TypeScript icon, indicating that this package has built-in type declarations

1.20.0 • Public • Published

AceBase realtime database client

This repository is to connect to a remote AceBase server. See AceBase for more information about AceBase databases and usage.

Getting started

Install the acebase-client npm package: npm install acebase-client (github, npm)

Then, require it like so:

const { AceBaseClient } = require('acebase-client');

OR, if you want to use the client in the browser, use the following code:

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

Connect to an AceBase server

Use the following code the connect to an AceBase webserver:

const db = new AceBaseClient({ host: 'localhost', port: 5757, dbname: 'mydb', https: false });
db.ready(() => {
    console.log('Connected successfully');

After the ready event has fired, you can read, write, setup data change event listeners etc:

const user = {
    id: 'john_doe'

// Log something to the database...
    type: 'connect',
    datetime: new Date()

// Read something from the database...
const userRef = db.ref(`users/${}`);
userRef.get(snapshot => {
    let details = snapshot.val(); =;

// Get notifications for data events
const todoRef = userRef.child('todo');
todoRef.on('child_added', (snapshot) => {
    const item = snapshot.val();
    console.log(`Added to the todo list: ${item.text}`);

// Query to last 50 posts from less than a day ago, containing the word "awesome"
.filter('posted', '>', yesterday)
.filter('title', 'matches', /awesome/i)
.get(snaps => {
    // snaps is an array of matching posts
    const posts = => snap.val());

// Get data but exclude nested data
.get({ exclude: ['posts'] })
.then(snap => {
    // snap contains all user's properties except "users/some_user/posts"


If the server you are connecting to has authentication enabled, you can (or have to) sign in to access specific resources. To so this, use the auth authentication api.

Sign in with username:

db.auth.signIn('admin', 'thepassword')
.then(result => {
    console.log(`Signed in as ${result.user.username}, got access token ${result.accessToken}`);

Sign in with email:

db.auth.signInWithEmail('', 'thepassword')
.then(result => {
    console.log(`Signed in as ${}, got access token ${result.accessToken}`);

Sign in with access token:

Because storing a user's password is a bad thing (NEVER do that!), the signIn and signInWithEmail methods return an accessToken you can store somewhere. The next time a user runs your app, you can use the accessToken to automically sign them in again.

.then(result => {
    console.log(`Signed in as ${}, got access token ${result.accessToken}`);

If you have an access token from a previous session and your app is started while offline, you can let the client perform the sign in for you automatically once it connects to the server again. To do this, pass the access token to setAccessToken (NEW since v1.8.0):

function handleSignIn(result) {
    console.log(`Signed in as ${}, got access token ${result.accessToken}`);
if (db.connected) {
    // We're connected, we can sign in manually
    const result = await db.auth.signInWithToken(accessToken);
else {
    // Not connected, set the access token and wait for the signin event
    db.once('signin', handleSignIn);

Signing out:

.then(result => {
    console.log(`Signed out!`);

Create a new user account:

You can create a new user account by passing username or email (or both), and displayName and password to the signUp method. A currently signed in user will be signed out, and the newly created user will be signed in automatically.

let userDetails = {
    username: 'ewout',      // optional when email is given
    email: '',   // optional when username is given
    displayName: 'Ewout Stortenbeker',
    password: 'TooEasy4U?' // password requires a-z, A-Z and 0-9
.then(result => {
    console.log(`Signed up and in as ${result.user.username}, got access token ${result.accessToken}`);

NOTE: Users are only able to signUp themselves if the connected AceBase server configuration allows for it. (see allowUserSignup in the server documentation)

NOTE: If you are signed in as admin, calling signUp will keep you signed into your own account, and the callback will not include the accessToken.

Change password

To change the password of the signed in user, use changePassword:

db.auth.changePassword(currentPassword, newPassword)
.then(result => {
    console.log(`Changed password, new accessToken is: ${result.accessToken}`);

NOTE: When a password is changed, any access tokens given to clients signed in with the old password become invalid. All clients using the old password for the account will have to sign in again.

Change email address

Users can change their email address using changeEmail

.then(result => {
    console.log(`Changed email address`);
.catch(err => {
    if (err.code === 'conflict') {
        console.log('Email address belongs to a different account');

Change username

.then(result => {
    console.log(`Changed username`);
.catch(err => {
    if (err.code === 'conflict') {
        console.log('Username belongs to a different account');

Change profile picture

(client v1.6.0+, server v1.5.0+)

db.auth.changePicture({ url: '', width: 100, height: 100 })
.then(result => {
    console.log(`Changed profile picture`);

Add miscellaneous data to user account

You can store up to 100 additional fields of data with the user account, to eliminate the need for user data to be added to the main database. Store data here that doesn't change frequently, such as profile info. You can do this with updateUserSettings:

let updates = {
    profilePic: '',
    website: ''
.then(result => {
    console.log(`Updated user settings: `, result.user.settings);

NOTE: These settings can be read from db.auth.user.settings.

Deleting account

To completely remove an account from the database, use deleteAccount

.then(result => {
    console.log(`Account is gone and we're signed out`);

NOTE: This does not remove any data you have stored for this user, it only removes the account. You will have to remove any data yourself, eg by db.ref('posts').child(db.auth.user.uid).remove()

Monitoring user events

To keep track of sign in and out events in the background, add listeners to the 'signin' and 'signout' events:

db.on('signin', evt => {
    console.log(`User ${evt.user.uid} signed in, source: ${evt.source}`);
    // evt.source can be one of these: 'signin', 'email_signin', 'token_signin', 'password_change', 'signup'

db.on('signout', evt => {
    console.log(`User ${evt.user.uid} signed out, source: ${evt.source}`);
    // evt.source can be 'signout', 'signup' or 'delete_account'

Monitoring connection events

Use the connect and disconnect events to detect if the connection with the server has been broken or re-established:

db.on('connect', evt => {

db.on('disconnect', evt => {

Offline access & synchronization

If you want to be able to use the database even if your app goes offline, you can use a local AceBase database as cache db. While online, any data you fetch from the server will be cached in your local database, and data changes will also update the local cache. When the app goes offline, all requests for data will be served from cache, updates will be logged and performed on the cached data, and data change events will be fired by the cache db. Once the client connects to the server again, it will synchronize all changes with the server.

const localCacheDb = new AceBase('offlinecache');
const client = new AceBaseClient({ 
    cache: { db: localCacheDb }, // Enables offline access
    host: 'my.acebase.server', port: 443, https: true, dbname: 'mydb'

client.ref('some/data').set('Works even when offline');


AceBase synchronization uses a simple conflict avoiding approach: all changes made offline will be replicated to the server once it reconnects. It does not check if the data being updated was changed by other clients in the meantime. That means that the last one to update the server data, wins a 'conflict'.

In many situations this approach is acceptible, because AceBase updates are performed on the property level: if 2 clients both changed my e-mail address in "users/ewout/email", there is no easy way to determine which edit should 'win' the conflict. Some would argue time-based logic should be used to resolve conflicts, to avoid an offline client for 2 months overwriting a value just updated yesterday. I would argue that even a long-time offline client might have a good reason to win the conflict.

In situations where you think this sync strategy might be a problem, AceBase now provides a way to keep track of editing history with built-in transaction logging. When enabled on the server, all data changes are automatically saved to a transaction log and are kept in there for a configurable amount of days (or forever if desired). Those mutations can be queried with the new getMutations and getChanges functions using a timestamp or previously acquired server cursor on a DataReference. You can use this to provide a way to let users recover or merge previously saved data. Doing that will make your users happy: the app didn't decide what update was the "right" one while tossing away others - you kept track and the user can fix anything sync'ed "wrong":

// Request all mutations to my email address in the past week;
const sinceLastWeek = new Date( - (7 * 24 * 60 * 60 * 1000));
let result = await db.ref('users/ewout/email').getMutations(sinceLastWeek);
result.mutations.forEach(m => {
    console.log(`On ${new Date(m.timestamp)}: my email address changed to "${m.value}"`);

// result also has a cursor we can use for future queries:
const cursor = result.new_cursor;
result = await db.ref('users/ewout/email').getMutations(cursor);
result.mutations.forEach(m => {
    console.log(`On ${new Date(m.timestamp)}: my email address changed to "${m.value}"`);

If you are not interested in intermediate values and only want to know what values changed since you last checked, you can use getChanges instead. This will give you a list of all effective changes on the referenced path and its children since a given date/time or cursor.

const sinceLastWeek = new Date( - (7 * 24 * 60 * 60 * 1000));
let result = await db.ref('users/ewout/email').getChanges(sinceLastWeek);
result.changes.forEach(m => {
    // In this case, there will be only 1 change even if it was mutated multiple times
    console.log(`Last week, my email address changed from "${m.previous}" to "${m.value}"`);

// And we have a cursor we can use for future queries:
const cursor = result.new_cursor;
result = await db.ref('users/ewout/email').getChanges(cursor);
// ...

This new functionality can now also be used by an AceBaseClient to sychronize remote changes to a local cache database. In fact, you can even have it updated with remote changes upon request. This allows you to use a local copy of your server data offline, and have it updated with changes upon request, without ever having to reload the value from the server:

// Open local state database
const stateDb = new AceBase('localstate');

// Connect to remote server using a client with cache database
const client = new AceBaseClient({ 
    cache: { db: new AceBase('offlinecache') },
    host: 'my.acebase.server', port: 443, https: true, dbname: 'mydb'

// Wait for both te be ready to use
await client.ready();
await stateDb.ready();

// Get last cursor we stored in our localstate database (if available)
let snap = await stateDb.ref('last_cursor').get();
const cursor = snap.val();

// Update the cache database with changes to the "products" collection since cursor.
// If cursor is null, the entire value will be loaded from the server and stored in cache.
const updateResult = await client.cache.update('products', cursor);

// Store the new cursor for next time
cursor = updateResult.new_cursor;
await stateDb.ref('last_cursor').set(cursor);

// Monitor the "products" collection to keep cache up to date while running:
client.ref('products').on('mutations', snapshot => {
    // The snapshot contains an array with all effective mutations.
    // We don't have to do anything with these mutations here: the cache database will
    // automatically be updated with the changes, simply by monitoring this event

    // We CAN however use the new cursor we've been given now for the next startup sync!
    const context = snapshot.context();
    cursor = context.acebase_cursor;

    // Upon disconnect/reconnect cycles, the AceBaseClient will automatically
    // use the last cursor from this event to synchronize cache with the server.
    // If the data changes during reconnect sync, this event callback will run again 
    // and get the new cursor automatically

More documentation for this will follow soon, but above code is basically all you need to keep an offline local cache database synchronized with the server with minimal amounts of data being transferred. Also note that if you'd make any local changes to the data while the client is offline, those changes will also automatically be synchronized with the server upon reconnect. All pending mutations are saved in the cache database, so even if your app hasn't been running in the meantime, those mutations will be sent to the server the next time it connects.

(The old-school way to log transactions)

Before transaction logging was implemented in AceBase natively, you had to roll your own mechanism to do the same as getMutations. And you still can, of course! I kept this documentation in here because it might come in handy for someone's specific needs, or might give you an idea of how things can also be done. If you want to implement your own custom history tracking on your server, you can also use a simple cloud function to keep track of changes on specific data:

// Run this on the server:
db.ref("users/$uid/$property").on("value", snap => {
    // Logs any user property being changed
    const uid = snap.ref.vars['uid'];
    const property = snap.ref.vars['property'];
    const value = snap.val();

    // create edit history item at "history/users/[uid]/[newuniqueid]"
    db.ref("history/users").child(uid).push({ time:, property, value });

Getting change history for any user now is a breeze:

.then(snap => {
    // Got all edits to my user account
    const allEdits = snap.val(); 

And, reverting to a previous edit:

const edit = allEdits[userChosenEditId];

Offline transactions

Running transactions while offline is impossible because there is no access to live data. The idea behind a transaction is being able to change data that is guaranteed not to be changed by others while you are processing it. Because this is not possible with cached data, running transactions offline has been disabled since client v0.9.22.

If you want your app to be optimistic about the outcome of a transaction while offline, handle it with the knowledge you have now (eg is the last known balance sufficient?) and run the actual transactions once the connection is back online. This requires a bit more work, but you'll be able to let a user pay for something offline, and commit or reverse the purchase once the connection is back.

See the example below, where users are able to purchase inventory while being offline:

const userId = db.auth.user.uid; // Assuming signed in user here!

// Keep track of inventory
let inventory = [];
db.ref(`users/${userId}/inventory`).on('child_added', snap => {
db.ref(`users/${userId}/inventory`).on('child_removed', snap => {

// Keep track of balance
let balance = 0;
db.ref(`users/${userId}/balance`).on('value', snap => {
    balance = snap.val();

// Function we'll call if we're online
function purchaseOnline(item) {
    // If we're online, perform transaction
    return db.ref(`users/${userId}/inventory`).transaction(snap => {
        // Check if the user doesn't already have this item
        const inventory = snap.val();
        const hasItem = in inventory;
        if (hasItem) {
            throw new Error(`You already own a ${}`);
        else {
            inventory[] = true;

        // Is there is enough cash?
        return db.ref(`users/${userId}/balance`).transaction(snap => {
            let balance = snap.val();
            balance -= item.price;
            if (balance < 0) {
                throw new Error(`You don't have enough money to buy a ${}!`);
            // Ok, update balance
            return balance;
        .then(() => {
            // Now update inventory
            return inventory;

// Function we'll call when we're offline.
async function purchaseOffline(item) {
    // If we're offline, perform in-memory balance and inventory checks
    if (inventory.contains( {
        throw new Error(`You already own a ${}`);
    if (balance < item.price) {
        throw new Error(`You don't have enough money to buy a ${}`);

    // Now add the purchase to a pending_purchases collection that will be processed when we're online again
    return db.ref(`users/${userId}/pending_purchases`).push(item)
    .then(() => {
        // Subtract from in-memory balance
        balance -= item.price;
        // Add to in-memory inventory

// Function that initiates offline and online purchases, depending on connection state
function purchase(item) {
    if (db.connected) {
        return purchaseOnline(item);
    else {
        return purchaseOffline(item);

// Function that synchronizes purchases done offline
function processOfflinePurchases() {

    // Reload inventory from online db
    return db.ref(`users/${userId}/inventory`).get()
    .then(snap => {
        // Got inventory
        snap.forEach(childSnap => {

        // Reload balance from online db
        return db.ref(`users/${userId}/balance`).get();
    .then(snap => {
        // Got balance
        balance = snap.val();

        // Perform transaction on pending_purchases
        db.ref(`users/${userId}/pending_purchases`).transaction(pendingSnap => {
            const purchasePromises = [];
            pendingSnap.forEach(snap => {
                const item = snap.val();

                // Purchase item online
                const promise = purchaseOnline(item).catch(err => {
                    // Online purchase failed.
                    // User either double-spent their money, or purchased the item already
                    // Should tell the user
                // Add to promise array

            // Now wait until all purchases completed
            return Promise.all(purchasePromises);
        .then(() => {
            // All purchases were now processed online, return null to delete pending_purchases
            return null;

// Keep track of synchronization event (happens after reconnect) to complete pending purchases
db.on('sync_done', processOfflinePurchases);

// Now, let's purchase a sword
purchase({ id: 'sword', name: 'Massive shiny sword', price: 2 })
.then(() => {
    // Success!
    console.log(`You've got it!`);
.catch(err => {
    // Ooops!

ESM and CJS bundles

The TypeScript sources are transpiled to both CommonJS and ESM module systems, but the CommonJS bundle is still used for both require and import statements. This prevents a possible "Dual package hazard". See for more info.

More information

See acebase-server for more information about running an AceBase server (npm, github)

See acebase for more information about how to use AceBase (npm, github)


npm i acebase-client

DownloadsWeekly Downloads






Unpacked Size

1.11 MB

Total Files


Last publish


  • 4ewout