0.4.22 • Public • Published


A node.js microservices framework designs for scalability, simple to write and easy to maintain

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Keep a microservice clean as much as posible and let Spinal do the mess part

We design Spinal to help developers focus on the main objective of that microservice without to worry about other related systems like caching, queue, worker, load balancing. Spinal Nodes do the main task, anything else are left to a broker. Results are rapid development, more quality of microservice and easy to maintain in long term.


npm install spinal

Want some nigthly development trunk npm install jitta/spinal#development


  • Broker
    • Broker will help all nodes connected
    • Health check between nodes and remove fail nodes
    • Load balance method calls from all nodes
    • Hosted queue system
  • Nodes
    • Multiple namespace
    • Call/Provide method from same namespace or other namespace (two ways)
    • Cache result from method with specific hash key
    • Provide worker to process jobs



Spinal needs a broker to handle all call requests between namespace or nodes. Here is the code how to start a simple broker

var Broker = require('spinal').Broker;
var broker = new Broker();
  console.log('Spinal:Broker listening...' + this.port)

This code will start a broker at default port :7557 if you want a broker to listening on other port

broker.start(7777, function(){
   console.log('Spinal:Broker listening on port 7777');

To add more broker features like queue system and caching system. You need to start a broker with a redis option.

var Broker = require('spinal').Broker;
var broker = new Broker({redis: 6379});

Call method

After we got a broker running, here is how to create a Spinal node and connect it to the broker that we have just started.

var Spinal = require('spinal').Node;
var spinal = new Spinal('spinal://', {
  namespace: 'english'
spinal.provide('hello', function(data, res){
  res.send('Hi ' + data.name);

Now start another node to call the method

var Spinal = require('spinal').Node;
var spinal = new Spinal('spinal://', {
  namespace: 'thai'
spinal.provide('hello', function(data, res){
  res.send('Sawasdee ' + data.name);
spinal.call('english.hello', {name: 'hunt'}, function(err, result){
  console.log(result); // Hi hunt

Do not forget to start() when you want to call some method. Use call() and put namespace.method_name

Provide method

spinal.provide('name', function(data, res){
  // send a result
  res.send('A string');
  res.send({a: 1, b: 2});
  // send an error
  res.error('Error message');
  res.error(new Error('Error message'));
  // and support nodejs style callback
  res(null , {a: 1, b:2})
  res(new Error('Something wrong!'))

Connect a node to a broker

var spinal = new Spinal('spinal://', {
  namespace: 'english', // assign node namespace
  // OPTIONAL (in case run nodes and a broker on differrent machine)
  // Specific host and port that we want this node to listen
  // and want a broker to connect back to this node
  hostname: '',
  port: 8888


To enable queue system we need a broker that start with redis.

// create a worker to process a job
// spinalA namespace is `newsletter`
spinalA.worker('send', function(data, res){
  email.send(data.email, function(){
// create a job
spinalB.job('newsletter.send', {email: 'some@one.com'})
.priority('high')            // set priority: low, normal, medium, high, critical
.removeOnComplete(false)     // if this is set to true, completed jobs (not failed) will be remove from Redis
.attempts(2)                 // use 2 times to process a job if it fail. try one more time
.ttl(10000)                  // timeout in 10s
.delay(5000)                 // before start delay for 5s
.backoff(10000)              // after fail retry again in 10s
.onComplete(function(result) { console.log(result) }) // callback when job is done
.onFailed(function(err) { console.log(err) })         // callback when job failed
.save(function(err, job_id){ // don't forget to call save()
  console.log('Created ' + job_id);

Call method with options


Normally broker will set default timeout and return error to node if it's exceed 10 seconds but we can adjust it.

  {file: 'jitta.mp4'} // first argument need to be set
  {timeout: 60000}, // set timeout option here!
  function (err, result){
    // if exceed timeout option will get an error
    err.message === 'timeout error message'


Broker will cache result from the last method call if cache_id present in the options argument. It'll be hit cache after provide cached data.

Note: All calls can use cache feature even a call inside the same namespace. To enable cache system we need a broker that start with redis.

spinal.provide('query', function(arg, res){
  db.query('...', function(err, result)){
    if(err) return res.error(err)
    // cache for 1day with cache_id == sector+market
    res.cache(3600, arg.sector + '-' + arg.market)
  {sector: 'Technology', market: 'US'},
  {cache_id: 'technology-us'},
  function (err, result, options){
    options.from_cache === true // if it hit a cache

Automatically generate cache_id from an arguments by set the cache_id to true

spinal.provide('query', function(arg, res){
  db.query(arg, function(err, result)){
    if(err) return res.error(err)
    // cache for 1day with cache_id == hashing(data)
    res.cache(3600, true)
  {sector: 'Technology', market: 'US', jitta_score: {$gt: 8}}, {cache_id: true},
  function (err, result, options){
    options.from_cache === true // if it hit a cache


Sometime we want to make fixtures for all test case or stub a return result. Spinal has a solution for this by capture all call and replay in your test env with spinal.nock.rec() and spinal.nock.start()

var spinal = new Spinal('spinal://', {namespace: 'english'} );
spinal.nock('/path/to/fixtures') // target path that want to save fixtures
spinal.nock.rec() // enable record system
// and do normally like we do
  spinal.call('email.send', {email: 'a@b.com'}, function(err, result){
    // then `err` and `result` will be save in the fixtures directory
    // with filename `email.send?email=a@b.com.json`

Now it's time to replay the data that we saved.

var spinal = new Spinal('spinal://', {namespace: 'english'} );
spinal.nock('/path/to/fixtures')   // send path to directory that we saved fixtures
spinal.nock.start()                // then start nocking
spinal.nock.start({strict:false})  // or {strict:false} to by pass not exists fixture
  spinal.call('email.send', {email: 'a@b.com'}, function(err, result){
    // `err` and `result` result will come from fixtures

If we need to stop recording or nocking by spinal.nock.stop()


Spinal comes with an internal dashboard to let us see what going on between all microservices like numbers of nodes, methods, memory consumed, time usage from each method, and load. This feature is provided via a broker so we need to start a broker with more restapi option.

var Broker = require('../').Broker;
var broker = new Broker({redis: 6379, restapi: 7577});

Then access localhost:7577 with your browser you will see it. Not just a dashboard will start only. You will get queue dashboard (provide by Kue) and some rest API in JSON format

/metrics       - some useful metrics
/nodes         - all nodes data
/methods       - all methods
/queue/worker  - number of workers
/queue/count   - jobs count

Command Line

You can access spinal command as a global by npm install -g spinal in case you might want to start broker easier spinal broker or spinal broker -d for localhost devlopment enviroment. Incase you want to test a simple method spinal call stock.query {sector:'Technology'}

Usage: spinal [options] [command]

  console                         run javascript console with spinal enviroment
  call [options] <method> [data]  call spinal method
  job [options] <name> [data]     create a job
  broker [options]                start a broker service

  -h, --help     output usage information
  -V, --version  output the version number


  • Core
    • Multi-Broker infinite Brokers to avoid bottlenecks and improve network reliability
    • Event broadcast for each namespace (subscribe, emit)
    • Message broadcast to all nodes
    • Optimize performance
    • Plugin System (put a plugin to run inside Spinal framework)
    • Events Hook

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npm i spinal

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