# REST Client

# @feathersjs/rest-client

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npm install @feathersjs/rest-client --save

@feathersjs/rest-client allows to connect to a service exposed through the Express REST API using jQuery (opens new window), request (opens new window), Superagent (opens new window), Axios (opens new window) or Fetch (opens new window) as the AJAX library.

Note: For directly using a Feathers REST API (via HTTP) without using Feathers on the client see the HTTP API section.

ProTip: REST client services do emit created, updated, patched and removed events but only locally for their own instance. Real-time events from other clients can only be received by using a real-time transport (Socket.io or Primus).

Note: A client application can only use a single transport (either REST, Socket.io or Primus). Using two transports in the same client application is normally not necessary.

# rest([baseUrl])

REST client services can be initialized by loading @feathersjs/rest-client and initializing a client object with a base URL:

    ProTip: When window.fetch (or just fetch which is normally equal to window.fetch) is passed to the FeathersJS REST client, its context (this) has to be bound to window (using bind(window) on it). Otherwise window.fetch would be called by the FeathersJS REST client with incorrect context, causing a JavaScript error: Failed to execute 'fetch' on 'Window': Illegal invocation.

    ProTip: In the browser, the base URL is relative from where services are registered. That means that a service at http://api.feathersjs.com/api/v1/messages with a base URL of http://api.feathersjs.com would be available as app.service('api/v1/messages'). With a base URL of http://api.feathersjs.com/api/v1 it would be app.service('messages').

    # params.headers

    Request specific headers can be through params.headers in a service call:

      text: 'A message from a REST client'
    }, {
      headers: { 'X-Requested-With': 'FeathersJS' }

    # params.connection

    Allows to pass additional options specific to the AJAX library. params.connection.headers will be merged with params.headers:

    app.service('messages').get(1, {
      connection: {
        followRedirect: false

    With the fetch fork yetch (opens new window) it can also be used to abort requests:

    const yetch = require('yetch');
    const controller = new AbortController();
    const promise = app.service('messages').get(1, {
      connection: {
        signal: controller.signal

    # app.rest

    app.rest contains a reference to the connection object passed to rest().<name>(connection).

    # jQuery

    Pass the instance of jQuery ($) to restClient.jquery:


    Or with a module loader:

    import $ from 'jquery';

    # Request

    The request (opens new window) object needs to be passed explicitly to feathers.request. Using request.defaults (opens new window) - which creates a new request object - is a great way to set things like default headers or authentication information:

    const request = require('request');
    const requestClient = request.defaults({
      'auth': {
        'user': 'username',
        'pass': 'password',
        'sendImmediately': false

    # Superagent

    Superagent (opens new window) currently works with a default configuration:

    const superagent = require('superagent');

    # Axios

    Axios (opens new window) currently works with a default configuration:

    const axios = require('axios');

    # Fetch

    Fetch also uses a default configuration:

    // In Node
    const fetch = require('node-fetch');
    // In modern browsers

    # Connecting to multiple servers

    It is possible to instantiate and use individual services pointing to different servers by calling rest('server').<library>().service(name):

    const feathers = require('@feathersjs/feathers');
    const rest = require('@feathersjs/rest-client');
    const app = feathers();
    const client1 = rest('http://feathers-api.com').fetch(window.fetch.bind(window));
    const client2 = rest('http://other-feathers-api.com').fetch(window.fetch.bind(window));
    // With additional options to e.g. set authentication information
    const client2 = rest('http://other-feathers-api.com').fetch(window.fetch.bind(window),{
      headers: {
        Authorization: 'Bearer <Token for other-feathers-api.com>'
    // Configuring this will initialize default services for http://feathers-api.com
    // Connect to the `http://feathers-api.com/messages` service
    const messages = app.service('messages');
    // Register /users service that points to http://other-feathers-api.com/users
    app.use('/users', client2.service('users'));
    const users = app.service('users');

    Note: If the authentication information is different, it needs to be set as an option as shown above or via params.headers when making the request.

    # Extending rest clients

    This can be useful if you wish to override how the query is transformed before it is sent to the API.

    // In Node
    const fetch = require('node-fetch');
    const { FetchClient } = require('@feathersjs/rest-client');
    const qs = require('qs');
    class CustomFetch extends FetchClient {
      getQuery (query) {
        if (Object.keys(query).length !== 0) {
          const queryString = qs.stringify(query, {
            strictNullHandling: true
          return `?${queryString}`;
        return '';
    app.configure(restClient.fetch(fetch, CustomFetch));

    # HTTP API

    You can communicate with a Feathers REST API using any other HTTP REST client. The following section describes what HTTP method, body and query parameters belong to which service method call.

    All query parameters in a URL will be set as params.query on the server. Other service parameters can be set through hooks and Express middleware. URL query parameter values will always be strings. Conversion (e.g. the string 'true' to boolean true) can be done in a hook as well.

    The body type for POST, PUT and PATCH requests is determined by the Express body-parser (opens new window) middleware which has to be registered before any service. You should also make sure you are setting your Accept header to application/json. Here is the mapping of service methods to REST API calls:

    Service method HTTP method Path
    .find() GET /messages
    .get() GET /messages/1
    .create() POST /messages
    .update() PUT /messages/1
    .patch() PATCH /messages/1
    .remove() DELETE /messages/1

    # Authentication

    Authenticating HTTP (REST) requests is a two step process. First you have to obtain a JWT from the authentication service by POSTing the strategy you want to use:

    // POST /authentication the Content-Type header set to application/json
      "strategy": "local",
      "email": "your email",
      "password": "your password"

    Here is what that looks like with curl:

    curl -H "Content-Type: application/json" -X POST -d '{"strategy":"local","email":"your email","password":"your password"}' http://localhost:3030/authentication

    Then to authenticate subsequent requests, add the returned accessToken to the Authorization header as Bearer <your access token>:

    curl -H "Content-Type: application/json" -H "Authorization: Bearer <your access token>" http://localhost:3030/messages

    For more information see the authentication API documentation.

    # find

    Retrieves a list of all matching resources from the service

    GET /messages?status=read&user=10

    Will call messages.find({ query: { status: 'read', user: '10' } }) on the server.

    If you want to use any of the built-in find operands ($le, $lt, $ne, $eq, $in, etc.) the general format is as follows:

    GET /messages?field[$operand]=value&field[$operand]=value2

    For example, to find the records where field status is not equal to active you could do

    GET /messages?status[$ne]=active

    The find API allows the use of $limit, $skip, $sort, and $select in the query. These special parameters can be passed directly inside the query object:

    // Find all messages that are read, limit to 10, only include text field.
    {"read":"1", "$limit":10, "$select": ["name"] } } // JSON
    GET /messages?read=1&$limit=10&$select[]=text // HTTP

    More information about the possible parameters for official database adapters can be found in the database querying section.

    # get

    Retrieve a single resource from the service.

    GET /messages/1

    Will call messages.get(1, {}) on the server.

    GET /messages/1?fetch=all

    Will call messages.get(1, { query: { fetch: 'all' } }) on the server.

    # create

    Create a new resource with data which may also be an array.

    POST /messages
    { "text": "I really have to iron" }

    Will call messages.create({ "text": "I really have to iron" }, {}) on the server.

    POST /messages
      { "text": "I really have to iron" },
      { "text": "Do laundry" }

    Note: With a database adapters the multi option has to be set explicitly to support creating multiple entries.

    # update

    Completely replace a single or multiple resources.

    PUT /messages/2
    { "text": "I really have to do laundry" }

    Will call messages.update(2, { "text": "I really have to do laundry" }, {}) on the server. When no id is given by sending the request directly to the endpoint something like:

    PUT /messages?complete=false
    { "complete": true }

    Will call messages.update(null, { "complete": true }, { query: { complete: 'false' } }) on the server.

    ProTip: update is normally expected to replace an entire resource which is why the database adapters only support patch for multiple records.

    # patch

    Merge the existing data of a single or multiple resources with the new data.

    PATCH /messages/2
    { "read": true }

    Will call messages.patch(2, { "read": true }, {}) on the server. When no id is given by sending the request directly to the endpoint something like:

    PATCH /messages?complete=false
    { "complete": true }

    Will call messages.patch(null, { complete: true }, { query: { complete: 'false' } }) on the server to change the status for all read messages.

    Note: With a database adapters the multi option has to be set to support patching multiple entries.

    This is supported out of the box by the Feathers database adapters

    # remove

    Remove a single or multiple resources:

    DELETE /messages/2?cascade=true

    Will call messages.remove(2, { query: { cascade: 'true' } }).

    When no id is given by sending the request directly to the endpoint something like:

    DELETE /messages?read=true

    Will call messages.remove(null, { query: { read: 'true' } }) to delete all read messages.

    Note: With a database adapters the multi option has to be set to support patching multiple entries.

    Anything unclear or missing? Get help (opens new window) or Edit this page (opens new window)

    Last Updated: 4/24/2022, 7:11:36 PM