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A library for managing structured data in Node.js and web browsers.

Fortune.js is a reusable interface for structured data in Node.js and web browsers. It implements a data abstraction layer and networking, which is useful for exposing a database with application logic.

View the website for documentation. Get it from npm:

$ npm install fortune --save

The only input required is record type definitions. These definitions may have links, or relationships between them, for which Fortune.js does inverse updates and maintains referential integrity. Here's a model of a basic micro-blogging service:

const fortune = require('fortune')
const store = fortune({
  user: {
    name: { type: String },
    // Following and followers are inversely related (many-to-many). 
    following: { link: 'user', inverse: 'followers', isArray: true },
    followers: { link: 'user', inverse: 'following', isArray: true },
    // Many-to-one relationship of user posts to post author. 
    posts: { link: 'post', inverse: 'author', isArray: true }
  post: {
    message: { type: String },
    // One-to-many relationship of post author to user posts. 
    author: { link: 'user', inverse: 'posts' }

The primary key id is reserved, no need to specify this. Links are ids that are maintained internally at the application-level by Fortune.js, and are always denormalized. What this means is that changes in a record will affect the links in related records.

By default, the data is persisted in memory (and IndexedDB for the browser). There are adapters for databases such as MongoDB, Postgres, and NeDB.

To make a request internally:

  type: 'user',
  method: 'create',
  payload: [ { name: 'John Doe' }, { name: 'Jane Doe' } ]

The first call to request will trigger a connection to the data store, and it returns the result as a Promise. See the API documentation for request.

Node.js only: Fortune.js implements HTTP functionality for convenience, as a plain request listener which may be composed within larger applications.

const http = require('http')
// The `` helper function returns a listener function which 
// does content negotiation, and maps the internal response to a HTTP response. 
const server = http.createServer(
store.connect().then(() => server.listen(1337))

This yields an ad hoc JSON over HTTP API, as well as a HTML interface for humans. There are also serializers for Micro API (JSON-LD) and JSON API.

Fortune.js implements its own wire protocol based on WebSocket and MessagePack, which is useful for real-time applications.

See the plugins page for more details.

Transform functions isolate business logic, and are part of what makes the interface reusable across different protocols. An input and output transform function may be defined per record type. Transform functions accept at least two arguments, the context object, the record, and optionally the update object for an update request. The method of an input transform may be any method except find, and an output transform may be applied on all methods.

The return value of an input transform function determines what gets persisted, and it is safe to mutate any of its arguments. It may return either the value or a Promise, or throw an error. The returned or resolved value must be the record if it's a create request, the update if it's an update request, or anything (or simply null) if it's a delete request. For example, an input transform function for a record may look like this:

function input (context, record, update) {
  switch (context.request.method) {
    // If it's a create request, return the record. 
    case 'create': return record
    // If it's an update request, return the update. 
    case 'update': return update
    // If it's a delete request, the return value doesn't matter. 
    case 'delete': return null

An output transform function may only return a record or Promise that resolves to a record, or throw an error. It is safe to mutate any of its arguments.

function output (context, record) {
  record.accessedAt = new Date()
  return record

Based on whether or not the resolved record is different from what was passed in, serializers may decide not to show the resolved record of the output transform for update and delete requests.

Note: Tranform functions must be defined in a specific order: input first, output last.

const store = fortune({
  user: { ... }
}, {
  transforms: {
    user: [ input, output ]
  • A server-side implementation of a web service over HTTP. The included HTTP implementation provides a basis for implementing application-level protocols, including media types such as HTML (included), Micro API and JSON API, and covers standard input formats such as URL encoded and form data.
  • A persistence layer in web browsers. Under the hood, it uses IndexedDB, Web Worker, and MessagePack to achieve high performance for persisting structured data.
  • An abstraction layer for working with multiple databases. Write the same logic which will work across multiple adapters.
  • Real-time web applications. Fortune.js includes its own wire protocol based on WebSocket and MessagePack.
  • Type validations, plus support for custom types.
  • Application-level denormalized inverse relationships.
  • Dereferencing relationships in a single request.
  • Transaction support for databases that support transactions, such as Postgres.
  • IndexedDB functionality in web browsers.
  • Built-in wire protocol for data synchronization between server and client.
  • No active record pattern, just plain data objects.
  • No coupling with network protocol, they are treated as external interfaces.

Fortune.js is written in ECMAScript 5.1 syntax, with some ECMAScript 6 additions.

  • Promise (ES6): not supported in IE, supported in Edge. Bring your own implementation (optional).
  • WeakMap (ES6): supported in IE11+, Edge. Polyfills exist, but they have their shortcomings since it must be implemented natively.

This software is licensed under the MIT license.