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Defining a json:api resource

  resource: "resourceNameGoesHere",
  handlers: { /* see "Handlers" section */ },
  searchParams: { /* see "SearchParams" section */ },
  attributes: { /* see "attributes" section */ }


jsonapi-server ships with an example barebones implementation of an in-memory handler. It can be found at jsonApi.MemoryHandler. You can use it as a reference for writing new handlers.

Documentation for creating your own handlers can be found here.

MemoryHandler works by allowing each defined resource to contain an examples property, which must be an array of JSON objects representing raw resources. Those examples are loaded into memory when the server loads and are served up as if they were real resources. You can search through them, modify them, create new ones, delete them, straight away.

Its a beautiful way of prototyping an experimental new API! Simply define the attributes of a resource, attach the MemoryHandler and define some examples:

  resource: "photos",
  handlers: new jsonApi.MemoryHandler(),
  attributes: {
    title: jsonApi.Joi.string()
    url: jsonApi.Joi.string().uri().required()
      .description("The person who took the photo"),
    articles: jsonApi.Joi.belongsToMany({
      resource: "articles",
      as: "photos"
  examples: [
      id: "aab14844-97e7-401c-98c8-0bd5ec922d93",
      type: "photos",
      title: "Matrix Code",
      url: "",
      photographer: { type: "people", id: "ad3aa89e-9c5b-4ac9-a652-6670f9f27587" }


searchParams controls which parameters will be accepted when searching for resources via a GET request to the /:resource/? route.

A resource's searchParams should be declared using the version of Joi bundled with jsonapi-server:

searchParams: {
  query: jsonApi.Joi.string()

In addition to the fields declared in the searchParams object, jsonapi-server will also accept the sort, include, fields, filter and relationships parameters.


attributes defines the properties declared on the given resource. A resource's attributes should be declared using the version of Joi bundled with jsonapi-server:

attributes: {
  url: jsonApi.Joi.string().uri()
  height: jsonApi.Joi.number().min(1).max(10000).precision(0)

In addition to the functionality provided by Joi, there are 4x additional types:

photos:"photos").description("This attribute is a relation to a photos resource");

article: jsonApi.Joi.belongsToOne({
  resource: "articles",
  as: "comments"
}).description("This attribute declares that the articles resource contains comments that links back to this resource");

photos: jsonApi.Joi.many("photos").description("This attribute is a relation to many photos resources");

article: jsonApi.Joi.belongsToMany({
  resource: "articles",
  as: "comments"
}).description("This attribute declares that the articles resource contains comments that links back to many of this resource");

Attributes can be marked as required using the regular Joi functionality. Required fields are enforced in both directions - user created/updated resources must comply with the required attributes, as must all resources provided by the server.

url: jsonApi.Joi.string().uri().required()

Attributes can be declared readonly by attaching metadata. Any attempt to write to this attribute when creating a new resource via POST, or when amending a resource via PUT/PATCH/DELETE will result in a validation error.

url: jsonApi.Joi.string().uri().meta("readonly").description("This attribute cannot be created nor modified by a user");

If you look through the example json:api resources in the /example/resources folder things should become clearer.


By default, the server autogenerates a UUID for resources which are created without specifying an ID. To disable this behavior (for example, if the database generates an ID by auto-incrementing), set generateId to false. If the resource's ID is not a UUID, it is also necessary to specify an id attribute with the correct type. See /examples/resorces/autoincrement.js for an example of such a resource.