Individual models are easy to understand and work with. But in reality, models are often connected or related. When you build a real-world application with multiple models, you’ll typically need to define relations between models. For example:
- A customer has many orders and each order is owned by a customer.
- A user can be assigned to one or more roles and a role can have zero or more users.
- A physician takes care of many patients through appointments. A patient can see many physicians too.
With connected models, LoopBack exposes as a set of APIs to interact with each of the model instances and query and filter the information based on the client’s needs.
Model relation in LoopBack 3 is one of its powerful features which helps users define real-world mappings between their models, access sensible CRUD APIs for each of the models, and add querying and filtering capabilities for the relation APIs after scaffolding their LoopBack applications. In LoopBack 4, with the introduction of repositories, we aim to simplify the approach to relations by creating constrained repositories. This means that certain constraints need to be honoured by the target model repository based on the relation definition, and thus we produce a constrained version of it as a navigational property on the source repository.
Here are the currently supported relations:
hasMany relation may alternatively be implemented using the
embedsMany relations. These relations are similar, but
not the same. Since each database paradigm comes with different trade-offs and
thus different databases require the applications to use different relation
types, use the relation best suited for your database.
The articles on each type of relation above will show you how to leverage the new relation engine to define and configure relations in your LoopBack application.