0.5.2 • Public • Published

Midwest Express

Midwest Express is a collection of middleware & utilities for creating webapps using Express. Midwest could be seen as a modular, opt-in CMS using a KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) philosophy.

  1. Global responder middleware
  2. No views, use functions that return HTML string instead
  3. All data sent to client or used in rendering contexts should be set on res.locals

There is no installer or similar abstraction layer. Using Midwest Express is currently simply following a recommended way to structure an Express app bundled with some useful middleware and middleware factories. The app is built manually and you use the tools and middleware you find suitable for your project.

Global Responder Middleware

The main concept behind Midwest is the concept of the responder middleware. Basically no other middleware should be sending the response, they should simply call next() until the responder is reached. The responder then either send the contents of res.locals as JSON, or renders a template.


Rendering HTML

Middleware & Middleware Factories


Midwest provides numerous services. A service is simply a module that exposes handlers, middleware and a router. Handlers are functions that interact with the database, and should return promises. A service middleware is simply a wrap around a handler. Midwest middlewares should NOT send a response, rather populate the response (usually the res.locals object) and let the global responder handle sending the response.


Some middleware factories require configuration.

There is a /sample-config directory that contains example configuration files. These should be copied into your project's /server/config directory and edited to suit your needs.

Parametric Modules

Midwest greatly promotes using parametric modules to pass application state and configuration through to sub modules. Most Midwest services currently utilize memoized parametric modules, ie they export something like:

module.exports = _.memoize((state) => {
  return {


Midwest Express (and many, many other modules in NPM) uses the excellent Debug plugin.

To debug everything, simply set DEBUG=midwest as an environment variable. To debug specific parts, set (for example) DEBUG=midwest:responder. Debuggable parts are currently:

  • midwest:errorhandler
  • midwest:responder

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npm i midwest

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