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2.2.6 • Public • Published

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Node API Server

Opinionated structure for a node/express API server. Makes setting up and running a server a breeze with easy config/extendibility. Automatically read controller files and modules and build express routes on your api server instance.


npm i -S node-api-server

const nodeApiServer = require('node-api-server')
nodeApiServer( (nodeApiServer, startServer) => {
  // nodeApiServer.api => object
  // nodeApiServer.config => object
  //  @NOTE: for use to do any additional tasks here
  // ...setup models/datastore, assign globals, etc.
  // be sure to invoke the callback or the server won't start

Test your api at localhost:3003/[controllerFileName]/[methodName]

Create this directory structure:

  • api/
    • controllers/
      • myController.js
    • services/
      • utilService.js
    • policies/
      • isLoggedIn.js
    • models/
      • user.js
  • config/
    • connections.js
    • controllers.js
    • globals.js
    • logger.js
    • middleware.js
    • models.js
    • policies.js
    • routes.js
    • server.js
    • services.js
    • session.js
    • socket.js
  • app.js

Directory Structure

Yeah, yeah, it's strongly opinionated... If you think it's a good idea to add the feature to have the ability to change the directory structure, open an issue on github.

Directory /api (required)

The api directory has sub-directories:

  • api/controllers
  • api/policies
  • api/services {optional}
  • api/models {optional}

The files in each of these directories is read into module form via commonjs and available on the api param passed in the callback.

Directory api/controllers (required)


This is where the "magic" (yeah right) happens. You get API routes based on the .js files you put in the api/controllers dir!

  myController.js // localhost:3003/myController/..[controller methods routes]
  anotherRoute.js // localhost:3003/anotherRoute/..[controller methods routes]

All .js files in the api/controllers/ dir will automatically create routes from the file name and appending each method in the file's module.exports object after that on the route/path.


module.exports = {
  index: (req, res, next) => {
    return res.send('this is the index route, localhost:3003/myController/')
  randomRoute: (req, res, next) => {
    return res.send('this is a random route, localhost:3003/myController/randomRoute')

Any controller method defined in the config/routes.js that have policy(s) assigned to it - will NOT be automatically mounted on the express router

Directory api/policies (required)

Route Middleware

All .js files in the api/policies dir will be read into the api object and be available to be used in config/routes.js (see config/routes.js below). A policy module should export a middleware method.


module.exports = (req, res, next) => {
  if (req.cookies.isLoggedIn) {
    return next()
  } else {
    return res.status(403).end()

Directory api/services (optional)

Backend Utilities/Services

All .js files in the api/services dir will be read into the api object as modules by file name. You can put whatever exports you like in service modules.

A file api/services/utilityService.js will be available on the api object as api.services.utilityService.

You can make your service modules available globally via config/services.js see config below. This is great for making them available in your controllers for utility/helper, etc. operations.

Directory api/models (optional)

Helper/Convenience Directory for DataStore

All .js files in the api/models dir will be read into the api object as modules by file name.

A file api/models/userModel.js will be available on the api object as api.models.userModel.

You can make your models available globally via config/models.js see config below.

You can implement any sort of logic here you would like to be used for datastore operations or database queries, etc.. If you're interested in a quick and extendible solution, checkout our project js-data-api-server that has a full datastore setup ready to go

Directory config/ (optional)

All .js files in the config directory are loaded as modules and available on the config object in the callback. See below for config files use and options

Config (optional)

Config files are used to over-ride default node-api-server configuration and also provide helper/util meta info for your API. There are no required config files to use node-api-server and you can start and run your api server without this directory.

Each config file in the config/ dir will be available on the config object by filename, ie: config/connections.js will be available as config.connections.

NOTE: config/ dir modules are loaded into memory first. This means it's available on the global scope in your controllers, policies, services, models, etc..

Config config/connections.js (optional)

This module is NOT required. If you do chose to use it, it can be great for defining this like your database connections or even different connections per env.

Example config/connections.js

module.exports = {
  mongoDB: {
    host: (process.env.NODE_ENV === 'production') ? '198.xx.22.x' : 'localhost',
    port: 27017,
    user: 'username',
    pass: 'password',
    database: 'myDB'

Config config/controllers.js (optional)

This file is used to over-ride default configuration.

module.exports = {
  // global string controller modules will be available as
  global: 'Controllers'

Config config/globals.js (optional)

// @TODO

Config config/logger.js (optional)

This is the global logger used (Winston.js) and options here over-ride defaults.

Winston is the logger used in node-api-server

// @TODO add option to write to a file/dir
// @TODO add option to use specified transport
module.exports = {
  // if set to string, will set global[string] = logger
  global: 'Log',
  // defaults to info
  level: 'silly'

Config config/middleware.js (optional)

Define any middleware you would like to use on the express api server.

The default is body-parser, if you define any new middleware it will overwrite body-parser so you must be sure to include it if you plan on parsing form/query data in your api

config/middleware.js must export an array if you're defining middleware. Each middleware will be used in the order listed in the exports array.

const bodyParser = require('body-parser')
// example custom middleware method
const customLogger = (req, res, next) => {
  console.log(`${req.method}:: ${req.path}`)
module.exports = [
  bodyParser.urlencoded({ extended: true }),

Config config/models.js (optional)

This file is used to over-ride default configuration.

module.exports = {
  // global string model modules will be available as
  global: 'Models'

Config config/policies.js (optional)

This file is used to over-ride default configuration.

module.exports = {
  // global string policy modules will be available as
  global: 'Policies'

Config config/routes.js (optional)

Some more awesome route "magic" (yeah right)! Define custom routes and controller methods to use.

Every key will be a route with the assigned controller.method and any policies applied as middleware before reaching the controller.method.

"*" key is only used if you want to apply middleware to ALL routes on your api server.

Key definitions take the following:


  controller: [api/controllers/filename],
  method: [method name in controller],
  policies: {String|Array}

String: Policy name (filename in api/policies dir)

Array: Policy names


module.exports = {
  // Example: will apply to ALL routes
  '*': ['isLoggedIn', 'isAdmin'],
  // define a route "localhost:3003/auth"
  '/auth': {
    controller: 'auth', // the controller filename in api/controllers/ dir
    method: 'checkAuthentication', // the name of the method in the controller file
    policies: 'isLoggedIn' // policies to run on route before controller.method
  // policy string for this route
  '/auth/isAdmin': 'isAdmin',
  // policy string for this route with a wildcard
  // policy will be applied to all routes starting with "/auth/"
  '/auth/*': 'isLoggedIn',
  // multiple policy array for this route
  '/auth/both': ['isAdmin', 'isLoggedIn']
## Config `config/server.js` (optional)
This file is used to over-ride default server configuration.
const express = require('express')
module.exports = {
  // defaults to '/'
  baseRoute: '/api',
  // defaults to express()
  app: express(),
  // defaults to 3003
  port: 3003 // also cli arg option: -p XXXX

Config config/services.js (optional)

This file is used to over-ride default configuration.

module.exports = {
  // global string policy modules will be available as
  global: 'Services'

Config config/session.js (optional)

// @TODO

Config config/sockets.js (optional)

// @TODO

// @FEATURE/TODO make directory reading recursive for sub dirs // @TODO add readme.md for each directory and the optional configs that can be used // @TODO add example files and example repo to pull and get started with // @TODO setup sockets for routes


npm i node-api-server

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