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    5.0.3 • Public • Published


    Muckraker is a wrapper around the pg-promise library to provide some simple, easily extensable, functionality out of the box.

    new Muckraker(options)

    The options object may contain the following:

    • connection: Postgres configuration object passed through directly to the pg library.
    • pg: Configuration passed directly to the pg-promise library.
    • scriptDir: Path to the directory containing all of your .sql and .js scripts. More on this below.
    • timestamps: Configuration for the timestamp columns. More on this below.
    • encrypt: Encryption options. More on this below.


    Execute a query on the root level database. Arguments passed to this method are passed directly to pg-promise's query method

    muckraker.task(tag, fn)

    Acquire a database connection with a given (optional) tag then run the passed in function fn passing the database connection as the first parameter. The connection will be a clone of the root database object, containing the same table and script methods.

    muckraker.tx(options, fn)

    Acquire a database connection and begin a transaction, then run the passed in function fn passing the database connection as the first parameter. The connection will be a clone of the root database object, containing the same table and script methods. After the passed in fn completes, the transaction will either be committed or aborted depending on if your function throws an error.

    The options available are:

    • tag: Similar to the task method, used for identification purposes.
    • mode: A TransactionMode object, used to configure the transaction's behavior.


    In addition to the top level methods, muckraker will create a table object for each table in your database and attach it to the top level object. For example, if you have a database named users and another table named profiles, your root database object (db) will have table objects at db.users and db.profiles.

    Query building

    Query parameters for each table method are passed as an object. This object may contain any properties you like, though any top level keys that do not match a column in the active table will be ignored. Each property that matches a valid column will add a clause to the WHERE portion of a query.

    The default comparison, used for any value which is not an object, is = (equals). Other operators are supported by using an object with the matching key, such as db.users.find({ column: { $ne: 'test' } }). Currently available operators are:

    • $eq for =
    • $ne for !=
    • $lt for <
    • $lte for <=
    • $gt for >
    • $gte for >=
    • $in for IN
    • $nin for NOT IN
    • $like for LIKE
    • $nlike for NOT LIKE

    Multiple properties passed together are joined with AND statements.

    JSON/JSONB columns

    In addition to the above simple queries, a deeper object may be passed representing an operation on a property within a json or jsonb column. For example:

    db.users.find({ preferences: { some: { really: { deep: { property: { $ne: null } } } } } })

    Would yield a query similar to SELECT * FROM "users" WHERE "preferences"#>>'{some,really,deep,property}' IS NOT NULL

    Result columns

    Each table method, with the exception of destroy, accepts a final parameter columns. This parameter is optional and should be an array of column names you wish to have returned. By default, every column in the table that is not encrypted will be returned.

    In order to receive encrypted values you must specify the columns parameter and include the name of the encrypted column.

    In addition, you may return a child property of a json or jsonb column by passing an array to this property representing the path to the key. For example:

    table.find({ public: true }, ['id', ['a-json-column', 'and', 'its', 'key']])

    Would return an array of objects with two properties id and key (named for the final property in the json path chain).

    Automatic timestamps

    Muckraker will attempt to automatically update known columns for created, updated and deleted timestamps.

    These column names default to created_at, updated_at, and deleted_at. You may change these options both globally as well as specifying them on a per-table basis when initializing the database object. For example:

    const db = new Muckraker({
      timestamps: {
        created: 'created_at', // global defaults
        updated: 'updated_at',
        deleted: 'deleted_at',
        users: {
          created: 'created', // overrides for only the "users" table
          updated: 'updated',
          deleted: 'deleted'

    When using the insert() method, both the created and updated timestamps will be set to the current time by default. If you manually specify a value for either as part of your data object that value will take precedence.

    When using the update() or updateOne() methods, the updated timestamp will be set to the current time. Again, if a value for the column is specified it will take precedence.

    The deleted timestamp is used to implement soft deletes. By default every query will specify a WHERE deleted_at IS NULL clause. This can be overridden by manually specifying an operator for the column, such as table.find({ deleted_at: { $ne: null } }). If the deleted column exists, the destroy() method will default to populating the column with the current timestamp instead of actually deleting the row. If you wish to forcefully delete, even when typically using soft deletes, you may pass the object { force: true } as the second parameter to the destroy() method. For example: table.destroy({ id: 0 }, { force: true }).


    Muckraker has some basic support for encryption via the pgcrypto extension and its pgp_sym_encrypt and pgp_sym_decrypt methods. To use it, you must inform muckraker about what columns are encrypted:

    const db = new Muckraker({
      encrypt: {
        'users.secret': { key: 'some_secret_key' }

    The above configuration tells muckraker that the "secret" column in the "users" table is encrypted. In order for this to work correctly, you must load the pgcrypto extension by running CREATE EXTENSION "pgcrypto";. You must also set the column type of the encrypted column to BYTEA.

    Now when the "secret" column is written to, its value will be encrypted by postgres:

    db.users.insert({ name: 'test', secret: 'some super secret value' });
    // writes the result of pgp_sym_encrypt('some super secret value', 'some_secret_key', 'cipher-algo=aes256') to the "secret" column

    When performing queries, by default any encrypted columns are not returned. This is to help prevent accidentally leaking sensitive data. If you would like to return an encrypted column, pass an array of column names manually and muckraker will decrypt the value and return it for you:

    db.users.findOne({ name: 'test' }, ['name', 'secret']);
    // returns { name: 'test', secret: 'some super secret value' }

    The default cipher of aes256 may be overridden globally by passing a cipher property in the options, as well as per-column by passing it next to the key property:

    const db = new Muckraker({
      encrypt: {
        'users.secret': { key: 'some_secret_key' }, // uses the default cipher
        'users.extraSecret': { cipher: 'aes512', key: 'another_secret_key' }, // uses its own cipher
        cipher: 'aes192' // default

    table.find(params, columns)

    Perform a SELECT query returning any number of rows.

    table.findOne(params, columns)

    Perform a SELECT query returning either exactly one row, or null.

    table.insert(data, columns)

    Perform an INSERT using the given data.

    table.destroy(params, options)

    Perform a DELETE. The options object may specify a force boolean, which when true will perform a hard delete even when a timestamp column representing soft deletes exists.

    table.update(params, data, columns)

    Perform an UPDATE query matching any number of rows using params as the WHERE and data as the new values.

    table.updateOne(params, data, columns)

    Perform an UPDATE query matching either exactly one row, or none using params as the WHERE and data as the new values.


    Sometimes writing long queries can be cumbersome, so muckraker can also load queries from both *.sql and *.js files. By default, these files will be loaded recursively from a directory named db in the current working directory at initialization time. You may override this by using the scriptDir property passed to the Muckraker constructor.

    Script files may be located either directly in the db directory, which will yield in functions being attached directly to the root database instance, or contained within a directory with a name matching a table which will attach the function to the corresponding table object instead. Scripts contained in directories that do not match a table will be ignored.

    When using *.sql files, you may use yaml frontmatter to specify some additional configuration items while *.js files provide this configuration via properties in an exported object.

    A *.sql file that returns either exactly one row or null might look like:

    name: myFunction
    returns: one || none
    SELECT * FROM "users" WHERE id = $[id]

    While the corresponding *.js file could look like: = 'myFunction'
    exports.returns = 'one || none'
    exports.query = 'SELECT * FROM "users" WHERE id = $[id]'
    // this query could also be defined as a function like so
    exports.execute = function (db, { id }) {
      return db.users.findOne({ id })

    Each script may specify:

    • name: A string used to name a given function. If not specified, this defaults to the filename of the script.
    • returns: A string describing the number of rows this query is intended to return. Available values are one, many, none, and any. Multiple values can be appended using the characters ||, for example one || none. The meaning of each of these values can be found in the pg-promise docs
    • transaction: An object describing transaction options. This may also be the value true to provide a simple transaction. Available properties on this key are:
      • tag: For identification, defaults to the same value as name.
      • isolation: Specify isolation level, see here for possible values to be passed as a string.
      • readOnly: A boolean, when true specifies the transaction to be READ ONLY.
      • deferrable: A boolean, when true specifies the transaction to be DEFERRABLE.

    As well as one of the following (note that *.sql files pass text after the frontmatter as an implicit query property):

    • execute: A function to be run. This will be passed exactly two arguments, the first being an instance of the db, the second being user specified input.
    • query: A string SQL query following the conventions of pg-promise queries




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