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X2 Framework for Node.js | JSON Pointers

This module is an implementation of JSON Pointer (RFC 6901) for use with the record objects as defined by the X2 Framework's x2node-records module. The module constructs pointer objects, which, given a record of a certain record type, allow reading values of the record elements (such as record properties and collection property elements) as well as performing basic record modification operations including "add", "replace" and "remove".

See module's API Reference Documentation.


A JSON pointer against a record type can be parsed into a RecordElementPointer class object using module's parse() function:

const records = require('x2node-records');
const pointers = require('x2node-pointers');
const recordTypes = records.buildLibrary({
    recordTypes: {
        'Order': {
const ptr = pointers.parse(
    recordTypes.getRecordTypeDesc('Order'), '/items/0/quantity');

The parse() function takes the following arguments:

  • recordTypeDesc - RecordTypeDescriptor for the record type, against which the pointer is going to be used.

  • propPointer - The pointer string.

  • noDash (optional) - true to disallow dash at the end of an array element pointer. Such dash pointer is allowed only in certain contexts (such as JSON Patch "add" operation, for example), so this flag allows disallowing it at the pointer parse step.

If the pointer is invalid, the parse() function throws an X2SyntaxError. Otherwise, the returned RecordElementPointer object exposes the following properties and methods:

  • parent - Pointer for the parent record element, or null if root pointer. A root pointer corresponds to an empty string and points to the record as a whole.

  • isRoot() - Returns true if the pointer is a root pointer. This is equivalent to checking if parent property is null.

  • isChildOf(otherPtr) - Returns true if the pointer points to a child location of the specified other pointer (that is the other pointer is a "proper prefix" of this pointer). For example, will always return true if the other pointer is a root pointer and this one is not.

  • propDesc - PropertyDescriptor of the property, at which the pointer points. For an array or map element pointer, the property descriptor of the array or map property but the pointer object's collectionElement flag is set to indicate that it is for an element and not the whole array or map property. For the root pointer this property is null.

  • propPath - Property path corresponding to propDesc, or null for the root pointer.

  • collectionElement - true if the pointer is for an array or map property element.

  • collectionElementIndex - For a collection element pointer (collectionElement is true), the element index, which, for an array element, is a number or a dash ("-") and for a map element—the map key string.

  • createChildPointer(pointerToken) - Creates and returns immediate child pointer of this pointer. This is faster than parsing the pointer from string notation as it does not have to re-parse the prefix.

  • getValue(record, [traceFunc]) - Given a record, gets value of the property, at which the pointer points. Returns null if no value. For absent array and map elements returns undefined. Throws X2DataError if the property cannot be reached.

    Optionally, a trace callback function can be provided with the getValue() call. The trace callback function is called for every prefix pointer starting with the root pointer and ending with the leaf pointer itself. So, for example, for a pointer "/a/b/c" it will be called four times: first for the root pointer (empty string), then for "/a", then for "/a/b", and finally for "/a/b/c". The callback function receives the following arguments:

    • prefixPtr - The current prefix pointer (instance of RecordElementPointer).

    • value - The value in the record for the current prefix pointer.

    • prefixDepth - Integer number representing the prefix depth. For the last call, it is zero. For the call before the last it is one, and so on. The first call (the one with the root prefix pointer), therefore, gets the number of tokens in the pointer.

  • addValue(record, value) - Adds value to the property, at which the pointer points in the given record. If the pointer points at an array element, the value is inserted into the array at the specified by the pointer location. In all other cases, any existing value is simply replaced.

  • replaceValue(record, value) - Like addValue(), but replaces an existing array element instead of inserting the value in front of it.

  • removeValue(record) - Erase the property, at which the pointer points in the given object. If the pointer points at an array element, the element is deleted from the array and the following elements, if any, are shifted left into its place.

  • toString() - Get string representation of the pointer as specified in RFC 6901.

Note, that addValue(), replaceValue() and removeValue() methods are not allowed on a root pointer. Also, addValue() and replaceValue() methods cannot take undefined for the value to set and null is not allowed for nested object array and map elements. Beyond that, the methods make no checks for the value type whether it matches the property definition or not.

The three record modification methods addValue(), replaceValue() and removeValue() all return the previous value as getValue() would return before modifying the record.

Polymorphic Object Property Pointers

The module introduces one extension specific to the X2 Framework records. To construct a pointer to a polymorphic object property, the property name token must be prefixed with the subtype name followed with a colon. For example, if we have the following polymorphic record type definition:

    'Event': {
        typePropertyName: 'eventType',
        properties: {
            id: {
                valueType: 'number',
                role: 'id'
            happenedOn: {
                valueType: 'datetime'
        subtypes: {
            'OPENED': {
                properties: {
                    'byWho': {
                        valueType: 'string'
            'CLOSED': {
                properties: {
                    'reason': {
                        valueType: 'string'

Then the following are all valid pointers:

  • /happenedOn - The property shared by all subtypes.

  • /eventType - The type property.

  • /OPENED:byWho - The "OPENED" subtype property.

  • /CLOSED:reason - The "CLOSED" subtype property.

The same mechanism of prepending property name with subtype works for polymorphic nested objects as well (for example /orders/history/events/CREATED:date).