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Last updated 4 years ago by leafingio .
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Leafing.io API

Travis build codecov semantic-release License NSP Status

NodeJS API seed built with great features.

This seed is intended to be a good starter point. My objective is to bring great features that you can enable or disable and some others that eliminates boilerplate during development.


  • Nodejs REST api
  • Nodejs graphql api
  • Dotenv (environment variables)
  • Logs (using Morgan)
  • Documentation (using Apidocs and Grunt)
  • Rate limit (limit number of requests in a certain period of time)
  • CRUD examples
  • Authentication with email/user and password
  • Helmet (Security with headers)
  • CORS enabled
  • Joi (Post and get parameters validation)
  • Boom (Own wrapper for error objects)
  • Ok (Success objects)
  • Emails (using nodemon and handlebars for templates)
  • Mocha (tests)
  • Istanbul (code coverage)
  • Travis CI
  • Semantic release with Commitizen


Required tools


  1. Clone project git clone https://github.com/leafingio/api.git
  2. Install node dependencies: npm install
  3. Run the application in development mode: npm run dev
  4. Go to http://localhost:8080/api for REST api
  5. Go to http://localhost:8080/docs for api documentation
  6. Go to http://localhost:8080/coverage for api test coverage
  7. Go to http://localhost:8080/graphql for graphql in-browser IDE

Project structure

The project structure i have chosen the pythonic (Django) style. That means that you can build modules with their own controllers, routes, permissions, schemas and use them everywhere. For example, you can use the User module in other projects as is importing the routes to your router.

You can think of Api requests as a pipeline composed of modules pipes. You can easily add new pipes, update or remove them.

For example, you may need that your request must come encrypted so you may add a decryption pipe. Pipes can work as filters, routers, transformers that change the request by adding more data to it or changing data in it and then pass it to the next pipe of the pipeline or anything that you need.

If you have any questions about the build or project structure please check out the documentation.


For any additional information please contact with Albert Parrón.



To enable or disable features go to .env file and change the variables. When you start the API you will see the log that outputs enabled features

Environment start

There are 3 different starts:

  • npm run dev (Starts the server in development configuration to develop your application.)
  • npm test (Starts the server in testing configuration, runs the tests, drops the DB and stops the server.)
  • npm start (Starts the server in production configuration.)


To change the environment start with one of the commands above. There are 3 environment setups:

  • dev (you own computer)
  • test (testing server)
  • prod (production server)

I've used dotenv to configure the environment variables with preload. This means that when you start the server with npm it will load automatically the correct variables based on the start command that sets a SERVER_ENVIRONMENT variable and put them inside process.env[VARIABLE]. You can configure your server options inside this file or you can extend them. In order to extend the environment variables, follow de .env template and load them in your JS files as process.env[process.env.SERVER_ENVIRONMENT + '_your_variable'].

Remember not to commit your .env file into version control, it will expose your credentials in open source projects (add it to .gitignore)


To generate the api documentation you need to run grunt. If you want to extend the api documentation, just follow the way that is generated the sample documentation:

  • Go to module (f.e Post inside server folder)
  • Create routes.doc.js
  • Describe the routes using Apidocs specification. With this way, you can separate concerns in order to get the code clear and without noise. You can use your own style because grunt will take care to read all the files to find the documentation specification.

Leafing features


I've added two other ways to require libraries inside the project:

  • `var { Send } = rootRequire('leafing');`` With this way, you can import the Leafing features that I have added to the project without the '../../../..''
  • var PostRouter = moduleRequire('Post/routes'); With this other way you can import your modules without the '../../../..' because it goes to read directly to the server folder where all modules will stay.


The send feature/middleware is built to generate the response after Boom or Ok and next():

  statusCode: XXX,
  message: 'message X',
  data: {}

The middleware will know when to send an error or success because we will generate errors inside the request object of the methods callbacks/middlewares/validators/controllers using Boom or Ok. It will be explained in the following lines inside the Flow control section. You can remove this middleware inside server.js.

Form validation

The form validation middleware (see Post's 'Form.Create' for examples) validates all the required parameters for the request using Joi. If there's an error, generate the error with Boom. Then use next() even if there's no errors and you will continue the execution to the next middleware.


You can send emails using your preferred transport. I have configured a stub transport for development and testing purposes, AWS SES transport and Gmail transport. Modify the environment variables as you want such as transport to use in environments or credentials. You can use handlebars templates with emails. See signup example.

Email Method

Import with rootRequire the leafing libraries and use the email library to send emails. The accepted parameter is an object with the following keys:

  from: '', /* if not specified it will use the default
             environment variable set for email */
  to: '', /* an email or multiple emails in a string 
           (f.e 'something@leafing.io, something2@leafing.io') */
  cc: '',
  bcc: '',
  subject: '',
  text: '',
  html: '',
  attachments: ''

See nodemailer for more information

Email Middleware

Using the Email module controllers you can create middlewares easily that use the send email method. See signup for examples

Flow control

All the middlewares must start with:


} else next()

and you must put your logic inside the if. That is because if req.error exists (created with Boom), it will go to the next middleware until arrives to the Send middleware. (see Post example) If you detect some error, you must use Boom to generate the error. With this way, the error will go next to the Send middleware and return an error response. Otherwise, if there's not an error and you want to send data, use Ok passing the data and the middleware will create a 200 response code, with a Success message and the data to send.

Good way

function controller(req, res, next){
    // Some stuff
    // If stuff error
    if(errStuff) Boom.badRequest(req, 'message', 'data')
    else Ok(req, {text:'hello'})
    // go to Send middleware
  } else next()

Bad way

function controller(req, res, next){
    // Some stuff
    // If stuff error
    if(errStuff) Boom.badRequest(req, 'message', 'data')
    else Ok(req, {text:'hello'})

The bad way is because if you use some promise based function like mongoose save, the next() will trigger before save. The best way is to call next() when it is done or if there's not an error comming from the upper middleware.

Feel free to use res.json or res.send and avoid this middleware. (Remember to remove it from the server.js file)


Using this header, you can receive the response in different ways:

  • application/json will send json
  • application/xml will send json parsed to xml


You can create tests inside every module. Mocha is prepared to run every tests.js file that founds inside server folder. To run your tests just type npm test in the shell. See Post module for examples.

Continuous integration

I've added a .travis.yml file to use continuous integration with Travis CI. This file has all the configuration needed to test your repository with Travis CI. Just signup in Travis CI web, activate your repository and push a commit. It will start running all the tests for you. You can configure the behaviour needed for your project.

Work Flow

Create module

You can add functionality to you API creating a new folder inside server folder (for example Post). It can be separated in:

  • controllers.js (where all logic goes)
  • routes.js (where all routes goes and decides which controllers-permissions-validations needs).
  • schemas.js (where all mongoose schemas goes)
  • forms.js (where all parameter validation goes (see Post))
  • permissions.js (where all permissions goes)
  • tests.js (where all tests goes)

After that, you can include your routes inside the main routes.js (./server/routes.js) calling them with the moduleRequire indicating the routes file of the module.

To be continued...

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