node package manager
Painless code sharing. npm Orgs help your team discover, share, and reuse code. Create a free org ยป


Build Status


A tool to create and document RESTful api endpoints in a declaritive way.


npm install express-endpoint


git clone
cd express-endpoint
npm link


The develop script runs the tests and app in a loop, restarting the loop each time a source file is changed. You'll need inotifywait to use On gentoo and debian/ubuntu it is provided by the inotify-tools package.

$ npm run-script develop


Human contact


  • Flexible, pluggable parameter validation and munging.
  • HTML documentation of endpoints.
  • Respond with appropriate results using content negotiation.


  • Automatically add rule doc to parameter doc
  • Authentication


Endpoints can be defined using the module function. It takes a single options parameter that is an object containing the following options.

  • path - The endpoint path as used by the express router. See for details. (required)
  • description - A human readable description of the endpoint. (required)
  • example - An example URL for the endpoint.
  • parameters - The set of parameters the endpoint accepts. See below for details.
  • rules - A set of custom rules to suppliment or override the default rules. Default rules are defined below.
  • handler - The function(req, res) that actually handles the request. See server The validated/sanitized parameters are passed as req.endpointParams. (required)
  • view - The name of the doc template. There is a default.
  • render_view - The name of the render template for text/html requests. There is a default.
  • stylesheets - Stylesheet URIs to inject into the views. There are defaults.


Once the Endpoint is created, it can be mounted on the express app by calling endpoint.mount(app). mount(app) is a convenience method. You can also set things up manually like so:

app.get(endpoint.config.path, endpoint.middleware(), endpoint.config.handler);


endpoint.middleware(selected) returns an Array of middleware for the Endpoint. This included the render and params middleware by default.

The render middleware adds a endpoint.render(payload) function to the res object. The function will render an Object in the appropriate format according to the Accept header.

The params middleware is the meat of Endpoint. It is where the parameters and rules are used to parse the request. It adds an endpoint.params field to the req object that contains the parsed parameters.


Catalog is used to render the documentation for all Endpoints. It is called via the module property function catalog(opts). It takes a single options parameter that is an object containing the following properties.

  • endpoints - Endpoint objects to catalog. (required)
  • view - The name of the doc template. There is a default.
  • stylesheets - Stylesheet URIs to inject into the views. There are defaults.


In addition to the Endpoint middleware, there are two general middlewares.


This handler will render any parsing/validation errors for request parameters, according to the Accept header.

var errorHandler = require('express-endpoint').middleware.errorHandler;


note This would be better if it were part of the Endpoint middleware, but the current version of express doesn't support URL specifice errorHandler middleware.


This handler provides the default express-endpoint static content.

var static = require('express-endpoint').middleware.static;



Parameters are defined as an object with the following parameters.

  • name - The name of the parameter.
  • rules - An array of String rules for the parameter.
  • description - A detailed description of the parameter.

Rules are specified as strings, with a single optional parameter. The rule name must match an existing default rule or a custom rule that you defined. If the rule takes a parameter, it should be appended to the end of the rule between parenthesis. To define a default rule, the rules would be as follows:


For rules that don't take parameters, the parenthesis can be omitted.


Rules are executed in the order specified. Builtin rules are described below.


express-endpoint validates and sanitizes parameters via rules.

express-endpoint comes with a set of builtin rules, and custom rules are easily added. To add rules, set the 'rules' Endpoint options. The default rules can still be used as long as you don't use the same rule name with your custom rules. Using the same name as a default rule will override that rule with your implementation. All rules accept an Array of values as input, but can return a single value. Make sure that any rules that return a single value are specified last.

  • default(v) - Sets the parameter to v if it's not specified. This should usually be called first.
  • required - Ensures the parameter is specified at least once.
  • max(n) - Ensures the parameter is not specified more then n times.
  • once - Ensures the parameter is not specified more then one time. It also changes the parameter from an Array to a single value.
  • url - Ensures all specified values are valid URLs, and parses them using urlparse.js (
  • number - Converts all specified values to numbers, ensuring they are valid numbers
  • regex(r) - Ensures all specified values match the given regex r.
  • boolean - Converts ('1', '', or 'true' is true). This also converts the parameter from an Array to a single boolean object.
  • callback - Ensures that the given value is a valid javascript function name safe for use with JSONP, and that only one value is given. Converts the value from an array to a single value.
  • timestamp - Ensures that the give value is a valid epoch timestamp in miliseconds or seconds, and converts to a javascript Date. Due to accepting ms or s, dates before 1971 are not accepted in seconds. If you are using non-current dates you should probably roll your own.

A rule is defined as a function(parameterName, stringArgument) that returns a validator/sanitizer function(arrayOfParameterValues). It should throw an Error for invalid values, or return a sanitized Array of values for valid values.

Here is an example of defining a custom rule to make sure a value is greater than or equal to 18. It assumes that the parameter has already been processed by the 'number' rule.

{ path: '/my/endpoint'
.. [snip] ..
, rules:
  { gte18: function(name, arg) {
      return function(vals) {
        return {
          if (val < 18) {
            throw new Error('['+val+'] is less then 18')

You can also look at lib/rules.js for more examples.

Customizing Catalog/Documentation

To customize the CSS, mount your CSS somewhere in the app, then pass the URIs to your custom CSS to the endpoint and catalog objects via the stylesheets option. ex.

var express = require('express')
  , app = express()
  , express_endpoint = require('express-endpoint')
  , Endpoint = express_endpoint.Endpoint
  , catalog = express_endpoint.catalog;


var endpoint = new Endpoint({
  stylesheets: ['public/my/styles.css'],

catalog = catalog({
  stylesheets: ['public/my/styles.css'],
  endpoints: [endpoint]
app.get('/docs', catalog);


You can override the views similarly with the view and render_view options.

new Endpoint({
  view: __dirname + '/myviews/doc.jade',
  render_view: __dirname + '/myviews/render.jade'
  view: __dirname + '/myviews/doc.jade',