Now with Partition Management


    1.3.0 • Public • Published


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    This is a tool designed to load configurations from the file system. It is easily extensible to use in your own projects or libraries and can work across multiple dependencies. While the implementation favors convention over configuration, there are options to customize where and how configurations are loaded. The configuration system is tier aware so that multiple configuration can be loaded depending on the tier you're running your software (see examples). The library supports reading configurations from .js, .json and .yaml files transparently.

    Simple Usage

    To begin go to your project root and create a file called config/default.json that might look like this (Note that any level of nesting and data types are supported):


    Now to access this configuration all you have to do is require the module and all values will be available on the required object. Create an index.js like this:

    const config = require('@cheevr/config');

    If you run your program it will print 80. Now create a second file called config/development.js and add this content:

    module.exports = {
        port: 8080

    If you run your program it will still print the previous response, if however you launch with node -t development . it will now print 8080 since the tier has configured the library to load the development configuration. Note that in this example we've used a .js file instead of .json file. Either one is interchangeably supported.


    Using npm the default installation method is easy enough

    npm i @cheevr/config


    There are multiple features available that can make life easier as a developer:

    Tier Ordering

    This module assumes that you're trying to load different configurations for different environments or tiers. The configuration you load is done in 3 phases:

    1. Load default configuration
    2. Load tier configuration and overwrite default config
    3. (optional) Load overwrite configuration config

    The optional overwrite configuration can be used to overwrite a tier configuration for use e.g. in a local environment so that you don't have to go and change config files every time you need to test a tier configuration against local services.

    Tier Selection

    There are multiple ways on how to select tiers. For each method the library will do a prefix check against the filename of the configuration. If for example you have a configuration file named production, any config flag that prefix matches that name will load that configuration. Some identifiers that will work in the example could be p, pro, prod or production. If you don't select any tier the library will default to development.

    Command Line

    The library is looking for 2 parameters passed to a program using this configuration method:

    • -t, --tier: Specifies the tier to load during phase 2 of the loading process
    • -o, --override: Specifies the name of the overwrite config file loaded during phase 3
    • -d, --dir, --directory: Specifies the directory in which to look for configurations (defaults to config/ relative to cwd)
    • -s, --default: Specifies name of the default file to load (defaults to default)
    • -c, --cwd: Specifies the root directory to reference when using relative paths
    • -n, --noenv: If set to true, the library will not attempt to apply environment overrides
    • -m, --mapseparator: The separator used for mapping environment variable overrides onto doc trees

    Environment Variables

    The library can also be configured to use tiers by using environment variables. These are only used if no command line parameters have been passed in to overwrite them (where applicable):

    • NODE_CONF_TIER: Uses the given config name to look for a configuration
    • NODE_ENV: Used as a fallback if NODE_CONF_TIER has not been set.
    • NODE_CONF_DEFAULT: Used to specify the name of the default file (defaults to default)
    • NODE_CONF_OVERRIDE: Used in place of the override file
    • NODE_CONF_DIR: The directory from which to load (defaults to config/ relative to cwd)
    • NODE_CWD: Specifies the root directory in which we expect to find NODE_CONF_DIR (defaults to cwd)
    • NODE_IGNORE_ENV: If set to true, the library will not attempt to apply environment overrides
    • NODE_ENV_MAP_SEPARATOR: The separator used for mapping environment variable overrides onto doc trees

    Environment Variable Overrides

    This library allows you to override any configuration by setting environment variables. Environment Variables will be mapped using a mapping separator to determine nested documents and allow overrides of more complex settings. The default separator can be changed using the command line option --mapseparator or the environment variable NODE_ENV_MAP_SEPARATOR and defaults to _.

    An environment variable to override a config such as { prop1: { prop2: 1.0} } can be overridden with an environment variable called PROP1_PROP2=2.0 (assuming the separator is the default _).

    Note that the library will try to ignore case when applying environment variables to existing properties, otherwise it will default to apply all keys with lower case.

    The library also will try to parse any value as JSON document. This will allow you to set more complex properties using environment variables. However, merging of complex json documents with existing configurations is not supported and a set environment variable will overwrite that mapped property with the json value, removing all previous object properties on that leaf of the json configuration tree.


    Finally you can load configurations programmatically note that this will cause a reload after the default configuration has been loaded so make sure that you do this before you start using the config object.

    const config = require('@cheevr/config');
    config.reload('prod', '/etc/myservice', 'override');

    This will reload the configuration from the folder /etc/myservice for the prod tier while applying the override configuration in that same folder. For more examples take a look at the test cases or the Interaction API.

    Interaction API

    Once the configuration has been loaded, it's going to be available on the required object. In addition there's a few helper methods that you can access on the same object. Note that if you specify any configuration properties that have the same name as one of these properties/methods, they will overwrite that functionality and instead be your configured value.

    Config.tier({string} [tier])

    This will return the current set tier if no parameter if given and allows you to set the tier to any value you want. Note that this will trigger a reload of the configuration.


    Readonly property that will return the directory that we're trying to load configurations from.


    Readonly property that will return the name of the override file.


    Readonly property that will return the name of the default file.


    Readonly property that will return true if the configurtion has loaded a file called either production, prod, pro or p.

    Config.reload({string} [tier], {string} [dir], {string} [override])

    This method will allow you to reload the configuration programmatically while specifying the tier name, root directory and override file name. All parameters are optional, but a reload will be triggered no matter what.

    Config.addDefaultConfig({string|object} config, {string} ...path)

    If you're writing a module that will be included in other projects you will face the problem that your configuration will not be loaded since the root directory will be where the requiring project is located. This method will allow you to add configuration for your module independent of the root directory and add these setting as default settings. Any settings found in the actual root project will still be able to overwrite them if they are set.

    The method accepts either a filename or the actual configuration as first parameter. Any further parameters passed into the method will be concatenated via path.join and used as the folder in which to look for configurations. A common way to specify your module configuration would look like this:

    const config = require('@cheevr/config').addDefaultConfig('module', __dirname, 'config')

    Note that files you include will use the filename as a category under which all properties are nested, so a file named backend.js would result in it's configuration being available under config.backend. There is no way to define root properties in a module like this other than to assign a single value in a file which would be assigned to a property matching the file name.

    This method will additionally support splitting up of configuration files by allowing nested file names. Using the previous example, we could specify a configuration for config.backend.server by simply defining a file called backend.server.js that will assign all content to the nested property.

    Config.normalizePath(cwd, ...dir)

    Will normalize one or more paths but making them absolute in relation to the given cwd. This method is more of a helper, but some external modules will want to make use of it.


    The config will emit an event whenever a configuration is loaded through one of it's methods.


    You can react to changes when configuration is being reloaded by registering an event listener:

    config.on('change', config => {});

    Note that this event is only triggered when one of the methods on the config object is used and not when an arbitrary property is changed.


    For more examples check out the test directory.

    Future Features for Consideration

    • Support for splitting up config files not just module configurations
    • Setters for dir, override and default
    • Wrap with a Proxy so that setting properties can fire an event on change


    npm i @cheevr/config

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