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1.0.1 • Public • Published
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Backbone.Do is a Backbone plugin that makes model actions doable.

Build Status Dependency Status Dev Dependency Status License Release


Install using the package manager for your desired environment(s):

$ npm install --save backbone.do
# OR:
$ bower install --save backbone.do

You will also need to ensure that you have Backbone and Underscore installed.

If you want to simply download the file to be used in the browser you can find them below:


The API supports both Backbone collections and models. The main difference what data is sent to the server when selected model attributes are sent and how the server response is handled.


Giving your model actions is as simple as adding a new hash and calling this plugin in your model's initialize function. actions can even be a function that returns a hash.

var Book = Backbone.Model.extend({
  urlRoot: '/books',
  actions: {
    buy: {
      data: {
        referrer: 'Amazon',
        method:   'create'
    getPages: {
      url:    'pages',
      attrs:  'pageCount',
      method: 'read'
  initialize: function() {

Now the Book model has the 2 additional functions; buy and getPages which, when called, will result in a request being sent to the server based on their options as well as any data and/or options passed in.

var hobbit = new Book({
  id:        'hobbit',
  title:     'The Hobbit',
  author:    'J.R.R. Tolkien',
  genre:     'fantasy',
  keywords:  [ 'baggins', 'shire' ],
  pageCount: 310
hobbit.buy().then(function() {

If the server returns an attribute hash, those values will then be applied to the model. In the previous example the following requests would have been sent to the server:

POST https://example.com/books/hobbit/buy
GET  https://example.com/books/hobbit/pages?pageCount=310

The first request would have been sent the JSON-formatted data in the request body.

Each action function accepts optional data (to be sent to the server) and options (to configure the action) that can overload the defaults for that action.

var ShoppingCart = Backbone.View.extend({
  events: {
    'click .checkout-btn': 'checkout'
  checkout: function() {
      quantity: this.$('input.quantity-field').val()

There's a lot of ways in which actions can be declared so let's go over the different configurations. Each configuration can also be a function that returns the value to be used and all are entirely optional. Even the whole action can be a function that returns the configuration hash.

Any other undocumented configurations will simply be passed along to Backbone.sync and, eventually, Backbone.ajax as options. Action functions also support the same asynchronous patterns as Backbone.ajax, whose result is also used as their return value.


Type(s): String String[]

A subset of attributes to be picked from the model and sent to the server. If used on a collection, this is done for each child model of the collection and then that mapping is sent to the server.

Note: If the data configuration is used, this will be ignored.

var Book = Backbone.Model.extend({
  // ...
  actions: {
    // ...
    findRelated: {
      attrs:  'author genre keywords',
      method: 'read'
  defaults: function() {
    return { related: [] };
  // ...


Type(s): Object

JSON-ifiable value that is to be sent to the server in the request body.

Note: If the attrs configuration is used and no data is specified, the resulting attributes hash will replace the populate this value.

var Book = Backbone.Model.extend({
  // ...
  actions: {
    // ...
    loan: {
      data: {
        user: 'golem2013'
  // ...


Type(s): String

The CRUD method to be passed to [Backbone.sync]http://backbonejs.org/#Sync. By default this is the value of defaultMethod. This can be any of the following methods;

  • create
  • update
  • patch
  • delete
  • read


Type(s): String

The path to be appended to URL of the model, which is used as the target of the server request. If this is not specified, the parseName function will be called instead to derive an appropriate path based on the action's name.



The default CRUD method used internally by Backbone. This can be any of the same values for the method configuration but, by default, is update.

Backbone.Do.defaultMethod = 'update';


If an action doesn't specify a url, this function will be called to derive a path from it's name.

By default, it simply returns the name with no modifications, but this allows you to customize this behaviour. For example; if you wanted actions with names in camel case to instead use hyphens you could use something like the following;

Backbone.Do.parseName = function(name) {
  return name.replace(/[A-Z]+/g, function(str) {
    return '-' + str.toLowerCase();


The current version of this plugin.



Two different events will be trigger by this plugin:

  • action (model, name, resp, options) - when a model's action has successfully completed
  • action:[name] (model resp, options) - when a specific action has successfully completed


If you have any problems with Backbone.Do or would like to see changes currently in development you can do so here.


If you want to contribute, you're a legend! Information on how you can do so can be found in CONTRIBUTING.md. We want your suggestions and pull requests!

A list of Backbone.Do contributors can be found in AUTHORS.md.


Copyright © 2017 Alasdair Mercer

See LICENSE.md for more information on our MIT license.


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