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Truss is an opinionated scaffolding tool for node.js that originated from bumm. Bumm is great but I wish to take Truss in a different direction. There may have been a good reason to call the tool "bumm" but I never understood it. "Truss" on the other hand is a construction term, similar to but not the same as scaffolding.

truss /trəs/ noun a framework, typically consisting of rafters, posts, and struts, supporting a roof, bridge, or other structure

Generated projects rely on express and mongoose without any persistence abstractions, additional libraries or frameworks. Just plain express and mongoose!



  • Rename to Truss
  • Switch to Bootstrap 3.0
  • Use latest Jade syntax


  • Fix the issue with using ObjectId on the command line
  • Update JavaScript code to conform to standard Node.js style guidelines
  • DRY up the code as needed
  • Make stylus+nib support an option
  • Make less support an option
  • Fix errors with generating resources
  • You should be able to scaffold a new app into an existing directory
  • Make all config Heroku ready


  • Replace i18n-2 support with Air BNB's polyglot.js
  • Authentication
  • Ember.js

Installing Truss

npm install truss -g

Mini Tutorial

First cd to the directory where the project should be created

cd /path/to/projects/root

Create a project skeleton via

truss app testapp

Next cd to testapp

cd testapp

And install required packages through npm

npm install


Create a model, route and views via scaffold command. The model should have two properties "title" and "description" where title is required.

truss scaffold test title:string:required:true description

Model validators are specified after property name and type in plain mongoose syntax. In case no type is specified the property will be of type string.

Mongoose types 'String', 'Number', 'Date', 'Buffer', 'Boolean', 'ObjectId', 'Array' are supported. Additionally the types 'Datetime' and 'Textarea' are supported which result in a datetime html 5 input tag and a textbox tag. Types are case insensitive.

Now start node app.js and navigate your browser to http://localhost:3000/tests

Scaffolding restful routes

You can create a JSON REST endpoint by scaffolding a model and its corresponding routes. The arguments are the same as above, but instead of scaffold use scafffold:rest like this

truss resource post title:string:required:true description


Project generator for node.js using express and mongoose
  truss [options] command [arguments]
  --help, -h                 Output this usage dialog
  --version, -v              Output the version of truss
  app <name>                 Create a new application
  scaffold <name> [attrib]   Create a new route, model and views for <name>
  resource <name> [attrib]   Creates a model and route for resource <name>
  view <name> [attrib]       Creates views for a <name>
  route <name> [attrib]      Creates a route for a <name>
  model <name> [attrib]      Creates a new mongoose model for a <name>
  Name should be provided as singular, so use `item` instead of `items`. For
  `scaffold`, `view`, `route`, `resource`, `model` commands name
  accepts a path prefix. For example `admin/item` will create model, routes and
  views in an admin directory. Routes will then point to `/admin/items`. This
  option can be useful if you plan to add some authentication based on routes
  later on.
  Attributes are used to describe properties of models used in routes, views
  and of course models using the schema:
  truss app todo              Generates an express app skeleton
  truss scaffold item         Generates item model, route and views supporting
                             basic CRUD operations
  truss view item             Generates item views
  truss scaffold item name:string:required:true
                             Generates item model, route and views with a single
                             property "name" that is required.

What truss creates

After executing truss app someappname you'll find the following structure in your file system.

|   app.js
|   helpers.js
|   package.json
|       defaults.js
|       development.js
|       index.js
|       production.js
|       model-mapper.js
|   +---css
|   |       custom.css
|   |
|   \---vendor
|       +---bootstrap
|       |   +---css
|       |   |       bootstrap-responsive.css
|       |   |       bootstrap-responsive.min.css
|       |   |       bootstrap.css
|       |   |       bootstrap.min.css
|       |   |
|       |   +---img
|       |   |       glyphicons-halflings-white.png
|       |   |       glyphicons-halflings.png
|       |   |
|       |   \---js
|       |           bootstrap.js
|       |           bootstrap.min.js
|       |
|       \---jquery
|           \---js
|                   jquery.min.js
|       index.js
    |   index.jade
    |   layout.jade

Application structure explained


Creates and initializes an express app with a mongoDb connection configured. Routes will be setup by requiring the routes directory directly. See routes below.


Defines some jade/html helpers for displaying error messages and displaying values.


Initial package with value entered in the prompt dialog

Empty readme to silence npm


The config directory is required by app.js to load the configuration files. Truss assumes that you have three config files

  • defaults Defines defaults that are used in development and production mode
  • development Defines configuration values used in development mode only
  • production Defines configuration values used in production mode only

Truss loads defaults first, then loads the configuration file development or production depending on the current NODE_ENV environment variable and overrides all default values with the development or production values.


Truss ships with a single library file that is responsible to map values provided in request body to a mongoose model.


The public folder contains a quite up to date version of twitter bootstrap under vendor/boostrap, an up to date version of jQuery under vendor/jquery and a custom.css file under css.

Truss organizes all shipped 3rd party css/javascript libraries are placed in the vendor directory and follows a js, css, img schema for vendor libraries. You are free to place your libraries wherever you want :)


All generated routes will be generated under routes. After creating an app with Truss, you'll find a single index.js file in this folder. Index.js requires all files that are in or routes or a sub directory of routes to initialize the route. In case you require a route to be defined before another route you can always require that route in index.js or load routes manually in a defined order.

index.js also defines a route to / to render a nice getting started page. This functionality can be removed without harming the system!


All generated view will be generated under views. After creating an app with Truss, you'll find an index.jade that is a welcome file to display some help text or defined routes, a layout.jade file that defines the layout used by all generated views and a mixin folder that defines mixins used in Truss generated views.

Truss Change Log


  • Fixed indentation to comply with Node.js style guides
  • Added a form helper for single select boxes


  • Updated the edit and create templates to use the same form
  • Fixed issue with ObjectId not working in model creation


  • Added Bootstrap 3 support
  • Errors on forms now use Bootstrap 3 class "has-error"
  • Mixin invocation uses the now standard "+" symbol instead of "mixin"

Bumm Change Log


  • Add option to use mongodb session store
  • Support directories when scaffolding models, views and routes
  • Render a nice start page
  • Support rest resources for api services


  • Express and Mongoose updates
  • Fix startup scripts
  • Provide better error messages
  • Use mixins to render forms


  • Add npm init like prompt to specify generated package.json values by thomas peklak


  • Minor bug fixes in views
  • Basic support for array types
  • Reorganizes public assets in vendor folder
  • Disable 'x-powered-by' header


  • Bootstrap update
  • Mongoose update


  • Initial version