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Evolutility-Server-Node · GitHub license npm version

Model-driven REST API for CRUD and more, using Node.js, Express, and PostgreSQL.

Evolutility-Server-Node provides a set of generic REST endpoints for CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) and simple charts.


For a matching model-driven Web UI, use Evolutility-UI-React or Evolutility-UI-jQuery.

Table of Contents

  1. Installation
  2. Setup
  3. Configuration
  4. Models: Object - Field - Collection - Sample model
  5. REST API: Get - Update - Charts - More
  6. License


Download or clone from GitHub.

# To get the latest stable version, use git from the command line.
git clone https://github.com/evoluteur/evolutility-server-node

or use the npm package:

# To get the latest stable version, use npm from the command line.
npm install evolutility-server-node

Dependencies: Node.js, Express, PostgreSQL, and PG-Promise.

Evolutility-Server-Node works with Node.js v12.12.0 (not yet compatible w/ later versions).


After installing Evolutility-Server-Node, follow these steps:

  1. Create a PostgreSQL database.

  2. In the file config.js set the PostgreSQL connection string and the schema name to access your new database.

  3. Maybe, also change other config options in the same file.

Option Description Example
apiPath Path to REST API (can use "proxy" from package.json). "/api/v1/"
apiPort Port for the REST API. 2000
connectionString Database connection string. "postgres://evol:love@localhost:5434/evolutility"
schema Database schema. "evolutility"
uploadPath Path to uploaded files. "../evolutility-ui-react/public/pix/"
apiInfo Enable API discovery (on root and per model). true
pageSize Page size in pagination. 50
lovSize Maximum number of items in list of values. 100
csvSize Maximum number of items in CSV exports. 1000
csvHeader Use fields id or labels in CSV header. id/label
locale Date format (no translation yet). en/fr
wTimestamp Add timestamp columns "created_at" and "updated_at" to track record creation and update times. true
logToConsole Log to console. true
logToFile Log to file (log file is named "evol.log"). true
  1. In the command line type the following:
# Install dependencies
npm install

# Create sample database w/ demo tables
npm run makedb

# Run the node.js server
npm start

Note: The database creation and population scripts are logged in the files "evol-db-schema-{datetime}.sql" and "evol-db-data-{datetime}.sql".

URLs on localhost:


Configuration options are set in the file config.js.

Option Description
apiPath Path for REST API (i.e.: "/api/v1/").
apiPort Port for REST API (i.e.: 2000).
connectionString DB connection string (i.e.: "postgres://evol:love@localhost:5432/evol").
schema DB schema name (i.e.: "evolutility").
pageSize Number of rows per page in pagination (default = 50).
lovSize Maximum number of values allowed for form dropdowns (default = 100).
csvSize Maximum number of rows in CSV export (default = 1000).
csvHeader CSV list of labels for CSV export
logToConsole Log SQL and errors to console.
logToFile Log SQL and errors to a file. Log files are named like "evol-2019-09-15.log".
wComments Allow for user comments (not implemented yet).
wRating Allow for user ratings (not implemented yet).
wTimestamp Timestamp columns w/ date of record creation and last update.
createdDateColumn Column containing created date (default "created_at").
updatedDateColumn Column containing last update date (default "updated_at").
schemaQueries Enables endpoints to query for lists of tables and columns in the database schema.


To be accessible by the REST API, each database table must be described in a model. Models contain the name of the driving table and the list of fields/columns present in the API.


Property Description
id Unique key to identify the entity (used as API parameter).
table Driving database table name (there are secondary tables for fields of type "lov").
pKey Name of the Primary key column (single column of type serial). Default to "id". In the data the key is always called "id".
fields Array of fields.
titleField Field id for the column value used as record title.
noCharts No Charts or Dashboard views.
noStats No Stats on the object.


Property Description
id Unique key for the field (can be the same as column but doesn't have to be).
column Database column name for the field.
lovTable Table to join to for field value (only for fields of type "lov").
lovColumn Column name (in the lovTable) for field value (only for fields of type "lov").
lovIcon Set to True to include icon with LOV items (only for fields of type "lov").
object Model id for the object to link to (only for fields of type "lov").
type Field type is not a database column type but more a UI field type. Possible field types:
  • boolean
  • date
  • datetime
  • decimal
  • document
  • email
  • image
  • integer
  • lov (list of values)
  • list (multiselect)
  • money
  • text
  • textmultiline
  • time
  • url
required Determines if the field is required for saving.
readOnly Display field as readOnly (not editable).
inMany Determines if the field is present (by default) in lists of records.
inSearch Determine if the field is used in text searches.
max, min Maximum/Minimum value allowed (only applies to numeric fields).
maxLength, minLength Maximum/Minimum length allowed (only applies to text fields).
unique Values must be unique (not implemented yet).
noCharts Exclude field from charts.
noStats Exclude field from Stats.
deleteTrigger Deleting records in the lovTable will trigger a cascade delete (this property is only used while creating the database).


Multiple Master-Details can be specified with collections.

Property Meaning
id Unique key for the collection.
table DB Table to query (master table, other tables will be included in the query for "lov" fields).
column Column in the detail table to match against id of object.
object Model id for the object to display (optional).
orderBy Column(s) to sort by, e.g. { orderBy: "name" }.
fields Array of fields (objects or ids). Fields in collections can be field objects or just ids of field in the collection's object.

Example of collection in Wine cellar.

Sample model

Below is the model for a To-Do app.

export default {
    id: "todo",
    table: "task",
    titleField: "title",
    searchFields: ["title", "duedate", "description"],
    fields: [
            id: "title",
            column: "title",
            type: "text",
            required: true,
            inMany: true
            id: "duedate",
            column: "duedate",
            type: "date",
            inMany: true
            id: "category",
            column: "category_id",
            type: "lov",
            lovTable: "task_category",
            inMany: true
            id: "priority",
            column: "priority_id",
            type: "lov",
            lovTable: "task_priority",
            required: true,
            inMany: true,
            id: "complete",
            column: "complete",
            type: "boolean",
            inMany: true
            id: "description",
            column: "description",
            type: "textmultiline"

More sample models: Address book, Restaurants list, Wine cellar, Graphic novels inventory.


Evolutility-Server-Node provides a generic RESTful API for CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) and more. It is inspired from PostgREST.

When running Evolutility-Server-Node locally, the base url is http://localhost:2000/api/v1/.

Requesting Information

Get One

Gets a specific record by ID.

GET /{model.id}/{id}

GET /todo/12

By default this endpoint returns nested collections with the record. For optimization, collections can be ommited by using the parameter "shallow".

GET /{model.id}/{id}?shallow=1

GET /todo/12?shallow=1

Get Many

Gets a list of records.

GET /{model.id}

GET /todo


You can filter result rows by adding conditions on fields, each condition is a query string parameter.

GET /{model.id}/{field.id}={operator}.{value}

GET /todo?title=sw.a
GET /todo?priority=in.1,2,3

Adding multiple parameters conjoins the conditions:


For each field a sub-set of the operators below will be supported by the API (depending field types).

Operator Meaning Example
eq equals /todo?category=eq.1
gt greater than /todo?duedate=gt.2019-01-15
lt less than /todo?duedate=lt.2019-01-15
gte less than or equal /todo?duedate=gte.2019-01-15
lte less than or equal /todo?duedate=lte.2019-01-15
ct contains /todo?title=ct.e
sw start with /todo?title=sw.a
fw finishes with /todo?title=fw.z
in one of a list of values /todo?priority=in.1,2,3
0 is false or null /todo?complete=0
1 is true /todo?complete=1
null is null /todo?category=null
nn is not null /todo?category==nn


You can search for a specific string across multiple fields at once with the "search" parameter. The list of fields to be searched is specified with "searchFields" in the model (if unspecified, text fields flagged with "inMany" for list view will be used).

GET /{model.id}?search={value}

GET /todo?search=translation


The reserved word "order" reorders the response rows. It uses a comma-separated list of fields and directions:

GET /{model.id}?order={field.id}.{asc/desc}

GET /todo?order=priority.desc,title.asc

If no direction is specified it defaults to ascending order:

GET /todo?order=duedate

Limiting and Pagination

The reserved words "page" and "pageSize" limits the response rows.

GET /{model.id}?page={pageindex}&pageSize={pagesize}

GET /todo?page=0&pageSize=50


By default all APIs return data in JSON format. This API call allows to request data in CSV format (export to Excel). This feature is using csv-express.

GET /{model.id}?format=csv

GET /todo?format=csv

Notes: In the returned data every object has an extra property "_full_count" which indicate the total number of records in the query (before limit).

Updating Data

Record creation

To create a row in a database table post a JSON object whose keys are the names of the columns you would like to create. Missing keys will be set to default values when applicable.

POST {model.id} {data}

POST /todo
{ title: 'Finish testing', priority: 2}

Even though it is a "POST", the request also returns the newly created record. It is not standard but it saves the UI a subsequent call.


PATCH or PUT can be used to update specific records.

PATCH /{model.id}/{id} {data}

PATCH /todo/5
{ title: 'Finish testing', priority: 2}
PUT /{model.id}/{id} {data}

PUT /todo/5
{ title: 'Finish testing', priority: 2}

Notes: The request returns the updated record. It is not standard but it saves the UI a subsequent call.


Simply use the DELETE verb with the id of the record to remove.

DELETE /{model.id}/{id}

DELETE /todo/5

To delete multiple records at once, pass multiple ids (separated by commas).

DELETE /{model.id}/{id1},{id2},{id3}

DELETE /todo/5,7,12

Extras endpoints

In addition to CRUD, Evolutility-Server-Node provides a few endpoints for Charts, Lists of values, file upload, and API discovery.


Returns the list of all active objects with urls to their REST end-points.


It is also possible to get a more detailed list of REST end-points for a specific model.

GET /?id={model.id}

GET /?id=todo
GET /?id=contact

Note: These end-point must be enabled in the configuration with { apiInfo: true }.


For charts data, it is possible to get aggregated data for field of types lov, boolean, integer, decimal, and money. Use the attribute "noCharts" to exclude a field from Charts.

GET /{model.id}/chart/{field id}

GET /todo/chart/category


Returns the total count, and the min, max, average, and total for numeric fields in the model.

GET /{model.id}/stats

GET /todo/stats

Lists of Values

Dropdown fields in the UI (field.type="lov" in the model) have a REST endpoint to get the list of values. This endpoint can also take a search query parameter.

GET /{model.id}/lov/{field.id}

GET /todo/lov/category
GET /todo/lov/category?search=pro

File upload

This endpoint lets you upload a file. The current (naive) implementation simply saves the file on the file server in a folder named like the model id (inside the folder specified by the option "uploadPath" in config.js).

POST /{model.id}/upload/{id}

POST /comics/upload/5

With query parameters: file and "field.id".

Nested collections

If the model has collections defined, they can be queried with this end-point.

GET /{model.id}/collec/{collection.id}?id={id}

GET /winecellar/collec/wine_tasting?id=1


When storing models in evol_object and evol_field tables, they can be queried through REST.

Get all models flagged as active.

GET /meta/models

Get a model by ID (integer).

GET /meta/model/{modelid}

GET /meta/model/1

Note: Schema and Models end-points must be enabled in the configuration with { apiDesigner: true }.

Schema tables and columns

These endpoints query for the database structure (rather than the data), and returns lists of tables and columns.

List of schema tables (props: table, type, readOnly).

GET /db/tables

List of columns (props: column, type, required) for a specified table.

GET /db/{table_name}/columns

GET /db/contact/columns
GET /db/task/columns

Note: These end-point must be enabled in the configuration with { schemaQueries: true }.

API version

This endpoint gets the API version (as specified in the project's package.json file).

GET /version


Copyright (c) 2023 Olivier Giulieri.

Evolutility-Server-Node is released under the AGPLv3 license.

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