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5.10.0 • Public • Published

tier Node SDK

SDK for using https://tier.run in Node.js applications

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First, install the Tier binary.

Run tier connect to authorize Tier to your Stripe account, or provide a STRIPE_API_KEY environment variable.

npm install tier


This is the SDK that can may be used to integrate Tier into your application. More details on the general concepts used by Tier may be found at https://www.tier.run/docs/.

The SDK works by talking to an instance of the Tier binary running as a sidecar, using tier serve.


Note: support for using the Tier JavaScript client in web browsers is EXPERIMENTAL. Whatever you do, please don't put your private Stripe keys where web browsers can see them.

This module exports both a zero-dependency client class, suitable for use in non-Node.js environments such as edge workers and Deno, as well as a simple functional SDK that manages spinning up the sidecar automatically.

Automatic Mode, Remote API Service

This works on any server-side contexts where you can set environment variables.

Set the TIER_BASE_URL and TIER_API_KEY environment variables to the URL to the remote Tier service and the API key for the service.

Import the main module, and use the methods provided.

// Set process.env.TIER_BASE_URL and process.env.TIER_API_KEY

// hybrid module, either form works
import tier from 'tier'
// or
const { default: tier } = require('tier')
// that's it, it'll talk to the API server you set

Automatic Mode, Sidecar on Localhost

This works if you have Tier installed locally.

Don't set any environment variables, just import the main module, and use the API methods provided.

A Tier API sidecar process will be started on the first API method call. It will listen on a port determined by the process ID, and automatically shut down when the process terminates.

To operate on live Stripe data (that is, to start the sidecar in live mode), set TIER_LIVE=1 in the environment.

// hybrid module, either form works
import tier from 'tier'
// or
const { default: tier } = require('tier')
// that's it, it'll start the sidecar as needed

Note that you must have previously run tier connect to authorize Tier to access your Stripe account, or set the STRIPE_API_KEY environment variable.

This requires that Node's child_process module is available, so does not work with environments that do not have access to it. If fetch is not available, then the optional node-fetch dependency will be loaded as a polyfill.

If you want a client instance that is automatically configured by the environment settings, with an on-demand started tier API sidecar, you can call:

const client = await tier.fromEnv()

Custom Client Custom Mode

To use Tier in an environment where child_process.spawn is not available, or where you cannot set environment variables, you can load and instantiate the client yourself:

// hybrid module, either works
import { Tier } from 'tier/client'
// or
const { Tier } = require('tier/client')
// or, if using deno or CFW and you don't have import maps:
import { Tier } from 'https://unpkg.com/tier@^5/dist/mjs/client.js'

const tier = new Tier({
  // Required: the base url to the running `tier serve` instance
  baseURL: tierAPIServiceURL,

  // optional, defaults to '', set an API key to access the service
  apiKey: tierAPIKey,

  // optional, if set will catch all API errors.
  // Note that this makes the promises from API calls resolve,
  // unless the onError function re-throws!  Use with caution!
  // onError: (er: TierError) => {
  //   console.error(er)
  //   throw er
  // }

  // Optional, only needed if fetch global is not available
  // fetchImpl: myFetchImplementation,

  // Optional, defaults to false, will make a lot of
  // console.error() calls.
  // debug: false

  // Optional, can be used to terminate all actions by this client
  // signal: myAbortSignal

Then call API methods from the tier instance.

This is how you can use the Tier SDK from Cloudflare Workers, Deno, and other non-Node JavaScript environments.

Error Handling

All methods will raise a TierError object if there's a non-2xx response from the Tier sidecar, or if a response is not valid JSON.

This Error subclass contains the following fields:

  • status - number, the HTTP status code received
  • code - Short string representation of the error, something like not_found
  • message - Human-readable explanation of the error.
  • path - The API path being accessed
  • requestData - The data sent to the API path (query string for GETs, request body for POSTs.)
  • responseData - The response data returned by the API endpoint.


subscribe(org, plan, { info, trialDays, paymentMethodID })

Subscribe an org to the specified plan effective immediately.

Plan may be either a versioned plan name (for example, plan:bar@1), or "feature plan" name (for example feature:foo@plan:bar@1), or an array of versioned plan names and feature plan names.

If no effective date is provided, then the plan is effective immediately.

If info is provided, it updates the org with info in the same way as calling updateOrg(org, info).

If trialDays is a number greater than 0, then a trial phase will be prepended with the same features, and the effective date will on the non-trial phase will be delayed until the end of the trial period.

If a string paymentMethodID is specified, then it will be used as the billing method for the subscription.

schedule(org, phases, { info, paymentMethodID })

Create a subscription schedule phase for each of the sets of plans specified in the phases array.

Each item in phases must be an object containing:

  • features Array of versioned plan names (for example, plan:bar@1), or "feature plan" names (for example, feature:foo@plan:bar@1)
  • effective Optional effective date.
  • trial Optional boolean indicating whether this is a trial or an actual billed phase, default false

If no effective date is provided, then the phase takes effect immediately. Note that the first phase in the list MUST NOT have an effective date, and start immediately.

If info is provided, it updates the org with info in the same way as calling updateOrg(org, info).

If a string paymentMethodID is specified, then it will be used as the billing method for the subscription.

checkout(org, successUrl, { cancelUrl, features, trialDays, requireBillingAddress, tax })

Generate a Stripe Checkout flow, and return a { url } object. Redirect the user to that url to have them complete the checkout flow. Stripe will redirect them back to the successUrl when the flow is completed successfully.

Optional parameters:

  • cancelUrl if provided, then the user will be redirected to the supplied url if they cancel the process.
  • features Either a versioned plan name (for example, plan:bar@1), or "feature plan" name (for example feature:foo@plan:bar@1), or an array of versioned plan names and feature plan names. If provided, then the user will be subscribed to the relevant plan(s) once they complete the Checkout flow. If not provided, then the Checkout flow will only gather customer information.
  • trialDays Number of days to put the user on a "trial plan", where they are not charged for any usage. Only allowed when features is provided.
  • requireBillingAddress If set to true, then the user will be required to add a billing address to complete the checkout flow.
  • tax Configure automatic tax collection

updateOrg(org, info)

Update the specified org with the supplied information.

info is an object containing the following fields:

  • email string
  • name string
  • description string
  • phone string
  • metadata Object with any arbitrary keys and string values
  • invoiceSettings An object which may contain a defaultPaymentMethod string. If set, it will be attached as the org's default invoice payment method.

Note that any string fields that are missing will result in that data being removed from the org's Customer record in Stripe, as if '' was specified.


Immediately cancels all current and pending subscriptions for the specified org.


Retrieve the usage data and limits for an org.

  "org": "org:user",
  "usage": [
      "feature": "feature:storage",
      "used": 341,
      "limit": 10000
      "feature": "feature:transfer",
      "used": 234213,
      "limit": 10000

lookupLimit(org, feature)

Retrieve the usage and limit data for an org and single feature.

  "feature": "feature:storage",
  "used": 341,
  "limit": 10000

If the org does not have access to the feature, then an object is returned with usage and limit set to 0.

  "feature": "feature:noaccess",
  "used": 0,
  "limit": 0

report(org, feature, [n = 1], [options = {}])

Report usage of a feature by an org.

The optional n parameter indicates the number of units of the feature that were consumed.

Options object may contain the following fields:

  • at Date object indicating when the usage took place.
  • clobber boolean indicating that the usage amount should override any previously reported usage of the feature for the current subscription phase.

can(org, feature)

can is a convenience function for checking if an org has used more of a feature than they are entitled to and optionally reporting usage post check and consumption.

If reporting consumption is not required, it can be used in the form:

const answer = await tier.can('org:acme', 'feature:convert')
if (answer.ok) {

reporting usage post consumption looks like:

const answer = await tier.can('org:acme', 'feature:convert')
if (!answer.ok) {
  return ''
answer.report().catch(er => {
  // error occurred reporting usage, log or handle it here

// but don't wait to deliver the feature
return convert(temp)


Retrieve the Stripe Customer ID for an org.

  "org": "org:user",
  "stripe_id": "cus_v49o7xMpZaMbzg"


Retrieve the full org info, with stripe_id, along with email, name, description, phone, metadata, and invoiceSettings.


Return a PaymentMethodsResponse object, containing the org name and an array of their available payment method IDs.

  "org": "org:acme",
  "methods": ["pm_card_3h39ehaiweheawfhiawhfasi"]

If the org does not have any payment methods, then the returned object will contain an empty array.


Retrieve information about the current logged in Stripe account.


Retrieve the current schedule phase for the org. This provides a list of the features and plans that the org is currently subscribed to, which can be useful information when creating a user interface for upgrading/downgrading pricing plans.

  "effective": "2022-10-13T16:52:11-07:00",
  "features": ["feature:storage@plan:free@1", "feature:transfer@plan:free@1"],
  "plans": ["plan:free@1"]

Note: This should not be used for checking entitlements and feature gating. Instead, use the Tier.lookupLimit() method and check the limit and usage for the feature in question.

For example:

// Do not do this!  You will regret it!
const phase = await Tier.lookupPhase(`org:${customerID}`)
if (phase.plans.some(plan => plan.startsWith('plan:pro')) {

Instead, do this:

const usage = await Tier.lookupLimit(`org:${customerID}`, 'feature:special')
if (usage.limit < usage.used) {


Fetches the pricing model from Stripe.



Fetches the pricing model from Stripe, but only shows the plans with the highest versions (lexically sorted). This can be useful in building pricing pages in your application.

Plan versions are sorted numerically if they are decimal integers, or lexically in the en locale otherwise.

So, for example, the plan version 20test will be considered "lower" than 9test, because the non-numeric string causes it to be lexically sorted. But the plan version 20 sill be considered "higher" than the plan version 9, because both are strictly numeric.

For example, if Tier.pull() returns this:

  "plans": {
    "plan:mixednum@9test": {},
    "plan:mixednum@9999999": {},
    "plan:mixednum@0test": {},
    "plan:mixednum@1000": {},
    "plan:alpha@dog": {},
    "plan:alpha@cat": {},
    "plan:longnum@1000": {},
    "plan:longnum@99": {},
    "plan:foo@1": {},
    "plan:foo@0": {},
    "plan:bar@7": {},
    "plan:foo@2": {},
    "plan:bar@0": {}

then Tier.pullLatest() will return:

  plans: {
    // these are all sorted numerically, because the versions
    // are simple positive integers without any leading 0
    // characters.
    'plan:foo@2': {},
    'plan:bar@7': {},
    'plan:longnum@1000': {},
    // 'dog' and 'cat' sorted lexically, 'd' > 'c'
    'plan:alpha@dog': {},
    // these are sorted lexically, because even though SOME of
    // are strictly numeric, this one is not.
    'plan:mixednum@9test': {}


Creates the Product and Price objects in Stripe corresponding to the supplied pricing Model (as would be found in a pricing.json file).

Returns an object detailing which features were created, and which either had errors or already existed. Note that a successful response from this method does not mean that all of the features were created (since, for example, some may already exist), only that some of them were.

async withClock(name: string, present?: Date)

Create a test clock with the given name, and return a Tier client configured to use that clock.

async advance(present: Date)

Advance the clock to the specified date.

Rejects if the client was not created by tier.withClock().

Class: Answer

Answer is the type of object returned by tier.can().


ok reports if the program should proceed with a user request or not. To prevent total failure if can() needed to reach the sidecar and was unable to, ok will fail optimistically and report true. If the opposite is desired, clients can check err.


Any error encountered fetching the Usage record for the org and feature.

answer.report([n = 1])

Report the usage in the amount specified, default 1.


Number specifying the limit for the feature usage.


Number specifying the amount of the feature that the org has consumed.


Number specifying the amount of feature consumption that is remaining.

Class: TierError

TierError is a subclass of Error which is raised whenever Tier encounters a problem fetching data.

  • message: the message field from the sidear, if present, or "Tier request failed"
  • path: the path on the sidecar API that was requested
  • requestData: the data that was sent to the sidecar
  • status: the HTTP response status code from the sidecar, if a response was returned
  • code: response error code returned by the sidecar, if present
  • responseData: the raw HTTP body sent by the sidecar
  • cause: If triggered by an underlying system or JSON.parse error, it will be provided here.




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