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For unstructured data such as that in NoSQL databases and REST services, you can create models using instance introspection. Instance introspection creates a model from a single model instance using buildModelFromInstance().

The following data sources support instance introspection: 

For example:


module.exports = function(app) {
  var db = app.dataSources.db;

  // Instance JSON document
  var user = {
    name: 'Joe',
    age: 30,
    birthday: new Date(),
    vip: true,
    address: {
      street: '1 Main St',
      city: 'San Jose',
      state: 'CA',
      zipcode: '95131',
      country: 'US'
    friends: ['John', 'Mary'],
    emails: [
      {label: 'work', id: ''},
      {label: 'home', id: ''}
    tags: []

  // Create a model from the user instance
  var User = db.buildModelFromInstance('User', user, {idInjection: true});

  // Use the model for create, retrieve, update, and delete
  var obj = new User(user);


  User.create(user, function (err, u1) {
    console.log('Created: ', u1.toObject());
    User.findById(, function (err, u2) {
      console.log('Found: ', u2.toObject());