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Express

A minimalist foundation for starting a web API in Javascript.

https://expressjs.com/en/starter/installing.html
Installing Express

For debugging system configurations, it helps to spin up a known working server. "Hello world" is always a good place to start:

js
const express = require('express')
const app = express()
const port = 3000

app.get('/', (req, res) => res.send('Hello World!'))

app.listen(port, () => console.log(`Example app listening at http://localhost:${port}`))

https://expressjs.com/en/starter/hello-world.html
Express "Hello World" example

Requests

When express receives a request, it parses the request and makes attributes available in the req value.

req.params contains route parameters (in the path portion of the URL)

req.query contains the URL query parameters (after the ? in the URL).

req.body contains anything in the request body. Typically this is used on PUT and POST requests.

http://expressjs.com/en/4x/api.html#req.body

http://expressjs.com/en/4x/api.html#req.query

Routing

Once a project grows beyond "Hello World", collect routes in various .js files.

In the app, these can be included with:

var birds = require('./birds')

// ...

app.use('/birds', birds)

and may look something like:

var express = require('express')
var router = express.Router()

// middleware that is specific to this router
router.use(function timeLog (req, res, next) {
  console.log('Time: ', Date.now())
  next()
})
// define the home page route
router.get('/', function (req, res) {
  res.send('Birds home page')
})
// define the about route
router.get('/about', function (req, res) {
  res.send('About birds')
})

module.exports = router

It is acceptable to provide multiple functions in the route. There are different ways to format these, including as an array of functions to call:

See "Route handlers" on

https://expressjs.com/en/guide/routing.html
Express routing

https://expressjs.com/en/starter/basic-routing.html
Express basic routing

Nested Routes

http://katieleonard.ca/blog/2016/nested-routes-with-expressjs/

CRUD Example

Async/await can be used with Express.

https://zellwk.com/blog/async-await-express/

In this case, it's good to enable:

https://zellwk.com/blog/async-await-express/

So that error conditions are handled correctly by routes

npm install express-async-errors --save
const express = require('express')
require('express-async-errors')
js
var express = require("express");
var router = express.Router();
var common = require("./common");

const mongoose = require("mongoose");
var db = require("../db-mongo");
const Sample = mongoose.model("sample");

// Search vs Find
// Leaning toward `find` being a lightweight GET call to quickly filter a list of objects
// `search` is a parameterized POST method that returns more details

router.get("/find/:query", common.set_user, async (req, res, next) => {
  const filtered = common.escapeRegex(req.params.query);
  // do not include forward slashes in the string
  const regex = new RegExp(`${filtered}`, "gi");
  // console.log("using regex", regex);
  const matches = await Sample.find({ name: regex }).catch((err) => {
    next(err);
  });
  // console.log("Search for", req.params.query, matches);
  // res.json(
  //   match.map(({ name }) => {
  //     return { value: name };
  //   })
  // );
  res.json(matches);
});

router.get("/:id", common.set_user, async (req, res, next) => {
  const match = await Sample.findOne({ _id: req.params.id }).catch((err) => {
    next(err);
  });
  res.json(match);
});

router.patch("/:id", common.check_role("admin"), async (req, res, next) => {
  let sample = await Sample.findOneAndUpdate({ _id: req.params.id }, req.body, {
    returnOriginal: false,
  }).catch((err) => {
    return next(err);
  });

  if (!sample) return res.status(200).json([]);
  res.status(200).send(sample);
});

router.delete("/:id", common.check_role("admin"), async (req, res, next) => {
  await Sample.deleteOne({ _id: req.params.id }).catch((err) => {
    next(err);
  });
  res.json({ result: "success" });
});

router.get("/", common.set_user, async (req, res, next) => {
  const matches = await Sample.find({}).catch((err) => {
    next(err);
  });
  res.json(matches);
});

router.post("/", common.check_role("admin"), async (req, res, next) => {
  // console.log("CREATE NEW SAMPLE", req.body);
  const created = await Sample.create(req.body).catch((err) => {
    next(err);
  });
  res.json(created);
});

module.exports = router;

Development

When developing an API, it can be cumbersome to have to manually restart the server every time there is a code change. Want some type of watch mode.

Be sure to disable this when deploying the API to production.

Depending on what you use to manage the node processes, your options may vary

Docker

Nodemon works well here

https://github.com/remy/nodemon

npm install --save-dev nodemon 

then run with

npx nodemon

An example for docker-compose.yml

  api:
    # image: node:14
    build:
      context: ./api
      dockerfile: Dockerfile
    container_name: boilerplate_api
    volumes:
      - .:/srv/boilerplate/
      - boilerplate_api_modules:/srv/boilerplate/api/node_modules
    ports:
      - 127.0.0.1:3030:3030
    working_dir: /srv/boilerplate/api

    # development
    command: sh -c "npm install && npx nodemon boilerplate-api.js"

    # in production, no need to run with a watcher
    # command: sh -c "npm install && npm run start"
    # DEBUG=express:* node ./api/boilerplate-api.js
    # entrypoint: ["tail", "-f", "/dev/null"]

PM2

PM2 watch mode

Debugging

To see all the internal logs used in Express, set the DEBUG environment variable to express:* when launching your app.

DEBUG=express:* node index.js

https://expressjs.com/en/guide/debugging.html

You can also use curl or wget to test specific routes that are available.

Logging

Morgan makes it easy to log all requests made to the service.

https://github.com/expressjs/morgan
GitHub - expressjs/morgan: HTTP request logger middleware for node.js

Winston allows logging custom messages.

https://github.com/winstonjs/winston
GitHub - winstonjs/winston: A logger for just about everything.

https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=morgan+js+logger&ia=software
馃挙 morgan js logger at DuckDuckGo
https://www.npmjs.com/package/morgan
馃挙 morgan - npm
https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=express+morgan+winston&ia=web
馃挙 express morgan winston at DuckDuckGo
https://jojozhuang.github.io/tutorial/express-combine-morgan-and-winston/
Combine Morgan & Winston @ https://jojozhuang.github.io
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/27906551/node-js-logging-use-morgan-and-winston
Node.js - logging / Use morgan and winston - Stack Overflow
http://tostring.it/2014/06/23/advanced-logging-with-nodejs/
Advanced logging with NodeJs | Ugo Lattanzi's tech world
https://dev.to/vassalloandrea/better-logs-for-expressjs-using-winston-and-morgan-with-typescript-516n
Better logs for ExpressJS using Winston and Morgan with Typescript - DEV Community

Sessions

For more details see Auth

Session management in Express

http://www.passportjs.org/
Passport.js

https://www.duckduckgo.com/?q=node+express+session+management
node express session management - Google Search
https://codeforgeek.com/manage-session-using-node-js-express-4/
How to Manage Session using Node.js and Express - Codeforgeek

https://www.robinwieruch.de/node-express-server-rest-api
How to create a REST API with Express.js in Node.js - RWieruch

Boilerplates

Boilerplates are tricky -- it's rare to find one that sets things up just the way you want. However, they're a great way to learn about new tools and techniques, and to see where a community is headed.

This is a nice one that focuses on just the server / backend:

https://github.com/sahat/hackathon-starter
GitHub - sahat/hackathon-starter: A boilerplate for Node.js web applications
https://github.com/sahat/hackathon-starter/blob/master/package.json
hackathon-starter/package.json at master 路 sahat/hackathon-starter 路 GitHub
https://github.com/sahat/hackathon-starter/blob/master/controllers/user.js
hackathon-starter/user.js at master 路 sahat/hackathon-starter 路 GitHub

I like the structure of this one for both client and server (but not sure that I agree with all of the dependencies):

https://github.com/icebob/vue-express-mongo-boilerplate
GitHub - icebob/vue-express-mongo-boilerplate: MEVN Full stack JS web app boilerplate with NodeJS, Express, Mongo and VueJS
https://github.com/icebob/vue-express-mongo-boilerplate/tree/master/server
vue-express-mongo-boilerplate/server at master 路 icebob/vue-express-mongo-boilerplate 路 GitHub

https://www.google.com/search?q=express+backend+boilerplate&client=ubuntu&hs=RfG&channel=fs&source=lnt&tbs=qdr:y&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjJ--b-4a7pAhVZHc0KHfkqA_gQpwV6BAgPEB0&biw=960&bih=942
express backend boilerplate - Google Search
https://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&biw=960&bih=942&tbs=qdr:y&q=express+passport+boilerplate&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjI4L6h667pAhXXZc0KHTEQCkwQ1QIoB3oECA0QCA
express passport boilerplate - Google Search

https://dev.to/sm0ke/nodejs-starter-javascript-boilerplates-to-start-fast-1024
Nodejs Starter - Javascript Boilerplates to start fast - DEV
https://medium.com/better-programming/best-node-js-boilerplate-to-speed-up-your-project-development-a9eca7b07f90
The Best Node.js Boilerplate to Speed Up Your Project Development
https://github.com/topics/express-boilerplate?o=desc&s=stars
express-boilerplate 路 GitHub Topics 路 GitHub
https://github.com/app-generator/nodejs-starter
GitHub - app-generator/nodejs-starter: Nodejs Starter - Open-Source Javascript Boilerplate | AppSeed
https://hackernoon.com/express-js-boilerplate-with-user-authentication-ch5032a3
Express-js Boilerplate with User Authentication | Hacker Noon
https://blog.codeminer42.com/nodejs-and-good-practices-354e7d763626/
NodeJS and Good Practices 鈥 The Miners
http://wiki.c2.com/?FourLayerArchitecture
Four Layer Architecture
https://blog.cleancoder.com/uncle-bob/2012/08/13/the-clean-architecture.html
Clean Coder Blog