Yeoman generator, creates a RESTful CRUD API, based on Node, Restify, and MongoDB





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Project updated November, 2017 (v0.3.0), to Restify 6.x from 4.x.

This Yeoman generator scaffolds a basic RESTful CRUD API service, a Node application, based on Node.js, Restify, and MongoDB.

According to their website, Restify, used most notably by Netflix, borrows heavily from Express. However, while Express is targeted at browser applications, with templating and rendering, Restify is keenly focused on building API services that are maintainable and observable.

Along with Node, Restify, and MongoDB, the project also implements the following packages: Bunyan (includes DTrace support), Jasmine (using jasmine-node), Mongoose, and Grunt.

Portions of this project's file structure and code are derived from what I consider the best parts of several different projects, including generator-express, generator-restify-mongo, and generator-restify.


To begin, install install Yeoman and generator-node-restify-mongodb using npm, using npm. The generator assumes you have pre-installed Node and MongoDB.

npm install -g yo
npm install -g generator-node-restify-mongodb

Then, generate the new project.

mkdir node-restify-mongodb
cd $_
yo node-restify-mongodb

Yeoman scaffolds the application, creating the directory structure, copying required files, and running 'npm install' to load the npm package dependencies.

Scaffolding Project

Using the Generated Application

Next, import the supplied set of sample widget documents into the local development instance of MongoDB from the supplied 'data/widgets.json' file.

NODE_ENV=development grunt mongoimport --verbose

Similar to Yeoman's Express Generator, this application contains configuration for three typical environments: 'Development' (default), 'Test', and 'Production'. If you want to import the sample widget documents into your Test or Production instances of MongoDB, first change the 'NODE_ENV' environment variable value.

NODE_ENV=production grunt mongoimport --verbose

To start the application in a new terminal window, use the following command.

npm start

To test the application, using jshint and the jasmine-node module, the sample documents must be imported into MongoDB and the application must be running (see above). To test the application, open a separate terminal window, and use the following command.

npm test

The project contains a set of jasmine-node tests, split between the '/widgets' and the '/utils' endpoints. If the application is running correctly, you should see the test results displayed in the terminal window.

Similarly, the following command displays a code coverage report, using the grunt, mocha, istanbul, and grunt-mocha-istanbul node modules.

grunt coverage

Grunt uses the grunt-mocha-istanbul module to execute the same set of jasmine-node tests. Based on those tests, the application's code coverage (statement, line, function, and branch coverage) is displayed.

You may test the running application, directly, by cURLing the '/widgets' endpoints.

curl -X GET -H "Accept: application/json" "http://localhost:3000/widgets"

For more legible output, try HTTPie or prettyjson.

brew install httpie
http http://localhost:3000/widgets
http http://localhost:3000/widgets/SVHXPAWEOD
npm install -g prettyjson
curl -X GET -H "Accept: application/json" "http://localhost:3000/widgets" --silent | prettyjson
curl -X GET -H "Accept: application/json" "http://localhost:3000/widgets/SVHXPAWEOD" --silent | prettyjson

A much better RESTful API testing solution is Postman. Postman provides the ability to individually configure each environment and abstract that environment-specific configuration, such as host and port, from the actual HTTP requests.

API REST Endpoints

The scaffolded application includes the following endpoints.

# widget resources
var PATH = '/widgets';
server.get({path: PATH, version: VERSION}, findDocuments);
server.get({path: PATH + '/:product_id', version: VERSION}, findOneDocument);{path: PATH, version: VERSION}, createDocument);
server.put({path: PATH, version: VERSION}, updateDocument);
server.del({path: PATH + '/:product_id', version: VERSION}, deleteDocument);

# utility resources
var PATH = '/utils';
server.get({path: PATH + '/ping', version: VERSION}, ping);
server.get({path: PATH + '/health', version: VERSION}, health);
server.get({path: PATH + '/info', version: VERSION}, information);
server.get({path: PATH + '/config', version: VERSION}, configuraton);
server.get({path: PATH + '/env', version: VERSION}, environment);


The Widget is the basic document object used throughout the application. It is used, primarily, to demonstrate Mongoose's Model and Schema. The Widget object contains the following fields, as shown in the sample widget, below.

  "product_id": "4OZNPBMIDR",
  "name": "Fapster",
  "color": "Orange",
  "size": "Medium",
  "price": "29.99",
  "inventory": 5


Use the mongo shell to access the application's MongoDB instance and display the imported sample documents.

 > show dbs
 > use node-restify-mongodb-development
 > show tables
 > db.widgets.find()
  { "_id" : ObjectId("574cf9bb0f515d7c67a87026"), "product_id" : "4OZNPBMIDR", "name" : "Fapster", "color" : "Orange", "size" : "Medium", "price" : "29.99", "inventory" : 5 }
  { "_id" : ObjectId("574cf9bb0f515d7c67a87027"), "product_id" : "SVHXPAWEOD", "name" : "Voonex", "color" : "Green", "size" : "Medium", "price" : "$10.99", "inventory" : 50 }
  { "_id" : ObjectId("574cf9bb0f515d7c67a87028"), "product_id" : "3YIRGZ6TDW", "name" : "Groopster", "color" : "Yellow", "size" : "Large", "price" : "$99.95", "inventory" : 100 }
  { "_id" : ObjectId("574cf9bb0f515d7c67a87029"), "product_id" : "6T2HC5MIZ9", "name" : "Chaintwist", "color" : "Purple", "size" : "Tiny", "price" : "$99.95", "inventory" : 15 }
  { "_id" : ObjectId("574cf9bb0f515d7c67a8702a"), "product_id" : "ERZ1RMJFR3", "name" : "Glozzom", "color" : "Red", "size" : "Huge", "price" : "$199.98", "inventory" : 35 }
  { "_id" : ObjectId("574cf9bb0f515d7c67a8702b"), "product_id" : "N43WV5234S", "name" : "Zapster", "color" : "Green", "size" : "Tiny", "price" : "$17.49", "inventory" : 65 }
  { "_id" : ObjectId("574cf9bb0f515d7c67a8702c"), "product_id" : "0BVCLPDZ42", "name" : "Chaintwist", "color" : "Blue", "size" : "Medium", "price" : "$89.95", "inventory" : 55 }
  { "_id" : ObjectId("574cf9bb0f515d7c67a8702d"), "product_id" : "N212QZOD9B", "name" : "Pentwist", "color" : "Yellow", "size" : "Huge", "price" : "$159.98", "inventory" : 95 }
  { "_id" : ObjectId("574cf9bb0f515d7c67a8702e"), "product_id" : "RTHGP1FCGN", "name" : "Reflupper", "color" : "Red", "size" : "Large", "price" : "$12.95", "inventory" : 25 }
  { "_id" : ObjectId("574cf9bb0f515d7c67a8702f"), "product_id" : "GKO1SFX04M", "name" : "Jukelox", "color" : "Blue", "size" : "Small", "price" : "$25.49", "inventory" : 75 }

Environmental Variables

The scaffolded application relies on several environment variables to determine its environment-specific runtime configuration. If these environment variables are present, the application defaults to using the Development environment values, as shown below, in the application's 'config/config.js' file.

var NODE_ENV   = process.env.NODE_ENV   || 'development';
var NODE_HOST  = process.env.NODE_HOST  || '';
var NODE_PORT  = process.env.NODE_PORT  || 3000;
var MONGO_HOST = process.env.MONGO_HOST || '';
var MONGO_PORT = process.env.MONGO_PORT || 27017;
var LOG_LEVEL  = process.env.LOG_LEVEL  || 'info';
var APP_NAME   = 'node-restify-mongodb-';

Future Project TODOs

Future project enhancements include the following:

  • Add filtering, sorting, field selection and paging
  • Add basic HATEOAS-based response features
  • Add authentication and authorization to production MongoDB instance
  • Convert from out-dated jasmine-node to Jasmine?


MIT © Gary A. Stafford

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