1.1.0 • Public • Published


    retriever is a small utility library for retrieving nested data safely. It contains several improvements over solutions like lodash.get, such as:

    • Type checking: Ensure that accessed data is of the exact type that is needed.
    • Optional logging: Log warnings in cases of required data that is missing or of the wrong type.
    • Convenient defaults: Retrieving data looks for strings by default, and also provides extra utility for objects.


    npm install @ebay/retriever --save


    var r = require('@ebay/retriever');
    // set optional logger for missing data or type mismatch with defaultValue
        warn: function (messageFormat, eventType, lookupPath, defaultValue) {} // used with need()
    // sample data where content is not guaranteed
    var input = {
        model: {
            action: {
                url: 'https://www.ebay.com/sch/iphone'
                textSpans: [
                        text: 'Search for iphone on eBay'
            list: [1, 2, 3],
            count: 20,
            disabled: true
    // cache parent when accessing multiple children
    var action = r.need(input, 'model.action', {}); // input.model.action (from object)
    // assumed defaultValue is empty string if none is provided
    var text = r.need(action, 'textSpans[0].text'); // 'Search for iphone on eBay' (from object)
    // {} is transformed to contain helper property when used as default
    var content = r.need(action, 'model.content', {}); // {__isEmpty: true} (from defaultValue)
    // use has() when presence is needed, but not the actual data
    var hasContent = r.has(input, 'model.content'); // false
    // type of defaultValue must match type of data, otherwise will log
    var count = r.need(input, 'model.count', 50); // 20 (from object)
    var count = r.need(input, 'model.count', '50'); // '50' (from defaultValue), logs `warning`
    var count = r.get(input, 'model.count', '50'); // '50' (from defaultValue), does not log
    // defaults to defaultValue when data is missing or of mismatched type
    var list = r.need(input, 'model.missingProperty', []); // [] (from defaultValue)
    var list = r.need(input, 'model.list'); // '' (from default defaultValue)
    var list = r.need(input, 'model.list', ''); // '' (from defaultValue)
    var list = r.need(input, 'model.list', {}); // {__isEmpty: true} (from defaultValue)
    var list = r.need(input, 'model.list', 0); // 0 (from defaultValue)
    var list = r.need(input, 'model.list', false); // false (from defaultValue)
    var list = r.need(input, 'model.list', []); // [1, 2, 3] (from object)
    // use get() if logging isn't necessary
    var disabled = r.get(input, 'model.disabled', false); // true (from object)
    var enabled = r.get(input, 'model.enabled', false); // false (from defaultValue)
    var enabled = r.get(input, 'model.enabled', true); // true (from defaultValue)


    need(object, path, [defaultValue])

    get(object, path, [defaultValue])

    Gets the value at path of object. Uses Lodash's get method. If the resolved value is undefined or if there is a type mismatch between the resolved value and default value, the defaultValue is returned in its place. If the defaultValue is an empty object, an object with an internal helper __isEmpty property is returned in its place. A type mismatch is determined with strict type checking that differentiates between object, array, and null. This is opposed to the native typeof which treats those identically as being type object.

    need() assumes that the data of the specified type needs to be present. Otherwise, it will log a warning. get() is more lenient, and will not log a warning.


    • object (Object): The object to query.
    • path (Array | String): The path of the property to get.
    • [defaultValue] (*): The value returned for undefined resolved values. (defaults to '')


    (*): Returns the resolved value.

    has(object, path)

    Checks if path is a direct property of object, and has a value that is not null or undefined.


    • object (Object): The object to query.
    • path (Array | String): The path of the check.


    (boolean): Returns true if path exists, else false.


    Sets the logger to be used for logging any issues in retrieving the data. If logging is desired, this should be called once at the start of the app to be used for all subsequent usage. If retriever logging is desired on the client, setLogger must be initialized in the browser as well. If you are using this with other logging libraries, you'll need to ensure that the logging is enabled per those environment settings.


    • logger (Object): A logger object containing the function warn. This function will be called with the following parameters: messageFormat, eventType, lookupPath, defaultValue.

    For example, a type mismatch warning, the parameters might look like this:

    • messageFormat: 'event: %s, path: %s, default: %s'
    • eventType: 'typeMismatch'
    • lookupPath: 'data.path[0]'
    • default: ''

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