Skip to content
KeystoneJS LogoKeystoneJS
👋🏻 Keystone 5 has officially moved to maintenance only. For the latest release of Keystone please visit the Keystone website.

Adapter framework

This document describes the role of data store adapters in Keystone 5 and how they relate to lists and fields.

A Keystone system consists of multiple Lists, each of which contains multiple Fields. This data structure needs to be backed by a persistent data store of some kind. The Keystone Adapter Framework facilitates this by providing an abstraction layer which can be implemented by adapters for different data stores (e.g. Mongoose, Postgres, etc).


Every Keystone system requires a database adapter. You need to provide an instance of your adapter of choice as the adapter config item when creating your Keystone object.

const keystone = new Keystone({
  adapter: new MongooseAdapter(),

All the Lists in your system will be backed by this adapter.

The adapter data model

The adapter framework data model mirrors the KeystoneJS data model.

  • Each Keystone object has one or more KeystoneAdapter instances, accessible by the .adapters property
  • Each List object has one ListAdapter, accessible by the .adapter property
  • Each Field object has one FieldAdapter, accessible by the .adapter property

The adapters do not contain references back to the KeystoneJS objects. All required information is passed in to the adapter as parameters to the constructor/methods.

Each KeystoneAdapter contains references to its associated ListAdapter instances, via the .listAdapters property. The ListAdapter instances contain a back reference to the KeystoneAdapter via the .parentAdapter property. Each ListAdapter keeps a list of associated FieldAdapter instances, via .fieldAdapters. These in turn have back reference to the ListAdapter in the property .listAdapter.

This data model allows all fields under a KeystoneAdapter to access all other fields in the same adapter, which is required to facilitate relationship operations.

Keystone    .adapters  ->   KeystoneAdapter   (.listAdapters)
   |          1:N              |
   |           :               |
   |           :               |
 [List]     .adapter   ->   [ListAdapter]     (.fieldAdapters, .parentAdapter)
   |          1:1              |
   |           :               |
   |           :               |
 [Field]    .adapter   ->   [FieldAdapter]    (.listAdapter)

The FieldType to FieldAdapter relationship

Each field type definition contains a mapping from KeystoneAdapter to FieldAdapter class in .adapters. The key to this mapping is the KeystoneAdapter instance's .name property.

var fieldTypeDef = {
  type: 'Text',
  implementation: Text,
  views: {
    Controller: path.resolve(__dirname, './Controller'),
    Field: path.resolve(__dirname, './views/Field'),
  adapters: {
    mongoose: MongoTextInterface,

Creating adapters

You can create a new adapter by extending the adapter framework classes.

Creating new adapters

To add a new adapter you need to extend the core adapter classes BaseKeystoneAdapter, BaseListAdapter, and BaseFieldAdapter.

The API for these classes is not yet finalised. Experiment at your own risk.

Creating new field types

When creating a new field type, a FieldAdapter must be implemented for each KeystoneAdapter you want to support. The .adapters mapping for your new field type should contain the mapping from adapter name to FieldAdapter class for each adapter.

On this page

Edit on GitHub