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Using With tRPC

tRPC is a fantastic library that magically turns server-side procedures into client-callable functions without requiring you to provide any formal contract. The popular T3 stack promotes the combo of Prisma + tRPC for achieving type safety from your frontend all the way down to the database.

ZenStack makes things even easier by automatically generating tRPC routers from the ZModel schema. You can use the generated routers together with an enhanced Prisma client; since the Prisma client has the ability to enforce access policies, there is no need to implement authorization code anymore.


1. Initializing the project

If you haven't initialized your tRPC project with ZenStack, run the following command to do it:

npx zenstack@latest init

The command installs a few NPM dependencies. If the project already has a Prisma schema at prisma/schema.prisma, it's copied over to schema.zmodel. Otherwise, a sample schema.zmodel file is created.

Moving forward, you will keep updating schema.zmodel file, and prisma/schema.prisma will be automatically generated from it.

2. Installing the tRPC plugin

You can enable tRPC router generation with the @zenstackhq/trpc plugin.

First install the trpc package:

npm install -D @zenstackhq/trpc@latest

plugin trpc {
provider = '@zenstackhq/trpc'
output = 'src/server/routers/generated'

3. Setting up the tRPC context

Usually in your tRPC project, you have a function to create a tRPC context. You need to make sure the context contains a prisma field that is an instance of Prisma client. The generated tRPC routers use that to talk to the database.

For most of the cases you should use a Prisma client that's "enhanced" by ZenStack so that the CRUD operations are guarded by the access policies defined in the ZModel schema. Here's a quick example with Next.js:


import { enhance } from '@zenstackhq/runtime';
import { prisma } from './db';
import { getSessionUser } from './auth';

export const createContext = async ({ req, res }: CreateNextContextOptions) => {
return {
// use access-control-enabled Prisma client
prisma: await enhance(prisma, { user: getSessionUser(req, res) }),

4. Using the generated routers

Now run the zenstack CLI to generate artifacts:

npx zenstack generate

You should find a bunch of tRPC routers generated in the output folder, one per each data model. A createRouter helper function is also generated, which returns a router instance for all models. You can use it as your top-level tRPC router, or merge it with other routers to form a more complex setup.

import { createRouter } from './generated/routers';

const t = initTRPC.context<Context>().create();

export const appRouter = createRouter(t.router, t.procedure);

export type AppRouter = typeof appRouter;

NOTE: The ZenStack trpc plugin is based on the awesome work by Omar Dulaimi.