Build a Node.js App with CockroachDB

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CockroachDB v1.0 is no longer supported. For more details, see the Release Support Policy.

This tutorial shows you how build a simple Node.js application with CockroachDB using a PostgreSQL-compatible driver or ORM. We've tested and can recommend the Node.js pg driver and the Sequelize ORM, so those are featured here.

For a more realistic use of Sequelize with CockroachDB, see our examples-orms repository.

Before You Begin

Make sure you have already installed CockroachDB.

Step 1. Install the Sequelize ORM

To install Sequelize, as well as a CockroachDB Node.js package that accounts for some minor differences between CockroachDB and PostgreSQL, run the following command:

$ npm install sequelize sequelize-cockroachdb

Step 2. Start a single-node cluster

For the purpose of this tutorial, you need only one CockroachDB node running in insecure mode:

$ cockroach start \
--insecure \
--store=hello-1 \

Step 3. Create a user

In a new terminal, as the root user, use the cockroach user command to create a new user, maxroach.

$ cockroach user set maxroach --insecure

Step 4. Create a database and grant privileges

As the root user, use the built-in SQL client to create a bank database.

$ cockroach sql --insecure -e 'CREATE DATABASE bank'

Then grant privileges to the maxroach user.

$ cockroach sql --insecure -e 'GRANT ALL ON DATABASE bank TO maxroach'

Step 5. Run the Node.js code

The following code uses the Sequelize ORM to map Node.js-specific objects to SQL operations. Specifically, Account.sync({force: true}) creates an accounts table based on the Account model (or drops and recreates the table if it already exists), Account.bulkCreate([...]) inserts rows into the table, and Account.findAll() selects from the table so that balances can be printed.

Copy the code or download it directly.

var Sequelize = require('sequelize-cockroachdb');

// Connect to CockroachDB through Sequelize.
var sequelize = new Sequelize('bank', 'maxroach', '', {
  dialect: 'postgres',
  port: 26257,
  logging: false

// Define the Account model for the "accounts" table.
var Account = sequelize.define('accounts', {
  id: { type: Sequelize.INTEGER, primaryKey: true },
  balance: { type: Sequelize.INTEGER }

// Create the "accounts" table.
Account.sync({force: true}).then(function() {
  // Insert two rows into the "accounts" table.
  return Account.bulkCreate([
    {id: 1, balance: 1000},
    {id: 2, balance: 250}
}).then(function() {
  // Retrieve accounts.
  return Account.findAll();
}).then(function(accounts) {
  // Print out the balances.
  accounts.forEach(function(account) {
    console.log( + ' ' + account.balance);
}).catch(function(err) {
  console.error('error: ' + err.message);

Then run the code:

$ node sequelize-basic-sample.js

The output should be:

1 1000
2 250

To verify that the table and rows were created successfully, you can again use the built-in SQL client:

$ cockroach sql --insecure -e 'SHOW TABLES' --database=bank
|  Table   |
| accounts |
(1 row)
$ cockroach sql --insecure -e 'SELECT id, balance FROM accounts' --database=bank
| id | balance |
|  1 |    1000 |
|  2 |     250 |
(2 rows)

What's Next?

Read more about using the Sequelize ORM, or check out a more realistic implementation of Sequelize with CockroachDB in our examples-orms repository.

You might also be interested in using a local cluster to explore the following core CockroachDB features:

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