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sails-hook-sextant   ![Gitter]( Chat.svg)

Sextant is a hook that whitelists particular routes in your Sails app based on your deployment configuration. It provides the infrastructural freedom you need for a big app, while allowing you to leave all of your source code in a single repo. This keeps your production deployments simple, flexible, and conventionally attractive.

Running Sails.js On a Custom Infrastructure

Out of the box, it's easy to keep your Sails.js backend in a single codebase, even as you customize your deployment infrastructure: just deploy the same application code on different servers. You can still set up different clusters of servers, each of which handles specific groups of routes (typically this is achieved either by binding separate subdomains for each logical cluster, or via special routing rules at the load balancer).

You can do all of that right now with your Sails app-- Sextant just provides an extra layer of insurance by allowing you to restrict access to all but those routes you've explicitly enabled on a cluster-by-cluster basis. This is useful for enacting finer-grained control over the infrastructure where your Sails app is deployed, without forcing you to bust it apart into smaller apps, maintain additional repos, or make any hasty code changes. Other than installing and configuring Sextant, frankly you shouldn't have to touch the code at all.

To be clear: there's absolutely nothing architecturally wrong about breaking apart your app into smaller logical modules or microservices-- it's just that doing so involves significant T&M overhead, introduces needless code changes, and can be hard to keep track of (especially when your team is still small, or if you're forgetful like me). Hence the motivation for this hook.


Installation   NPM version

npm install sails-hook-sextant --save --save-exact

Choosing a Cluster

After installing this hook in your app, you can customize sails.config.sextant.cluster-- a string which identifies which cluster this process is deployed in (i.e. and therefore presumably currently running from). To do so:

# e.g.
sails_sextant__cluster='marketingWebsite' sails lift

Right off the bat, this does a whole lot of nothing. But if you add a new configuration file (sextant.js) to your project's config/ directory and configure a whitelist for the marketingWebsite cluster, then your new rules will be enforced the next time you lift your app.

Configuring Whitelists

You can configure one whitelist for each logical cluster, using any route address syntax supported by Sails.

For example:

// config/sextant.js 
module.exports.sextant = {
  whitelists: {
    marketingWebsite:  [
      'GET /',
      'GET /about',
      'GET /team',
      'GET /contact',
      'POST /contact',
      // Allow static files 
      'GET /images/*',
      'GET /styles/*',
      'GET /js/*',
      'GET /*.*',
    hybridWebApp: [
      'GET /login',
      'GET /signup',
      'GET /logout',
      'GET /password/recover',
      'GET /cart',
      'GET /products',
      'POST /cart',
      'POST /checkout',
      'POST /password/recover',
      // Allow static files 
      'GET /images/*',
      'GET /styles/*',
      'GET /js/*',
      'GET /*.*',
    pureSocketAPI: [
      'GET /chat',
      'POST /chat'

If ANY of the whitelisted route addresses match an incoming request, it will be allowed through; otherwise your app will respond with a 421: Misdirected Request error. Finally, note that if you don't specify a cluster config at all, incoming requests will not be restricted by this hook at all.

Check out the implementation of this hook for more details about this hook's behavior.


MIT © 2016 Mike McNeil

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