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Once you’ve created a model with the model generator, you can start customizing it. You can customize it using the command-line tool, by editing the model definition JSON file, and by adding JavaScript code.

Customizing a model with the command-line tool

You can use the command-line tool to customize a model after you initially create it; specifically, you can:

Customizing a model using JSON

You can customize a number of aspects of a model by simply editing the model definition JSON file in common/models (for example, customer.json), which by default looks like this:


  "name": "myModel",
  "base": "PersistedModel",
  "properties": {
     // Properties listed here depend on your responses to the CLI
  "validations": [],
  "relations": {},
  "acls": [],
  "methods": []

LoopBack adds the settings in the the model JSON file to those of the base model. In most cases, this is straightforward, but for ACL settings there can be complex interactions since some ACL settings take precedence over others. For more information, see ACL rule precedence for more information.

Extending another model

You can make a model extend or “inherit from” an existing model, either one of the built-in models such as User, or a custom model you’ve defined in your application. To do this with the model generator, simply choose the desired model when you’re prompted to “Select model’s base class”. Alternatively,  you can edit the Model definition JSON file and set the “base” property to the name of the model you want to extend.

For example, here is an excerpt from a customer.json file that extends the built-in User model to define a new Customer model:


  "name": "Customer",
  "base": "User",
  "idInjection": false,

In general, you can extend any model this way, not just the built-in models.

You can create custom models that extend from a single base custom model. For example, to define a model called MyModel that extends from a custom model you defined called mMyBaseModel, create MyModel using model generator  then edit the JSON file common/models/MyModel.json as follows:


  "name": "Example",
  "base": "MyBaseModel",

You can add new properties when you extend a model, for example:


   "name": "Customer",
   "base": "User",
   "properties": {
      "favoriteMovie": {
        "type": "string"

See LoopBack types for information on data types supported.

Customizing other model settings

Here are some of the most important settings you can customize:

  • plural - set to a custom string value to use, instead of the default standard plural form.
  • strict - set to true to make the model save only instances that have the predefined set of properties. Any additional properties in a save or update operation are not persisted to the data source. False by default.
  • idInjection - Whether to automatically add an id property to the model. True by default.
  • http.path - customized HTTP path of REST endpoints.

See Model definition JSON file for more information.

Customizing a model with JavaScript code

The basic way to extend a model programmatically is to edit the model’s JavaScript file in the common/models/ directory. For example, a “customer” model will have a common/models/customer.js file (if you create the model using the  model generator). The script is executed immediately after the model is defined. Treat the script as part of the model definition; use it for model configuration and registration. You could also add model relationships, complex validations, or default functions for certain properties: Basically, anything you cannot do in JSON. However, note that at this point the script doesn’t have access to the app instance.  

You can also extend a model by adding a remote method or an operation hook.

If you don’t want to expose the method over REST, then just omit the remoteMethod() call.

See Adding application logic for more information on customizing a model using JavaScript. See LoopBack types for information on data types supported.

Change the implementation of built-in methods

Via server boot script

When you attach a model to a persistent data source, it becomes a persisted model that extends PersistedModel, and LoopBack automatically adds a set of built-in methods for CRUD operations. In some cases, you might want to change the implementation; use a JavaScript file in the /server/boot directory to do this. For example, the following code shows how to reimplement Note.find() to override the built-in find() method.


module.exports = function(app) {
  var Note = app.models.Note;
  var find = Note.find;
  var cache = {};

  Note.find = function(filter, cb) {
    var key = '';
    if(filter) {
      key = JSON.stringify(filter);
    var cachedResults = cache[key];
    if(cachedResults) {
      console.log('serving from cache');
      process.nextTick(function() {
        cb(null, cachedResults);
    } else {
      console.log('serving from db');, function(err, results) {
        if(!err) {
          cache[key] = results;
        cb(err, results);

Via your model’s script

Use a JavaScript file in the common/models directory to do this


module.exports = function(MyModel) {
  MyModel.on('dataSourceAttached', function(obj){
    var find = MyModel.find;
    MyModel.find = function(filter, cb) {
      return find.apply(this, arguments);


Tags: models