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A light wrapper, providing a controller-like interface to Express routing

Express Ctrl

Express Ctrl is a light wrapper, providing a controller-like interface to Express (3.0) routing.

Current Version: 0.1.0
Automated Build Status: Build Status
Node Version Support: 0.6, 0.8


Your main application bootstrap:

var express = require('express');
var ctrl = require('express-ctrl');
// Create your Express app 
var app = express();
// Create a controller loader function 
var loadController = ctrl.createLoader(app, {
    path: __dirname + '/controllers'
// Load controllers (looks for modules in the path provided) 

Example controller controllers/blog.js:

exports.route = '/blog';
exports.get = function (req, res) {
    // show blog posts 
}; = function (req, res) {
    // add a new blog post 


Install Express Ctrl with Node.js/npm by either adding express-ctrl to your package.json dependencies, or running the following:

$ npm install express-ctrl


Once installed, you can just require express-ctrl:

var ctrl = require('express-ctrl');
// or include the loader generator directly 
var createLoader = require('express-ctrl').createLoader;


Create a loader function. This accepts two arguments:
app: (app) An Express application instance.
opts: optional (object) Loader options.
opts.path: (string) The path to look for controllers in. Defaults to './controllers'.
opts.fallbackAction: (function) A function to call if a controller action matching the request method is not found. This is useful for sending 405 errors.
return: (function) Returns a loader function.

var app = express();
var loadController = ctrl.createLoader(app, {
    // The 'controllers' folder relative to this file 
    path: __dirname + '/controllers',
    // 405 error 
    fallbackAction: function (req, res) {
        res.send(405, 'Method Not Allowed');

createLoader() Returned Function

Load a controller (uses the configuration passed into createLoader). This accepts a single argument:
name: (string) The name of the controller to load. This is appended to the loader path specified in createLoader.

When a controller is loaded this way, a route is added using express.all with the controller route.

// if the controller loader path is set to './controllers', 
// this will require './controllers/blog.js'. 

Controller Module Structure

A controller module is expected to export a few properties. Things might break if you don't export at least a route property:

// This is the route that will be used when adding this 
// controller to Express. This can contain regular expressions 
// and express params 
exports.route = '/blog';
// This function will respond to GET requests to the 
// controller route 
exports.get = function (req, res) {};
// This function will respond to POST requests to the 
// controller route = function (req, res) {};
// You can respond to as many or as few request methods 
// as you like. Just export functions matching the method, 
// for example 'put' or 'delete'. 

For example usage, take a look at the application being used for testing.


To develop Express Ctrl, you'll need to clone the repo and install dependencies. You'll need Node and npm installed to run the following:

$ make deps

No code will be accepted unless all tests are passing and there are no lint errors – you check this with make. Build commands are outlined below:

$ make # run everything (required to pass) 
$ make deps # install dependencies 
$ make lint # run jshint with the correct config 
$ make test # run all unit and cucumber feature tests 
$ make test-unit # run all unit tests 
$ make test-feature # run all cucumber feature tests 


Express Ctrl is licensed under the MIT license.