Node.js API client for flowthings.io





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Type Definitions






The node library for flowthings.io.

See the documentation for the platform here.



The node client is available via npm:

npm install flowthings

flowthings.API(credentials, options)

Returns a new API instance for interacting with the platform.

var creds = {
  account: '<account_name>',
  token: '<token_string>'
var api = flowthings.API(creds);

API defaults may be overriden using the options hash.

An API is comprised of services for querying the different domains of the platform:

  • flow
  • drop
  • track
  • group
  • identity
  • token
  • share
  • apiTask
  • mqtt
  • rss

For documentation on these services, read Service Methods.

Default Options

You can change the default options for all APIs globally by mutating the flowthings.defaults hash.

  • secure: Defaults to true. When set to false, requests will be made over http rather than https.
  • params: The default set of query string parameters sent with all requests. Defaults to {}.

Service Methods

All API service requests return plain objects of the request body.

service.read(id, params?, callback)

api.flow.read('<flow_id>', function(err, res) { ... });

service.readMany(ids, params?, callback)

api.flow.readMany(['<flow_id_1>', '<flow_id_2>'], function(err, res) { ... });

service.findMany(params?, callback)

api.flow.findMany({ filter: { path: '/foo/bar' }}, function(err, res) { ... });

service.find(..., callback)

An overloaded method which may call one of read, readMany, or findMany depending upon the type of the first argument.

service.create(model, params?, callback)

api.flow.create({ path: '/foo/bar' }, function(err, res) { ... });

service.update(model, params?, callback)

Requests are made based on the model's id property.

api.flow.update({ id: '<flow_id>', capacity: 10 }, function(err, res) { ... });

service.updateMany(models, params?, callback)

api.flow.updateMany([model1, model2, model3], function(err, res) { ... });

service.save(..., params?, callback)

An overloaded method which may call one of create, update, or updateMany depending upon the type of the first argument. create or update are called based on the presence of an id property.

service.delete(id, params?, data?, callback)

api.flow.delete('<flow_id>', function(err, res) { ... });

Note: The drop service is slightly different in that it must first be parameterized by the Flow id.

api.drop('<flow_id>').find({ limit: 10 });

drop(flowId).aggregate(data, params?, callback)

Drops also support our aggregation endpoint.

  "output": ["$count", "$avg:foo"],
}, function(err, res) {
  if (err) console.log("error: ", err)
  if (res) console.log("res: ", res)

Note: Not all services support all the methods. shares and tokens are immutable, and so do not support update, updateMany, and save. identity only supports read, readMany, findMany, and find.

Request Parameters

When a request is made with the refs parameter set to true, the return value becomes an array with two items: the response body and the references.

api.flow.find('<flow_id>', { refs: true }, function(err, resp) {
  var flow = resp[0];
  var refs = resp[1];
  // ...

Request filters may be expressed using a Mongo-like DSL:

  criteria: {
    prop1: 'foo',       // equals
    prop2: /foo/i,      // regular expression matching
    prop3: { $lt: 42 },  // Less than
    prop4: { $lte: 42 }, // Less than or equal
    prop5: { $gt: 42 },  // Greater than
    prop6: { $gte: 42 }  // Greater than or equal
}, function(err, resp) {
  // ...

Other parameters are not fixed in any way, so please refer to the platform documentation for more.


Callbacks receive an error for any non-ok HTTP response from the platform.

  • flowthings.FlowThingsError
  • flowthings.FlowThingsBadRequest
  • flowthings.FlowThingsForbidden
  • flowthings.FlowThingsNotFound
  • flowthings.FlowThingsServerError

The special-cased error classes are subclasses of FlowThingsError. All have the following properties:

  • creds: The credentials used to make the request
  • status: The status code of the response
  • errors: The error array returned by the platform


A promise-based API is supported through the flowthings.promisify request transformer.

var Promise = require('bluebird');
var api = flowthings.API(creds, {
  transform: flowthings.promisify(Promise)

  .then(function(flows) {
    // ...
  .catch(function(err) {
    // ...


Websockets is supported through the node library.

Note: As of yet, we do not support promises through the websockets library.

You can enable a websockets session with the websockets connect method, as you would with any other service.


The connection method does not return.

Rather, one interfaces with the websocket connection through a callback.

The callback takes two arguments.

api.webSocket.connect(function(flowthingsWs, err) {


The first argument gives you access to the websocket object. We've used the ws library to handle our websockets connections. But we've abstracted it away with our own higher level logic. We handle reconnection and nearly everything else.

The second argument is an error argument. This is a reversal from above, where the error argument is usually the first argument. I apologize for the reversal, but generally you'll only get an error here if you put in the wrong credentials.

api.webSocket.connect(function(flowthingsWs) {

  // To subscribe to a flow, you use the subscribe method
  flowthingsWs.flow.subscribe("f54f8c0840cf2738763fd8a56", function(drop){
    console.log("drop", drop)
  }, function() {

  flowthingsWs.drop.create("f54f8c0840cf2738763fd8a56", {elems:{"name": "drop"}}, function() {
      console.log('drop created')

  // you can also use paths instead of flowIds
  flowthingsWs.flow.subscribe("/my/flow/path", function(drop){
    console.log("drop", drop)
  }, function() {

  flowthingsWs.drop.create("/my/flow/path", {elems:{"name": "drop"}}, function() {
      console.log('drop created')


Flow, track and drop each have CRUD methods on them. Flow has an additional method to subscribe to the flow over websockets.

The methods take the following arguments:

ws.flow.subscribe(id, params, dropListener, responseHandler, callback)

  • id is the id of the flow you're subscribing to. You can also use a path instead of a flowId.
  • params are various parameters you can set (the only important one for now is msgId).
  • dropListener(drop) is a callback function, we'll execute it when messages (drops) come in from the subscribed to flow.
  • responseHandler(response, response.head.msgId, flags) will listen for an incomming message from the platform that will tell you if the subscription has succeeded or failed.
  • callback() is the callback that is executed after the data is sent, but before anything is recieved.

The other methods are similar:

ws.flow.subscribe(id, params, responseHandler, callback)

This is the sister to subscriptions. It will start

ws.flow.create(obj, params, responseHandler, callback)

  • obj is the object that you're creating.

And the other arguments work the same as the subscription.

ws.drop.create(flowId, obj, params, responseHandler, callback)

All of the drop functions behave in the same way.

Then we have:

ws.flow.read(id, params, responseHandler, callback)

ws.flow.update(id, obj, params, responseHandler, callback)

ws.flow.delete(id, params, responseHandler, callback)

The arguments work generally as you would expect for each of these. Track works the same as flows.

Note: Websockets will reconnect if it loses the connection. However, it's suggested that you also enable some logic outside of the library to ensure connection as well.

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