REST Client

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

@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, request, Superagent, Axios or Fetch as the AJAX library.

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 websocket connection.

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:

Modular
@feathersjs/client
const feathers = require('@feathersjs/feathers');
const rest = require('@feathersjs/rest-client');

const app = feathers();

// Connect to the same as the browser URL (only in the browser)
const restClient = rest();

// Connect to a different URL
const restClient = rest('http://feathers-api.com')

// Configure an AJAX library (see below) with that client 
app.configure(restClient.fetch(window.fetch));

// Connect to the `http://feathers-api.com/messages` service
const messages = app.service('messages');
<script type="text/javascript" src="//cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/core-js/2.1.4/core.min.js"></script>
<script src="//unpkg.com/@feathersjs/client@^3.0.0/dist/feathers.js"></script>
<script>
  var app = feathers();
  // Connect to a different URL
  var restClient = feathers.rest('http://feathers-api.com')

  // Configure an AJAX library (see below) with that client 
  app.configure(restClient.fetch(window.fetch));

  // Connect to the `http://feathers-api.com/messages` service
  const messages = app.service('messages');
</script>

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:

app.service('messages').create({
  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.configure(restClient.request(request));

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

With the fetch fork yetch it can also be used to abort requests:

const yetch = require('yetch');
const controller = new AbortController();

app.configure(restClient.fetch(yetch));

const promise = app.service('messages').get(1, {
  connection: {
    signal: controller.signal
  }
});

promise.abort();

jQuery

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

app.configure(restClient.jquery(window.jQuery));

Or with a module loader:

import $ from 'jquery';

app.configure(restClient.jquery($));

Request

The request object needs to be passed explicitly to feathers.request. Using request.defaults - 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
  }
});

app.configure(restClient.request(requestClient));

Superagent

Superagent currently works with a default configuration:

const superagent = require('superagent');

app.configure(restClient.superagent(superagent));

Axios

Axios currently works with a default configuration:

const axios = require('axios');

app.configure(restClient.axios(axios));

Fetch

Fetch also uses a default configuration:

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

app.configure(restClient.fetch(fetch));

// In modern browsers
app.configure(restClient.fetch(window.fetch));

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 middleware which has to be registered before any service. You should also make sure you are setting your Accept header to application/json.

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:

curl -H "Content-Type: application/json" -H "Authorization: <your access token>" -X POST http://localhost:3030/authentication

Also see the JWT and local authentication chapter.

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

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" }
]

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.

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.

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