node package manager
Love JavaScript? Your insights can make it even better. Take the 2017 JavaScript Ecosystem Survey »


NodeServer Generator

Bluemix powered Travis Coveralls Codacy Version DownloadsMonthly DownloadsTotal License


This generator produces an Express-based Node.js server project with all the ingredients you need for a good start at building a cloud native application. You can choose between either a simple web app or microservice pattern. Combine the microservice pattern with a web app for a backend-for-frontend pattern.

Bring your own optional Swagger document to direct code generation for top-down development.

Monitoring and Health

The generated projects are pre-wired for monitoring and health checks. The app includes

  1. app metrics dashboard

  2. Prometheus endpoint

  3. Kubernetes http liveness probe

Deployment Enablement

The generated projects include deployment configuration for the following environments:

  1. Docker

    The projects include Docker files to build images for both release and development

  2. Kubernetes

    The projects include a Helm chart for deployment to Kubernetes.

  3. Cloud Foundry

    The projects include a manifest for deployment to Cloud Foundry.

  4. Dev-ops Pipeline

    The projects include a toolchain and pipeline definition for CI/CD deployment to the IBM Cloud.

Special Tools

The projects include NPM scripts to install and run IBM Cloud Developer Tools.


Install Yeoman

npm install -g yo


npm install -g generator-nodeserver


yo nodeserver


When you run 'yo nodeserver', it will prompt you for the following:

  1. project name

    Specify the project name. It defaults to the current directory name. This is a required value.

  2. Swagger doc file name

    Specify the relative or absolute file name of a Swagger document to direct the project's code generation. A route stub will be scaffolded and registered for each route defined in the swagger document. This is an optional value.

  3. IBM Cloud Service Enablement.

    Specify Y|N whether or not you want to scaffold IBM Cloud service enablement into your project. If you specify 'Y', you will be able to select one or more services from a checklist. For each service you select,configuration and access scaffolding code is generated. IBM Cloud service enablement is optional.

Headless mode (without prompting)

Use headless mode to create an app without having to use the UI. This is useful when you want to use this generator to build a project by only running a script instead of interactively.

To create an app using the default options run the command:

yo nodeserver --headless


  • Name: the current working directory.
  • SwaggerFileName: false.
  • Services: false.

Headless usage

To specify the name of the project use:

yo nodeserver --headless='{"name":"your-app-name"}'

To specify which services to add use:

yo nodeserver --headless='{"services":["service1", "service2"]}'

For valid services see below.

Full usage:

yo nodeserver --headless='{"name":"your-app-name","swaggerFileName":"your-swagger-file-name","services":["service1", "service2"]}'

Valid Services

  • 'alert'
  • 'appid'
  • 'cloudant'
  • 'mongo'
  • 'object storage'
  • 'postgre'
  • 'push'
  • 'redis'
  • 'watson conversation'

Project Build/Run

Build your generated project one of two ways:

  1. normal npm install, npm start

  2. containerized, using IBM Cloud Developer Tools

    Note that a containerized approach is supported through the tooling in special consideration of Kubernetes as a deployment environment, following the dev/prod parity principle of 12 Factor Apps.

    There are npm scripts to simply this for you:

    1. npm run idt:install

      Installs IBM Cloud Developer Tools.

    2. npm run idt:build

      Builds Docker image for dev mode and does npm install, including dev dependencies.

    3. npm run idt:test

      Runs project unit tests in dev mode Docker container.

    4. npm run idt:debug

      Runs the project in debug mode in the dev mode Docker container. The app will start and listen on port 5858 by default for a debug client to attach and take control.

    5. npm run idt:run

      Runs the project in the release mode Docker container. The release mode Docker container is built without dev dependencies - i.e. with NODE_ENV set to production.

Project Deployment


Build a Docker image and run project in a Docker container using Docker commands in the project root directory:

  1. docker build -t my-image
  2. docker run -p 3000:3000 --name my-container my-image

Stop and optionally remove the container and image with the following commands:

  1. docker stop my-container
  2. docker rm my-container
  3. docker rmi my-image

Kubernetes Deployment

Deploy to Kubernetes using Helm or the IBM Cloud Developer Tools.

  1. Helm

    1. Push your image to a Docker image accessible to your Kubernetes environment, such as Docker Hub or your company's private image registry.

    2. Install your project by installing the included Helm chart, using Helm in the project root directory:

      helm install chart/<project name> --name=<release name> --set repository=<image name> --set tag=<tag value> --set pullPolicy=<pull policy>


      • <project name>

        The name you gave to your project when you generated it.

      • <release name>

        An arbitrary name you give to this install instance.

      • <image name>

        The registry/image name of your release Docker image - e.g. ''

      • <tag value>

        The image tag value of your release Dockerimage - e.g. 'latest' or '1.0.0'

      • <pull policy>

        'Always' or 'IfNotPresent'. See Kubernetes image documentation for further explanation.


    1. The helm command installs to the Kubernetes environment pointed to by the KUBECONFIG environment variable.

    2. The Helm command is installed when you install the IBM Cloud Developer Tools, which you can install for your project by running 'npm run idt:install'

  2. IBM Cloud Developer Tools

    npm run idt:deploy -- --target container


    1. The idt tool will prompt for registry/image name, then push your image and install your Helm chart to the Kubernetes environment pointed to by your KUBECONFIG environment variable.

    2. For IBM Cloud, set KUBECONFIG using the 'bx cs cluster-config <cluster name> command. Note this command is installed as part of IBM Cloud Developer Tools, which you can install for your project by running 'npm run idt:install'

Clound Foundry Deployment

  1. Add a host name to the manifest.yml file

  2. cf push

    Note: if you installed IBM Cloud Developer Tools using the 'npm run idt:install' command, you can run the 'bx cf push' command. Otherwise, install the cf command from Pivotal.

  3. IBM Cloud Developer Tools

    npm run idt:deploy

    This was installed using your project's 'npm run idt:install' script.


Clone this repository and link it via npm

git clone
cd generator-nodeserver
npm link

In a separate directory invoke the generator via

yo nodeserver

Publishing Changes

In order to publish changes, you will need to fork the repository or ask to join the ibm-developer org and branch off the development branch.

Once you are finished with your changes, run npm test to make sure all tests pass.

Do a pull request against development, make sure the build passes. A team member will review and merge your pull request. Once merged to development, the version will be auto-incremented. Do a pull request against master, once that PR is reviewed and merged, a new version will be published to npm.