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The best of an ORM with the flexibility of writing your own SQL.


npm install seaquel --save


At this moment only PostgreSQL is supported. You can either use a connection string or an object. For example:

var seaquel = require('seaquel')
var db = seaquel.connect(process.env.DATABASE_URL)


var seaquel = require('seaquel')
var db = seaquel.connect({
  dialect: 'postgres', // use `mysql` for mysql
  username: 'user',
  password: 'pass',
  database: 'dbname1',
  host: 'localhost',
  dialectOptions: {
    ssl: false

Defining your schema

You can use addTable(tableName) to create new tables. Then you can use addColumn(columnName, type) to add columns to each table. The type can be a string with the name of the native type, such as character varying(255) or one of these:

  • String translates to character varying(255)
  • Number translates to bigint
  • Boolean translates to boolean
  • Date translates to timestamp without timezone
  • serial translates to int and creates a sequence to let this field be autoincremental.

Columns are not nullable by default. You can make a column nullable with .nullable().

You can define some constraints to the columns as well:

  • primaryKey() sets the primary constraint to the column
  • unique() creates a unique constraint on this column
  • index([[indexName], indexType]) creates an index. The default index type is GIST

You can create foreign keys very easily. Check the example to see all this functionality in action:

var users = db.addTable('users')
users.addColumn('id', 'serial').primaryKey()
users.addColumn('first_name', String)
users.addColumn('last_name', String)
users.addColumn('email', String).unique()
users.addColumn('banned', Boolean).index(null, 'btree').default(false)
users.addColumn('password', String).nullable()
users.addColumn('invitation_code', String).onInsert((value) => value || crypto.randomBytes(6).toString('hex'))
var notifications = db.addTable('notifications')
notifications.addColumn('id', 'serial').primaryKey()
notifications.addColumn('text', String)
notifications.addForeignKey('user_id', users.getColumn('id'))
  .then((sql) => {
    if (sql.length > 0) {
      console.log('Run the SQL above to match the required schema')

The sync() method will return SQL to match the schema in your existing database. There is an optional parameter that can be one of the available safety lebels of dbdiff. In any case don't worry because this SQL is never executed automatically. You will need to execute it yourself.

As you can see you can define functions for generating default values for each column. You can use onInsert() and onUpdate(). The given functions will receive the current value (which you can use or ignore).

addCreatedAtColumn(name) is a shorthand for:

table.addColumn(name, Date).onInsert((value) => new Date())

addUpdatedAtColumn(name) is a short hand for:

table.addColumn(name, Date).onInsert((value) => new Date()).onUpdate((value) => new Date())

CRUD operations

CRUD operations are super easy. All operations return promises. Some examples:

var users = db.addTable('users')
// ...
// Insert an object
users.insert({ first_name: 'Anakin', last_name: 'Skywalker', email: '' })
// Update an objet
users.update({ id: userId, first_name: 'Darth', last_name: 'Vader', email: '', likes: seaquel.incr(100) })
// Querying one object
users.selectOne({ id: userId })
// Querying all records in a table
// This method has two parameters, both optional. See below
// Querying all records specifying an ORDER BY
users.selectAll(null, { orderBy: 'id' })
// Query specifying order by, limit and offset. All are optional
users.selectAll(null, { orderBy: 'id', limit: 10, offset: 100 })
// Query specifying WHERE constraints and other options
users.selectAll({ email: '' }, { orderBy: 'id' })
// Update with WHERE. The first argument is the values to set
// and the second one is the conditions to match. In this case:
// SET banned=false to all users with banned=true
users.updateWhere({ banned: false }, { banned: true })
// Delete a record
users.delete({ id: userId })
// Delete with WHERE
users.deleteWhere({ banned: false })

Some methods accept objects "with operators". For example:

users.selectAll({ 'score >': 100 })

These methods are:

  • selectOne(where). This method accepts operators
  • selectAll(where). This method accepts operators
  • deleteWhere(where). This method accepts operators
  • updateWhere(obj, where). The second argument accepts operators


With seaquel is easy to perform joins. For example:

notifications.selectAll(null, {
  orderBy: '',
  join: [
    { table: users, as: 'user', where: { first_name: 'Darth' }, type: 'left' }

In this case the result will include for each row a user object with the columns of the joined table.

These are all the available options:

  • table. Required. The referenced table. It must be an object returned by addTable()
  • as. Required. It's the property name that will contain the referenced objetc
  • where. Optional. Additional constraints to apply to the JOIN
  • type. Optional. The type of join (left, right, inner)
  • filterOnly. Optional. If it's true the join will be performed but the columns of the referenced table won't be included in the result
  • through. Optional. If you have more than one foreign key to the same referenced table with this you specify the column or columns that need to be used in the JOIN. This must be a string or an array of strings (if the foreign key has multiple columns).

Custom queries

This ORM wants to be as simple as possible. For any operation not covered by the high level API you can use your custom SQL. But the ORM helps you with it!

// returns an object
db.queryOne('SELECT COUNT(*) AS count FROM users WHERE id > $1', [userId])
// returns an array of objects
db.queryAll('SELECT DISTINCT something FROM users')
// returns an integer with the number of affected rows
db.execute('CREATE EXTENSION unaccent')


Transactions are super easy. Just wrap everything that needs to be ran in the same transaction inside a db.transaction() call:

db.transaction(() => {
  // Do your queries here and return a promise.
  // If the promise fails the transaction will be rolled back.
  // If the promise succeeds the transaction will be committed.

The second parameter is optional and it is the isolation level of the transaction. If it is not provided the isolation level would be the default of the db you are using. For PostgreSQL it is READ COMMITTED.

The db.transaction() method returns itself a Promise too.

Utility mehtods

When you are running custom queries sometimes you need to put all the columns of one or many tables. You can use the table.columns(alias) method. For example:

  FROM users u
  JOIN ...

That query will result in:

SELECT AS u_id, u.first_name AS u_first_name, u.last_name AS u_last_name, AS u_email, u.banned AS u_banned, u.password AS u_password
FROM users u
JOIN ...

If no alias is passed to columns() in this case it will return id, first_name, last_name, email, banned, password.

If you pass an alias but false as second parameter, this is the result:, u.first_name, u.last_name,, u.banned, u.password