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This Node.js module, which simplifies the process of making API calls to App Services from within Node.js, is provided by Apigee and is available as an open-source project on github. We welcome your contributions and suggestions. The repository is located here:

To find out more about Apigee App Services, see:

To view the Apigee App Services documentation, see:


To install the Usergrid Node.js module, use npm:

$ npm install usergrid

Or visit the github repo:

Getting started

To get you started, please note that the module consists of one main JavaScript file, located in the project at:


Simply include the module to begin to use it:

var usergrid = require('usergrid');

Then initialize it with your app and org id:

usergrid.ApiClient.init('apigee', 'nodejs');

You are now ready to use the usergrid handle to make calls against the API. For example, you may want to set your client id and Secret:

usergrid.ApiClient.setClientSecretCombo('b3U6y6hRJufDEeGW9hIxOwbREg', 'b3U6ZOaOexFiy6Jh61H4M7p2uFI3h18');

Note: This function currently only works with oganization level credentials. These are found at the bottom of the main organization page in the App Services Admin Portal

If you are using the client secret and id, you will also need to enable the client secret authentication method:


Now calls made against the API will pass the client secret and id combo for authentication on each request. This is secure since it is happening server-side.

See the sample app for more example usage.

Sample / Test app

After installing Node on your system, navigate to the directory where you put the code repo and run the following command to start the sample app:

cd path/to/my/repo

Then, make sure you navigate into the test directory:

cd test

And run the command to start the server:

$ node server.js

This will start the node server. If it was successful, you should see the following on the command line:

Server has started.
Server running at port 8888, try

If you do, you will then be able to enter the URL into a browser:

This will bring up the All Calls app, which presents you with the option to run any of the standard calls, GET, POST, PUT, or DELETE, as well as make a sample login call. Default values have been specified for the form fields under each call.

The best way to learn how the code works is to spend some time reviewing the sample project. Node.js presents a wide array of options when deciding how to set up your application. We have tried to make this example as simple and clear as possible.

In the test directory, you will see the index.js file. This is the main entry point of the application. From there, calls go to the server.js file, and are then routed through the router.js file to the controller.js file, and finally the view.js file is called (whew!). So the call order is like this:

1. index.js
2. server.js
3. router.js
4. controller.js
5. view.js

The API calls are all triggered in the controller.js file, in the "main" function. Depending on the querydata parameter, the appropriate function will be called.

To log a user in

To log app users in, use the Usergrid.ApiClient.logInAppUser() method. This method takes the supplied username and password and attempts to acquire an access token from the API. If the method successfully acquires the token, the token is stored in the Usergrid.ApiClient singleton and will be used for all subsequent calls.

usergrid.ApiClient.logInAppUser(username, password,
    function (output, user) {
        //token has been automatically saved by the usergrid
        //do something with the return value "output" here       
    function (output) {
        //do something with the return error value "output" here 

After the user is successfully logged in, their access token will be stored and can used for future calls. To do this, first set the access method:


After this statement is called, any future calls will attempt to use the user token instead of the client secret / id combo (application level). If you need to make an application level call using the secret/id combo, simply enable that type of authentication instead:


To use no authentication, for example, if you are using the default Sandbox app that was automatically created when your account was set up, disable auth:


With this setting enabled, no authentication will be provided to the module.

To log a user out

To log the user out, call:


This destroys the token and user object in the session, effectively logging the user out.

Entities and Collections

Entities and Collections are used to model the custom data you need to store in your app. To enable you to use these in your app, the module provides the Entity and the Collection objects. The following sections describe how to create and use these objects and show a few examples.

The Entity Object

Start by creating a new Entity object, where the argument is the name of the collection that the entity will be part of. For example, to create an entity of type dogs:

var dog = new usergrid.Entity("dogs");

Next, add any needed custom fields. For example:


After the object is complete, save it back to the API, for example:;

When the entity is saved, the API gives it a UUID that uniquely identifies the entity in the database. This UUID is stored in the Entity object and will be used for any future calls to the API. This ensures that the correct entity is updated. For example, the UUID is used if the object is updated and needs to be saved again:

dog.set("state", "fed");; //updates the same dog entity as before

Or, if the entity is changed in the database (perhaps by another user of your app), and needs to be refreshed:

dog.fetch(); //will only work if the UUID for the entity is in the dog object

In this way, multiple clients can update the same object in the database.

If you need to get a property from the object, call the get() method and provide the property as an argument to the method, for example:

var state = dog.get("state");

If you no longer need the object, call the destroy() method. This deletes the object from database. For example:

dog.destroy(); //no real dogs were harmed!

Although the object is deleted from the database, it remains in your program. Destroy it if needed by setting it to a null value, for example:

dog = null; //no real dogs were harmed!

The Collection Object

The Collection Object models the custom collections you create using the API. Collections organize entities. For example, you could create a collection called "dogs". Then, you can add "dog" entities to it.

To get started, create a new Collection object, where the argument is the type of collection you intend to model. For example:

var dogs = new usergrid.Collection('dogs'); //makes a new 'dogs' collection object

If your collection already exists on the server, call the fetch() method to populate your new object with data from the server. For example:


By default, the dogs.fetch() method uses the API to retrieve the first 10 dog entities and loads them into the dogs Collection object. If you want to add a new entity to the collection, simply create it. For example:

var dog = new usergrid.Entity("dogs");

Then add it to the collection (and save it to the API):


Note: The addNewEntity() method adds the entity to the collection and also saves it to the API. If you have already saved an entity, you can simply call the addEntity() method.

So this:

var dog = new usergrid.Entity("dogs");;
dogs.addEntity(dog); //entity is added only

Is equivalent to this:

var dog = new usergrid.Entity("dogs");
dogs.addNewEntity(dog); //entity is added and saved

Displaying Results

After you populate your Collection object, you can display a list of all the entities currently stored in the Collection object. You can use a while loop, like so:

//iterate through all the items in this "page" of data
while(dogs.hasNextEntity()) {
    //get a reference to the dog
    var dog = dogs.getNextEntity();
    //do something with the next dog in the list
    //value is in dog.get('name');

Note: This code snippet only loops through the items currently stored in the Collection object. If there are more entities in the database that you want to display, use a custom query to get more results, or use paging.

Custom Queries

A custom query allows you to tell the API that you want your results filtered or altered in some way. The following example specifies that the query results should be ordered by creation date:

dogs.setQueryParams({'ql':'order by created DESC'});

If you also wanted to get more entities in the result set than the default 10, say 100, you can specify a query similar to the the following (the limit can be a maximum of 999):

dogs.setQueryParams({'ql':'order by created DESC','limit':'100'});

There are many cases where expanding the result set is useful. But be careful - the more results you get back in a single call, the longer it will take to transmit the data back to your app.

You can find more information on custom queries here:

Modeling users with the Entity object

Making a user object

There is no specific User object in the module. Instead, you simply need to use the Entity object, specifying a type of "users". Here are some examples:

First, create a new user:

var marty = new usergrid.Entity("users");

Next, add more data if needed:

marty.set("username", "marty");
marty.set("name", "Marty McFly");
marty.set("City", "Hill Valley");
marty.set("State", "California");

Finally, save the user to the database:;

If the user is modified:


Just call save on the user:;

To refresh the user's information in the database:


To get properties from the user object:

var city = marty.getField("city");

If you no longer need the object, call the delete() method and the object will be deleted from database:


Although the object is deleted from the database, it remains in your program. Destroy it if needed by calling:

marty = null;

Direct API calls to the Application and Management endpoints

Creating and managing Entity and Collection objects is sufficient for most purposes. However, there are times when it is necessary to make a direct call to the API. The following sections describe how to do this against the Application endpoint as well as the Management endpoint.

See examples of this in the controller.js file

The Query object

Calls to both the Application endpoint as well as the Management endpoint require a Query object. The Query object stores information about the API call you want to make. To get started, create a new Query object, and pass in the relevant data. In the following example, we simply want to query the list of users:

queryObj = new usergrid.Query(
    function(results) {
        //do something with the results
    function() {
        alert('Error, Unable to retrieve users.');

Function Signature

The function signature for the Query Object is as follows:

(method, resource, jsonObj, paramsObj, successCallback, failureCallback)




The resource to access (e.g. "users")


A JSON object that contains the payload of data - only applicable for POST and PUT operations. In the following example, to JSON object contains update information for a dog object:

var jsonObj = {'name':'fido','color':'black','breed':'mutt'};


A JSON object that contains the query data (for example, to modify the search parameters). For example, to modify the number of results and order the results descending, use an object like this:

var paramsObj = {'ql':'order by created DESC','limit':'100'};


The success callback function - will be invoked when the API call is successfully completed.


The failure callback function - will be invoked if the API call fails.

Application endpoint

After the query object is ready, pass it as an argument to the appropriate endpoint. To run a query against the Application endpoint:


Management endpoint

To run a query against the Management endpoint:


Putting it all together

Both the API call and the Query object can be made in the same call:

usergrid.ApiClient.runAppQuery (new usergrid.Query('GET', 'users', null, null,
    function(output) {
        //do something with the return value "output" here  
    function (output) {
        //do something with the return error value "output" here 

The above call will make a GET call to get all the users in the application.

Session Management

Session management is key for persistance across page loads. We have implemented session storage using the Usergrid engine. For each new request, a session object is created in the database and the key is stored as a cookie.

Garbage collection has also been implemented to clean up old sessions. You can see an example of how to call this in the server.js file:

    //call garbage collection
        //do something here
        console.log('Garbage collection completed'); 
        //could not perform garbage collection
        console.log('Error: Garbage collection failed, or nothing to delete'); 

In the sample app, this method is called on every page load. However, in a production environment this wouldn't make sense. Your app should likely only call garbage collection once per hour.


We welcome your enhancements!

Like Usergrid, the Usergrid Node module is open source and licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.

  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Added some feature')
  4. Push your changes to the upstream branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request (make sure you describe what you did and why your mod is needed)

More information

For more information on Apigee App Services, visit


Copyright 2012 Apigee Corporation

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.