Define a Relationship Type

Relationships are defined in your managed object schema (in conf/managed.json if you are using the file-based configuration). The default configuration includes a relationship named manager that lets you configure a management relationship between two managed users. The manager relationship is a good example from which to understand how relationships work.

The default manager relationship is configured as follows:

"manager" : {
    "type" : "relationship",
    "validate" : true,
    "reverseRelationship" : true,
    "reversePropertyName" : "reports",
    "description" : "Manager",
    "title" : "Manager",
    "viewable" : true,
    "searchable" : false,
    "usageDescription" : "",
    "isPersonal" : false,
    "properties" : {
        "_ref" : {
            "description" : "References a relationship from a managed object",
            "type" : "string"
        "_refProperties" : {
            "description" : "Supports metadata within the relationship",
            "type" : "object",
            "title" : "Manager _refProperties",
            "properties" : {
                "_id" : {
                    "description" : "_refProperties object ID",
                    "type" : "string"
    "resourceCollection" : [
            "path" : "managed/user",
            "label" : "User",
            "query" : {
                "queryFilter" : "true",
                "fields" : [
    "userEditable" : false

Most of these properties apply to any managed object type. Relationships have the following specific configurable properties:

type (string)

The object type. Must be relationship for a relationship object.

returnByDefault (boolean true, false)

Specifies whether the relationship should be returned as part of the response. The returnByDefault property is not specific to relationships. This flag applies to all managed object types. However, relationship properties are not returned by default, unless explicitly requested.

reverseRelationship (boolean true, false)

Specifies whether this is a bidirectional relationship.

reversePropertyName (string)

The corresponding property name, in the case of a reverse relationship. For example, the manager property has a reversePropertyName of reports.

_ref (JSON object)

Specifies how the relationship between two managed objects is referenced.

In the relationship definition, the value of this property is { "type" : "string" }. In a managed user entry, the value of the _ref property is the reference to the other resource. The _ref property is described in more detail in "Create a Relationship Between Two Objects".

_refProperties (JSON object)

Any required properties from the relationship that should be included in the managed object. The _refProperties field includes a unique ID (_id) and the revision (_rev) of the object. _refProperties can also contain arbitrary fields to support metadata within the relationship.

resourceCollection (JSON object)

The collection of resources (objects) on which this relationship is based (for example, managed/user objects). Used only by the Admin UI.

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