({user_id: this.get('id')}, txn);
    }
  }

  async beforeDestroy (txn) { /* before we destroy */ }
  async afterDestroy (txn) { /* after we destroy */ }

}

export default User;

Migrations

instant g:migration

Can be used to generate migrations like:

{
  "id": 20230921192702,
  "name": "create_users",
  "up": [
    [
      "createTable",
      "users",
      [
        {
          "name": "email",
          "type": "string",
          "properties": {
            "nullable": false,
            "unique": true
          }
        },
        {
          "name": "password",
          "type": "string",
          "properties": {
            "nullable": false
          }
        }
      ]
    ]
  ],
  "down": [
    [
      "dropTable",
      "users"
    ]
  ]
}

Seeding

Reset your database and seed values from _instant/seed.json;

instant db:bootstrap

seed.json is an Array of seeds. Anything in the same object is seeded simultaneously and there are no guarantees on order. Otherwise, the seeds are run in the order provided by the Array.

[
  {
    "User": [
      {"email": "keith@instant.dev"}
    ]
  },
  {
    "User": [{"email": "scott@instant.dev"}],
    "Post": [{"title": "Post by Keith", "user_id": 1}]
  }
]

Code Generation

Five types of code generation are supported:

  • Kits: Generated from src/kits, add in complete models, migrations and automatically adds dependencies
    • instant kit [kitName]
  • Models: Generates a new model and associated migration
    • instant g:endpoint
  • Migrations: Generates a new migration
    • instant g:migration
  • Relationships: Generates a new migration that connect models in a one-to-one or many-to-many orientation
    • instant g:relationship
  • Endpoints: Generates CRUD endpoints for a model from src/endpoint
    • instant g:endpoint

Kits

Kits provide an easy way to add complex functionality to your instant.dev apps without having to write code from scratch. Currently kits support development using Autocode and Vercel.

Note that the Autocode CLI comes packaged with its own HTTP wrapper, where lib .fn.name will call /fn/name on the service with a POST request. The -a option is shorthand for providing an Authorization: Bearer header.

Kit: auth

instant kit auth

Creates a User and AccessToken model, as well as corresponding endpoints.

Kit: auth on Autocode

POST users/create
lib .users.create \
  --email keith@instant.dev \
  --password mypass \
  --repeat_password=mypass
{
  "id": 1,
  "email": "keith@instant.dev",
  "created_at": "2023-09-18T22:46:44.866Z",
  "updated_at": "2023-09-18T22:46:44.940Z"
}
POST auth
lib .auth \
  --username keith@instant.dev \
  --password=mypass \
  --grant_type=password
{
  "key": "secret_development_XXX",
  "ip_address": "::ffff:127.0.0.1",
  "user_agent": "curl/7.79.1",
  "expires_at": "2023-10-18T22:53:36.967Z",
  "is_valid": true,
  "created_at": "2023-09-18T22:53:36.967Z",
  "updated_at": "2023-09-18T22:53:36.967Z",
}
GET users/me
lib .users.me -a secret_development_XXX
{
  "id": 1,
  "email": "keith@instant.dev",
  "created_at": "2023-09-18T22:46:44.866Z",
  "updated_at": "2023-09-18T22:46:44.940Z"
}
GET users
lib .users -a secret_development_XXX
[
  {
    "id": 1,
    "email": "keith@instant.dev",
    "created_at": "2023-09-18T22:46:44.866Z",
    "updated_at": "2023-09-18T22:46:44.940Z"
  }
]

Kit: auth on Vercel

POST api/users
curl localhost:3000/api/users --data \
  "email=keith@instant.dev&password=mypass&repeat_password=mypass"
{
  "id": 1,
  "email": "keith@instant.dev",
  "created_at": "2023-09-18T22:46:44.866Z",
  "updated_at": "2023-09-18T22:46:44.940Z"
}
POST api/auth
curl localhost:3000/api/auth --data \
  "username=keith@instant.dev&password=mypass&grant_type=password"
{
  "key": "secret_development_XXX",
  "ip_address": "::ffff:127.0.0.1",
  "user_agent": "curl/7.79.1",
  "expires_at": "2023-10-18T22:53:36.967Z",
  "is_valid": true,
  "created_at": "2023-09-18T22:53:36.967Z",
  "updated_at": "2023-09-18T22:53:36.967Z",
}
GET api/users/me
curl localhost:3000/api/users/me \
  -H "Authorization: Bearer secret_development_XXX"
{
  "id": 1,
  "email": "keith@instant.dev",
  "created_at": "2023-09-18T22:46:44.866Z",
  "updated_at": "2023-09-18T22:46:44.940Z"
}
GET api/users
curl localhost:3000/api/users \
  -H "Authorization: Bearer secret_development_XXX"
[
  {
    "id": 1,
    "email": "keith@instant.dev",
    "created_at": "2023-09-18T22:46:44.866Z",
    "updated_at": "2023-09-18T22:46:44.940Z"
  }
]

Acknowledgements

Special thank you to Scott Gamble who helps run all of the front-of-house work for instant.dev 💜!

Destination Link
Home instant.dev
GitHub github.com/instant-dev
Discord discord.gg/puVYgA7ZMh
X / instant.dev x.com/instantdevs
X / Keith Horwood x.com/keithwhor
X / Scott Gamble x.com/threesided

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