Rails like Node framework to create simple, pure backend APIs.

nodejs, framework, restful-api, backend, backend-apis
npm install backrest@0.11.1


Backrest npm

Rails like Node framework to create simple, pure backend APIs.



npm i backrest -g


 ❯ backrest help

  Usage: backrest [options] [command]


    init|i <name>  create blank Backrest template
    start|s        start the server
    stop           stop the server
    help [cmd]     display help for [cmd]


    -h, --help  output usage information


Start the project and watch for file changes.

backrest s -w


Start the project in a background process.

NODE_ENV=production backrest s -d

To stop:

backrest stop

Package Module

This project uses ExpressJS behind the scenes. Please visit their website to have a better understanding of how routing and requests work.


Creating routes are meant to be easy with a very simple structure. They are defined using an array format to allow defining route precedence. Former routes will take precedence over latter ones if they both match the requested URL.

Location: config/routes.js

Each route will need a couple things:

  • An action verb
  • URL end point
  • Controller name
  • Action name

The layout of each route will be in the following format:

['{verb} {url}', '({controller}#){action}' || [{subroutes}]]
  • verb
    • get, post, patch, put, or delete
  • url
    • URL end point that begins at root (leading / is optional)
    • URLs are allowed to have parameters defined denoted using a colon (:)
      • Example: users/:id
  • controller (optional)
    • The controller name is the prefix of the file it is defined in. e.g. users for app/controllers/users_controller.js
    • May be omitted to set the controller name to the first part of the route url. e.g. users for ['get users/all', 'getAll']
  • action
    • This is the name of the method to call defined in the controller.
  • subroutes
    • Subroutes may be defined instead of a controller and action.

There are a couple ways to define how routes work:

  1. Inline:
  module.exports = [
    ['get users/all', 'users#getAll']
  1. With subroutes:
  module.exports = [
    ['users', [
      ['get all', 'users#getAll']
  1. Exclude controller name:

If the root of the URL is the same as the controller name, you may exclude it in the route definition. Both of the following point to the users controller:

  module.exports = [
    ['get users/all', 'getAll'],
    ['users', [
      ['get all', 'getAll']
  1. With resources verb:
  module.exports = [
    ['resources users']


Auto generate resource routes with the ['resources {name}'] route format.

The name of the resource must be a single word.

The following routes will be generated:

  [{name}, [
    [`get /`,       'fetchAll'],
    [`get /:id`,    'fetch'],
    [`post /`,      'create'],
    [`patch /:id`,  'update'],
    [`put /:id`,    'replace'],
    [`delete /:id`, 'destroy']


Controllers are used to define the actions to take place on each request.

They should be saved to the app/controllers/ directory with the suffix _controller.js attached. For example app/controllers/users_controller.js


Each action function will have 2 arguments. req and res standing for request and response respectfully.

  getAll(req, res) {


Before Filters

Each before filter function will have 3 arguments: req, res, and next

Before filters can do perform the following tasks:

  • Execute any code.
  • Make changes to the request and the response objects.
  • End the request-response cycle.
  • Call the next before filter or action function for the request.

Before filters are set in the controller by calling this.beforeFilter[s] with object[s] from within the controller constructor. Each object should contain at least 1 property called action which is the reference to or string value of the function to be called. Other properties to be used are only OR except which tell the router which actions to call the before filters for. only and except can be either a string or array of strings denoting the name of the actions.

Filters can also be skipped by calling this.skipBeforeFilter[s] with the same rules defined above

Filters are executed in the same order they are defined.


  constructor() {

      { action: '_checkAdmin', except: ['getPublic'] },
      { action: this._sayHello }
      { action: this._checkAdmin, only: ['getPublic'] }

  _checkAdmin(req, res, next) {
    let user = getUserById(req.params.id)
      next() // Continues to the next filter in the chain.
      res // Otherwise, respond to request with error.
        .send('User is not admin. Action is prohibited.')

  _sayHello(req, res, next) {


Initializers are used to run scripts before the server is started. To create an initializer script, create a file with any name in the directory config/initializers/