LoopBack enables you to easily persist your data model to a variety of data sources without having to write code.

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You’re going to take the app from the previous section and connect it to MySQL.   

Get the app (in the state following the last article) from GitHub and install all its dependencies:

$ git clone https://github.com/strongloop/loopback-getting-started.git
$ cd loopback-getting-started
$ git checkout step1
$ npm install

Add a data source

Now you’re going to define a data source using the Data source generator:

$ lb datasource

The generator will prompt you to name the data source:

[?] Enter the data-source name:

Enter mysqlDs and hit Enter.

Next, the generator will prompt you for the type of data source:

? Select the connector for mysqlDs: (Use arrow keys)
❯ In-memory db (supported by StrongLoop)
  IBM DB2 (supported by StrongLoop)
  IBM DashDB (supported by StrongLoop)
  IBM MQ Light (supported by StrongLoop)
  IBM Cloudant DB (supported by StrongLoop)
  IBM DB2 for z/OS (supported by StrongLoop)
  MongoDB (supported by StrongLoop)
(Move up and down to reveal more choices)

Press the down-arrow key to highlight MySQL (supported by StrongLoop), then hit Enter.  

Then the tool will prompt you for the data source configuration settings. For MySQL, you can either enter all the settings in URL format, or individually.

Connector-specific configuration:
? Connection String url to override other settings (eg: mysql://user:pass@host/db):

Press Enter to skip the URL connection string, since you’ll enter the settings individually.

To use the StrongLoop MySQL server enter the settings shown below. To use your own MySQL server, enter the hostname, port number, and login credentials for your server. 

? host: demo.strongloop.com
? port: 3306
? user: demo
? password: L00pBack
? database: getting_started
? Install loopback-connector-mysql@^2.2 Yes

When the tool prompts you to install the connector, hit Enter to make the tool run npm install loopback-connector-mysql --save. The tool will also add the data source definition to the server/datasources.json file, which will look as shown below.  Notice the “mysqlDs” data source you just added, as well as in-memory data source named “db,” which is there by default.


  "db": {
    "name": "db",
    "connector": "memory"
  "mysqlDs": {
      "host": "demo.strongloop.com",
      "port": 3306,
      "url": "",
      "database": "getting_started",
      "password": "L00pBack",
      "name": "mysqlDs",
      "user": "demo",
      "connector": "mysql"

Connect CoffeeShop model to MySQL

Now you’ve created a MySQL data source and you have a CoffeeShop model; you just need to connect them.  LoopBack applications use the model-config.json file to link models to data sources.  Edit /server/model-config.json and look for the CoffeeShop entry:


  "CoffeeShop": {
    "dataSource": "db",
    "public": true

Change the dataSource property from db to mysqlDs.  This attaches the CoffeeShop model to the MySQL datasource you just created and configured:


  "CoffeeShop": {
    "dataSource": "mysqlDs",
    "public": true

Add some test data and view it

Now you have a CoffeeShop model in LoopBack, how do you  create the corresponding table in MySQL database?

You could try executing some SQL statements directly…but LoopBack provides a Node API to do it for you automatically using a process called auto-migration.  For more information, see Creating a database schema from models.

The loopback-getting-started module contains the create-sample-models.js script to demonstrate auto-migration.  If you’ve been following along from the beginning (and didn’t just clone this module), then you’ll need to copy it from below or from GitHub .  Put it in the application’s /server/boot directory so it will get executed when the application starts.


module.exports = function(app) {
  app.dataSources.mysqlDs.automigrate('CoffeeShop', function(err) {
    if (err) throw err;

      name: 'Bel Cafe',
      city: 'Vancouver'
    }, {
      name: 'Three Bees Coffee House',
      city: 'San Mateo'
    }, {
      name: 'Caffe Artigiano',
      city: 'Vancouver'
    }], function(err, coffeeShops) {
      if (err) throw err;

      console.log('Models created: \n', coffeeShops);

This will save some test data to the data source.

Now run the application:

$ node .

In the console, you’ll see this:

Browse your REST API at
Web server listening at:
Models created: [ { name: 'Bel Cafe',
    city: 'Vancouver',
    id: 1 },
  { name: 'Three Bees Coffee House',
    city: 'San Mateo',
    id: 3 },
  { name: 'Caffe Artigiano',
    city: 'Vancouver',
    id: 2 } ]

You can also use the API Explorer:

  1. Browse to (you may need to use http://localhost:3000/explorer, depending on your browser and OS).
  2. Click GET  /CoffeeShops  Find all instance of the model matched by filter…
  3. Click Try it out!
  4. You’ll see the data for the three coffee shops created in the above script. 

Next: In Extend your API, you’ll learn how to add a custom method to your model.