What is the MERN stack and how do I use it?

What is the MERN stack and how do I use it?

If you've been around in the developer world for a while now, you've probably come across comments or articles which mention "stacks" such as MEAN, LAMP, or XAMPP.

If you've been around in the developer world for a while now, you've probably come across comments or articles which mention "stacks" such as MEAN, LAMP, or XAMPP.

Note: The code for this project can be found here.
Today we will be diving into the MERN stack which is similar to the aforementioned MEAN stack. I will explain what it is and how to use it when building a web application or website. Let's dive in!

What's a "stack"?

Perhaps the first item to discuss is the idea of a "stack". There are many different stacks out there, but they are all just different ways to do the same thing: Create a front-end (website or app) that allows people to interact with the server and database behind the scenes in a simple and manageable way. A stack is simply the different technologies being used to accomplish that goal.

Note: The code for this project can be found here.
Although there are many different stacks out there to consider, some have become more common than others. One of these popular stacks is called the MEAN stack which consists of:

  • MongoDb
  • Express.js
  • Angular.js
  • Node.js

Today we will be looking at the MERN stack which is almost the same as MEAN except we will replace Angular.js with React.js. This will allow us to use MongoDB for our database, Node.js and Express.js for our server and routes, and React.js to create a front-end for the user to interact with.

How do we build with it?

Before we start getting into the nitty gritty, let's start with an overview of how these pieces will work together. This piece took a while for me to "get" because I came from a PHP background where the back-end and front-end intermingle.

1. Back-end and Front-end

The first thing to understand is that the back-end and front-end are separate entities. The front-end can be housed in the same repository or in a separate repository altogether.

2. APIs

If you're now wondering how we make the two work together, the answer is through APIs. An API (or Application Program Interface) will be created on our server which will provide "endpoints" where our front-end application can interact with it.

To illustrate, think of your left hand as the back-end and your right hand as the front-end.

Now put your hands together with your fingers intertwined like you're holding hands with yourself. This is the way templating languages work. They allow you to just render some markdown with data dumped in from the server so there's a lot of overlap between the two.

Now separate your hands. This time spread your fingers as far apart as you can and only touch the fingertips of your left hand to the fingertips of your right hand. This is how the MERN stack works. The back-end provides endpoints (the fingertips on your left hand) which allow access to the server while the front-end makes calls (the fingers on the right hand) to those end points (where they touch) to get access to the server (left hand).

Hopefully that cleared things up a little and if it didn't, forget I ever mentioned it.

The Back-End

While I'm not going to get into how to build it step by step in this article (that will be a separate article), I would like to go over different pieces that can be/are commonly used in this stack. I went through several tutorials which explained how to set up a server but not necessarily why those libraries are used to do so.

Once we create our app.js file, we will have to install some packages. Here are some common packages I've used in my Express.js projects before which might be helpful to you.

  • MongoDb
  • Express.js
  • Angular.js
  • Node.js

Of course there are many more packages out there, but these are several of the commonly used libraries I see and why they are used.

Now that we have gone over some commonly used packages, let's take a look at some code. First, our server:

const express = require('express')
const mongoose = require('mongoose')
const bodyParser = require('body-parser')
const app = express()

app.use(bodyParser.urlencoded({ extended: false }))
app.use(bodyParser.json())

// Import Model
const Post = require('./models/Post')

// Connect to MongoDB
mongoose.connect(
  'mongodb://localhost:27017/simple-mern',
  () => console.log('MongoDB is connected')
)

// Enable CORS
app.use((req, res, next) => {
  res.header('Access-Control-Allow-Origin', '*')
  res.header(
    'Access-Control-Allow-Headers',
    'Origin, X-Requested-With, Content-Type, Accept'
  )
  next()
})

// Get all of our posts
app.get('/api/posts', (req, res) => {
  Post.find({}).then(posts => {
    res.json(posts)
  })
})

// Get One of Our posts
app.get('/api/posts/:id', (req, res) => {
  Post.findOne({ _id: req.params.id }).then(post => {
    res.json(post)
  })
})

// Create and Update post
app.post('/api/posts', (req, res) => {
  const data = {
    title: req.body.title,
    content: req.body.content,
  }
  Post.findOne({ _id: req.body.id }, (err, post) => {
    if (post) {
      Post.findByIdAndUpdate(req.body.id, data, { upsert: false }).then(
        updated => {
          res.json(updated)
        }
      )
    } else {
      Post.create(data).then(created => {
        res.json(created)
      })
    }
  })
})

// Delete selected post
app.post('/api/posts/:id', (req, res) => {
  Post.findByIdAndDelete(req.params.id).then(post => {
    res.json({ message: 'Your post was deleted!' })
  })
})

app.listen(3333, () => console.log('Server is running on port 3333'))

So here is our simple API server. As you can see, it has some basic CRUD (Create-Read-Update-Delete) functionality to it but nothing super complicated. If we look closely, we can see that we are using res.json() to provide the output data at a specific URL rather than outputting HTML or another template. This is how we build our APIs to make data available to React.

You may also notice that I have just pointed mongoose toward my own mongodb server on my machine. For this to work properly, MongoDB needs to be installed on your computer and running. If it is not running, simply pop open a terminal window and type this command:

mongod

This will start up the MongoDB server on your local machine. Because this is just being done locally, you won't be able to see my posts if you run the code in the repo. You will have to create new content. If you are looking for some dummy content, my current favorite generator is Fillerama.io which spits out text from some of my favorite movies and shows.

If we're interested in testing out the server by itself, we can run the following command to start up the server:

npm run server

or

yarn server

After the server starts up and tells us that it's running on port 3333 and MongoDB is connected, we can open up Postman and test out our routes there. For GET routes, we can simply put in the route and hit "Send". For the post routes, we will need to select "Body" and create/enter title and content fields.

The Front-End

Now that we have our server up-and-running, we can start working on the client (or front-end) that our users will interact with. This will be built with React and can be done a few different ways.

The first way is to just add the front-end libraries necessary (react, react-dom, react-router, etc) into the same package.json file as the back-end ones. While I did do that for this project, it should be noted that I don't think this is best practice. I feel that as our project grows, our codebase will get messier and harder to work with if this method is used. I decided to go this route for this particular application because I know that it isn't going to grow or really change. The application I'm referencing here is simply for demonstration purposes.

The second and more optimal way (in my opinion) would be to create a repo for the back-end and a separate repo for the front-end. We can still clone the front-end repo into our project directory without any problems as long as we make sure to include the front-end in the .gitignore file. For instance, our file structure for this app includes a directory called client for all of our front-end code. We could have put that in a separate repo altogether and then just put the following into the .gitignore file for our back-end repo:

client

Adding the client folder to the .gitignore file will ensure that it is not being seen as a second repo in the project. In addition, doing things this way makes it simple to redesign and swap out front-ends without having to touch the back-end.

How your app is designed will be totally up to you, I just feel that things can stay a bit more organized by maintaining separate repos for front and back ends.

React

Now that we've gone over project organization, let's talk about our actual Front-end code. Below is my app.js file for the React app and rather than putting the code to each component in this post, I'll just drop a link to the repo here and explain what each of the components is doing.

import React, { Component } from 'react'
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom'
import { BrowserRouter as Router, Route } from 'react-router-dom'
import Header from './components/header'
import Index from './components/index'
import Single from './components/single'
import New from './components/new'
import Edit from './components/edit'

const App = () => (
  <Router>
    <div>
      <Header />
      <Route path="/" exact component={Index} />
      <Route path="/new" exact component={New} />
      <Route path="/post/:id" exact component={Single} />
      <Route path="/edit/:id" exact component={Edit} />
    </div>
  </Router>
)

ReactDOM.render(<App />, document.getElementById('app'))

As you can see, the app.js isn't anything complicated. It has a which allows us to set up routes in React which render different components based on the url. Here are the other components being used in our React application:

  • MongoDb
  • Express.js
  • Angular.js
  • Node.js

We are using Axios to make our http calls to our API endpoints and then using React to display the data how we'd like. I will put the Index.js code in this post so we can examine how that is working together.

import React, { Component } from 'react'
import { Link } from 'react-router-dom'
import axios from 'axios'

class Index extends Component {
  constructor(props) {
    super(props)
    this.state = {
      posts: [],
    }
  }

  componentDidMount() {
    axios.get('http://localhost:3333/api/posts').then(posts => {
      this.setState({
        posts: posts.data,
      })
    })
  }

  render() {
    return (
      <div className="m-8">
        <ul className="index">
          {this.state.posts.map(post => (
            <li key={post.title}>
              <h2>
                <Link to={`/post/${post._id}`}>{post.title}</Link>
              </h2>
            </li>
          ))}
        </ul>
      </div>
    )
  }
}

export default Index

In the code above, we are using a class component which allows us to use state and lifecycle methods. This is necessary because Axios calls should be made in a componentDidMount() lifecycle method. It should be noted that I was getting a CORS error when I was trying to make calls to my local API. To solve this I added some headers into the server.js file in the Express server to make this work. That code is noted in comments within the server.js file.

Rendering

Before wrapping up, I would like to talk a bit about rendering. If we run our application and go to a particular blog post directly, there may be some issues with the content not showing up. This can cause a poor viewing experience for the user and it makes it difficult for Search Engine crawlers to index the site. To get around this, I recommend using something like Gatsby.js or Next.js. These two solutions are different from one another, but can both be useful depending on your needs.

Gatsby.js is a static site generator which allows you to build a site with React and then Gatsby turns it into static files at build time and makes the site super fast. There's lots of plugins that are helpful and make Gatsby really versatile. In fact, my site is a Gatsby.js site! Since the static files are being created at build time, each time source content is changed the site will need to be rebuilt.

Next.js, on the other hand, is server-side-rendering for React sites. It comes with a lot of functionality baked in such as routing, code-splitting, styled components, and more. Server side rendering means that the data will update automatically as it does on the server, but it will be rendered before the browser tries to display it. This means that there won't be any display issues with data for the user and Search Engine crawlers can do their job no problem.

There are plenty of other solutions out there, but these are the two that I have heard about most and the two that I have used to solve this issue. Both have awesome documentation and are easy to get up and running with too.

Conclusion

I hope that this article has helped to clear up some confusion about how the MERN stack works. It is simply using MongoDB, Express.js, and Node.js to create a server which provides API endpoints that our React application can make calls to for data. Now that you have a better understanding, go build awesome things and post your links below so we can admire them!

*Originally published by Tim Smith at  *dev.to

===========================================

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☞ The Complete Node.js Developer Course (3rd Edition)

☞ Angular & NodeJS - The MEAN Stack Guide

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☞ Node.js Absolute Beginners Guide - Learn Node From Scratch

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How to Use Express.js, Node.js and MongoDB.js

How to Use Express.js, Node.js and MongoDB.js

In this post, I will show you how to use Express.js, Node.js and MongoDB.js. We will be creating a very simple Node application, that will allow users to input data that they want to store in a MongoDB database. It will also show all items that have been entered into the database.

In this post, I will show you how to use Express.js, Node.js and MongoDB.js. We will be creating a very simple Node application, that will allow users to input data that they want to store in a MongoDB database. It will also show all items that have been entered into the database.

Creating a Node Application

To get started I would recommend creating a new database that will contain our application. For this demo I am creating a directory called node-demo. After creating the directory you will need to change into that directory.

mkdir node-demo
cd node-demo

Once we are in the directory we will need to create an application and we can do this by running the command
npm init

This will ask you a series of questions. Here are the answers I gave to the prompts.

The first step is to create a file that will contain our code for our Node.js server.

touch app.js

In our app.js we are going to add the following code to build a very simple Node.js Application.

var express = require("express");
var app = express();
var port = 3000;
 
app.get("/", (req, res) => {
&nbsp;&nbsp;res.send("Hello World");
});
 
app.listen(port, () => {
  console.log("Server listening on port " + port);
});

What the code does is require the express.js application. It then creates app by calling express. We define our port to be 3000.

The app.use line will listen to requests from the browser and will return the text “Hello World” back to the browser.

The last line actually starts the server and tells it to listen on port 3000.

Installing Express

Our app.js required the Express.js module. We need to install express in order for this to work properly. Go to your terminal and enter this command.

npm install express --save

This command will install the express module into our package.json. The module is installed as a dependency in our package.json as shown below.

To test our application you can go to the terminal and enter the command

node app.js

Open up a browser and navigate to the url http://localhost:3000

You will see the following in your browser

Creating Website to Save Data to MongoDB Database

Instead of showing the text “Hello World” when people view your application, what we want to do is to show a place for user to save data to the database.

We are going to allow users to enter a first name and a last name that we will be saving in the database.

To do this we will need to create a basic HTML file. In your terminal enter the following command to create an index.html file.

touch index.html

In our index.html file we will be creating an input filed where users can input data that they want to have stored in the database. We will also need a button for users to click on that will add the data to the database.

Here is what our index.html file looks like.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <head>
    <title>Intro to Node and MongoDB<title>
  <head>

  <body>
    <h1>Into to Node and MongoDB<&#47;h1>
    <form method="post" action="/addname">
      <label>Enter Your Name<&#47;label><br>
      <input type="text" name="firstName" placeholder="Enter first name..." required>
      <input type="text" name="lastName" placeholder="Enter last name..." required>
      <input type="submit" value="Add Name">
    </form>
  <body>
<html>

If you are familiar with HTML, you will not find anything unusual in our code for our index.html file. We are creating a form where users can input their first name and last name and then click an “Add Name” button.

The form will do a post call to the /addname endpoint. We will be talking about endpoints and post later in this tutorial.

Displaying our Website to Users

We were previously displaying the text “Hello World” to users when they visited our website. Now we want to display our html file that we created. To do this we will need to change the app.use line our our app.js file.

We will be using the sendFile command to show the index.html file. We will need to tell the server exactly where to find the index.html file. We can do that by using a node global call __dirname. The __dirname will provide the current directly where the command was run. We will then append the path to our index.html file.

The app.use lines will need to be changed to
app.use("/", (req, res) => {   res.sendFile(__dirname + "/index.html"); });

Once you have saved your app.js file, we can test it by going to terminal and running node app.js

Open your browser and navigate to “http://localhost:3000”. You will see the following

Connecting to the Database

Now we need to add our database to the application. We will be connecting to a MongoDB database. I am assuming that you already have MongoDB installed and running on your computer.

To connect to the MongoDB database we are going to use a module called Mongoose. We will need to install mongoose module just like we did with express. Go to your terminal and enter the following command.
npm install mongoose --save

This will install the mongoose model and add it as a dependency in our package.json.

Connecting to the Database

Now that we have the mongoose module installed, we need to connect to the database in our app.js file. MongoDB, by default, runs on port 27017. You connect to the database by telling it the location of the database and the name of the database.

In our app.js file after the line for the port and before the app.use line, enter the following two lines to get access to mongoose and to connect to the database. For the database, I am going to use “node-demo”.

var mongoose = require("mongoose"); mongoose.Promise = global.Promise; mongoose.connect("mongodb://localhost:27017/node-demo");

Creating a Database Schema

Once the user enters data in the input field and clicks the add button, we want the contents of the input field to be stored in the database. In order to know the format of the data in the database, we need to have a Schema.

For this tutorial, we will need a very simple Schema that has only two fields. I am going to call the field firstName and lastName. The data stored in both fields will be a String.

After connecting to the database in our app.js we need to define our Schema. Here are the lines you need to add to the app.js.
var nameSchema = new mongoose.Schema({   firstName: String,   lastNameName: String });

Once we have built our Schema, we need to create a model from it. I am going to call my model “DataInput”. Here is the line you will add next to create our mode.
var User = mongoose.model("User", nameSchema);

Creating RESTful API

Now that we have a connection to our database, we need to create the mechanism by which data will be added to the database. This is done through our REST API. We will need to create an endpoint that will be used to send data to our server. Once the server receives this data then it will store the data in the database.

An endpoint is a route that our server will be listening to to get data from the browser. We already have one route that we have created already in the application and that is the route that is listening at the endpoint “/” which is the homepage of our application.

HTTP Verbs in a REST API

The communication between the client(the browser) and the server is done through an HTTP verb. The most common HTTP verbs are
GET, PUT, POST, and DELETE.

The following table explains what each HTTP verb does.

HTTP Verb Operation
GET Read
POST Create
PUT Update
DELETE Delete

As you can see from these verbs, they form the basis of CRUD operations that I talked about previously.

Building a CRUD endpoint

If you remember, the form in our index.html file used a post method to call this endpoint. We will now create this endpoint.

In our previous endpoint we used a “GET” http verb to display the index.html file. We are going to do something very similar but instead of using “GET”, we are going to use “POST”. To get started this is what the framework of our endpoint will look like.

app.post("/addname", (req, res) => {
 
});
Express Middleware

To fill out the contents of our endpoint, we want to store the firstName and lastName entered by the user into the database. The values for firstName and lastName are in the body of the request that we send to the server. We want to capture that data, convert it to JSON and store it into the database.

Express.js version 4 removed all middleware. To parse the data in the body we will need to add middleware into our application to provide this functionality. We will be using the body-parser module. We need to install it, so in your terminal window enter the following command.

npm install body-parser --save

Once it is installed, we will need to require this module and configure it. The configuration will allow us to pass the data for firstName and lastName in the body to the server. It can also convert that data into JSON format. This will be handy because we can take this formatted data and save it directly into our database.

To add the body-parser middleware to our application and configure it, we can add the following lines directly after the line that sets our port.

var bodyParser = require('body-parser');
app.use(bodyParser.json());
app.use(bodyParser.urlencoded({ extended: true }));
Saving data to database

Mongoose provides a save function that will take a JSON object and store it in the database. Our body-parser middleware, will convert the user’s input into the JSON format for us.

To save the data into the database, we need to create a new instance of our model that we created early. We will pass into this instance the user’s input. Once we have it then we just need to enter the command “save”.

Mongoose will return a promise on a save to the database. A promise is what is returned when the save to the database completes. This save will either finish successfully or it will fail. A promise provides two methods that will handle both of these scenarios.

If this save to the database was successful it will return to the .then segment of the promise. In this case we want to send text back the user to let them know the data was saved to the database.

If it fails it will return to the .catch segment of the promise. In this case, we want to send text back to the user telling them the data was not saved to the database. It is best practice to also change the statusCode that is returned from the default 200 to a 400. A 400 statusCode signifies that the operation failed.

Now putting all of this together here is what our final endpoint will look like.

app.post("/addname", (req, res) => {
  var myData = new User(req.body);
  myData.save()
    .then(item => {
      res.send("item saved to database");
    })
    .catch(err => {
      res.status(400).send("unable to save to database");
    });
});
Testing our code

Save your code. Go to your terminal and enter the command node app.js to start our server. Open up your browser and navigate to the URL “http://localhost:3000”. You will see our index.html file displayed to you.

Make sure you have mongo running.

Enter your first name and last name in the input fields and then click the “Add Name” button. You should get back text that says the name has been saved to the database like below.

Access to Code

The final version of the code is available in my Github repo. To access the code click here. Thank you for reading !

Build a REST API using Node.js, Express.js, Mongoose.js and MongoDB

Build a REST API using Node.js, Express.js, Mongoose.js and MongoDB

Node.js, Express.js, Mongoose.js, and MongoDB is a great combination for building easy and fast REST API. You will see how fast that combination than other existing frameworks because of Node.js is a packaged compilation of Google’s V8 JavaScript engine and it works on non-blocking and event-driven I/O. Express.js is a Javascript web server that has a complete function of web development including REST API.

Node.js, Express.js, Mongoose.js, and MongoDB is a great combination for building easy and fast REST API. You will see how fast that combination than other existing frameworks because of Node.js is a packaged compilation of Google’s V8 JavaScript engine and it works on non-blocking and event-driven I/O. Express.js is a Javascript web server that has a complete function of web development including REST API.

This tutorial divided into several steps:

Step #1. Create Express.js Application and Install Required Modules
Step #2. Add Mongoose.js Module as ORM for MongoDB
Step #3. Create Product Mongoose Model
Step #4. Create Routes for the REST API endpoint
Step #5. Test REST API Endpoints

Source codes here:
https://github.com/didinj/NodeRestApi...

Node.js, ExpressJs, MongoDB and Vue.js (MEVN Stack) Application Tutorial

Node.js, ExpressJs, MongoDB and Vue.js (MEVN Stack) Application Tutorial

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to integrate Vue.js with Node.js backend (using Express framework) and MongoDB and how to build application with Node.js, ExpressJs, MongoDB and Vue.js

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to integrate Vue.js with Node.js backend (using Express framework) and MongoDB and how to build application with Node.js, ExpressJs, MongoDB and Vue.js

Vue.js is a JavaScript framework with growing number of users. Released 4 years ago, it’s now one of the most populare front-end frameworks. There are some reasons why people like Vue.js. Using Vue.js is very simple if you are already familiar with HTML and JavaScript. They also provide clear documentation and examples, makes it easy for starters to learn the framework. Vue.js can be used for both simple and complex applications. If your application is quite complex, you can use Vuex for state management, which is officially supported. In addition, it’s also very flexible that yu can write template in HTML, JavaScript or JSX.

This tutorial shows you how to integrate Vue.js with Node.js backend (using Express framework) and MongoDB. As for example, we’re going to create a simple application for managing posts which includes list posts, create post, update post and delete post (basic CRUD functionality). I divide this tutorial into two parts. The first part is setting up the Node.js back-end and database. The other part is writing Vue.js code including how to build .vue code using Webpack.

Dependencies

There are some dependencies required for this project. Add the dependencies below to your package.json. Then run npm install to install these dependencies.

  "dependencies": {
    "body-parser": "~1.17.2",
    "dotenv": "~4.0.0",
    "express": "~4.16.3",
    "lodash": "~4.17.10",
    "mongoose": "~5.2.9",
    "morgan": "~1.9.0"
  },
  "devDependencies": {
    "axios": "~0.18.0",
    "babel-core": "~6.26.3",
    "babel-loader": "~7.1.5",
    "babel-preset-env": "~1.7.0",
    "babel-preset-stage-3": "~6.24.1",
    "bootstrap-vue": "~2.0.0-rc.11",
    "cross-env": "~5.2.0",
    "css-loader": "~1.0.0",
    "vue": "~2.5.17",
    "vue-loader": "~15.3.0",
    "vue-router": "~3.0.1",
    "vue-style-loader": "~4.1.2",
    "vue-template-compiler": "~2.5.17",
    "webpack": "~4.16.5",
    "webpack-cli": "^3.1.0"
  },

Project Structure

Below is the overview of directory structure for this project.

  app
    config
    controllers
    models
    queries
    routes
    views
  public
    dist
    src

The app directory contains all files related to server-side. The public directory contains two sub-directories: dist and src. dist is used for the output of build result, while src is for front-end code files.

Model

First, we define a model for Post using Mongoose. To make it simple, it only has two properties: title and content.

app/models/Post.js

  const mongoose = require('mongoose');

  const { Schema } = mongoose;

  const PostSchema = new Schema(
    {
      title: { type: String, trim: true, index: true, default: '' },
      content: { type: String },
    },
    {
      collection: 'posts',
      timestamps: true,
    },
  );

  module.exports = mongoose.model('Post', PostSchema);

Queries

After defining the model, we write some queries that will be needed in the controllers.

app/queries/posts.js

  const Post = require('../models/Post');

  /**
   * Save a post.
   *
   * @param {Object} post - Javascript object or Mongoose object
   * @returns {Promise.}
   */
  exports.save = (post) => {
    if (!(post instanceof Post)) {
      post = new Post(post);
    }

    return post.save();
  };

  /**
   * Get post list.
   * @param {object} [criteria] - Filter options
   * @returns {Promise.<Array.>}
   */
  exports.getPostList = (criteria = {}) => Post.find(criteria);

  /**
   * Get post by ID.
   * @param {string} id - Post ID
   * @returns {Promise.}
   */
  exports.getPostById = id => Post.findOne({ _id: id });

  /**
   * Delete a post.
   * @param {string} id - Post ID
   * @returns {Promise}
   */
  exports.deletePost = id => Post.findByIdAndRemove(id);

Controllers

We need API controllers for handling create post, get post listing, get detail of a post, update a post and delete a post.

app/controllers/api/posts/create.js

  const postQueries = require('../../../queries/posts');

  module.exports = (req, res) => postQueries.save(req.body)
    .then((post) => {
      if (!post) {
        return Promise.reject(new Error('Post not created'));
      }

      return res.status(200).send(post);
    })
    .catch((err) => {
      console.error(err);

      return res.status(500).send('Unable to create post');
    });

app/controllers/api/posts/delete.js

  const postQueries = require('../../../queries/posts');

  module.exports = (req, res) => postQueries.deletePost(req.params.id)
    .then(() => res.status(200).send())
    .catch((err) => {
      console.error(err);

      return res.status(500).send('Unable to delete post');
    });

app/controllers/api/posts/details.js

  const postQueries = require('../../../queries/posts');

  module.exports = (req, res) => postQueries.getPostById(req.params.id)
    .then((post) => {
      if (!post) {
        return Promise.reject(new Error('Post not found'));
      }

      return res.status(200).send(post);
    })
    .catch((err) => {
      console.error(err);

      return res.status(500).send('Unable to get post');
    });

app/controllers/api/posts/list.js

  const postQueries = require('../../../queries/posts');

  module.exports = (req, res) => postQueries.getPostList(req.params.id)
    .then(posts => res.status(200).send(posts))
    .catch((err) => {
      console.error(err);

      return res.status(500).send('Unable to get post list');
    });

app/controllers/api/posts/update.js

  const _ = require('lodash');

  const postQueries = require('../../../queries/posts');

  module.exports = (req, res) => postQueries.getPostById(req.params.id)
    .then(async (post) => {
      if (!post) {
        return Promise.reject(new Error('Post not found'));
      }

      const { title, content } = req.body;

      _.assign(post, {
        title, content
      });

      await postQueries.save(post);

      return res.status(200).send({
        success: true,
        data: post,
      })
    })
    .catch((err) => {
      console.error(err);

      return res.status(500).send('Unable to update post');
    });

Routes

We need to have some pages for user interaction and some API endpoints for processing HTTP requests. To make the app scalable, it’s better to separate the routes for pages and APIs.

app/routes/index.js

  const express = require('express');

  const routes = express.Router();

  routes.use('/api', require('./api'));
  routes.use('/', require('./pages'));

  module.exports = routes;


Below is the API routes.

app/routes/api/index.js

  const express = require('express');

  const router = express.Router();

  router.get('/posts/', require('../../controllers/api/posts/list'));
  router.get('/posts/:id', require('../../controllers/api/posts/details'));
  router.post('/posts/', require('../../controllers/api/posts/create'));
  router.patch('/posts/:id', require('../../controllers/api/posts/update'));
  router.delete('/posts/:id', require('../../controllers/api/posts/delete'));

  module.exports = router;


For the pages, in this tutorial, we use plain HTML file. You can easily replace it with any HTML template engine if you want. The HTML file contains a div whose id is app. Later, in Vue.js application, it will use the element with id app for rendering the content. What will be rendered on each pages is configured on Vue.js route on part 2 of this tutorial.

app/routes/pages/index.js

  const express = require('express');

  const router = express.Router();

  router.get('/posts/', (req, res) => {
    res.sendFile(`${__basedir}/views/index.html`);
  });

  router.get('/posts/create', (req, res) => {
    res.sendFile(`${__basedir}/views/index.html`);
  });

  router.get('/posts/:id', (req, res) => {
    res.sendFile(`${__basedir}/views/index.html`);
  });

  module.exports = router;

Below is the HTML file

app/views/index.html

  <!DOCTYPE html>
  <html>
    <head>
      <meta charset="utf-8">
      <title>VueJS Tutorial by Woolha.com</title>
      <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/font-awesome/4.4.0/css/font-awesome.min.css" type="text/css" media="all" />
      <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/4.0.0/css/bootstrap.min.css" integrity="sha384-Gn5384xqQ1aoWXA+058RXPxPg6fy4IWvTNh0E263XmFcJlSAwiGgFAW/dAiS6JXm" crossorigin="anonymous">
      <script src="https://code.jquery.com/jquery-3.2.1.slim.min.js" integrity="sha384-KJ3o2DKtIkvYIK3UENzmM7KCkRr/rE9/Qpg6aAZGJwFDMVNA/GpGFF93hXpG5KkN" crossorigin="anonymous"></script>
    </head>
    <body>
      <div id="app"></div>
      <script src="/dist/js/main.js"></script>
    </body>
  </html>

Below is the main script of the application, you need to run this for starting the server-side application.

app/index.js

  require('dotenv').config();

  const bodyParser = require('body-parser');
  const express = require('express');
  const http = require('http');
  const mongoose = require('mongoose');
  const morgan = require('morgan');
  const path = require('path');

  const dbConfig = require('./config/database');
  const routes = require('./routes');

  const app = express();
  const port = process.env.PORT || 4000;

  global.__basedir = __dirname;

  mongoose.Promise = global.Promise;

  mongoose.connect(dbConfig.url, dbConfig.options, (err) => {
    if (err) {
      console.error(err.stack || err);
    }
  });

  /* General setup */
  app.use(morgan('dev'));
  app.use(bodyParser.json());
  app.use(bodyParser.urlencoded({ extended: true }));
  app.use(morgan('dev'));

  app.use('/', routes);

  const MAX_AGE = 86400000;

  // Select which directories or files under public can be served to users
  app.use('/', express.static(path.join(__dirname, '../public'), { maxAge: MAX_AGE }));

  // Error handler
  app.use((err, req, res, next) => { // eslint-disable-line no-unused-vars
    res.status(err.status || 500);

    if (err.status === 404) {
      res.locals.page = {
        title: 'Not Found',
        noIndex: true,
      };

      console.error(`Not found: ${req.url}`);

      return res.status(404).send();
    }

    console.error(err.stack || err);

    return res.status(500).send();
  });

  http
    .createServer(app)
    .listen(port, () => {
      console.info(`HTTP server started on port ${port}`);
    })
    .on('error', (err) => {
      console.error(err.stack || err);
    });

  process.on('uncaughtException', (err) => {
    if (err.name === 'MongoError') {
      mongoose.connection.emit('error', err);
    } else {
      console.error(err.stack || err);
    }
  });

  module.exports = app;

That’s all for the server side preparation. On the next part, we’re going to set up the Vue.js client-side application and build the code into a single JavaScript file ready to be loaded from HTML.

Then, we build the code using Webpack, so that it can be loaded from HTML. In this tutorial, we’re building a simple application with basic CRUD functionality for managing posts.

Create Vue.js Components

For managing posts, there are three components we’re going to create. The first one is for creating a new post. The second is for editing a post. The other is for managing posts (displaying list of posts and allow post deletion)

First, this is the component for creating a new post. It has one method createPost which validate data and send HTTP request to the server. We use axios for sending HTTP request.

public/src/components/Posts/Create.vue

  <template>
    <b-container>
      <h1 class="d-flex justify-content-center">Create a Post</h1>
      <p v-if="errors.length">
        <b>Please correct the following error(s):</b>
        <ul>
          <li v-for="error in errors">{{ error }}</li>
        </ul>
      </p>
      <b-form @submit.prevent>
        <b-form-group>
          <b-form-input type="text" class="form-control" placeholder="Title of the post" v-model="post.title"></b-form-input>
        </b-form-group>
        <b-form-group>
          <b-form-textarea class="form-control" placeholder="Write the content here" v-model="post.content"></b-form-textarea>
        </b-form-group>
        <b-button variant="primary" v-on:click="createPost">Create Post</b-button>
      </b-form>
    </b-container>
  </template>

  <script>
    import axios from 'axios';

    export default {
      data: () => ({
        errors: [],
        post: {
          title: '',
          content: '',
        },
      }),
      methods: {
        createPost(event) {
          if (event) {
            event.preventDefault();
          }

          if (!this.post.title) {
            this.errors = [];

            if (!this.post.title) {
              this.errors.push('Title required.');
            }

            return;
          }

          const url = 'http://localhost:4000/api/posts';
          const param = this.post;

          axios
            .post(url, param)
            .then((response) => {
              console.log(response);
              window.location.href = 'http://localhost:4000/posts';
            }).catch((error) => {
              console.log(error);
            });
        },
      }
    }
  </script>


Below is the component for editing a post. Of course, we need the current data of the post before editing it. Therefore, there’s fetchPost method called when the component is created. There’s also updatePost method which validate data and call the API for updating post.

public/src/components/Posts/Edit.vue

  <template>
    <b-container>
      <h1 class="d-flex justify-content-center">Edit a Post</h1>
      <p v-if="errors.length">
        <b>Please correct the following error(s):</b>
        <ul>
          <li v-for="error in errors">{{ error }}</li>
        </ul>
      </p>
      <b-form @submit.prevent>
        <b-form-group>
          <b-form-input type="text" class="form-control" placeholder="Title of the post" v-model="post.title"></b-form-input>
        </b-form-group>
        <b-form-group>
          <b-form-textarea class="form-control" placeholder="Write the content here" v-model="post.content"></b-form-textarea>
        </b-form-group>
        <b-button variant="primary" v-on:click="updatePost">Update Post</b-button>
      </b-form>
    </b-container>
  </template>

  <script>
    import axios from 'axios';

    export default {
      data: () => ({
        errors: [],
        post: {
          _id: '',
          title: '',
          content: '',
        },
      }),
      created: function() {
        this.fetchPost();
      },
      methods: {
        fetchPost() {
          const postId = this.$route.params.id;
          const url = `http://localhost:4000/api/posts/${postId}`;

          axios
            .get(url)
            .then((response) => {
              this.post = response.data;
              console.log('this.post;');
              console.log(this.post);
          });
        },
        updatePost(event) {
          if (event) {
            event.preventDefault();
          }

          if (!this.post.title) {
            this.errors = [];

            if (!this.post.title) {
              this.errors.push('Title required.');
            }

            return;
          }

          const url = `http://localhost:4000/api/posts/${this.post._id}`;
          const param = this.post;

          axios
            .patch(url, param)
            .then((response) => {
                console.log(response);
              window.alert('Post successfully saved');
            }).catch((error) => {
              console.log(error);
            });
        },
      }
    }
  </script>


For managing posts, we need to fetch the list of post first. Similar to the edit component, in this component, we have fetchPosts method called when the component is created. For deleting a post, there’s also a method deletePost. If post successfully deleted, the fetchPosts method is called again to refresh the post list.

public/src/components/Posts/List.vue

  <template>
    <b-container>
      <h1 class="d-flex justify-content-center">Post List</h1>
      <b-button variant="primary" style="color: #ffffff; margin: 20px;"><a href="/posts/create" style="color: #ffffff;">Create New Post</a></b-button>
      <b-container-fluid v-if="posts.length">
        <table class="table">
          <thead>
            <tr class="d-flex">
              <td class="col-8">Titleqqqqqqqqq</td>
              <td class="col-4">Actions</td>
            </tr>
          </thead>
          <tbody>
            <tr v-for="post in posts" class="d-flex">
              <td class="col-8">{{ post.title }}</td>
              <td class="col-2"><a v-bind:href="'http://localhost:4000/posts/' + post._id"><button type="button" class="btn btn-primary"><i class="fa fa-edit" aria-hidden="true"></i></button></a></td>
              <td class="col-2"><button type="button" class="btn btn-danger" v-on:click="deletePost(post._id)"><i class="fa fa-remove" aria-hidden="true"></i></button></td>
            </tr>
          </tbody>
        </table>
      </b-container-fluid>
    </b-container>
  </template>

  <script>
    import axios from 'axios';

    export default {
      data: () => ({
        posts: [],
      }),
      created: () => {
        this.fetchPosts();
      },
      methods: {
        fetchPosts() {
          const url = 'http://localhost:4000/api/posts/';

          axios
            .get(url)
            .then((response) => {
              console.log(response.data);
              this.posts = response.data;
          });
        },
        deletePost(id) {
          if (event) {
            event.preventDefault();
          }

          const url = `http://localhost:4000/api/posts/${id}`;
          const param = this.post;

          axios
            .delete(url, param)
            .then((response) => {
              console.log(response);
              console.log('Post successfully deleted');

              this.fetchPosts();
            }).catch((error) => {
              console.log(error);
            });
        },
      }
    }
  </script>


All of the components above are wrapped into a root component which roles as the basic template. The root component renders the navbar which is same across all components. The component for each routes will be rendered on router-view.

public/src/App.vue

  <template>
    <div>
      <b-navbar toggleable="md" type="dark" variant="dark">
        <b-navbar-toggle target="nav_collapse"></b-navbar-toggle>
        <b-navbar-brand to="/">My Vue App</b-navbar-brand>
        <b-collapse is-nav id="nav_collapse">
          <b-navbar-nav>
            <b-nav-item to="/">Home</b-nav-item>
            <b-nav-item to="/posts">Manage Posts</b-nav-item>
          </b-navbar-nav>
        </b-collapse>
      </b-navbar>
      <!-- routes will be rendered here -->
      <router-view />
    </div>
  </template>

  <script>

  export default {
    name: 'app',
    data () {},
    methods: {}
  }
  </script>


For determining which component should be rendered, we use Vue.js’ router. For each routes, we need to define the path, component name and the component itself. A component will be rendered if the current URL matches the path.

public/src/router/index.js

  import Vue from 'vue'
  import Router from 'vue-router'

  import CreatePost from '../components/Posts/Create.vue';
  import EditPost from '../components/Posts/Edit.vue';
  import ListPost from '../components/Posts/List.vue';

  Vue.use(Router);

  let router = new Router({
    mode: 'history',
    routes: [
      {
        path: '/posts',
        name: 'ListPost',
        component: ListPost,
      },
      {
        path: '/posts/create',
        name: 'CreatePost',
        component: CreatePost,
      },
      {
        path: '/posts/:id',
        name: 'EditPost',
        component: EditPost,
      },
    ]
  });

  export default router;


Lastly, we need a main script as the entry point which imports the main App component and the router. Inside, it creates a new Vue instance

webpack.config.js

  import BootstrapVue from 'bootstrap-vue';
  import Vue from 'vue';

  import App from './App.vue';
  import router from './router';

  Vue.use(BootstrapVue);
  Vue.config.productionTip = false;
  new Vue({
    el: '#app',
    router,
    render: h => h(App),
  });

Configure Webpack

For building the code into a single JavaSript file. Below is the basic configuration for Webpack 4.

webpack.config.js

  const { VueLoaderPlugin } = require('vue-loader');

  module.exports = {
    entry: './public/src/main.js',
    output: {
      path: `${__dirname}/public/dist/js/`,
      filename: '[name].js',
    },
    resolve: {
      modules: [
        'node_modules',
      ],
      alias: {
        // vue: './vue.js'
      }
    },
    module: {
      rules: [
        {
          test: /\.css$/,
          use: [
            'vue-style-loader',
            'css-loader'
          ]
        },
        {
          test: /\.vue$/,
          loader: 'vue-loader',
          options: {
            loaders: {
            }
            // other vue-loader options go here
          }
        },
        {
          test: /\.js$/,
          loader: 'babel-loader',
          exclude: /node_modules/
        },
      ]
    },
    plugins: [
      new VueLoaderPlugin(),
    ]

After that, run ./node_modules/webpack/bin/webpack.js. You can add the command to the scripts section of package.json, so you can run Webpack with a shorter command npm run build, as examplified below.

  "dependencies": {
    ...
  },
  "devDependencies": {
    ...
  },
  "scripts": {
    "build": "./node_modules/webpack/bin/webpack.js",
    "start": "node app/index.js"
  },

Finally, you can start to try the application. This code is also available on Woolha.com’s Github.