Monday, January 18, 2016

REST simplified by Nodejs

Wonderful !! Yes, its amazing to run javascript on server side and develop any application quickly with best performance.  So how we can run javascript on server ? Need to install any browser on server which parse request and response result to browser (client) :) ?? Nope... its very simple.. just need  a JavaScript runtime. Nodejs is  built on Chrome's V8 JavaScript engines

Node is an interface to the V8 JavaScript runtime – the super-fast JavaScript interpreter that runs in the Chrome browser.

Ref :

I would recommend to use Nodejs for following reasons :-

(1) Language : Its uses javascript and most of developer know about it.
(2) Speed : The operation is much much faster as compare to other scripting language
(3) Object Database : Leverage of using JSON which can be processed on client and server both. Thus can use mongodb which save data directly in JSON format.
(4) Data Streaming : Node can read/write streams to websockets just as well as it can read/write streams to HTTP. For example, we can pipe stdout from a running process on the server to a browser over a websocket, and have the webpage display the output in real-time.

You can do everything with Nodejs what you can do with other scripting language plus speed is bonus.

The following some important modules/library used to build a robust application using Nodejs

(1) NPM : NPM is a Package manager which Installs, publishes and manages node programs

(2) NVM: NVM (Node Versioning Manager) allow the managing of versions for the nodejs

(3) Jade: With node js we can use Jade as a template engine to manage the html.

(4) Bootstrap : Style your page with your choice.

(5) Mocha : Write your own Unit Tests and test your application while adding new features in your application. Very important for those who believes in Test Driven application.

Now let dive inside nodejs and take a look for it application. Let move ahead and build restful API's for a store in which we do some CRUD operations on items. Also we will authorize some users to access some items using different authentication methods.

Node Installation :  I am using MAC so installing node using package manager called  home brew.

Ref : 
       brew install node

Now you can check node on your terminal by typing
       node --version  ( it will display the version of your node  eg. v0.12.2

Type "node" which will take you on node prompt.

        console.log("This is my nodejs")

It should display  "This is my nodejs" as output. Seems everything is set now and we are ready to build application using nodejs.

Create the skeleton for the application  as below :-

               Folders :  


Basically we are going to follow MVC structure using express module. We are going to define all required nodejs modules in package.json . In Nodejs we need to build our own server so will specify all primary setting and required module in server.js.

Module repository :

Step-1 npm install ( Will install all modules defined in package.json)

Step-2 command (1) mongo (2) use store (To create new db named store)

mongod --dbpath=/Users/rakeshp/Documents/nodeprojects/db --port 27017
mongo will start and will point to 271017

Step-3 node server

Check url in browser : localhost:3000/api

You will see message like "Cannot GET /api".

Hurray.... :) Server is running and we are ready for development.

Basic setup. Include all required packages in package.json


package.json  :- 

  "name": "Store",
  "main": "server.js",
  "dependencies": {
    "express": "^4.1.1",
    "mongoose": "^4.3.6",
    "body-parser": "^1.14.2",
    "bcrypt-nodejs": "0.0.3",
    "passport": "^0.3.2",
    "passport-http": "^0.3.0",
    "passport-http-bearer": "^1.0.1",
    "oauth2orize": "^1.2.0",
    "express-session": "^1.13.0",
    "jade": "^1.11.0",
    "passport-local": "^1.0.0"

Create your server :- 


// Load required modules 
var express = require('express');
var mongoose = require('mongoose');
var bodyParser = require('body-parser');
var jade = require('jade');
var session = require('express-session');
var passport = require('passport');

// Connect store with MongoDB

// Create our Express application
var app = express();

// Create our Express router
var router = express.Router();

// Register all our routes

// Start the server

You can find sample application for rest api  using "Basic" strategy of passport at

How to test rest api ???  Its very easy. You can use tools such as Soap UI or Postman. I would recommend to use postman plugin available for chrome. Its easy and free :)

Let add some sample users and then will add some items in our store.

(1) Add Users :-  

(2) List Users :- 
(3) Add Items :- 

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