⚠️ This page and sub-pages are relevant only if you installed Forest Admin directly on a database (SQL/Mongodb). If you installed in a Rails/Django/Laravel app, you manage your models like you normal

Please be sure of your agent type and version and pick the right documentation accordingly.

This is the documentation of the forest-express-sequelize and forest-express-mongoose Node.js agents that will soon reach end-of-support.

forest-express-sequelize v9 and forest-express-mongoose v9 are replaced by @forestadmin/agent v1.

Please check your agent type and version and read on or switch to the right documentation.


Your models are located in /models. They control a big part of your Forest UI.

Reflecting your database changes in your UI

When you install for the first time, Lumber introspects your database and generates your models accordingly.

Afterwards, here's how your database changes can be rendered in your Forest UI:

Updating your models automatically

If you made many changes or even added a new table/collection, we recently reintroduced a programmatic way to help you manage the associated file changes:

This feature requires an agent version 7 or higher.

Version 2.2+ of Forest CLI allows you via its schema:update command to:

  • Generate files which, after introspecting your database, appear to be missing in your folders (models , routes & forest). Eg. Adding a new table and launching schema:update within your project directory should generate the associated models/routes & forest files

  • Generate a correct project architecture to easily manage multiple databases. After your onboarding (on a single database), update the config/databases.js file to add a new connection, launch schema:update and your models should be set correctly

forest schema:update will never modify your code base (remove files, move files, change file content). It's up to you to copy some (or all) of the generated contents into your existing files/folders.

Note that forest schema:update options are as follows:

  • -c or --config , allowing to specify a path for the config file to user (Default to ./config/databases.js)

  • -o or --output-directory : Create a directory named after the config parameter provided. It will also redump all the models/routes/forest file in a specific directory, allowing the end-user to pick code modification.

This command need to be launched at the root of the project directory, where the .env should be, since it is required by config/databases.js file.

Have any models that will always stay hidden? Find out how you can exclude them and gain on performance.

Enriching your models

Lumber does some of the work for you. However, you remain in control of your models.

On the following page, we'll cover how you can enrich your models:

pageEnrich your models

The .forestadmin-schema.json file

On server start, a .forestadmin-schema.json file will be auto-generated in local (development) environments only. It reflects:

  • the state of your models (in /models).

  • your Forest Admin customization (in /forest).

This file must be versioned and deployed for any remote environment (staging, production, etc.), as it will be used to generate your Forest UI.

We use the environment variable NODE_ENV to detect if an environment is in development. Setting this variable to either nothing or development will regenerate a new .forestadmin-schema.json file every time your app restarts. Using another value will not regenerate the file.

A consequence of the above is, in Production the .forestadmin-schema.json file does not update according to your schema changes.

Do not edit this file, as it could break your interface if the wrong syntax is used.

Versioning the.forestadmin-schema.json file will also help you visualize your changes:

To disable automatic Forest Admin schema updates and do it manually, follow this how-to.

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