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Connecting to Oracle

The following tutorial introduces how to set up Oracle as the data source of LoopBack 4 applications with LoopBack Oracle connector.


Before starting this tutorial, make sure you have the following installed:

Tutorial - Oracle

1. Create a new LoopBack 4 app

Let’s use the LB4 CLI lb4 app to create a LoopBack 4 application called MyApp:

$ lb4 app
? Project name: my-app
? Project description: Oracle connector tutorial
? Project root directory: my-app
? Application class name: MyAppApplication
? Select features to enable in the project (Press <space> to select, <a> to togg
le all, <i> to invert selection)
❯◉ Enable eslint: add a linter with pre-configured lint rules
 ◉ Enable prettier: install prettier to format code conforming to rules
 ◉ Enable mocha: install mocha to run tests
 ◉ Enable loopbackBuild: use @loopback/build helpers (e.g. lb-eslint)
 ◉ Enable vscode: add VSCode config files
 ◉ Enable docker: include Dockerfile and .dockerignore
 ◉ Enable repositories: include repository imports and RepositoryMixin
(Move up and down to reveal more choices)

2. Create models

Let’s create a simple model User. To keep the tutorial short, the prompts of lb4 model are skipped:


// imports
export class User extends Entity {
    type: 'number',
    id: true,
    generated: true,
  id: number;

    type: 'string',
  name?: string;

    type: 'boolean',
  hasAccount: boolean;

  constructor(data?: Partial<User>) {

3. Create a data source

LoopBack allows you to connect to your Oracle database via different methods: Easy connect with host/port/database, TNS, and LDAP. Let’s create a DataSource db using the Oracle connector with Easy connect method by the prompts below:

$ lb4 datasource
? Datasource name: db
? Select the connector for db:
  PostgreSQL (supported by StrongLoop)
❯ Oracle (supported by StrongLoop)
  Microsoft SQL (supported by StrongLoop)
? host: localhost
? port: 1521
? user: loopback
? password: [hidden] // example password: pa55w0rd
? database: xe

Datasource Db was created in src/datasources/

Under src/datasources/db.datasource.ts, we can find the DbDataSource class and the config we just set:

const config = {
  name: 'db',
  connector: 'oracle',
  tns: '',
  host: 'localhost',
  port: 1521,
  user: 'loopback',
  password: 'pa55w0rd',
  database: 'xe',

The DataSource would then connect to your back-end service(Oracle) with the config when the app starts.

4. Create repositories

A Repository is an artifact that ties the model and the datasource. We will need to create the repository for the User class to access the database. The steps of creating UserRepository by running lb4 repository are skipped here:


// imports
export class UserRepository extends DefaultCrudRepository<
> {
  constructor(@inject('datasources.db') dataSource: DbDataSource) {
    super(User, dataSource);

5. Database migration

LoopBack provides a convenient way to create schemas/tables for our models if we don’t have corresponding schemas defined in the relational database. Once we created the above artifacts, run the following commands:

1. Build the project:

$ npm run build

2. Migrate database schemas (alter existing tables):

$ npm run migrate

This would generate the corresponding Oracle table USER using the metadata from User model via auto-migrate if it does not exist. See Database Migration section below for information.

If you check the database, you should able to see the table USER.

SQL> SELECT column_name,data_type,data_length FROM all_tab_columns
     WHERE table_name='USER' AND owner='LOOPBACK';

ID              NUMBER         22
NAME           VARCHAR2       1024
HASACCOUNT       CHAR          1

6. Create endpoints and view data using API Explorer

Once we built a controller with lb4 controller to handle requests:

$ lb4 controller
? Controller class name: user
Controller User will be created in src/controllers/user.controller.ts

? What kind of controller would you like to generate? REST Controller with CRUD
? What is the name of the model to use with this CRUD repository? User
? What is the name of your CRUD repository? UserRepository
? What is the name of ID property? id
? What is the type of your ID? number
? Is the id omitted when creating a new instance? Yes
? What is the base HTTP path name of the CRUD operations? /users

Notice that the id is omitted in the request here because it is autogenerated.

From the project root, start the app:

$ npm start

We can verify what we just created with API Explorer http://localhost:3000/explorer/.

Database Migration

As we showed in the previous steps, Database migration helps you create relational database schemas based on definitions of your models. Here are some tips:

  • if you make further changes to models, make sure to run npm run build before running the migrate script again
  • npm run migrate alters existing tables for you. If you’d like to drop any existing schemas, you can do npm run migrate -- --rebuild. But notice that all the data will be lost.

Please check Database migration for details.

Besides the basic model metadata, you can also specify part of the database schema definition via the property definition, which would be mapped to the database. See Data Mapping Properties.

Model Discovery

While database migration allows you to migrate models to the DB, LoopBack also provides a command lb4 discover to generate models based on schemas from the database. For example, we can try to discover the USER table we created previously:

$ npm run build
$ lb4 discover
? Select the connector to discover  db
? Select the models which to discover  User
? Select a convention to convert db column names(EXAMPLE_COLUMN) to model proper
ty names: Camel case (exampleColumn) (Recommended)
? Overwrite src/models/user.model.ts? overwrite
    force src/models/user.model.ts
   update src/models/index.ts

Models User was created in src/models/

As we can see, the newly generated User model would contain database specific details:

// imports
  settings: {idInjection: false, oracle: {schema: 'LOOPBACK', table: 'USER'}},
export class User extends Entity {
    type: 'number',
    required: true, // set this to false if the value is auto-generated by the db
    length: 22,
    id: 1,
    oracle: {
      columnName: 'ID',
      dataType: 'NUMBER',
      dataLength: 22,
      dataPrecision: null,
      dataScale: null,
      nullable: 'N',
  id: number;

    type: 'string',
    required: true,
    length: 1024,
    oracle: {
      columnName: 'NAME',
      dataType: 'VARCHAR2',
      dataLength: 1024,
      dataPrecision: null,
      dataScale: null,
      nullable: 'N',
  name: string;

    type: 'boolean',
    required: true,
    length: 1,
    oracle: {
      columnName: 'HASACCOUNT',
      dataType: 'CHAR',
      dataLength: 1,
      dataPrecision: null,
      dataScale: null,
      nullable: 'N',
  hasaccount: boolean;
  // ...

The field oracle.<property> maps to the database definition of a table/column. This allows you to customize the table/column names and also specify some database related settings. See Data Mapping Properties.