Back in the day, it was common to manage database transactions in Java by writing code that did it. Something like this:

Transaction tx = session.startTransaction();
try {
} catch (SomeException e){

at the beginning and end of every method. This had some obvious problems - it's redundant, hides the intent of what's happening, etc. So, along came annotation-driven transactions:

public SomeResultObj getResult(...){


Is there any support for declarative transaction management in node.js?

  • didn't know that was ever common... I've always written code to have a central place to execute JDBC code from and handle transactions, it's just a good idea... – jwenting Jun 11 '14 at 9:29
  • Most people have avoided writing their own database transaction API because they dislike re-inventing the wheel, combined with the fact that most of the available options are safer, and easier to use than rolling your own. – Ampt Oct 20 '14 at 17:59
  • Agreed with not rolling one's own database transaction API! I would certainly like to know if there are any existing declarative database transaction APIs in Node.js. – James Kingsbery Oct 20 '14 at 18:40

In case you're using Express + Sequelize, you can do this by using a module called continuation-local-storage (henceforth cls, for brevity).

Show me the code

// When initializing your Sequelize instance
var Sequelize = require( "sequelize" );
Sequelize.cls = require( "continuation-local-storage" ).createNamespace( "db" );

module.exports = new Sequelize(...);

Then, create some middleware to initialize your transaction in every request (in case no one has come up with one yet):

var sequelize = require(...);
app.use(function ( req, res, next ) {
  sequelize.transaction(function () {
    // Do something else, but be sure to invoke next middleware

What's going on here?

  1. A cls namespace is declared for Sequelize to use. Must be set on the constructor;
  2. A transaction is initialized in an Express middleware;
  3. Every subsequent sequelize query will use the request transaction by default (you can override this behavior, obviously).

How this works?

This works because cls assigns a new storage for each new async chain (the request in this example), and they are passed down consistently and transparently.
It's some kind of magic that happens inside Node :)


It's very likely that you'll need to use some monkeypatch to take that approach. Depends on your Promises implementation.

Further info

Check the Sequelize documentation.

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