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Working with schemas

First of all, when we talk about schemas in this document, we mean custom schemas like postgres schemas.

There are two common ways to use schemas:

  1. To group a logical set of tables under the same "namespace". For example all tables directly related to users could live under a user schema.

  2. To have a separate namespaced copy of a set of tables for each tenant in a multitenant application.

Kysely offers tools for both of these cases.


When you have an enumarable set of schemas, you can add them to your database interface like this:

interface Database {
'user.user': UserTable
'user.user_permission': UserPermissionTable
'user.permission': PermissionTable
pet: PetTable

then you can refer to the tables just like you would a normal table:

.where('username', '=', '')
// You can also include the full table name
.where('user.user.created_at', '>', createdAt)
.innerJoin('user.user_permission as up', 'up.user_id', '')
.innerJoin('user.permission as p', '', 'up.permission_id')


In the multitenant case you have a schema per tenant and you can't add each of them to the database interface, nor would it make sense to do so. In this case you can use the withSchema method.

The withSchema method sets the default schema of all table references that don't explicitly specify a schema:

.innerJoin('user_permission as up', 'up.user_id', '')
.innerJoin('public.permission as p', '', 'up.permission_id')

This is the generated SQL assuming tenant equals 'acme':

select * from "acme"."user"
inner join "acme"."user_permission" as "up" on "up"."user_id" = "acme"."user"."id"
inner join "public"."permission" as "p" on "p"."id" = "up"."permission_id"

In this example we also referred to a shared table permission in the public schema. Please note that you need to add a 'public.permission': PermissionTable item in your database schema to be able to refer to the public.permission table:

interface Database {
// Add your tenant tables without any schema:
user: UserTable
user_permission: UserPermissionTable

// Add schemas and tables you need to explicitly reference like this:
'public.permission': PermissionTable

// You can also have other shared tables with or without schemas here.
// But keep in mind that if you want to refer to them from a `withSchema`
// query, you need the table name with the schema name.
pet: PetTable

See the first case for more info.