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Axolot for documentation

Axolot (Another node.js framework?)

I needed something similar to sails.js but that I could update, for example, and it was much simpler, without having everything out of the box. So I basically took out everything I liked about it and made a smaller version with some different features.

Get Started

Basic Tutorial

Axolot comes bundled with a command line tool which can be used to easily create a new project

$ npm install axolot -g
$ axolot new demoproject
$ cd demoproject

Once you are in the folder of your project, you will have a simple structure

  • api - Folder containing basically all your code (controllers, models, services, etc.)
  • config - Folder containing various configuration files
  • app.js - Your entry point

To start the app you have 2 different ways use gulp, which is good in development since it will restart when you edit a file, or simply use npm start


For the models I choose to use Waterline from the guys of sails.js I find it simple to use and it does the job. Basically you can add a model inside the folder api/models.

Example api/models/user.js

    module.exports = {
        identity: 'user'
        attributes: {
            username: { type: 'string', required: true },
            password: { type: 'string', minLength: 6, required: true },
            // Lifecycle Callbacks 
            beforeCreate: function(values, next) {
                bcrypt.hash(values.password, 10, function(err, hash) {
                    if(err) return next(err);
                    values.password = hash;

If you don't know how Waterline works you can refer to their documentation:


Controllers is where you define your endpoints (routing). A Controller can be associated with a model, and in this way, the CRUD operations will be there automatically, but you can always override them. Controllers are stored in api/controllers

Controllers can also have methods which are callable from with `controllername:method``

Example api/controllers/user.js

    module.exports = {
        model: 'user', // We are attaching the user to the model, so CRUD operations are there (good for dev purposes) 
        path: '/user', // Tthis is the end point 
        actions: {
            'get /': [
                function (req, res) {
                    var query = {};
                    Model.user.find(query).then(function(user) { // Find from the User Model declared above 
                    }).catch(function (err){
                        res.send(400, err);
        sockets: {
            getSingle: function(userId, cb) { // This one is callable from using "user:getSingle 
                Model.user.findOne(userId).then(function(user) {
                }).catch(function (err){
                    cb({error: err})


Services are simply some support objects that can help us doing something. For example we could create a service to send emails. Services are accessible globally through the variable Service and are stored in api/services.

Example api/services/mailer.js which will be callable from Service.mailer.send

    var nodemailer = require('nodemailer');
    module.exports = {
         * Sends an email to a given recipient
         * @method send
         * @param {object}   email           an object containing all of the necessary data to email
         * @param {Function} cb[err, res]    the callback to call once email is sent, or if it fails
         * @return
        send: function (email, cb) {
            var config = this.config;
            /** sets up the modemailer smtp transport */
            var transport = nodemailer.createTransport(config.nodemailer.type, {
                service: config.nodemailer.service,
                auth: {
                    user: config.nodemailer.user,
                    pass: config.nodemailer.pass
            /** sets up the mail options, from and such like that **/
            var from = email.from || '';
            var subject;
            if (config.nodemailer.prependSubject) {
                subject = config.nodemailer.prependSubject + email.subject;
            } else {
                subject = email.subject;
            var mailOptions = {
                from: + '<' + from + '>',
                subject: subject,
                html: email.messageHtml
            /** Actually sends the email */
            transport.sendMail(mailOptions, function (err, response) {
                if (err) return cb(err);
                return cb(null, response);


Configuration can be separated by environments


With the CLI you can create new projects and you can access an interactive console, loading your code as well. This is good for testing something and/or debugging.

To generate a new project is pretty easy, after you created it you can mode into that folder (same name of the project) and start coding.

$ axolot new projectName

To enter in the interactive console, you have to be in the folder of an axolot project. You can select the environment (which is basically the config filename).

$ axolot console environment

More commands will comoe shortly.

Support & Contact

You can drop me an email at or ask a question in StackOverflow or simply open an issue on

More updats will come soon.