Top PostgreSQL ORMs, Query Builders, Databases, & More

There are many tools server-side developers can use to support their efforts to build websites and cloud-based solutions using Node.js applications. There are many Object-Relational Models (ORMs), query builders, and SQL databases to select. How do developers know which tools will work best for their needs?

Developer Karim Marzouq in Manodical.com states, “ORMs are a class of tools that facilitate interactions between a programming language and a relational database management system.”

Query builders are also popular tools to save time writing Javascript and SQL queries. In Dev.io, Cesare Ferrari says, “Query builders allow us to create database queries that work with any supported database without having to worry about differences between SQL implementations in different database systems.”

Traditional SQL databases are great tools for processing and analyzing data that does not change too rapidly. There is now a new category of databases that process streaming data making it possible to process and analyze millions of data points per second. This article will summarize several of the more popular Node.js tools in order to help you make a more informed decision.

Prisma

Prisma is an open-sourced ORM toolset that works with most of the most popular SQL databases and Node.js. Unlike many other ORMs that define databases using classes, the Prisma schema creates a visual representation of the database, which provides a single source of truth. From the schema, Prisma produces a client that exposes a Create-Read-Update-Delete (CRUD) API, which you can use to query the database. Prisma is a popular and active ORM with solid community support. Prisma launched in 2016. The company closed a round of investment capital to support the development and marketing of the platform.

Mongoose

Mongoose is a popular object-mapping tool for the MongoDB database. Since MongoDB works with document-based NoSQL databases. Mongoose can be called a document-mapping tool that creates schemas with built-in type casting, query building, validation, and business logic hooks. Mongoose was first released in 2011 and has an active and supportive development community.

Knex.js

Knex.js is a query builder that supports multiple databases and features transaction support, connection pooling and includes a streaming interface. Knex.js sits above the database and gives you the ability to avoid writing SQL code by hand. Since Knex.js is a lower-level library, you will need to be familiar with database concepts like indices and connects. Designed as a Javascript “batteries-included” query builder, it supports multiple databases and has not changed much since its release in 2013.

InfluxData

InfluxData is a time-series database designed to work with constant flows of data in real-time. It allows you to store, categorize and analyze millions of data points per second. More than just a database, the InfluxData platform includes productivity tools, templates, and libraries to expand its capabilities. InfluxData is a perfect toolset for working with IoT applications where monitoring high-volumes of streaming data is a critical requirement. Developers can also analyze customer feedback and data for online shopping sites and other businesses processing high-volumes of streaming information.

Materialize

Materialize is a SQL streaming database where you can build live applications, stream data and perform real-time joins. Materialize allows you to ask questions about streaming data and returns instant, live answers even as the underlying data changes. It remembers the questions you ask and instead of running the full query every time the data changes, Materialize simply updates the answers based on the previous results. Materialize is a commercial product derived from a Microsoft Research initiative. The company received a $40 million investment in 2020 and is planning on releasing a cloud-based product sometime this year.

Sequelize

Sequelize is a stable and mature promised-based Node.js ORM. One of the more popular and downloaded ORMs, Sequelize, supports multiple databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, SQLite, and MariaDB. There are many benefits to using Sequelize. It uses familiar ORM and ActiveRecord images. Sequelize documentation is deep and extensive providing, and there is a strong support community. Unfortunately, the project has stagnated over the last few years, and the only updates have been maintenance fixes and minor enhancements.

Which One is Best for You?

There are many Node.js productivity tools for you to use to help you with your server-side application development projects. Each tool has its pros and cons, but most of the applications in this article work with the primary SQL databases, including Postgres, MySQL, SQLite, and MariaDB. If you are looking for an ORM that builds a visual schema, Prisma is an excellent option. Sequelize has a long and a proven track record and supports the full range of SQL databases if you prefer a more classic tool. While the core source code of Prisma is opensource and supported by a community, it is also supported by a company with full-time developers and support teams, so you receive the best of both worlds. If you dislike writing SQL code, then using a query builder like Knex.js will save you a lot of time and frustration. Mongoose is the preferred ORM for MongoDB, which works with non-structured document libraries. The most interesting tools are the two newer additions, InfluxData and Materialize. These databases work with streaming data and provide real-time analysis and reporting capabilities useful for monitoring applications used in industrial IoT applications.

The best way to know which tool suits your type of work is to download and try each of the tools for yourself. Except for InfluxDB and Materialize, all of the other ORMs are open-source code that you can load into your Node.js environment. Create some test applications to get familiar with the different features and tool sets to decide for yourself. If you have problems or want more feedback, the open source tools have extensive communities of users and developers who can provide support and advice. You will not be alone.