Skip to main content

📓 Adding a Model and Database

Let's start work on our Cretaceous Park API. While the CLI scaffolded the basics for us, we'll still need to set up and configure our own database, controller, and models.

The first thing we'll do is delete the WeatherForecastController.cs and WeatherForecast.cs model. We'll be replacing the boilerplate controller and model with our own. If you want to use those files as reference, you can always save them, or regenerate them in a new scaffolded web API project.

Database Setup Review

We'll add the necessary packages to our project for Entity Framework Core and migrations. Run the following commands in the CretaceousApi/ project directory:

$ dotnet add package Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore -v 6.0.0
$ dotnet add package Pomelo.EntityFrameworkCore.MySql -v 6.0.0
$ dotnet add package Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.Design -v 6.0.0

Adding Database and Entity Models

Now, let's create our models. First, create a Models/ directory. Then create a new file called Models/Animal.cs and add the following code:

namespace CretaceousApi.Models
public class Animal
public int AnimalId { get; set; }
public string Name { get; set; }
public string Species { get; set; }
public int Age { get; set; }

Our Animal class will represent the creatures of the Cretaceous period. You are welcome to add other Animal class properties, if you like!

Next, let's create a DbContext class in a file called CretaceousApiContext.cs:

using Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore;

namespace CretaceousApi.Models
public class CretaceousApiContext : DbContext
public DbSet<Animal> Animals { get; set; }

public CretaceousApiContext(DbContextOptions<CretaceousApiContext> options) : base(options)

Updating Program.cs to Use MySQL and the CretaceousApiContext

Next, we'll have to update Program.cs to add MySQL as our database service.

using CretaceousApi.Models;
using Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore;

var builder = WebApplication.CreateBuilder(args);


dbContextOptions => dbContextOptions


var app = builder.Build();

if (app.Environment.IsDevelopment())




We add our CretaceousApiContext and MySQL database as a service in our application.

Next, we need to update appsettings.json with our database connection string:

"Logging": {
"LogLevel": {
"Default": "Information",
"Microsoft.AspNetCore": "Warning"
"AllowedHosts": "*",
"ConnectionStrings": {
"DefaultConnection": "Server=localhost;Port=3306;database=cretaceous_api;uid=[YOUR-USERNAME-HERE];pwd=[YOUR-PASSWORD-HERE];"

In the connection string, make sure to update the values of uid and pwd with your own username and password.

Create the Initial Migration

Now we're ready to create our initial migration and update the database.

$ dotnet ef migrations add Initial
$ dotnet ef database update

In the next lesson, we'll learn how to seed our database, and then we'll start writing custom API endpoints.