REST APIs for the Best of Us! - A Meteor 0.9+ package for building REST APIs https://atmospherejs.com/nimble/restivus
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REST APIs for the Best of Us!

Restivus makes building REST APIs in Meteor 0.9.0+ easier than ever before! The package is inspired by RestStop2 and Collection API, and is built on top of Simple JSON Routes to provide:

  • A simple interface for creating REST APIs
  • Easy setup of CRUD endpoints for Mongo Collections
  • User authentication via the API
    • Optional login and logout endpoints
    • Access to this.user in authenticated endpoints
    • Custom authentication if needed
  • Role permissions for limiting access to specific endpoints
    • Works alongside the alanning:roles package - Meteor's accepted role permission package
  • NEW! API versioning via URL path
  • And also planned:
    • JSON PATCH support on collections
    • Autogenerated OPTIONS endpoint on routes
    • Pre and post hooks on all endpoints

Version 0.8.0 Released!

Table of Contents

Getting Started

Installation

You can install Restivus using Meteor's package manager:

> meteor add nimble:restivus

Quick Start

Often, the easiest way to explain something is by example, so here's a short example of what it's like to create an API with Restivus (keep scrolling for a JavaScript version):

CoffeeScript:
Items = new Mongo.Collection 'items'
Articles = new Mongo.Collection 'articles'

# Restivus is only available on the server!
if Meteor.isServer

  # Global API configuration
  Api = new Restivus
    useDefaultAuth: true
    prettyJson: true

  # Generates: GET, POST on /api/items and GET, PUT, PATCH, DELETE on
  # /api/items/:id for the Items collection
  Api.addCollection Items

  # Generates: POST on /api/users and GET, DELETE /api/users/:id for
  # Meteor.users collection
  Api.addCollection Meteor.users,
    excludedEndpoints: ['getAll', 'put']
    routeOptions:
      authRequired: true
    endpoints:
      post:
        authRequired: false
      delete:
        roleRequired: 'admin'

  # Maps to: /api/articles/:id
  Api.addRoute 'articles/:id', authRequired: true,
    get: ->
      Articles.findOne @urlParams.id
    delete:
      roleRequired: ['author', 'admin']
      action: ->
        if Articles.remove @urlParams.id
          status: 'success', data: message: 'Article removed'
        else
          statusCode: 404
          body: status: 'fail', message: 'Article not found'
JavaScript:
Items = new Mongo.Collection('items');
Articles = new Mongo.Collection('articles');

if (Meteor.isServer) {

  // Global API configuration
  var Api = new Restivus({
    useDefaultAuth: true,
    prettyJson: true
  });

  // Generates: GET, POST on /api/items and GET, PUT, PATCH, DELETE on
  // /api/items/:id for the Items collection
  Api.addCollection(Items);

  // Generates: POST on /api/users and GET, DELETE /api/users/:id for
  // Meteor.users collection
  Api.addCollection(Meteor.users, {
    excludedEndpoints: ['getAll', 'put'],
    routeOptions: {
      authRequired: true
    },
    endpoints: {
      post: {
        authRequired: false
      },
      delete: {
        roleRequired: 'admin'
      }
    }
  });

  // Maps to: /api/articles/:id
  Api.addRoute('articles/:id', {authRequired: true}, {
    get: function () {
      return Articles.findOne(this.urlParams.id);
    },
    delete: {
      roleRequired: ['author', 'admin'],
      action: function () {
        if (Articles.remove(this.urlParams.id)) {
          return {status: 'success', data: {message: 'Article removed'}};
        }
        return {
          statusCode: 404,
          body: {status: 'fail', message: 'Article not found'}
        };
      }
    }
  });
}

Terminology

Just to clarify some terminology that will be used throughout these docs:

(HTTP) Method:

  • The type of HTTP request (e.g., GET, PUT, POST, etc.)

Endpoint:

  • The function executed when a request is made at a given URL path for a specific HTTP method

Route:

  • A URL path and its set of configurable endpoints

Writing A Restivus API

Restivus is a server-only package. Attempting to access any of its methods from the client will result in an error.

Configuration Options

The following configuration options are available when initializing an API using new Restivus(options):

apiPath
  • String
  • Default: 'api/'
  • The base path for your API. If you use 'api' and add a route called 'users', the URL will be https://yoursite.com/api/users/.
auth
  • Object
    • token String
      • Default: 'services.resume.loginTokens.hashedToken'
      • The path to the hashed auth token in the Meteor.user document. This location will be checked for a matching token if one is returned in auth.user().
    • user Function
      • Default: Get user ID and auth token from X-User-Id and X-Auth-Token headers

        function() {
          return {
            userId: this.request.headers['x-user-id'],
            token: Accounts._hashLoginToken(this.request.headers['x-auth-token'])
          };
        }
      • Provides one of two levels of authentication, depending on the data returned. The context within this function is the endpoint context without this.user and this.userId (well, that's what we're working on here!). Once the user authentication completes successfully, the authenticated user and their ID will be attached to the endpoint context. The two levels of custom authentication and their required return data are:

        • Partial auth
          • userId: The ID of the user being authenticated
          • token: The auth token to be verified
          • If both a userId and token are returned, Restivus will hash the token, then, authentication will succeed if the hashedToken exists in the given Meteor.user document at the location specified in auth.token
        • Complete auth
          • user: The fully authenticated Meteor.user
          • This is your chance to completely override the user authentication process. If a user is returned, any userId and token will be ignored, as it's assumed that you have already successfully authenticated the user (by whatever means you deem necessary). The given user is simply attached to the endpoint context, no questions asked.

        For either level of auth described above, you can optionally return a custom error response by providing that response in an error field of your response object. The error value can be any valid response. If an error field exists in the object returned from your custom auth function, all other fields will be ignored. Do not provide an error value if you intend for the authentication to pass successfully.

defaultHeaders
defaultOptionsEndpoint
  • Endpoint
  • Default: undefined
  • If an endpoint is provided, it will be used as the OPTIONS endpoint on all routes, except those that have one manually defined. This can be used to DRY up your API, since OPTIONS endpoints will frequently respond generically across all routes.
enableCors
  • Boolean
  • Default: true
  • If true, enables cross-origin resource sharing (CORS). This allows your API to receive requests from any domain (when false, the API will only accept requests from the domain where the API is being hosted. Note: Only applies to requests originating from browsers).
onLoggedIn
  • Function
  • Default: undefined
  • A hook that runs once a user has been successfully logged into their account via the /login endpoint. Context is the same as within authenticated endpoints. Any returned data will be added to the response body as data.extra.
onLoggedOut
  • Function
  • Default: undefined
  • Same as onLoggedIn, but runs once a user has been successfully logged out of their account via the /logout endpoint. Context is the same as within authenticated endpoints. Any returned data will be added to the response body as data.extra.
prettyJson
  • Boolean
  • Default: false
  • If true, render formatted JSON in response.
useDefaultAuth
  • Boolean
  • Default: false
  • If true, POST /login and GET /logout endpoints are added to the API. See [Authenticating] (#authenticating) for details on using these endpoints.
version
  • String
  • Default: null
  • URL path versioning is the only type of API versioning currently available, so if a version is provided, it's appended to the base path of all routes that belong to that API
    // Base URL path: my-api/v1/
    ApiV1 = new Restivus({
      apiPath: 'my-api/',
      version: 'v1'
    });
    
    // Base URL path: my-api/v2/
    ApiV2 = new Restivus({
      apiPath: 'my-api/',
      version: 'v2'
    });

Here's a sample configuration with the complete set of options:

Warning! For demo purposes only - using this configuration is not recommended!

CoffeeScript
  new Restivus
    apiPath: 'my-api/'
    auth:
      token: 'auth.apiKey'
      user: ->
        userId: @request.headers['user-id']
        token: @request.headers['login-token']
    defaultHeaders:
      'Content-Type': 'application/json'
    onLoggedIn: -> console.log "#{@user.username} (#{@userId}) logged in"
    onLoggedOut: -> console.log "#{@user.username} (#{@userId}) logged out"
    prettyJson: true
    useDefaultAuth: true
    version: 'v1'
JavaScript
  new Restivus({
    apiPath: 'my-api/',
    auth: {
      token: 'auth.apiKey',
      user: function () {
        return {
          userId: this.request.headers['user-id'],
          token: this.request.headers['login-token']
        };
      }
    },
    defaultHeaders: {
      'Content-Type': 'application/json'
    },
    onLoggedIn: function () {
      console.log(this.user.username + ' (' + this.userId + ') logged in');
    },
    onLoggedOut: function () {
      console.log(this.user.username + ' (' + this.userId + ') logged out');
    },
    prettyJson: true,
    useDefaultAuth: true,
    version: 'v1'
  });

Defining Collection Routes

One of the most common uses for a REST API is exposing a set of operations on your collections. Well, you're in luck, because this is almost too easy with Restivus! All available REST endpoints (except patch and options, for now) can be generated for a Mongo Collection using Restivus#addCollection(). This generates two routes by default:

/api/<collection>

  • Operations on the entire collection
  • GET and POST

/api/<collection>/:id

  • Operations on a single entity within the collection
  • GET, PUT, PATCH and DELETE

Collection

The first - and only required - parameter of Restivus#addCollection() is a Mongo Collection. Please check out the Meteor docs for more on creating collections. The Meteor.users collection will have [special endpoints] (#users-collection-endpoints) generated.

Collection Options

Route and endpoint configuration options are available in Restivus#addCollection() (as the 2nd, optional parameter).

Route Configuration

The top level properties of the options apply to both routes that will be generated (/api/<collection> and /api/<collection>/:id):

path
  • String
  • Default: Name of the collection (the name passed to new Mongo.Collection(), or 'users' for Meteor.users)
  • The base path for the generated routes. Given a path 'other-path', routes will be generated at 'api/other-path' and 'api/other-path/:id'
routeOptions
  • Object
  • authRequired Boolean
    • Default: false
    • If true, all endpoints on these routes will return a 401 if the user is not properly authenticated.
  • roleRequired String or Array of Strings
    • Default: undefined (no role required)
    • The acceptable user roles for all endpoints on this route (e.g., 'admin', ['admin', 'dev']). Additional role permissions can be defined on specific endpoints. If the authenticated user does not belong to at least one of the accepted roles, a 403 is returned. Since a role cannot be verified without an authenticated user, setting the roleRequired implies authRequired: true, so that option can be omitted without any consequence. For more on setting up roles, check out the alanning:roles package.
excludedEndpoints
  • String or Array of Strings
  • Default: undefined
  • The names of the endpoints that should not be generated (see the endpoints option below for a complete list of endpoint names).
endpoints
  • Object
  • Default: undefined (all available endpoints generated)
  • Each property of this object corresponds to a REST endpoint. In addition to the excludedEndpoints list, you can also prevent an endpoint from being generated by setting its value to false. All other endpoints will be generated. The complete set of configurable properties on these endpoints is described in the Endpoint Configuration section below. Here is a list of all available endpoints, including their corresponding HTTP method, path, and a short description of their behavior:
    • getAll Endpoint
      • GET /api/collection
      • Return a list of all entities within the collection (filtered searching via query params coming soon!).
    • post Endpoint
      • POST /api/collection
      • Add a new entity to the collection. All data passed in the request body will be copied into the newly created entity. Warning: This is unsafe for now, as no type or bounds checking is done.
    • get Endpoint
      • GET /api/collection/:id
      • Return the entity with the given :id.
    • put Endpoint
      • PUT /api/collection/:id
      • Completely replace the entity with the given :id with the data contained in the request body. Any fields not included will be removed from the document in the collection.
    • patch Endpoint
      • PATCH /api/collection/:id
      • Partially modify the entity with the given :id with the data contained in the request body. Only fields included will be modified.
    • delete Endpoint
      • DELETE /api/collection/:id
      • Remove the entity with the given :id from the collection.

Endpoint Configuration

By default, each of the endpoints listed above is undefined, which means it will be generated with any default route options. If you need finer control over your endpoints, each can be defined as an object containing the following properties:

authRequired
  • Boolean
  • Default: undefined
  • If true, this endpoint will return a 401 if the user is not properly [authenticated] (#authenticating). If defined, this overrides the option of the same name defined on the entire route.
roleRequired
  • String or Array of Strings
  • Default: undefined (no role required)
  • The acceptable user roles for this endpoint (e.g., 'admin', ['admin', 'dev']). These roles will be accepted in addition to any defined over the entire route. If the authenticated user does not belong to at least one of the accepted roles, a 403 is returned. Since a role cannot be verified without an authenticated user, setting the roleRequired implies authRequired: true, so that option can be omitted without any consequence. For more on setting up roles, check out the alanning:roles package.
action
  • Function
  • Default: undefined (Default endpoint generated)
  • If you need to completely override the default endpoint behavior, you can provide a function that will be executed when the corresponding request is made. No parameters are passed; instead, this contains the endpoint context, with properties including the URL and query parameters.

Request and Response Structure

All responses generated by Restivus follow the JSend format, with one minor tweak: failures have an identical structure to errors. Successful responses will have a status code of 200, unless otherwise indicated. Sample requests and responses for each endpoint are included below:

post

Request:

curl -X POST http://localhost:3000/api/articles/ -d "title=Witty Title" -d "author=Jack Rose"

Response:

Status Code: 201

{
  "status": "success",
  "data": {
    "_id": "LrcEYNojn5N7NPRdo",
    "title": "Witty Title",
    "author": "Jack Rose"
  }
}

getAll

Request:

curl -X GET http://localhost:3000/api/articles/

Response:

{
  "status": "success",
  "data": [
    {
      "_id": "LrcEYNojn5N7NPRdo",
      "title": "Witty Title!",
      "author": "Jack Rose",
    },
    {
      "_id": "7F89EFivTnAcPMcY5",
      "title": "Average Stuff",
      "author": "Joe Schmoe",
    }
  ]
}

get

Request:

curl -X GET http://localhost:3000/api/articles/LrcEYNojn5N7NPRdo

Response:

{
  "status": "success",
  "data": {
    "_id": "LrcEYNojn5N7NPRdo",
    "title": "Witty Title",
    "author": "Jack Rose",
  }
}

put

Request:

curl -X PUT http://localhost:3000/api/articles/LrcEYNojn5N7NPRdo -d "title=Wittier Title" -d "author=Jaclyn Rose"

Response:

{
  "status": "success",
  "data": {
    "_id": "LrcEYNojn5N7NPRdo",
    "title": "Wittier Title",
    "author": "Jaclyn Rose"
  }
}

patch

Request:

curl -X PATCH http://localhost:3000/api/articles/LrcEYNojn5N7NPRdo -d "author=J. K. Rowling"

Response:

{
  "status": "success",
  "data": {
    "_id": "LrcEYNojn5N7NPRdo",
    "title": "Wittier Title",
    "author": "J. K. Rowling"
  }
}

delete

Request:

curl -X DELETE http://localhost:3000/api/articles/LrcEYNojn5N7NPRdo

Response:

{
  "status": "success",
  "data": {
    "message": "Item removed"
  }
}

Users Collection Endpoints

A few special exceptions have been made for routes added for the Meteor.users collection. For now, the majority of the operations are limited to read access to the user._id and read/write access to the user.profile. All route and endpoint options are identical to those described for all other collections above. No options have been configured in the examples below; however, it is highly recommended that role permissions be setup (or at the absolute least, authentication required) for the delete endpoint. Below are sample requests and responses for the users collection.

Create collection:

Api.addCollection(Meteor.users);

post

Request: POST http://localhost:3000/api/users

{
  "email": "jack@mail.com",
  "password": "password",
  "profile": {
    "firstName": "Jack",
    "lastName": "Rose"
  }
}

Note: The only fields that will be recognized in the request body when creating a new user are email, username, password, and profile. These map directly to the parameters of the same name in the Accounts.createUser() method, so check that out for more information on how those fields are handled.

Response:

Status Code: 201

{
  "status": "success",
  "data": {
    "_id": "oFpdgAMMr7F5A7P3a",
    "profile": {
      "firstName": "Jack",
      "lastName": "Rose"
    }
  }
}

getAll

Request:

curl -X GET http://localhost:3000/api/users/

Response:

{
  "status": "success",
  "data": [
    {
      "_id": "nBTnv83sTrf38fFTi",
      "profile": {
        "firstName": "Anthony",
        "lastName": "Reid"
      }
    },
    {
      "_id": "oFpdgAMMr7F5A7P3a",
      "profile": {
        "firstName": "Jack",
        "lastName": "Rose"
      }
    }
  ]
}

get

Request:

curl -X GET http://localhost:3000/api/users/oFpdgAMMr7F5A7P3a

Response:

{
  "status": "success",
  "data": {
    "_id": "oFpdgAMMr7F5A7P3a",
    "profile": {
      "firstName": "Jack",
      "lastName": "Rose"
    }
  }
}

put

Request: PUT http://localhost:3000/api/users/oFpdgAMMr7F5A7P3a

{
    "firstName": "Jaclyn",
    "age": 25
}

Note: The data included in the request body will completely overwrite the user.profile field of the User document

Response:

{
  "status": "success",
  "data": {
    "_id": "oFpdgAMMr7F5A7P3a",
    "profile": {
      "firstName": "Jaclyn",
      "age": "25"
    }
  }
}

delete

Request:

curl -X DELETE http://localhost:3000/api/users/oFpdgAMMr7F5A7P3a

Response:

{
  "status": "success",
  "data": {
    "message": "User removed"
  }
}

Defining Custom Routes

Routes are defined using Restivus#addRoute(). A route consists of a path and a set of endpoints defined at that path.

Path Structure

The path is the 1st parameter of Restivus#addRoute. You can pass it a string or regex. If you pass it test/path, the full path will be https://yoursite.com/api/test/path.

Paths can have variable parameters. For example, you can create a route to show a post with a specific id. The id is variable depending on the post you want to see such as "/articles/1" or "/articles/2". To declare a named parameter in the path, use the : syntax followed by the parameter name. When a user goes to that URL, the actual value of the parameter will be stored as a property on this.urlParams in your endpoint function.

In this example we have a parameter named _id. If we navigate to the /post/5 URL in our browser, inside of the GET endpoint function we can get the actual value of the _id from this.urlParams._id. In this case this.urlParams._id => 5.

CoffeeScript:
# Given a URL like "/post/5"
Api.addRoute '/post/:_id',
  get: ->
    id = @urlParams._id # "5"
JavaScript:
// Given a URL "/post/5"
Api.addRoute('/post/:_id', {
  get: function () {
    var id = this.urlParams._id; // "5"
  }
});

You can have multiple URL parameters. In this example, we have an _id parameter and a commentId parameter. If you navigate to the URL /post/5/comments/100 then inside your endpoint function this.urlParams._id => 5 and this.urlParams.commentId => 100.

CoffeeScript:
# Given a URL "/post/5/comments/100"
Api.addRoute '/post/:_id/comments/:commentId',
  get: ->
    id = @urlParams._id # "5"
    commentId = @urlParams.commentId # "100"
JavaScript:
// Given a URL "/post/5/comments/100"
Api.addRoute('/post/:_id/comments/:commentId', {
  get: function () {
    var id = this.urlParams._id; // "5"
    var commentId = this.urlParams.commentId; // "100"
  }
});

If there is a query string in the URL, you can access that using this.queryParams.

Coffeescript:
# Given the URL: "/post/5?q=liked#hash_fragment"
Api.addRoute '/post/:_id',
  get: ->
    id = @urlParams._id
    query = @queryParams # query.q -> "liked"
JavaScript:
// Given the URL: "/post/5?q=liked#hash_fragment"
Api.addRoute('/post/:_id', {
  get: function () {
    var id = this.urlParams._id;
    var query = this.queryParams; // query.q -> "liked"
  }
});

Route Options

The following options are available in Restivus#addRoute (as the 2nd, optional parameter):

authRequired
  • Boolean
  • Default: false
  • If true, all endpoints on this route will return a 401 if the user is not properly authenticated.
roleRequired
  • String or Array of Strings
  • Default: undefined (no role required)
  • A string or array of strings corresponding to the acceptable user roles for all endpoints on this route (e.g., 'admin', ['admin', 'dev']). Additional role permissions can be defined on specific endpoints. If the authenticated user does not belong to at least one of the accepted roles, a 403 is returned. Since a role cannot be verified without an authenticated user, setting the roleRequired implies authRequired: true, so that option can be omitted without any consequence. For more on setting up roles, check out the alanning:roles package.

Defining Endpoints

The last parameter of Restivus#addRoute is an object with properties corresponding to the supported HTTP methods. At least one method must have an endpoint defined on it. The following endpoints can be defined in Restivus:

  • get
  • post
  • put
  • patch
  • delete
  • options

These endpoints can be defined one of two ways. First, you can simply provide a function for each method you want to support at the given path. The corresponding endpoint will be executed when that type of request is made at that path.

For finer-grained control over each endpoint, you can also define each one as an object containing the endpoint action and some addtional configuration options.

Endpoint Configuration

An action is required when configuring an endpoint. All other configuration settings are optional, and will get their default values from the route.

action
  • Function
  • Default: undefined
  • A function that will be executed when a request is made for the corresponding HTTP method.
authRequired
  • String
  • Default: Route.authRequired
  • If true, this endpoint will return a 401 if the user is not properly authenticated. Overrides the option of the same name defined on the entire route.
roleRequired
  • String or Array of Strings
  • Default: Route.roleRequired
  • The acceptable user roles for this endpoint (e.g., 'admin', ['admin', 'dev']). These roles will be accepted in addition to any defined over the entire route. If the authenticated user does not belong to at least one of the accepted roles, a 403 is returned. Since a role cannot be verified without an authenticated user, setting the roleRequired implies authRequired: true, so that option can be omitted without any consequence. For more on setting up roles, check out the alanning:roles package.
CoffeeScript
Api.addRoute 'articles', {authRequired: true},
  get:
    authRequired: false
    action: ->
      # GET api/articles
  post: ->
    # POST api/articles
  put: ->
    # PUT api/articles
  patch: ->
    # PATCH api/articles
  delete: ->
    # DELETE api/articles
  options: ->
    # OPTIONS api/articles
JavaScript
Api.addRoute('articles', {authRequired: true}, {
  get: {
    authRequired: false,
    action: function () {
      // GET api/articles
    }
  },
  post: function () {
    // POST api/articles
  },
  put: function () {
    // PUT api/articles
  },
  patch: function () {
    // PATCH api/articles
  },
  delete: function () {
    // DELETE api/articles
  },
  options: function () {
    // OPTIONS api/articles
  }
});

In the above examples, all the endpoints except the GETs will require [authentication] (#authenticating).

Endpoint Context

Each endpoint has access to:

this.user
  • Meteor.user
  • The authenticated Meteor.user. Only available if authRequired is true and a user is successfully authenticated. If not, it will be undefined.
this.userId
  • String
  • The authenticated user's Meteor.userId. Only available if authRequired is true and a user is successfully authenticated. If not, it will be undefined.
this.urlParams
  • Object
  • Non-optional parameters extracted from the URL. A parameter id on the path articles/:id would be available as this.urlParams.id.
this.queryParams
  • Object
  • Optional query parameters from the URL. Given the URL https://yoursite.com/articles?likes=true, this.queryParams.likes => true.
this.bodyParams
  • Object
  • Parameters passed in the request body. Given the request body { "friend": { "name": "Jack" } }, this.bodyParams.friend.name => "Jack".
this.request
this.response
  • Node response object
  • If you handle the response yourself using this.response.write() or this.response.writeHead() you must call this.done(). In addition to preventing the default response (which will throw an error if you've initiated the response yourself), it will also close the connection using this.response.end(), so you can safely omit that from your endpoint.
this.done()
  • Function

  • Must be called after handling the response manually with this.response.write() or this.response.writeHead(). This must be called immediately before returning from an endpoint.

    Api.addRoute('manualResponse', {
      get: function () {
        console.log('Testing manual response');
        this.response.write('This is a manual response');
        this.done();  // Must call this immediately before return!
      }
    });
this.<endpointOption>

All endpoint configuration options can be accessed by name (e.g., this.roleRequired). Within an endpoint, all options have been completely resolved, meaning all configuration options set on an endpoint's route will already be applied to the endpoint as defaults. So if you set authRequired: true on a route and do not set the authRequired option on one if its endpoints, this.authRequired will still be true within that endpoint, since the default will already have been applied from the route.

Response Data

You can return a raw string:

return "That's current!";

A JSON object:

return { json: 'object' };

A raw array:

return [ 'red', 'green', 'blue' ];

Or include a statusCode or headers. At least one must be provided along with the body:

return {
  statusCode: 404,
  headers: {
    'Content-Type': 'text/plain',
    'X-Custom-Header': 'custom value'
  },
  body: 'There is nothing here!'
};

All responses contain the following defaults, which will be overridden with any provided values:

statusCode
  • Default: 200
headers
  • Default:
    • Content-Type: application/json
    • Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *
      • This is a CORS-compliant header that allows requests to be made to the API from any domain. Without this, requests from within the browser would only be allowed from the same domain the API is hosted on, which is typically not the intended behavior. This can be disabled by default, or also by returning a header of the same name with a domain specified (usually the domain the API is being hosted on).

Versioning an API

We can't always get an API right on the first try (in fact, most people don't). Eventually, we find ourselves needing to maintain different versions of our API. This allows clients to convert at their own convenience, while providing the latest and greatest API to those ready to consume it.

Currently, there is only a single versioning strategy supported in Restivus: URL path versioning. In this strategy, the version of the API is appended to the base path of all routes belonging to that API. This allows us to easily maintain multiple versions of an API, each with their own set of configuration options. Here's a [good write-up] (http://www.troyhunt.com/2014/02/your-api-versioning-is-wrong-which-is.html) on some of the different API versioning strategies.

CoffeeScript
# Configure first version of the API
ApiV1 = new Restivus
  version: 'v1'
  useDefaultAuth: true
  prettyJson: true

# Maps to api/v1/items and api/v1/items/:id
ApiV1.addCollection Items
  routeOptions: authRequired: true

# Maps to api/v1/custom
ApiV1.addRoute 'custom',
  get: ->
    'get something'

# Configure another version of the API (with a different set of config options if needed)
ApiV2 = new Restivus
  version: 'v2'
  enableCors: false

# Maps to api/v2/items and api/v2/items/:id (with auth requirement removed in this version)
ApiV2.addCollection Items

# Maps to api/v2/custom (notice the different return value)
ApiV2.addRoute 'custom',
  get: ->
    status: 'success'
    data: 'get something different'
JavaScript
// Configure first version of the API
var ApiV1 = new Restivus({
  version: 'v1',
  useDefaultAuth: true,
  prettyJson: true
});

// Maps to api/v1/items and api/v1/items/:id
ApiV1.addCollection(Items, {
  routeOptions: { authRequired: true }
});

// Maps to api/v1/custom
ApiV1.addRoute('custom', {
  get: function () {
    return 'get something';
  }
});

// Configure another version of the API (with a different set of config options if needed)
var ApiV2 = new Restivus({
  version: 'v2',
  enableCors: false
});

// Maps to api/v2/items and api/v2/items/:id (with auth requirement removed in this version)
ApiV2.addCollection(Items);

// Maps to api/v2/custom (notice the different return value)
ApiV2.addRoute('custom', {
  get: function () {
    return {
      status: 'success',
      data: 'get something different'
    };
  }
});

Documenting an API

What's a REST API without awesome docs? I'll tell you: absolutely freaking useless. So to fix that, we use and recommend apiDoc. It allows you to generate beautiful and extremely handy API docs from your JavaScript or CoffeeScript comments. It supports other comment styles as well, but we're Meteorites, so who cares? Check it out. Use it.

Consuming A Restivus API

The following uses the above code.

Basic Usage

We can call our POST /articles/:id/comments endpoint the following way. Note the /api/ in the URL (defined with the api_path option above):

curl -d "message=Some message details" http://localhost:3000/api/articles/3/comments

Note: There is a 50mb limit on requests. If you need this limit increased, please file a GitHub Issue.

Authenticating

Warning: Make sure you're using HTTPS, otherwise this is insecure!

Default Authentication

Note: To use the default authentication, you must first create a user with the accounts-password package. You can do this with Restivus if you setup a POST collection endpoint for the Meteor.users collection.

Logging In

If you have useDefaultAuth set to true, you now have a POST /api/login endpoint that returns a userId and authToken. You must save these, and include them in subsequent requests. In addition to the password, the login endpoint requires one of the following parameters (via the request body):

  • email: An email address associated with your Meteor.user account
  • username: The username associated with your Meteor.user account
  • user: Note: This is for legacy purposes only. It is recommended to use one of the options above. Accepts either of the options listed above. Restivus will (very naively) attempt to determine if the value provided is an email, otherwise it will assume it to be the username. This can sometimes lead to unexpected behavior.

A login will look something like

curl http://localhost:3000/api/login/ -d "username=test&password=password"

The password can be SHA-256 hashed on the client side, in which case your request would look like

curl http://localhost:3000/api/login/ -d "username=test&password=sha-256-password&hashed=true"

And the response will look like

{ status: "success", data: {authToken: "f2KpRW7KeN9aPmjSZ", userId: fbdpsNf4oHiX79vMJ} }

You'll need to save the userId and token on the client, for subsequent authenticated requests.

Logging Out

You also have an authenticated POST /api/logout endpoint for logging a user out. If successful, the auth token that is passed in the request header will be invalidated (removed from the user account), so it will not work in any subsequent requests.

curl http://localhost:3000/api/logout -X POST -H "X-Auth-Token: f2KpRW7KeN9aPmjSZ" -H "X-User-Id: fbdpsNf4oHiX79vMJ"

Authenticated Calls

For any endpoints that require the default authentication, you must include the userId and authToken with each request under the following headers:

  • X-User-Id
  • X-Auth-Token
curl -H "X-Auth-Token: f2KpRW7KeN9aPmjSZ" -H "X-User-Id: fbdpsNf4oHiX79vMJ" http://localhost:3000/api/articles/

Upgrading Restivus

To update Restivus to the latest version:

> meteor update nimble:restivus

Or to update Restivus to a specific version:

> meteor add nimble:restivus@=<version_number>

For example, to update restivus to v0.7.0:

> meteor add nimble:restivus@=0.7.0

Please check the change log before updating, for more information about the changes between each version. More detailed instructions for updating between major versions are included below.

Upgrading to 0.8.0

The most noticeable difference in v0.8.0 is that Restivus is now exported as a "class" instead of an object. API configuration has also been moved from Restivus.configure() (which has been removed), to the Restivus constructor. This means that instead of being forced to configure a single Restivus API with

Restivus.configure({
  apiPath: 'only-api',
  ...
});

Restivus.addRoute('example');

you can configure as many separate APIs as you need with

FirstApi = new Restivus({
  apiPath: 'first-api',
  ...
});

SecondApi = new Restivus({
  apiPath: 'second-api',
  ...
});

// Maps to /first-api/example
FirstApi.addRoute('example', ...);

// Maps to /second-api/example
SecondApi.addRoute('example', ...);

This update makes it possible to maintain multiple versions of an API.

One other significant (but not API-breaking) change is that iron:router has been replaced by simple:json-routes as the server-side router for Restivus. This means that Restivus should no longer [interfere with other routers] (https://github.com/kahmali/meteor-restivus/issues/24) (client or server), or do other [annoying] (https://github.com/kahmali/meteor-restivus/issues/35) [things] (https://github.com/kahmali/meteor-restivus/issues/43). Special thanks to [Sashko Stubailo] (https://github.com/stubailo) for his work on simple:json-routes, and for handling the conversion from iron:router to simple:json-routes in Restivus!

Some other notable changes are:

  • The deleteAll collection endpoint has been removed, as it had the potential to be quite destructive, and is not a standard REST endpoint
  • useAuth API config option renamed to useDefaultAuth
  • More accurate response codes returned in API

For a complete list of changes, check out the [change log] (https://github.com/kahmali/meteor-restivus/blob/devel/CHANGELOG.md#v080---2015-07-06).

Upgrading to 0.7.0

WARNING! All clients consuming a Restivus API with the default authentication will need to reauthenticate after this update

Restivus used to store the account login token in the Meteor.user document at services.resume.loginTokens.token. Now, to match Meteor's current implementation, the account login token is stored as a hashed token at services.resume.loginTokens.hashedToken. This means that all clients using the default authentication in a Restivus API will need to reauthenticate with their username/email and password after this update, as their existing tokens will be rendered invalid.

Upgrading to 0.6.1

Restivus v0.6.1 brings support for easily generating REST endpoints for your Mongo Collections, and with that comes a few API-breaking changes:

  • The Restivus.add() method has been changed to Restivus.addRoute() for clarity, now that the Restivus.addCollection() method has been added.
  • All responses generated by Restivus now follow the JSend format, with one minor tweak: failures have an identical structure to errors (check out the JSend documentation for more details on the response structure, which will be demonstrated throughout these docs). Just to be clear, this only affects responses that are automatically generated by Restivus. Any responses you manually created will remain unaffected.

Resources

Plugins

Restivus Swagger

  • Define and generate Swagger 2.0 documentation for Restivus API

Change Log

A detailed list of the changes between versions can be found in the [change log] (https://github.com/kahmali/meteor-restivus/blob/master/CHANGELOG.md).

Contributing

Contributions to Restivus are welcome and appreciated! If you're interested in contributing, please check out the guidelines before getting started.

Thanks

Thanks to the developers over at Differential for RestStop2, where we got our inspiration for this package and stole tons of ideas and code, as well as the Sashko Stubailo from MDG, for his work on simple:json-routes, including the Restivus conversion from Iron Router.

Also, thanks to the following projects, which RestStop2 was inspired by:

License

MIT License. See LICENSE for details.