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Using Backbone client-side and server-side is pretty sweet, you get the same, event-driven approach to data management on the server that's been so good on the client. But, there's a problem: when you're using the same models/collections in both environments, triggering a from an event happens on both client an server, meaning that the server commits a change to the database, and the client tries to commit the same change at nearly the same instant. Conflicts! Oh Nos!

Wheelhouse-model solves this by adding an only option to the save method allowing the user to specify which environment the call will be triggered in.


npm i --save wheelhouse-model



  • browserify
  • lodash instead of the default underscore backbone dependency


// model.js 
var wheelhouseModel = require('wheelhouse-model')
module.exports = wheelhouseModel.extend({
  // your model config 
  idAttribute: '_id' // overrides backbone's default 'id' to '_id' since wheelhouse only has a couchdb adapter right now. 
// view.js{attribute: 'new value'}, {
   only: 'client' // possible values are 'client' || 'server' 


All methods are the same as backbone defaults unless specified.


Overrides Backbone's default 'id' to '_id'

save(attributes [, options])

The options object now takes an additional argument: only

only: 'client|server'

If on the server, and only is set to 'client', the model will set the values, and trigger all necessary validation and events, but will not attempt to sync on the server. Visa versa on the client.


You must have grunt-cli installed: sudo npm i -g grunt-cli grunt test

A note about tests. This is a really hard problem to test because a good test is something of a unit/integration test that spans server and client code. The tests are currently incomplete and don't really work.