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Version: 6.0

Entity

import { Entity } from 'rest-hooks';

export default class Article extends Entity {
readonly id: number | undefined = undefined;
readonly title: string = '';
readonly content: string = '';
readonly author: number | null = null;
readonly tags: string[] = [];

pk() {
return this.id?.toString();
}

static get key() {
return 'Article';
}
}

Entity is an abstract base class used to define data with some form of primary key (or pk for short). When representing data from a relational database, this makes an Entity roughly map 1:1 with a table, where each row represents an instance of the Entity.

By defining a pk() member, Rest Hooks will normalize entities, ensuring consistency and improve performance by increasing cache hit rates.

For common REST patterns, inheriting from Resource is recommended. However, for other cases Entity is a great place to start.

Methods

static fromJS<T extends typeof SimpleRecord>(this: T, props: Partial<AbstractInstanceType<T>>): AbstractInstanceType<T>

Factory method called during denormalization. Use this instead of new MyEntity()

process(input, parent, key): processedEntity

Run at the start of normalization for this entity. Return value is saved in store and sent to pk().

Defaults to simply copying the response ({...input})

abstract pk: (parent?, key?): pk?

PK stands for primary key and is intended to provide a standard means of retrieving a key identifier for any Entity. In many cases there will simply be an 'id' field member to return. In case of multicolumn you can simply join them together.

undefined value

A undefined can be used as a default to indicate the entity has not been created yet. This is useful when initializing a creation form using Entity.fromJS() directly. If pk() resolves to null it is considered not persisted to the server, and thus will not be kept in the cache.

Other uses

While the pk() definition is key (pun intended) for making the normalized cache work; it also becomes quite convenient for sending to a react element when iterating on list results:

//....
return (
<div>
{results.map(result => (
<TheThing key={result.pk()} thing={result} />
))}
</div>
);

Singleton Entities

What if there is only ever once instance of a Entity for your entire application? You don't really need to distinguish between each instance, so likely there was no id or similar field defined in the API. In these cases you can just return a literal like 'the_only_one'.

pk() {
return 'the_only_one';
}

static get key(): string

This defines the key for the Entity itself, rather than an instance. This needs to be a globally unique value.

static merge(existing, incoming): mergedValue

static merge<T extends typeof SimpleRecord>(existing: InstanceType<T>, incoming: InstanceType<T>) => InstanceType<T>

Merge is used to resolve the same entity. This can be because it was previously put in the cache, or it was found in multiple places nested in one response. By default it is the SimpleRecord merge, which prefers values from the newer item but only if they are actually set.

Override this to change the algorithm - for instance if having the absolutely correct latest value is important, adding a timestamp to the entity and then using it to select the return value will solve any race conditions.

Example

class LatestPriceEntity extends Entity {
readonly id: string = '';
readonly timestamp: string = '';
readonly price: string = '0.0';
readonly symbol: string = '';

static merge<T extends typeof SimpleRecord>(
existing: InstanceType<T>,
incoming: InstanceType<T>,
) {
if (existing.timestamp > incoming.timestamp) return existing;
return incoming;
}
}

static validate(processedEntity): errorMessage?

Runs during both normalize and denormalize. Returning a string indicates an error (the string is the message).

During normalization a validation failure will result in an error for that fetch.

During denormalization a validation failure will mark that result as 'invalid' and thus will block on fetching a result.

By default does some basic field existance checks in development mode only. Override to disable or customize.

static infer(args, indexes, recurse): pk?

Allows Rest Hooks to build a response without having to fetch if its entities can be found.

Returning undefined will not infer this entity

Returning pk string will attempt to lookup this entity and use in the response.

When inferring a response, this entity's expiresAt is used to compute the expiry policy.

By default uses the first argument to lookup in pk() and indexes

static expiresAt(meta: { expiresAt: number; date: number }, input: any): expiresAt

This determines expiry time when entity is part of a result that is inferred.

Overriding can be used to change TTL policy specifically for inferred responses.

static indexes?: (keyof this)[]

Indexes enable increased performance when doing lookups based on those parameters. Add fieldnames (like slug, username) to the list that you want to send as params to lookup later.

Note:

Don't add your primary key like id to the indexes list, as that will already be optimized.

useResource()

With useResource() this will eagerly infer the results from entities table if possible, rendering without needing to complete the fetch. This is typically helpful when the entities cache has already been populated by another request like a list request.

export class UserResource extends Resource {
readonly id: number | undefined = undefined;
readonly username: string = '';
readonly email: string = '';
readonly isAdmin: boolean = false;

pk() {
return this.id?.toString();
}

static urlRoot = 'http://test.com/user/';

// right here
static indexes = ['username' as const];
}
const user = useResource(UserResource.detail(), { username: 'bob' });

useCache()

With useCache(), this enables accessing results retrieved inside other requests - even if there is no endpoint it can be fetched from.

class LatestPrice extends Entity {
readonly id: string = '';
readonly symbol: string = '';
readonly price: string = '0.0';
}
class AssetResource extends Resource {
readonly id: string = '';
readonly price: string = '';

static schema = {
price: LatestPrice,
};
}

Some top level component:

const assets = useResource(AssetResource.list(), {});

Nested below:

const price = useCache(LatestPrice, { symbol: 'BTC' });

static schema: { [k: keyof this]: Schema }

Set this to define entities nested inside this one.

Additionally can be used to declare field deserialization

Optional members

Entities references here whose default values in the Record definition itself are considered 'optional'

class User extends Entity {
readonly friend: User | null = null; // this field is optional
readonly lastUpdated: Date = new Date(0);

static schema = {
friend: User,
lastUpdated: Date,
}
}