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3.1.0 • Public • Published

node-addon-api module

This module contains header-only C++ wrapper classes which simplify the use of the C based N-API provided by Node.js when using C++. It provides a C++ object model and exception handling semantics with low overhead.

There are three options for implementing addons: N-API, nan, or direct use of internal V8, libuv and Node.js libraries. Unless there is a need for direct access to functionality which is not exposed by N-API as outlined in C/C++ addons in Node.js core, use N-API. Refer to C/C++ addons with N-API for more information on N-API.

N-API is an ABI stable C interface provided by Node.js for building native addons. It is independent from the underlying JavaScript runtime (e.g. V8 or ChakraCore) and is maintained as part of Node.js itself. It is intended to insulate native addons from changes in the underlying JavaScript engine and allow modules compiled for one version to run on later versions of Node.js without recompilation.

The node-addon-api module, which is not part of Node.js, preserves the benefits of the N-API as it consists only of inline code that depends only on the stable API provided by N-API. As such, modules built against one version of Node.js using node-addon-api should run without having to be rebuilt with newer versions of Node.js.

It is important to remember that other Node.js interfaces such as libuv (included in a project via #include <uv.h>) are not ABI-stable across Node.js major versions. Thus, an addon must use N-API and/or node-addon-api exclusively and build against a version of Node.js that includes an implementation of N-API (meaning an active LTS version of Node.js) in order to benefit from ABI stability across Node.js major versions. Node.js provides an ABI stability guide containing a detailed explanation of ABI stability in general, and the N-API ABI stability guarantee in particular.

As new APIs are added to N-API, node-addon-api must be updated to provide wrappers for those new APIs. For this reason node-addon-api provides methods that allow callers to obtain the underlying N-API handles so direct calls to N-API and the use of the objects/methods provided by node-addon-api can be used together. For example, in order to be able to use an API for which the node-addon-api does not yet provide a wrapper.

APIs exposed by node-addon-api are generally used to create and manipulate JavaScript values. Concepts and operations generally map to ideas specified in the ECMA262 Language Specification.

The N-API Resource offers an excellent orientation and tips for developers just getting started with N-API and node-addon-api.

Current version: 3.1.0

(See CHANGELOG.md for complete Changelog)


node-addon-api is based on N-API and supports using different N-API versions. This allows addons built with it to run with Node.js versions which support the targeted N-API version. However the node-addon-api support model is to support only the active LTS Node.js versions. This means that every year there will be a new major which drops support for the Node.js LTS version which has gone out of service.

The oldest Node.js version supported by the current version of node-addon-api is Node.js 10.x.


API Documentation

The following is the documentation for node-addon-api.


Are you new to node-addon-api? Take a look at our examples


To run the node-addon-api tests do:

npm install
npm test

To avoid testing the deprecated portions of the API run

npm install
npm test --disable-deprecated

To run the tests targetting a specific version of N-API run

npm install
npm test --NAPI_VERSION=X

where X is the version of N-API you want to target.


To run the node-addon-api tests with --debug option:

npm run-script dev

If you want faster build, you might use the following option:

npm run-script dev:incremental

Take a look and get inspired by our test suite


You can run the available benchmarks using the following command:

npm run-script benchmark

See benchmark/README.md for more details about running and adding benchmarks.

More resource and info about native Addons

As node-addon-api's core mission is to expose the plain C N-API as C++ wrappers, tools that facilitate n-api/node-addon-api providing more convenient patterns on developing a Node.js add-ons with n-api/node-addon-api can be published to NPM as standalone packages. It is also recommended to tag such packages with node-addon-api to provide more visibility to the community.

Quick links to NPM searches: keywords:node-addon-api.


The use of badges is recommended to indicate the minimum version of N-API required for the module. This helps to determine which Node.js major versions are supported. Addon maintainers can consult the N-API support matrix to determine which Node.js versions provide a given N-API version. The following badges are available:

N-API v1 Badge N-API v2 Badge N-API v3 Badge N-API v4 Badge N-API v5 Badge N-API v6 Badge N-API Experimental Version Badge


We love contributions from the community to node-addon-api! See CONTRIBUTING.md for more details on our philosophy around extending this module.

Team members


Name GitHub Link
Anna Henningsen addaleax
Chengzhong Wu legendecas
Gabriel Schulhof gabrielschulhof
Hitesh Kanwathirtha digitalinfinity
Jim Schlight jschlight
Michael Dawson mhdawson
Kevin Eady KevinEady
Nicola Del Gobbo NickNaso


Name GitHub Link
Arunesh Chandra aruneshchandra
Benjamin Byholm kkoopa
Jason Ginchereau jasongin
Sampson Gao sampsongao
Taylor Woll boingoing

Licensed under MIT


npm i node-addon-api

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