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nforce :: node.js salesforce REST API wrapper

Build Status

nforce is node.js a REST API wrapper for,, and


  • Simple api
  • Intelligent sObjects
  • Helper OAuth methods
  • Simple streaming
  • Multi-user design with single user mode
  • Express middleware


$ npm install nforce


Require nforce in your app and create a client connection to a Salesforce Remote Access Application.

var nforce = require('nforce');

var org = nforce.createConnection({
  redirectUri: 'http://localhost:3000/oauth/_callback',
  apiVersion: 'v27.0',  // optional, defaults to current salesforce API version
  environment: 'production',  // optional, salesforce 'sandbox' or 'production', production default
  mode: 'multi' // optional, 'single' or 'multi' user mode, multi default

Now we just need to authenticate and get our salesforce OAuth credentials. Here is one way to do this in multi-user mode...

// multi user mode
var oauth;
org.authenticate({ username: '', password: 'mypassword'}, function(err, resp){
  // store the oauth object for this user
  if(!err) oauth = resp;

...or in single-user mode...

// single-user mode
org.authenticate({ username: '', password: 'mypassword'}, function(err, resp){
  // the oauth object was stored in the connection object
  if(!err) console.log('Cached Token: ' + org.oauth.access_token)

Now we can go nuts. nforce has an salesforce sObject factory method that creates records for you. Let's use that and insert a record...

var acc = nforce.createSObject('Account');
acc.Name = 'Spiffy Cleaners';
acc.Phone = '800-555-2345';
acc.SLA__c = 'Gold';

org.insert(acc, oauth, function(err, resp){
  if(!err) console.log('It worked!');

If you are in single-user mode, the oauth argument can be ommitted since it's cached as part of your connection object.

org.insert(acc, function(err, resp){
  if(!err) console.log('It worked!');

Querying and updating records is super easy. nforce wraps API-queried records in a special object. The object caches field updates that you make to the record and allows you to pass the record directly into the update method without having to scrub out the unchanged fields. In the example below, only the Name and Industry fields will be sent in the update call despite the fact that the query returned other fields such as BillingCity and CreatedDate.

var q = 'SELECT Id, Name, CreatedDate, BillingCity FROM Account WHERE Name = "Spiffy Cleaners" LIMIT 1';

org.query(q, oauth, function(err, resp){

  if(!err && resp.records) {

    var acc = resp.records[0];
    acc.Name = 'Really Spiffy Cleaners';
    acc.Industry = 'Cleaners';

    org.update(acc, oauth, function(err, resp){
      if(!err) console.log('It worked!');



nforce supports two Salesforce OAuth 2.0 flows, username/password and authorization code.

Username/Password flow

To request an access token and other oauth information using the username and password flow, use the authenticate() method and pass in your username and password in the options

var oauth;

org.authenticate({ username: '', password: 'mypassword'}, function(err, resp){
  if(!err) {
    console.log('Access Token: ' + resp.access_token);
    oauth = resp;
  } else {
    console.log('Error: ' + err.message);

Authorization Code Flow

To perform an authorization code flow, first redirect users to the Authorization URI at Salesforce. nforce provides a helper function to build this url for you.


Once you get a callback at the Redirect URI that you specify, you need to request your access token and other important oauth information by calling authenticate() and passing in the "code" that you received.

var oauth;

org.authenticate({ code: 'SOMEOAUTHAUTHORIZATIONCODE' }, function(err, resp){
  if(!err) {
    console.log('Access Token: ' + resp.access_token);
    oauth = resp;
  } else {
    console.log('Error: ' + err.message);

OAuth Object

At the end of a successful authorization, you a returned an OAuth object for the user. This object contains your salesforce access token, endpoint, id, and other information. If you have mode set to multi, cache this object for the user as it will be used for subsequent requests. If you are in single user mode, the OAuth object is stored as a property on your salesforce connection object.

OAuth Object De-Coupling (Multi-user mode)

nforce decouples the oauth credentials from the connection object when mode is set to multi so that in a multi-user situation, a separate connection object doesn't need to be created for each user. This makes the module more efficient. Essentially, you only need one connection object for multiple users and pass the OAuth object in with the request. In this scenario, it makes the most sense to store the OAuth credentials in the users session or in some other data store. If you are using express, nforce can take care of storing this for you (see Express Middleware).

Integrated OAuth Object (Single-user mode)

If you specified single as your mode when creating the connection, calling authenticate will store the OAuth object within the connection object. Then, in subsequent API requests, you can simply omit the OAuth object from the request like so.

// look ma, no oauth argument!
org.query('SELECT Id FROM Lead LIMIT 1', function(err, res) {
  if(err) return console.error(err);
  else return console.log(res.records[0]);

Other Features

Express Middleware

nforce has built-in support for express using the express/connect middleware system. The middleware handles the oauth callbacks for you and automatically stores the OAuth credentials in the user's session. Therefore, to use the middleware you must have sessions enabled in your express configuration.

  app.set('views', __dirname + '/views');
  app.set('view engine', 'jade');
  app.use(express.session({ secret: 'nforce testing baby' }));
  app.use(org.expressOAuth({onSuccess: '/home', onError: '/oauth/error'}));  // <--- nforce middleware
  app.use(express.static(__dirname + '/public'));

Once this OAuth flow completes, subsequent requests just need to retrieve the OAuth requests from the user's session. Having this OAuth data in the session is quite handy.

// express route
app.get('ajax/cases', function(req, res) { 
  var q = 'SELECT Id, CaseNumber FROM Cases WHERE IsClosed = false';
  org.query(q, req.session.oauth).pipe(res);

Streaming API Responses

Under the covers, nforce leverages request for all http requests to the Salesforce REST API. request returns a readable stream that can be used to pipe the data to a writable stream.

Here is an example of piping an nforce api request for the binary data of an Attachment directly to the response object in an http server.

var http = require('http');

var server = http.createServer(function(req, res) {
  if(req.url === '/myimage') {
    org.getAttachmentBody({ id: attId }, oauth).pipe(res);
  } else {
    res.statusCode = 404;

Here is an example of how you could get all sobjects in an org and write directly to a file in the local file system.

var fs = require('fs');


Query Streaming

The Salesforce query call in the REST API returns a 2000 record chunk at one time. The example below shows a normal query returning 2000 records only.

// dataset of 50k records.
var query = 'SELECT Name, CreatedDate FROM Account ORDER BY CreatedDate DESC';
org.query(query, req.session.oauth, callback(err, resp) {
  if(!err) console.log(resp.records.length) // this will be 2000 max

Like other API requests, nforce query method returns a node stream. By calling the pipe method on this object, your query call will automatically start streaming ALL of the records from your query in 2000 record batches.

// dataset of 50k records.
var query = 'SELECT Name, CreatedDate FROM Account ORDER BY CreatedDate DESC';
org.query(query, req.session.oauth).pipe(res); // streaming all 50k records Streaming API Support

nforce supports the Streaming API. Connecting to one of your PushTopics is easy using the node.js EventEmitter interface.

org.authenticate({ username: user, password: pass }, function(err, oauth) {

  if(err) return console.log(err);

  // subscribe to a pushtopic
  var str ='AllAccounts', oauth);

  str.on('connect', function(){
    console.log('connected to pushtopic');

  str.on('error', function(error) {
    console.log('error: ' + error);

  str.on('data', function(data) {


nforce API Basics


The API of nforce follows typical node.js standards. Callbacks will always pass an optional error object, and a response object. The response object closely resembles the typical responses from the Salesforce REST API.

callback(err, resp);


Most of the org methods take a callback, but also return a stream. This is useful if you want to pipe stuff around. Here is a quick example of how you could dump all sobjects in an org to a file.

var so = fs.createWriteStream('sobjects.txt', {'flags': 'a'});


nforce Base Methods


The createConnection method creates an nforce salesforce connection object. You need to supply some arguments including oauth information and some optional arguments for version and salesforce environment type.

  • clientId: Required. This is the OAuth client id
  • clientSecret: Required. This is the OAuth client secret
  • redirectUri: Required. This is the redirect URI for OAuth callbacks
  • apiVersion: Optional. This is a number or string representing a valid REST API version. Default is v24.0.
  • environment: Optional. Values can be 'production' or 'sandbox'. Default is production.
  • loginUri: Optional. Used to override the login URI if needed.
  • testLoginUri: Optional. Used to override the testLoginUri if needed.

createSObject(type, [fieldValues])

This creates an sObject record that you can use to insert, update, upsert, and delete. type should be the salesforce API name of the sObject that you are updating. fieldValues should be a hash of field names and values that you want to initialize your sObject with. You can also just assign fields and values by setting properties after you create the sObject.

Salesforce sObject Methods


This method returns the cached values that have been updated that will be passed in an update or upsert method. Calling this method clears the cache. It's very rare that you will need to call this method directly.

setExternalId(field, value)

For upsert methods, you need to specify the External Id field and the value that you are trying to match on.


Returns the sObjects Id (if set)

Connection Methods

The following list of methods are available for an nforce connection object:


This is a helper method to build the authentication uri for a authorization code OAuth 2.0 flow.

authenticate(opts, [callback])

This method requests the OAuth access token and instance information from Salesforce or This method either requires that you pass in the authorization code (authorization code flow) or username and password (username/password flow).

  • code: (String) An OAuth authorization code

-- OR --

  • username: (String) Your salesforce/ username
  • password: (String) Your salesforce/ password
  • securityToken: (String) Your Salesforce security token. This will be appended to your password if this property is set.

expressOAuth(onSuccess, onError)

The express middleware. onSuccess and onError should be uri routes for redirection after OAuth callbacks.


Gets the salesforce versions. Note: Does not require authentication.

getResources([oauth], [callback])

Gets the available salesforce resources

getSObjects([oauth], [callback])

Get all sObjects for an org

getMetadata(type, [oauth], [callback])

Get metadata for a single sObject. type is a required String for the sObject type

getDescribe(type, [oauth], [callback])

Get describe information for a single sObject. type is a required String for the sObject type

insert(sobject, [oauth], [callback])

Insert a record. sobject: (Object) A Salesforce sObject

update(sobject, [oauth], [callback])

Update a record. sobject: (Object) A Salesforce sObject

upsert(sobject, [oauth], [callback])

Update a record. sobject: (Object) A Salesforce sObject. NOTE: you must use the setExternalId() method to set the external Id field and the value to match on.

delete(sobject, [oauth], [callback])

Delete a record. sobject: (Object) A Salesforce sObject

getRecord(sobject, [oauth], [callback])

Get a single record. sobject: (Object) A Salesforce sObject

getBody(sobject, [oauth], [callback])

Get the binary data for an attachment, document, or contentversion. The sobject must be one of those three types.

getAttachmentBody(id, [oauth], [callback])

Get the binary data for an attachment for the given id

getDocumentBody(id, [oauth], [callback])

Get the binary data for an document for the given id

getContentVersionBody(id, [oauth], [callback])

Get the binary data for an contentversion for the given id

query(query, [oauth], [callback])

Execute a SOQL query for records. query should be a SOQL string. Large queries can be streamed using the pipe() method.

search(search, [oauth], [callback])

Execute a SOSL search for records. search should be a SOSL string.

getUrl(url, [oauth], [callback])

Get a REST API resource by its url. url should be a REST API resource.

stream(pushtopic, [oauth])

Start a streaming API connection. An EventEmitter is returned with the following events:

  • connect: subscribed to the topic
  • data: got a streaming event
  • error: there was a problem with the subscription

apexRest(restRequest, [oauth], [callback])

This method handles integration with salesforce ApexRest (Custom Rest endpoints)

A restRequest has the following properties

  • uri: (String) REQUIRED - The endpoint you wrote (everything after services/apexrest/..)
  • method: (String) Optional - defaults to GET if not supplied
  • body: (Object || String) Optional - What you would like placed in the body of your request
  • urlParams: (Array) Optional - URL parmams in an array of [{key:'key', value:'value'}]
org.apexRest({uri:'test', method: 'POST', body: body, urlParams: urlParams}, req.session.oauth, function(err,resp){
    if(!err) {


  • nforce cli implementation
  • Continue with caching capabilities for describe/metadata calls
  • Chatter support
  • Tooling API



  • v0.4.1: Bug fix for handling SFDC 500 response
  • v0.4.0: Single user mode
  • v0.3.1: Documentation updates.
  • v0.3.0: Blob support. API request streaming.
  • v0.2.5: Patches for Apex Rest
  • v0.2.4: Small bug fixes
  • v0.2.3: Apex Rest support
  • v0.2.2: Added loginUri override support
  • v0.2.1: API version bump
  • v0.2.0: Adding streaming support
  • v0.1.1: Fixes auth error handling bug
  • v0.1.0: Releasing 0.1.0!
  • v0.0.7: Bug fixes
  • v0.0.6: Query streaming
  • v0.0.5: Bug fixes
  • v0.0.4: Initialization of SObject now has field setting option
  • v0.0.3: API overhaul. Implemented Record class with field update caching
  • v0.0.2: Testing framework implemented. Bug fixes.
  • v0.0.1: Initial release. OAuth, CRUD, describes
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