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GORM An Object-Relational Mapping Library for Go

By David Li on 2024-01-20T00:38:00.000Z

GORM: An Object-Relational Mapping Library for Go

GORM is a powerful and easy-to-use object-relational mapping (ORM) library for Go (Golang). It provides a high-level, flexible, and customizable interface to interact with various databases while adhering to Go’s idiomatic and concurrent programming style. In this article, we’ll discuss how to use GORM in your Go projects, covering installation, basic CRUD operations, and advanced features.

Table of Contents

  1. Installation and Setup
  2. Defining Models
  3. CRUD Operations
    1. Create
    2. Read
    3. Update
    4. Delete
  4. Associations
  5. Migrations
  6. Conclusion

Installation and Setup

To install GORM, use the go get command:

go get -u gorm.io/gorm

GORM supports several databases, including PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, and SQL Server. For this tutorial, we’ll use SQLite. Install the SQLite driver by running:

go get -u gorm.io/driver/sqlite

Now, let’s import the necessary packages and configure GORM to use SQLite:

package main

import (

func main() {
	db, err := gorm.Open(sqlite.Open("gorm.db"), &gorm.Config{})
	if err != nil {
		panic("failed to connect to database")

Defining Models

In GORM, you define models as Go structs with annotations to map them to the database schema. For example, let’s create a User model:

type User struct {
	ID        uint   `gorm:"primaryKey"`
	FirstName string `gorm:"size:64"`
	LastName  string `gorm:"size:64"`
	Email     string `gorm:"uniqueIndex;size:128"`
	Age       int

The gorm tags define the column constraints and indexes. In this case, we’ve set primary key, size, and unique index constraints.

CRUD Operations


To insert a new record, create an instance of the model, and use the Create method:

user := User{FirstName: "John", LastName: "Doe", Email: "john.doe@example.com", Age: 30}
result := db.Create(&user)
if result.Error != nil {
	panic("failed to create user")


You can retrieve records using various query methods supported by GORM. Some examples are:

  • First: Fetch the first record matching the conditions
  • Find: Fetch all records matching the conditions
  • Take: Fetch one record matching the conditions
// Find a user by primary key
var user User
db.First(&user, 1)

// Find users with age greater than 25
var users []User
db.Where("age > ?", 25).Find(&users)


To update a record, you can use the Save method, which updates all fields, or the Updates method, which updates only non-zero fields:

// Update a single field
db.Model(&user).Update("age", 35)

// Update multiple fields
db.Model(&user).Updates(User{FirstName: "Johnathan", LastName: "Smith"})

// Update only non-zero fields
db.Model(&user).Updates(map[string]interface{}{"FirstName": "Johnathan", "LastName": "Smith"})


To delete a record, use the Delete method:



GORM supports associations like Has One, Has Many, Belongs To, and Many-to-Many. For example, let’s create User and Post models with a one-to-many relationship:

type User struct {
	ID    uint   `gorm:"primaryKey"`
	Name  string `gorm:"size:64"`
	Posts []Post

type Post struct {
	ID     uint   `gorm:"primaryKey"`
	Title  string `gorm:"size:128"`
	Body   string `gorm:"type:text"`
	UserID uint

To create a new post and associate it with a user, you can do the following:

post := Post{Title: "My first post", Body: "This is the content of my first post."}


GORM provides a simple way to create and modify the database schema using migrations. To create the schema for your models, use the AutoMigrate method:

db.AutoMigrate(&User{}, &Post{})

GORM will automatically create tables and columns based on your model definitions. If you change a model’s schema, you can run AutoMigrate again to apply the changes. However, note that GORM doesn’t support migrating column data types or deleting columns.


In this article, we’ve introduced GORM, a powerful ORM library for Go, and demonstrated how to perform basic CRUD operations, work with associations, and manage migrations. GORM provides many advanced features, such as transactions, hooks, scopes, and query builders, which can be explored further in the official documentation.

By leveraging GORM in your Go projects, you can achieve a cleaner, more maintainable, and more idiomatic codebase for interacting with databases.

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