Skip to content
Request Tracer - Express, Fastify and Koa middlewares for CLS-based request id generation, batteries included
Branch: master
Clone or download
Latest commit 6592b5a Jul 2, 2019

README.md

travis Coverage Status npm npm

cls-rtracer

Request Tracer - Express, Fastify and Koa middlewares for CLS-based request id generation, batteries included. An out-of-the-box solution for adding request ids into your logs. Check out this Medium post that describes the rationale behind cls-rtracer.

Automatically generates a UUID value as the id for each request and stores it in Continuation-Local Storage (CLS, see cls-hooked). Optionally, if the request contains X-Request-Id header, uses its value instead. Allows to obtain the generated request id anywhere in your routes later and use it for logging or any other purposes.

Tested and works fine with Express v4, Fastify v2 and Koa (both v1 and v2).

How to use it - Step 1

Install:

npm install --save cls-rtracer cls-hooked

Note: cls-hooked has to be installed explicitly, as it's a peer dependency for this library.

Note for TypeScript users: typings are included.

How to use it - Step 2 (Express users)

Use the middleware provided by the library before the first middleware that needs to have access to request ids. Note that some middlewares, e.g. body-parser or express-jwt, may cause CLS context to get lost. To avoid such issues, you should use any third party middleware that does not need access to request ids before you use this middleware.

const express = require('express')
const rTracer = require('cls-rtracer')

const app = express()
// any third party middleware that does not need access to request ids goes here
// ...

app.use(rTracer.expressMiddleware())
// optionally, you can override default middleware config:
// app.use(rTracer.expressMiddleware({
//   useHeader: true,
//   headerName: 'X-Your-Request-Header'
// }))

// all code in middlewares, starting from here, has access to request ids

Obtain request id in middlewares on the incoming request:

// an example middleware for a generic find entity endpoint
app.get('/api/v1/entity/{id}', (req, res, next) => {
  entityService.find(req.params.id)
    .then((entity) => {
      // you can obtain the request id here
      const requestId = rTracer.id()
      console.log(`requestId: ${requestId}`)
      
      res.json(entity)
    })
    .catch(next)
})

You can access the same request id from code that does not have access to the Express' req object.

// an imaginary entity-service.js
async function find (entityId) {
  // you can obtain the request id here
  const requestId = rTracer.id()
  // ...
}

How to use it - Step 2 (Fastify users)

Use the middleware provided by the library before the first middleware that needs to have access to request ids. Note that some middlewares may cause CLS context to get lost. To avoid such issues, you should use any third party middleware that does not need access to request ids before you use this middleware.

const fastify = require('fastify')()
const rTracer = require('cls-rtracer')

// any third party middleware that does not need access to request ids goes here
// ...

fastify.use(rTracer.fastifyMiddleware())
// optionally, you can override default middleware config:
// fastify.use(rTracer.fastifyMiddleware({
//   useHeader: true,
//   headerName: 'X-Your-Request-Header'
// }))

// all code in middlewares, starting from here, has access to request ids

Obtain request id in middlewares on the incoming request:

// an example middleware for a generic find entity endpoint
// router config is skipped for the sake of simplicity
app.get('/test', async (request, reply) => {
  const entity = await entityService.find(request.params.id)
  // you can obtain the request id here
  const requestId = rTracer.id()
  console.log(`requestId: ${requestId}`)

  reply.send(entity)
})

You can access the same request id from code that does not have access to the Fastify's request object.

// an imaginary entity-service.js
async function find (entityId) {
  // you can obtain the request id here
  const requestId = rTracer.id()
  // ...
}

How to use it - Step 2 (Koa users)

Use the middleware provided by the library before the first middleware that needs to have access to request ids. Note that some middlewares may cause CLS context to get lost. To avoid such issues, you should use any third party middleware that does not need access to request ids before you use this middleware.

const Koa = require('koa')
const rTracer = require('cls-rtracer')

const app = new Koa()
// any third party middleware that does not need access to request ids goes here
// ...

app.use(rTracer.koaMiddleware())
// optionally, you can override default middleware config:
// app.use(rTracer.koaMiddleware({
//   useHeader: true,
//   headerName: 'X-Your-Request-Header'
// }))

// all code in middlewares, starting from here, has access to request ids

Obtain request id in middlewares on the incoming request:

// an example middleware for a generic find entity endpoint
// router config is skipped for the sake of simplicity
app.use(async (ctx) => {
  const entity = await entityService.find(req.params.id)
  // you can obtain the request id here
  const requestId = rTracer.id()
  console.log(`requestId: ${requestId}`)

  ctx.body = entity
})

You can access the same request id from code that does not have access to the Koa's ctx object.

// an imaginary entity-service.js
async function find (entityId) {
  // you can obtain the request id here
  const requestId = rTracer.id()
  // ...
}

Koa v1 support

For Koa v1 use the koaV1Middleware(options) function.

Integration with loggers

The main use case for this library is request id generation and logging automation. You can integrate with any logger library in a single place and get request ids in logs across your Express application.

Without having request id, as a correlation value, in your logs, you will not be able to determine which log entries belong to the process of handling the same request. You could generate request id manually and store it in the Express' req or Fastify's request or Koa's ctx objects, but then you will have to explicitly pass the object into all other modules on the route. And cls-rtracer comes to the rescue!

Let's consider integration with winston, one of most popular logging libraries.

const { createLogger, format, transports } = require('winston')
const { combine, timestamp, printf } = format

// a custom format that outputs request id
const rTracerFormat = printf((info) => {
  const rid = rTracer.id()
  return rid
    ? `${info.timestamp} [request-id:${rid}]: ${info.message}`
    : `${info.timestamp}: ${info.message}`
})

const logger = createLogger({
  format: combine(
    timestamp(),
    rTracerFormat
  ),
  transports: [new transports.Console()]
})

Complete samples for Express, Fastify and Koa are available in /samples/ directory.

Middleware configuration

These are the available config options for the middleware functions. All config entries are optional.

{
  // Respect request header flag (default: false).
  // If set to true, the middleware will be using a value from the specified header (if the value is present).
  useHeader: false,
  // Request header name, case insensitive (default: X-Request-Id).
  // Used if useHeader is set to true.
  headerName: 'X-Request-Id'
}

Troubleshooting

To avoid weird behavior:

  • Make sure you require cls-rtracer as the first dependency in your app. Some popular packages may use async which breaks CLS.

Note: there is a small chance that you are using one of rare libraries that do not play nice with Async Hooks API, which is internally used by the cls-hooked library. So, if you face the issue when CLS context (and thus, the request id) is lost at some point of async calls chain, please submit GitHub issue with a detailed description.

Note for Node 10 users:

  • Node 10.0.x-10.3.x is not supported. That's because V8 version 6.6 introduced a bug that breaks async_hooks during async/await. Node 10.4.x uses V8 v6.7 where the bug is fixed. See: https://github.com/nodejs/node/issues/20274.

Performance impact

Note that this library has a certain performance impact on your application due to CLS (or more precisely, Async Hooks API) usage. So, you need to decide if the benefit of being able to trace requests in logs without any boilerplate is more valuable for you than the disadvantage of performance impact.

The author of this library did some basic performance testing and got about 10–15% RPS (request per second) degradation when cls-rtracer is used. See this post for more details.

License

Licensed under MIT.

You can’t perform that action at this time.