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    0.5.9 • Public • Published


    In complex projects you have to invest in logging infrastructure, uniform error handling mechanisms, automated tests, continuous integration,etc.
    For best results, exceptions, logging and invariant checks like asserts should work together as smoothly as possible. This module is experimental and it is indented to be used inside projects derived from SwarmESB project (but does not have other dependencies). Given the distributed nature of SwarmESB projects we decided to build inside semantic-firewall module a base to put together logs, exceptions, asserts and other type of semantic checks. This module is a foundation to grow and control yourself all these aspects. SwarmCore contains practical examples of how a real project should use this module. Also check our tests to get some usage examples.

    What is semantic-firewall module?

    SemanticFirewall is a node.js module that can be extended to create your own "specific language/API" for

    • asserts and runtime validations (throw exceptions)
    • extensible logging infrastructures
    • extensible exception handling mechanisms connected with your logging and asserts infrastructure
    • extensible semantic firewall for executable choreographies (runtime security and privacy checks).

    Logging approach

    We this module we try to make logging booth simple to use by programmer during development but also useful at runtime for operations. The API we offer our logger is extensible, you can add your own verbs (cases as we call them) To be fully useful, a logger will perform many roles:

    • keeps a complete history with all relevant events that happened at runtime
    • filters or aggregates semantically related log entries to be easily presented to system administrators or for other audit purposes
    • can help monitoring tools to trigger other events and actions in the system

    Therefore, all the extensions you can declare should also declare a semantic category for each parameter, declared as an array of objects in logger.addCase calls. We identified the following semantic categories having booleans as values:

    • 'category ': the field is usable to create indexes for logs. The mandatory field "type" is such ca category but you can add other. One can see ca category

    • 'level' : number friom 1-9, identify the level of attention that a log entry should get from operations point of view 0 system level critical error: hardError 1 potentially causing user's data loosing error: error 2 minor annoyance, recoverable error: logError
      3 user experience causing issues error: uxError 4 warning,possible isues but somehow unclear behaviour: warn
      5 store general info about the system working: info 6 system level debug: debug
      7 local node/service debug: ldebug 8 user level debug; udebug 9 development time debug: ddebug

    • 'time' : a value that uniquely identifies in time the log. This parameter is mandatory and normally automatically instantiated by core logging functions

    • 'description' : part of the description, environment values relevant for values. All parameters have this aspect so you don't declare

    • 'stack' : describe an execution stack that caused the log entry

    • 'filename' : path of a file causing or related to the log entry

    • 'key part' : a set of fields that together create a key (category)

    • 'swarm' : the current swarm name (SwarmESB specific)

    • 'phase' : the current phase name (SwarmESB specific)

    • 'mainGroup' : the type of the addapter (SwarmESB specific)

    • 'adapter' : the uid of the current adapter instance ((SwarmESb specific))

    • 'process' : the uid of a swarm process (or a process) that automatically stick multiple logs entries together

    • 'var args' : potential variable number of args

    Additionally,each parameter declaration should have a name, identified with field named 'name' in parameter descriptions


        var assert      = require("semantic-firewall").assert;      //get the assert singleton
        var throwing    = require("semantic-firewall").exceptions;  //get the exceptions singleton
        var firewall    = require("semantic-firewall").firewall;    //get the firewall singleton
        var logger      = require("semantic-firewall").logger;      //get the logger singleton
        /* proposed, not implemented in the current version */
        //creates a dependency injection container in the name space given as parameter
        var container    = require("semantic-firewall").container; 

    Add new type of assert checks: addCheck

        assert.addCheck("notNull", function(item){
          if(item == null || item == ""){
            throw new Error("Null reference found");

    Check: assert.notNull("test");

    Mechanism to control exception types, log important ones

    Add new type of exception: register

            throwing.register("randomFail", function(explanation){      
                throw new Error("explanation"); //it is mandatory to throw an expcetion, in order to preserve the semantic of throw keyword 

    Usage: throwing.randomFail("Why not!?");


    Provide an implementation for rawLogging

    logger.rawLogging = function(type, level, rawObject, timeStamp, stack){...} 
    - if stack is undefined it should be created from current stack. 
    Give false or other value and the stack will not be saved.
    - if timeStamp is undefined it should be taken from current time, unix time

    Add new type of logging function: addCase

    logger.addCase("type", level,  loggingFunction, argument types, checkFunctions) 

    Observations: additionaly to make the logging API mor apropiate for each case, the loggingFunction has a chance to add other contextual information before calling logger.rawLogging checkFunctions has a chance to trigger actions caused by current log entry or for thresholds violations from previous entries


        logger.addCase("warning", function(explanation){
              }, [
                undefined      //we can let it undefined
        logger.warning("RandomFail happens in this file",__filename);



          assert.alias("isDocumentId", "notNull");
          exceptions.alias("randomBreak", "randomFail");
          exceptions.alias("warn", "warning");

    Ontological semantic firewall (not really fully implemented yet, wip)

    declare infomation about ontologic tags

            firewall.tag(tagname, {
                related:"list of tags"
          firewall.tag("Social Security Number", {
          firewall.tag("Birth Date", {

    Declare annotation for privacy ontologic tag

    firewall.tag(objectType, field, tagName)


          firewall.tag("User", "SSN",   "Social Security Number");
          firewall.tag("User", "birthDate", "Birth Date");

    Declare rules about use of combinations between identity, private fields and access zones. It is possbile to declare access zones and parent relations between resources and zones

          firewall.grant(zone, resourseType)
          firewall.parentZone(zone, parentZone)
          firewall.parentResourceType(resourseType, ParentresourseType)

    Resource can be: tags, fields, objects, combination of objects with common identity fields Zones: can be userids, groups, roles,servers, nodenames, etc. For swarms the zones can be phases, group of adapters in swarms, tenants, users. roles, etc

    Check usage

        firewall.allow(zone, resource, resurceType): boolean

    Get a report with all usages of private data in zones that don't have declared access in rules



    If you don't control how exceptions, asserts and logging code is writeln from the beginning, later can get ugly to modify code in hundreds of places. Ee encourage use of asserts even in production code (to check important invariants) but they should be properly integrated with logging and exceptions. Early crushes represent a better option than loosing money because security issues or other ugly bugs.
    In this module we also provide a semantic firewall innovation that will be using the logger but add a new dimension to assert checks.




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