node package manager

lib.cli

StdLib

StdLib is a Standard Library for Microservices

StdLib Setup | Node | Python | Ruby | Web

Introduction

StdLib is the fastest, easiest way to turn functions into infinitely scalable, self-healing web services. It has three components:

  1. A central registry for microservices
  2. A distribution platform for hosting at scale
  3. A development framework for package management and service creation

StdLib is based on Function as a Service ("server-less") architecture, popularized by AWS Lambda. You can use StdLib to build modular, scalable web services for yourself and other developers in minutes without having to manage servers, gateways, domains, write documentation, or build SDKs. Your development workflow has never been easier - focus on writing code you love, let StdLib handle everything else.

StdLib uses an open specification called FaaSlang for function definitions and execution - if you run into concerns or questions as you're building from this guide, please reference the FaaSlang repository. :)

You can view services published by our large and growing developer community on the StdLib search page.

stdlib-process

Table of Contents

  1. Getting Started
  2. Creating Your First Service
  3. Connecting Service Endpoints
  4. Accessing Your Microservices From Other Applications
  5. Accessing Your Microservices Over HTTP
  6. Running Your Microservices as Background Workers
  7. Version Control and Package Management
  8. Additional Functionality
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Contact

Getting Started

To get started with StdLib, first make sure you have Node 6.x installed, available from the official Node.js website. Next install the StdLib CLI tools with:

$ npm install lib.cli -g

And you're now ready to start building!

Upgrading From Previous Versions

If you're running a previous version of StdLib and having issues with the CLI, try cleaning up the old CLI binary links first;

$ rm /usr/local/bin/f
$ rm /usr/local/bin/lib
$ rm /usr/local/bin/stdlib

Creating Your First Service

The first thing you'll want to do is create a workspace. Create a new directory you intend to build your services in and initialize the workspace.

$ mkdir stdlib-workspace
$ cd stdlib-workspace
$ lib init

You'll be asked for an e-mail address to log in to the StdLib registry. If you don't yet have an account, you can create one from the command line. Note that you can skip account creation with lib init --no-login. You'll be unable to use the registry, but it's useful for creating workspaces when you don't have internet access.

Next, create your service:

$ lib create <service>

You'll be asked for a default function name, which is the entry point into your service (useful if you only want a single entry point). This will automatically generate a service project scaffold in stdlib-workspace/<username>/<service>.

Once created, enter the service directory:

$ cd your-username/your-service

In this directory, you'll see something like:

- functions/
  - __main__.js
- package.json
- env.json
- WELCOME.md
- README.md

At this point, there's a "hello world" function that's been automatically created (__main__.js). StdLib comes paired with a simple lib command for testing your functions locally and running them in the cloud. To test your function:

$ lib .
"hello world"

If we examine the functions/__main__.js file, we see the following:

/**
* A basic Hello World function
@param {string} name Who you're saying hello to
@returns {string}
*/
module.exports = (name = 'world', context, callback) => {
  callback(null, `hello ${name}`);
};

We can pass parameters to it using the CLI, either in order:

$ lib . "jon snow"
"hello jon snow"

Or named:

$ lib . --name "dolores abernathy"
"hello dolores abernathy"

Note that context is a magic parameter (automatically populated with execution details, when provided) as is callback (terminates execution), so these don't need to be documented and can not be specified as parameters when executing the function.

Pushing to the Cloud

To push your function to a development environment in the cloud...

$ lib up dev
$ lib your-username.your-service[@dev]
"hello world"

And to release it (when you're ready!)

$ lib release
$ lib your-username.your-service
"hello world"

You can check out your service on the web, and use it in applications using our functions gateway, lib.id.

https://functions.lib.id/your-username/your-service/
OR
https://your-username.lib.id/your-service/

That's it! You haven't written a line of code yet, and you have mastery over building a service, testing it in a development (staging) environment online, and releasing it for private (or public) consumption.

Note: You'll need to set "publish": true in the lib key of your package.json file to see your service appear in the public registry. It's set to false by default.

Another Note: Staging environments (like the one created with lib up dev) are mutable and can be replaced indefinitely. Releases (lib release) are immutable and can never be overwritten. However, any service can be torn down with lib down <environment> or lib down -r <version> (but releases can't be replaced once removed, to prevent mistakes and / or bad actors).

Connecting Service Endpoints

You'll notice that you can create more than one function per service. While you can structure your project however you'd like internally, it should also be noted that these functions have zero-latency access to each other. You can access them internally with the lib package on NPM, which behaves similarly to the lib command for testing. Use:

$ npm install lib --save

In your main service directory to add it, and use it like so:

functions/add.js

module.exports = (a = 0, b = 0, callback) => {
  return callback(null, a + b);
};

functions/add_double.js

const lib = require('lib');
 
module.exports = (a = 0, b = 0, context, callback) => {
  return lib[`${context.identifier}.add`](a, b, (err, result) => {
    callback(err, result * 2);
  });
};

In this case, calling lib .add 1 2 will return 3 and lib .add_double 1 2 will return 6. The context magic parameter is used for its context.identifier property, which will return the string "user.service[@local]" in the case of local execution, "user.service[@ENV]" when deployed to an environment or release (where ENV is your environment name or semver).

Note that lib .add --a 1 --b 2 and lib .add_double --a 1 --b 2 are also perfectly valid, as is specifying keywords via an object in the add_double function:

functions/add_double.js

const lib = require('lib');
 
module.exports = (a = 0, b = 0, context, callback) => {
  return lib[`${context.identifier}.add`]({a: a, b: b}, (err, result) => {
    callback(err, result * 2);
  });
};

Accessing Your Microservices From Other Applications

As mentioned in the previous section, you can use the NPM lib package that's available on GitHub and NPM to access your microservices from legacy Node.js applications and even the web browser. We'll have more SDKs coming out in the following months.

An existing app would call a function (username.bestTrekChar with version 0.2.1):

const lib = require('lib');
 
lib.username.bestTrekChar['@0.2.1']({name: 'spock'}, function (err, result) {
 
  if (err) {
    // handle it 
  }
 
  // do something with result 
 
});

Which would speak to your microservice...

module.exports = (name = 'kirk', callback) => {
 
  if (name === 'kirk') {
    return callback(null, 'why, thank, you, too, kind');
  } else if (name === 'spock') {
    return callback(null, 'i think this feeling is called "pleased"');
  } else {
    return callback(new Error('Only kirk and spock supported.'));
  }
 
};

Accessing Your Microservices Over HTTP

We definitely recommend using the lib library on NPM to make microservice calls as specified above, but you can also make HTTPS requests directly to the StdLib gateway. HTTP query parameters are mapped automatically to parameters by name.

https://username.lib.id/liveService@1.12.2/?name=BATMAN

Maps directly to:

/**
* Hello World
@param {string} name 
@returns {string}
*/
module.exports = (name = 'world', callback) => {
  // returns "HELLO BATMAN" from above HTTP query 
  callback(null, `Hello ${name}`);
};

Running Your Microservices as Background Workers

To run any StdLib service as a background worker (immediately returns a response, runs function after), simply append ":bg" to the URL before the HTTP query parameters (search portion of the URL), for example (from above):

https://username.lib.id/liveService@1.12.2/:bg?name=BATMAN

To do so from the lib-node library, use:

lib({bg: true}).username.liveService['@1.12.2'](...);

Background Responses

The default background response will be a content type of text/plain with a string indicating the function name you're executing. There are currently three different options for background responses that you define before you deploy your function.

info (DEFAULT)

Set @bg info in your comment definition like so:

/**
* Hello World
* @bg info
@param {string} name 
@returns {string}
*/
module.exports = (name = 'world', callback) => {
  callback(null, `Hello ${name}`);
};

This is the default as well (if nothing is specified).

empty

Set @bg empty in your comment definition like so:

/**
* Hello World
* @bg empty
@param {string} name 
@returns {string}
*/
module.exports = (name = 'world', callback) => {
  callback(null, `Hello ${name}`);
};

Will return an empty (0 length) response.

params

Set @bg params in your comment definition like so:

/**
* Hello World
* @bg info
@param {string} name 
@returns {string}
*/
module.exports = (name = 'world', callback) => {
  callback(null, `Hello ${name}`);
};

This will return {"name":"world"} in this example (if no other parameters are specified) as this parameter has a default value. This will spit back any and all parameters sent to the function, even if they're not part of the function signature.

Version Control and Package Management

A quick note on version control - StdLib is not a replacement for normal git-based workflows, it is a supplement focused around service creation and execution.

You have unlimited access to any release (that hasn't been torn down) with lib pkg <serviceIdentifier> to download the tarball (.tgz) and lib get <serviceIdentifier> to automatically download and unpack the tarball to a working directory.

Tarballs (and package contents) are closed-source. Nobody but you (and potentially your teammates) has access to these. It's up to you whether or not you share the guts of your service with others on GitHub or NPM.

As mentioned above: releases are immutable and can not be overwritten (but can be removed, just not replaced afterwards) and development / staging environments are mutable, you can overwrite them as much as you'd like.

Additional Functionality

StdLib comes packed with a bunch of other goodies - if your service goes down for any reason (the service platform is acting up), use lib restart. Similarly, as we roll out updates to the platform the builds we're using on AWS Lambda may change. You can update your service to our latest build using lib rebuild. We may recommend this from time-to-time, so pay attention to e-mails and the community.

To see a full list of commands available for the CLI tools, type:

$ lib help

We've conveniently copy-and-pasted the output here for you to peruse;

* [all arguments converted to params.args]
    -b                   Execute as a Background Function
    -d                   Specify debug mode (prints Gateway logs)
    -f                   Specify a file to send (overrides args and kwargs)
    -t                   Specify a Library Token
    -w                   Specify a Webhook (Deprecated)
    --*                  all verbose flags converted to named keyword parameters

    Runs a StdLib Function (requires a period)

create [service]
    -b                   Build - Specify build, faaslang (default) or "legacy"
    -d                   Dev Mode - Specify another HTTP address for the Template Service (e.g. localhost:8170)
    -n                   No login - don't require an internet connection
    -t                   Template - a stdlib service template to use
    -w                   Write over - overwrite the current directory contents
    --build              Build - Specify build, faaslang (default) or "legacy"
    --develop            Dev Mode - Specify another HTTP address for the Template Service (e.g. localhost:8170)
    --no-login           No login - don't require an internet connection
    --template           Template - a stdlib service template to use
    --write-over         Write over - overwrite the current directory contents

    Creates a new (local) service

down [environment]
    -r                   Remove a release version (provide number)
    --release            Remove a release version (provide number)

    Removes StdLib package from registry and cloud environment

function:create [function name]
    -w                   Overwrite existing function
    --write-over         Overwrite existing function

    Creates a new function for a (local) service

get [full service name]
    -f                   Force command if not in root directory
    -w                   Write over - overwrite the target directory contents
    --force              Force command if not in root directory
    --write-over         Write over - overwrite the target directory contents

    Retrieves and extracts StdLib package

http
    -p                   Port (default 8170)
    --port               Port (default 8170)

    Creates HTTP Server for Current Service

info [username | full service name]
    Retrieves information about a user or package

init [environment]
    -f                   Force command to overwrite existing workspace
    -n                   No login - don't require an internet connection
    --force              Force command to overwrite existing workspace
    --no-login           No login - don't require an internet connection

    Initializes StdLib workspace

login
    Logs in to StdLib in this directory

logout
    Logs out of StdLib in this workspace

pkg [full service name]
    -f                   Force command if not in root directory
    -o                   Output path for the .tgz package
    --force              Force command if not in root directory
    --output             Output path for the .tgz package

    Downloads StdLib tarball (.tgz)

rebuild [environment]
    -r                   Rebuild a release package
    --release            Rebuild a release package

    Rebuilds a service (useful for registry performance updates), alias of `lib restart -b`

register
    Registers a new StdLib user account

release
    Pushes release of StdLib package to registry and cloud (Alias of `lib up -r`)

restart [environment]
    -b                   Rebuild service fully
    -r                   Restart a release package
    --build              Rebuild service fully
    --release            Restart a release package

    Restarts a StdLib service (if necessary)

rollback
    Rolls back (removes) release of StdLib package (alias of `lib down -r`)

up [environment]
    -r                   Upload a release package
    --release            Upload a release package

    Pushes StdLib package to registry and cloud environment

user
    -s                   <key> <value> Sets a specified key-value pair
    --new-password       Sets a new password via a prompt
    --reset-password     <email> Sends a password reset request for the specified e-mail address
    --set                <key> <value> Sets a specified key-value pair

    Retrieves (and sets) current user information

version
    Returns currently installed version of StdLib command line tools

That's it!

Yep, it's really that easy. To keep up-to-date on developments, please star us here on GitHub, and sign up a user account for the registry. You can read more about service hosting and keep track of official updates on the official StdLib website, stdlib.com.

Acknowledgements

StdLib is a product of and © 2016 - 2017 Polybit Inc.

We'd love for you to pay attention to @StdLibHQ and what we're building next! If you'd consider joining the team, shoot us an e-mail.

You can also follow me, the original author, on Twitter: @keithwhor.

Issues encouraged, PRs welcome, and we're happy to have you on board! Enjoy and happy building :)

Thanks

Special thanks to; AngelPad, Brian LeRoux, Boris Mann, TJ Holowaychuk