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Sequelize + Express Starter Guide

Sequelize + Express Starter Guide

Based off of:

Create your project directory

Create and initialize your a directory for your Express application.

$ mkdir sequelize-demo
$ cd sequelize-demo
$ npm init


Sequelize is an Object-Relation Mapping (ORM) library that allows you to treat your relational database schemas as objects in your JavaScript applications.

Install the sequelize command line tool

After you are inside the project directory, install sequelize-cli globally.

$ npm install sequelize-cli -g

This will allow us to use the sequelize is a command line tool that helps you create and manage your sequelize files.

In addition, you will need to also install sequelize module localy in order to utilize the command line tool.

$ npm install sequelize --save

Let's start by creating a our configuration file using:

$ sequelize init

This will generate a few files for you, your project folder should now look like this:

├── config
│   └── config.json
├── migrations
├── models
│   └── index.js
└── package.json

Configuring your database

For our example, you're going to be connecting to a Postgres database, we'll also need to install a couple more modules: pg and pg-hstore.

$ npm install pg pg-hstore --save

The generated config/config.json file begins with an environment level. This let's you configure different configurations for different environments, (e.g. – local development vs production).

Edit your development settings in config/config.json to point to your postgres database.

Example config/config.json

  "development": {
    "username": <your username>,
    "password": null,
    "database": "sequelize_demo",
    "host": "",
    "dialect": "postgres"

Adding your models

For this example create two files: models/User.js and models/Task.js.


module.exports = function(sequelize, DataTypes) {
  var User = sequelize.define("User", {
    username: DataTypes.STRING
  }, {
    classMethods: {
      associate: function(models) {

  return User;


module.exports = function(sequelize, DataTypes) {
  var Task = sequelize.define("Task", {
    title: DataTypes.STRING
  }, {
    classMethods: {
      associate: function(models) {

  return Task;

Your models directory should look like this now:

├── index.js
├── task.js
└── user.js

Create your Express application

$ npm install express --save

Create your express application how you normally would, for this example the server listening on port 3000.

var express = require('express');
var app = express();

var db = require('./models');

app.listen(3000, function() {

Start the server:

$ npm start

After the server starts, db.sequelize.sync is invoked, this will automatically synchronize your application with the database. If all goes well your server should have a bunch of SQL queries that will create all of your tables for you!

Making models

After successfully creating your express application, create a route to allow users to create new Users in the database.

Get user input

For this example, install the body-parser module, set it up to parse JSON payloads.

$ npm install body-parser --save


After you have set up the body-parser, add another line of code that requires your User model from your db object.

var User = db.User;

This will let you access the User model so that you can create and read from your database.

Creating users'/users', function (req, res) {
  User.create({ username: req.body.username })
    .then(function (user) {

Getting users

app.get('/users', function(req, res) {
    .then(function (users) {

Create some users!

Using Postman, send POST requests and GET requests to create and fetch users added to your database.

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