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Latest commit d67c77d Nov 6, 2018

Node Function Invoker Build Status Greenkeeper badge


The node function invoker provides a host for functions consisting of a single NodeJS module. It accepts HTTP requests, invokes the function for each request, and sends the function's output to the HTTP response.



The following tools are required to build this project:

  • node 10

Get the source

git clone
cd node-function-invoker
  • To install dependencies:

    npm ci
  • To run tests:

    npm test


At runtime, the node function invoker will require() the target function module. This module must export the function to invoke.

// square
module.exports = x => x ** 2;

The first argument is the triggering message's payload and the returned value is the resulting message's payload.


Asynchronous work can be completed by defining either an async function or by returning a Promise.

// async
module.exports = async x => x ** 2;

// promise
module.exports = x => Promise.resolve(x ** 2);

Streams (experimental)

Streaming functions can be created by setting the $interactionModel property on the function to node-streams. The function will then be invoked with two arguments, an input Readable Stream and an output Writeable Stream. Both streams are object streams. Any value returned by the function is ignored, new messages must be written to the output stream.

// echo.js
module.exports = (input, output) => {
module.exports.$interactionModel = "node-streams";

Any npm package that works with Node Streams can be used.

// upperCase.js
const miss = require("mississippi");

const upperCaser = miss.through.obj((chunk, enc, cb) => {
  cb(null, chunk.toUpperCase());

module.exports = (input, output) => {
module.exports.$interactionModel = "node-streams";

The Content-Type for output messages can be set with the $defaultContentType property. By default, text/plain is used. For request-reply function, the Accept header is used, however, there is no Accept header in a stream.

// greeter.js
const miss = require("mississippi");

const greeter = miss.through.obj((chunk, enc, cb) => {
  cb(null, {
    greeting: `Hello ${chunk}!`

module.exports = (input, output) => {
module.exports.$interactionModel = "node-streams";
module.exports.$defaultContentType = "application/json";

Messages vs Payloads

By default, functions accept and produce payloads. Functions that need to interact with headers can instead opt to receive and/or produce messages. A message is an object that contains both headers and a payload. Message headers are a map with case-insensitive keys and multiple string values.

Since JavaScript and Node have no built-in type for messages or headers, riff uses the @projectriff/message npm module. To use messages, functions should install the @projectriff/message package:

npm install --save @projectriff/message

Receiving messages

const { Message } = require('@projectriff/message');

// a function that accepts a message, which is an instance of Message
module.exports = message => {
    const authorization = message.headers.getValue('Authorization');

// tell the invoker the function wants to receive messages
module.exports.$argumentType = 'message';

// tell the invoker to produce this particular type of message

Producing messages

const { Message } = require("@projectriff/message");

const instanceId = Math.round(Math.random() * 10000);
let invocationCount = 0;

// a function that produces a Message
module.exports = name => {
  return Message.builder()
    .addHeader("X-Riff-Instance", instanceId)
    .addHeader("X-Riff-Count", invocationCount++)
    .payload(`Hello ${name}!`)

// even if the function receives payloads, it can still produce a message
module.exports.$argumentType = "payload";


Functions that communicate with external services, like a database, can use the $init and $destroy lifecycle hooks on the function. These methods are invoked once per function invoker instance, whereas the target function may be invoked multiple times within a single function invoker instance.

The $init method is guarenteed to finish before the main function is invoked. The $destroy method is guarenteed to be invoked after all of the main functions are finsished.

let client;

// function
module.exports = async ({ key, amount }) => {
  return await client.incrby(key, amount);

// setup
module.exports.$init = async () => {
  const Redis = require("redis-promise");
  client = new Redis();
  await client.connect();

// cleanup
module.exports.$destroy = async () => {
  await client.quit();

The lifecycle methods are optional, and should only be implemented when needed. The hooks may be either traditional or async functions. Lifecycle functions have up to 10 seconds to complete their work, or the function invoker will abort.