Top 6 ORMs for Modern Node.js App Development

Muly Gottlieb
Muly Gottlieb
Oct 11, 2023
Top 6 ORMs for Modern Node.js App DevelopmentTop 6 ORMs for Modern Node.js App Development

Blog update:

I guess you reached this blog post because you are starting a new Node.js project or creating a new backend service and looking for the appropriate ORM. So, before diving into this important subject, I would like to start from the end. We at Amplication know how to generate product-ready code for your backend services. We generate thoroughly tested code that fits the best practices and contains your data models, APIs (CRUD and custom), and a large plugin catalog for various architecture preferences and integrations. Our code is shared with you in your preferred git repository, and you can customize it as you want (yes, we know to respect your code in future service evolving). We chose Prisma as the ORM for the backend services. Want to know why? Keep reading. Want to try Amplication? Start free, and let us accelerate your development process with almost zero learning curve from your end.

In modern web development, one can confidently predict that constructing robust and efficient Node.js applications frequently necessitates database interaction. A pivotal challenge in databases-driven applications lies in managing the interplay between the application code and the database.

This is precisely where Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) libraries assume a crucial role.

What is an ORM?

ORMs serve as tools that bridge the divide between the object-oriented nature of application code and the relational structure of databases. They streamline database operations, enhance code organization, and boost developer productivity. In this article, I will delve into the significance of ORMs in Node.js app development and examine the top six ORM tools you can employ to enhance your development workflow.

Importance of ORMs in Node.js App Development

ORMs bridge the gap between the object-oriented programming world and relational databases, making it easier for developers to interact with databases using JavaScript. Here are five key benefits of using ORMs in Node.js app development:

  • Abstraction of Database Operations: ORMs provide a higher-level abstraction, allowing developers to work with JavaScript objects and classes rather than writing complex SQL queries. This abstraction simplifies database operations, making code more readable and maintainable.
  • Database Agnosticism: ORMs are often database-agnostic, which supports multiple database systems. This flexibility allows developers to switch between databases (e.g., MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite) without major code changes, making it easier to adapt to evolving project requirements.
  • Code Reusability: ORMs encourage code reusability by providing a consistent API for database interactions. Developers can create generic database access codes that can be reused across different application parts, reducing duplication and minimizing the chances of errors.
  • Security: ORMs help mitigate common security vulnerabilities, such as SQL injection attacks, by automatically sanitizing and parameterizing SQL queries. This helps in building more secure applications by default.
  • Rapid Development: ORMs accelerate development by simplifying database setup and management. Developers can focus on application logic rather than excessive time on database-related tasks.

Let's explore the top six ORM tools for modern Node.js app development.

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Top 6 ORM tools for modern Node.js app development

1. Sequelize

Sequelize is an extensively employed ORM for Node.js. It supports relational databases, such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and MSSQL. Sequelize boasts a comprehensive array of features for database modeling and querying. It caters to various coding styles by accommodating both Promise and Callback-based APIs. Moreover, it encompasses advanced functionalities such as transactions, migrations, and associations, making it well-suited for intricate database operations.


  • Excellent documentation and a large community.
  • Support for multiple database systems.
  • Strong support for migrations and schema changes.
  • Comprehensive query builder.


  • It can have a steep learning curve for beginners.
  • Some users find the API complex and lengthy.

Best for: Sequelize is a good choice when working with projects that require support for multiple database systems and complex relationships between data models.

2. TypeORM

TypeORM places its focus on TypeScript and JavaScript (ES7+) development. It offers compatibility with various database systems, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and MongoDB. What sets TypeORM apart is its robust integration with TypeScript. It provides a user-friendly experience with a convenient decorator-based syntax for defining entities and relationships. Additionally, TypeORM supports the repository pattern and enables eager loading, enhancing its versatility for developers.


  • Strong TypeScript support with type checking.
  • Intuitive decorator-based syntax.
  • Support for migrations and schema generation.
  • Active development with frequent updates.


  • Limited support for NoSQL databases.
  • It may not be as performant as some other ORMs.
  • Support and maintenance of the project are not always as expected.

Best for: TypeORM is an excellent choice for projects prioritizing TypeScript and prefers a developer-friendly, decorator-based syntax for defining data models.

3. Prisma

Prisma is a contemporary database toolkit and ORM, seamlessly compatible with TypeScript, JavaScript, and multiple databases, such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, MongoDB, and SQL Server. Prisma's primary focus is ensuring type-safe database access, featuring an auto-generated, robust query builder. Prisma excels in prioritizing type safety and modern tooling, producing a strongly typed database client that effectively minimizes runtime errors associated with database queries.


  • Excellent TypeScript integration with generated types.
  • Powerful query builder with auto-completion.
  • Efficient database migrations.
  • Schema-first design approach.
  • Strong support, community, and maintenance and a growing ecosystem.


  • Limited support for NoSQL databases.
  • Relatively newer in the ORM ecosystem.

Best for: Prisma is an ideal choice for projects that prioritize type safety, modern tooling, and efficient database queries, especially when working with TypeScript.

4. Objection.js

Objection.js is a SQL-friendly ORM for Node.js that supports various relational databases, including PostgreSQL, MySQL, and SQLite. It provides a flexible and expressive query builder. Objection.js is known for its expressive syntax, allowing developers to build complex queries easily. It supports eager loading, transactions, and migrations.


  • Expressive query builder.
  • Support for complex data relationships.
  • Excellent documentation.
  • Active development and community support.


  • Limited support for NoSQL databases.
  • It may require a steep learning curve for beginners.

Best for: Objection.js is a good choice for developers who prefer an expressive query builder and need to work with SQL databases in their Node.js projects.

5. Bookshelf.js

Bookshelf.js is an uncomplicated and lightweight ORM designed for Node.js, constructed atop the Knex.js query builder. Its primary aim is to support SQL databases, such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, and SQLite. Bookshelf.js focuses on simplicity and user-friendliness, offering a direct method for defining models and relationships through JavaScript classes and prototypal inheritance.


  • It is lightweight and easy to get started with.
  • Suitable for smaller projects with basic database needs.


  • Limited advanced features compared to other ORMs.
  • It may not be ideal for large and complex applications.

Best for: Bookshelf.js is a good choice for small to medium-sized projects with simple database requirements and developers who prefer a minimalistic approach.

6. Mikro-ORM

Mikro-ORM is a TypeScript ORM that focuses on simplicity and efficiency. It supports various SQL databases and MongoDB. Mikro-ORM is known for its simplicity and developer-friendly APIs. It provides a concise syntax for defining data models and relationships, making it easy to use.


  • TypeScript support with solid typing.
  • Supports SQL and NoSQL databases.
  • Automatic migrations and schema updates.
  • Focus on performance and efficiency.


  • Smaller community compared to some other ORMs.
  • It may not have all the advanced features of larger ORMs.

Best for: Mikro-ORM is an excellent choice for developers who value simplicity and efficiency, especially when working with TypeScript and multiple database types.

What's the best ORM for Node.js microservices?

My short (subjective) answer, is Prisma.

Prisma presents a type-safe and user-friendly approach to database interaction, simplifying intricate database tasks and diminishing the likelihood of runtime errors. It is compatible with various databases, including PostgreSQL, MySQL, MongoDB, and MS SQL Server, making it adaptable to diverse project requirements. The maintenance and support of the project are top-notch, assuring that bugs are quickly addressed and new features roll out on a competitive cadence.

In addition, Prisma is supported by microservice code generation tools like Amplication. Prisma plugs directly into the code generated by Amplication. By doing so, you can utilize Prisma as an ORM layer for your databases and generate microservice code with ease in just a few clicks.


Selecting the right ORM for your Node.js project is an important decision.

The ORMs discussed in this article each bring unique strengths and weaknesses tailored for diverse scenarios. When making your choice, consider critical factors such as type safety, database compatibility, developer-friendliness, community and support, level of maintenance, and the specific demands of your project.

In a nutshell, ORMs offer many invaluable advantages in modern Node.js app development, including the abstraction of database operations, database agnosticism, code reusability, heightened security, and accelerated growth.

By assessing and opting for the ORM that aligns with your requirements, you can streamline database interactions and craft efficient, sustainable applications poised for success. Your choice of ORM will likely stay with your project for a long time and will impact your project's success, so choose wisely and embark on your journey to a brighter development future.