expressjs — Connecting to a database with sequelize and its extensions (sequelize-cli, sequelize-auto, etc.)


This article is the continuation of a first article on the creation of a web application in nodejs thanks to the express-generator package. This time, our goal is to add a MySQL connection in order to retrieve information from a database and display this information in the application as a simple list.

MySQL will be used as a database. To do this, we will use an ORM (Object Relational Mapping). There are several ORM nodejs such as: sequelize, typeORM and Mongoose. The ORM most suitable in our case is sequelize. Sequelize allows the use of a database type: MySQL, postgres, SQLite and Microsoft SQL Server.

We will also add other useful nodejs packages such as: sequelize-auto, sequelize-cli (which are sequelize addons), mysql2 and mysql.

  • mysql and mysql2 are 2 libraries required to be used with sequelize and sequelize-auto. sequelize needs mysql2 to function properly and sequelize-auto needs mysql.

We install these packages by typing this into a console.

npm install sequelize sequelize-auto sequelize-cli mysql mysql2 --save

As sequelize-cli and sequelize-auto will be installed in the same application folder, we will use npx: ( a utility that allows to execute binaries from npm packages).


npx sequelize-cli init

This command creates 4 folders:

  • models
  • the models/index.js file
  • config
  • the config/config.json file
  • migrations
  • seeders

Modify the config/config.json file and fill in the information in our BDD

  "development": {
    "username": "root",
    "password": "*****",
    "database": "dbname",
    "host": "localhost",
    "dialect": "mysql",
    "operatorsAliases": false
  "test": {
    "username": "root",
    "password": "*****",
    "database": "dbname_dev",
    "host": "localhost",
    "dialect": "mysql",
    "operatorsAliases": false
  "production": {
    "username": "root",
    "password": "*****",
    "database": "dbname_prod",
    "host": "localhost",
    "dialect": "mysql",
    "operatorsAliases": false

In our example, sequelize will use the login information contained in “development”. This can be determined by the following line in the file models/index.js

const env = process.env.NODE_ENV || 'development';
const config = require(__dirname + '/../config/config.json')[env];

Let’s use the following command to create a new model.

npx sequelize-cli model:generate - name User - attributes firstName:string,lastName:string,email:string

As stated above, thanks to the sequelize-auto package, we will be able to automatically generate our models from existing tables, which is our case, because we already have a database ready.

npx sequelize-auto -o "./models" -d dbname -h localhost -u root -p 3306 -x motdepasse -e mysql

Data Recovery

Modify bin/www file. Add

var models = require('../models');


models.sequelize.sync().then(function() {
     * Listen on provided port, on all network interfaces.
    server.listen(port, function() {
        debug('Express server listening on port ' + server.address().port);
    server.on('error', onError);
    server.on('listening', onListening);

to automatically synchronize models to the database.

View info in routes/users.js

Let’s modify the file routes/users.js and add

const db = require('../models');

Then in the block

router.get('/', function(req, res, next) {
    db.api.findAll({ limit: 10 }).then(function(rows) {
       res.render('user', { rows: rows });

In the example above — api is the name of the model models/api.js that looks like this

module.exports = function(sequelize, DataTypes) {
  return sequelize.define('api', {
    id: {
      type: DataTypes.INTEGER(11),
      allowNull: false,
      primaryKey: true,
      autoIncrement: true
    name: {
      type: DataTypes.STRING(255),
      allowNull: false
    created_at: {
      type: DataTypes.DATE,
      allowNull: true
    updated_at: {
      type: DataTypes.DATE,
      allowNull: true
  }, {
    tableName: 'api',
    underscored: true

Here is an overview of the api table


Template handlebars

So let’s change views/user.hbs like this

{{#each rows}}
    <div class="border-bottom__1px_solid_black">

which simply displays a loop “#each” : name and created_at are fields in the api table.

Then we go on the url http://localhost:3000/users and we should have this as a result



Thanks to A.A for translating.

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