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Contains documentation of the ormar internal API.

Note that this is a technical part of the documentation intended for ormar contributors.


For completeness as of now even the internal and special methods are documented and exposed in API docs.


The current API docs version is a beta and not all methods are documented, also some of redundant items are included since it was partially auto generated.


Ormar is still under development, and the internals can change at any moment.

You shouldn't rely even on the "public" methods if they are not documented in the normal part of the docs.

High level overview

Ormar is divided into packages for maintainability and ease of development.

Below you can find a short description of the structure of the whole project and individual packages.


Contains the actual ormar.Model class, which is based on:

  • ormar.NewBaseModel which in turns:
    • inherits from pydantic.BaseModel,
    • uses ormar.ModelMetaclass for all heavy lifting, relations declaration, parsing ormar fields, creating sqlalchemy columns and tables etc.
      • There is a lot of tasks during class creation so ormar is using a lot of helpers methods separated by functionality: pydantic, sqlachemy, relations & models located in helpers submodule.
    • inherits from ormar.ModelTableProxy that combines Mixins providing a special additional behavior for ormar.Models
      • AliasMixin - handling of column aliases, which are names changed only in db
      • ExcludableMixin - handling excluding and including fields in dict() and database calls
      • MergeModelMixin - handling merging Models initialized from raw sql raws into Models that needs to be merged, in example parent models in join query that duplicates in raw response.
      • PrefetchQueryMixin - handling resolving relations and ids of models to extract during issuing subsequent queries in prefetch_related
      • RelationMixin - handling resolving relations names, related fields etc.
      • SavePrepareMixin - handling converting related models to their pk values, translating ormar field names into aliases etc.


Contains ormar.BaseField that is a base for all fields.

All basic types are declared in model_fields, while relation fields are located in:

  • foreign_key: ForeignKey relation, expanding relations meaning initializing nested models, creating dummy models with pk only that skips validation etc.
  • many_to_many: ManyToMany relation that do not have a lot of logic on its own.

Related to fields is a @property_field decorator that is located in decorators.property_field.

There is also a special UUID field declaration for sqlalchemy that is based on CHAR field type.

Query Set

Package that handles almost all interactions with db (some small parts are in ormar.Model and in ormar.QuerysetProxy).

Provides a QuerySet that is exposed on each Model as objects property.

Have a vast number of methods to query, filter, create, update and delete database rows.

  • Actual construction of the queries is delegated to Query class
    • which in tern uses SqlJoin to construct joins
    • Clause to convert filter and exclude conditions into sql
    • FilterQuery to apply filter clauses on query
    • OrderQuery to apply order by clauses on query
    • LimitQuery to apply limit clause on query
    • OffsetQuery to apply offset clause on query
  • For prefetch_related the same is done by PrefetchQuery
  • Common helpers functions are extracted into utils


Handles registering relations, adding/removing to relations as well as returning the actual related models instead of relation fields declared on Models.

  • Each ormar.Model has its own RelationManager registered under _orm property.
    • RelationManager handles Relations between two different models
      • In case of reverse relations or m2m relations the RelationProxy is used which is basically a list with some special methods that keeps a reference to a list of related models
      • Also, for reverse relations and m2m relations QuerySetProxy is exposed, that is used to query the already pre-filtered related models and handles Through models instances for m2m relations, while delegating actual queries to QuerySet
  • AliasManager handles registration of aliases for relations that are used in queries. In order to be able to link multiple times to the same table in one query each link has to have unique alias to properly identify columns and extract proper values. Kind of global registry, aliases are randomly generated, so might differ on each run.
  • Common helpers functions are extracted into utils


Handles sending signals on particular events.

  • SignalEmitter is registered on each ormar.Model, that allows to register any number of receiver functions that will be notified on each event.
  • For now only combination of (pre, post) (save, update, delete) events are pre populated for user although it's easy to register user Signals.
  • set of decorators is prepared, each corresponding to one of the builtin signals, that can be used to mark functions/methods that should become receivers, those decorators are located in decorators.signals.
  • You can register same function to different ormar.Models but each Model has it's own Emitter that is independednt and issued on events for given Model.
  • Currently, there is no way to register global Signal triggered for all models.


Gathers all exceptions specific to ormar.

All ormar exceptions inherit from AsyncOrmException.