Brian Love
Angular + TypeScript Developer in Denver, CO

MEAN App: Server

Reading time ~22 minutes

Part 1: REST API using Express Server written in TypeScript with Mongoose plus Mocha and Chai tests.

Series

This post is part of a series on building a MEAN app using TypeScript with Angular Material and Reactive programming.

Source Code

You can download the source code and follow along or fork the repository on GitHub:

First, run the gulp tasks, then start the Node.js Express server.

$ gulp
$ chmod +x ./dist/bin/www
$ ./dist/bin/www

Then, serve the Angular client using the CLI:

$ ng serve

Goals

Our goals for this series are:

  1. Create a simple CRUD app similar to the Tour of Heros tutorial app for Angular.
  2. Create the REST API using Express written in TypeScript with Mongoose for persisting data to MongoDb.
  3. Use Angular Material and Angular Flex Layout for the UI.
  4. Use Reactive Extensions for JavaScript, specifically, RxJS and ngrx.

In this post we will start by building the REST API using Express written in TypeScript.

Project Structure

Our project will have a client and a server folder. For now, let’s focus on the server side.

├── client
├── dist
├── gulpfile.js
├── gulpfile.ts
├── package.json
└── server
    ├── bin
    │   └── www
    ├── src
    │   ├── api
    │   │   └── heros.ts
    │   ├── interfaces
    │   │   └── hero.ts
    │   ├── models
    │   │   └── hero.ts
    │   ├── schemas
    │   │   └── hero.ts
    │   ├── server.ts
    │   └── tests
    │       └── hero.ts
    └── tsconfig.json

Install Node and npm

To get started we will create a new project using the Node Package Manager (npm).

If you have not installed Node, which includes npm, I would suggest you use Homebrew:

$ /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
$ brew update
$ brew doctor

Then, install node using the brew install command:

$ brew install node

Next, create a new project using npm. I am going to call the project “mean-material-reactive”:

$ mkdir mean-material-reactive
$ cd mean-material-reactive
$ npm init

Follow the prompts in order to create a new project. At this point your project should contain a single package.json file.

Install Gulp

The next step is to install Gulp, which we will be using to automate our workflow. We’ll also install several plugins that we will need:

$ npm install gulp-cli -g
$ npm install gulp --save-dev
$ npm install typescript --save-dev
$ npm install del --save-dev
$ npm install gulp-sourcemaps --save-dev
$ npm install gulp-typescript --save-dev
$ npm install run-sequence --save-dev
$ npm install ts-node --save-dev
$ touch gulpfile.js
$ touch gulpfile.ts

Note the use of the --save-dev flag, which instructs npm to write the development dependencies into our project’s package.json file.

Here is a quick rundown of the plugins that we are using:

  • del - for deleting all of the files in the dist directory.
  • gulp-sourcemaps - creates inline source maps.
  • gulp-typescript - for compiling our TypeScript to JS.
  • run-sequence - enables us to run a series of gulp tasks in a specific order.
  • ts-node - enables us to execute TypeScript code in Node.

Also, note that I have created two empty files; the gulpfile.js file will use ts-node to execute the gulpfile.ts TypeScript file.

Here is what the gulpfile.js file will contain:

require("ts-node").register({
  project: false,
  disableWarnings: true
});
require("./gulpfile.ts");

Let’s start building the gulpfile.ts file. We will start by created two tasks:

  1. clean - will delete our distributable directories.
  2. build:express - will build our Express HTTP server.

We will also create a default task that will use the run-sequence plugin to execute a series of Gulp tasks.

This is just the start of our gulp tasks. We will be building on this more as we build our application.

const gulp = require("gulp"),
  del = require("del"),
  runSequence = require("run-sequence"),
  sourceMaps = require("gulp-sourcemaps"),
  tsc = require("gulp-typescript");

/**
 * Remove dist directory.
 */
gulp.task("clean", (done) => {
  return del(["dist"], done);
});

/**
 * Copy start script.
 */
gulp.task("copy", () => {
  return gulp.src("server/bin/*")
  .pipe(gulp.dest("dist/bin"));
});

/**
 * Build the server.
 */
gulp.task("build:express", () => {
  const project = tsc.createProject("server/tsconfig.json");
  const result = gulp.src("server/src/**/*.ts")
  .pipe(sourceMaps.init())
  .pipe(project());
  return result.js
  .pipe(sourceMaps.write())
  .pipe(gulp.dest("dist/server"));
});

/**
 * Build the project.
 */
gulp.task("default", (done) => {
  runSequence("clean", "copy", "build:express");
});

If you attempt to execute gulp in the project directory you should receive an error. This is because we have not yet installed Express and configured the server code via the tsconfig.json file. Let’s do that.

Install Express

Next, let’s install Express:

$ npm install express --save

Note the --save flag. This will save a production dependency in the package.json file.

Next, let’s set up our server folder structure:

$ mkdir server
$ cd server
$ touch tsconfig.json

Then, modify the tsconfig.json file that will contain the server’s TypeScript configuration:

{
  "compilerOptions": {
    "target": "es5",
    "module": "commonjs",
    "moduleResolution": "node",
    "sourceMap": true,
    "emitDecoratorMetadata": true,
    "experimentalDecorators": true,
    "lib": [ "es2015", "dom" ],
    "noImplicitAny": true,
    "suppressImplicitAnyIndexErrors": true,
    "typeRoots": [
      "../node_modules/@types/"
    ]
  },
  "compileOnSave": true,
  "exclude": [
    "node_modules/*"
  ]
}

If you are not familiar with the TypeScript compiler options and using the tsconfig.json file, check out the documentation on tsconfig.json.

Server Start Script

Next we need to create our Express HTTP server start script:

$ mkdir src
$ mkdir bin
$ cd src/bin
$ touch www

Here is the full contents of the www file:

#!/usr/bin/env node
"use strict";

//module dependencies
var server = require("../server/server");
var debug = require("debug")("express:server");
var http = require("http");

//create http server
var httpPort = normalizePort(process.env.PORT || 8080);
var app = server.Server.bootstrap().app;
app.set("port", httpPort);
var httpServer = http.createServer(app);

//listen on provided ports
httpServer.listen(httpPort);

//add error handler
httpServer.on("error", onError);

//start listening on port
httpServer.on("listening", onListening);


/**
 * Normalize a port into a number, string, or false.
 */
function normalizePort(val) {
  var port = parseInt(val, 10);

  if (isNaN(port)) {
    // named pipe
    return val;
  }

  if (port >= 0) {
    // port number
    return port;
  }

  return false;
}

/**
 * Event listener for HTTP server "error" event.
 */
function onError(error) {
  if (error.syscall !== "listen") {
    throw error;
  }

  var bind = typeof port === "string"
    ? "Pipe " + port
    : "Port " + port;

  // handle specific listen errors with friendly messages
  switch (error.code) {
    case "EACCES":
      console.error(bind + " requires elevated privileges");
      process.exit(1);
      break;
    case "EADDRINUSE":
      console.error(bind + " is already in use");
      process.exit(1);
      break;
    default:
      throw error;
  }
}

/**
 * Event listener for HTTP server "listening" event.
 */
function onListening() {
  var addr = httpServer.address();
  var bind = typeof addr === "string"
    ? "pipe " + addr
    : "port " + addr.port;
  debug("Listening on " + bind);
}

This start script was slightly modified by an example on the Google Cloud Platform developer website, so I take not credit for it. This will create our HTTP server on the default port of 8080. You can customize this to run on the standard HTTP port 80 in production.

Next, we need to modify the permissions on the www file so that we can execute it:

$ chmod +x www

Install Middleware

The first step of using Express is to install and configure all of the middleware that our application needs. Let’s install these via npm:

$ npm install body-parser --save
$ npm install morgan --save
$ npm install errorhandler --save

Then, we need to install the TypeScript declaration files for each:

$ npm install @types/body-parser --save-dev
$ npm install @types/morgan --save-dev
$ npm install @types/errorhandler --save-dev

Here’s a quick rundown of each of these and what they do:

  • body-parser - parses JSON and URL encoded data into the body property of the Request object.
  • morgan - logs all HTTP requests.
  • errorhandler - a development-only error handler for debugging.

Server Class

Let’s start building out the Server class:

import * as bodyParser from "body-parser";
import * as express from "express";
import * as morgan from "morgan";
import * as path from "path";
import errorHandler = require("errorhandler");
import mongoose = require("mongoose");

/**
 * The server.
 *
 * @class Server
 */
export class Server {

  /**
   * The express application.
   * @type {Application}
   */
  public app: express.Application;

  /**
   * Bootstrap the application.
   * @static
   */
  public static bootstrap(): Server {
    return new Server();
  }

  /**
   * @constructor
   */
  constructor() {
    //create expressjs application
    this.app = express();

    //configure application
    this.config();

    //add api
    this.api();
  }

  /**
   * Create REST API routes
   *
   * @class Server
   */
  public api() {
    //empty for now
  }

  /**
   * Configure application
   *
   * @class Server
   */
  public config() {
    // morgan middleware to log HTTP requests
    this.app.use(morgan("dev"));

    //use json form parser middlware
    this.app.use(bodyParser.json());

    //use query string parser middlware
    this.app.use(bodyParser.urlencoded({
      extended: true
    }));

    // connect to mongoose
    mongoose.connect("mongodb://localhost:27017/mean-material-reactive");
    mongoose.connection.on("error", error => {
      console.error(error);
    });

    //catch 404 and forward to error handler
    this.app.use(function(err: any, req: express.Request, res: express.Response, next: express.NextFunction) {
        err.status = 404;
        next(err);
    });

    //error handling
    this.app.use(errorHandler());
  }
}

Some things to note:

  • First, we import all of the middleware and dependencies that we need. Note, I am importing mongoose, but we haven’t installed it yet. We’ll get to that shortly.
  • Next, I defined our Server class.
  • Then, I have a public property named app that will store reference to the running Express application.
  • The static bootstrap() method will instantiate a new instance of the Server and return it.
  • The constructor() function creates a new express application, and then invokes the config() and api() methods.
  • For now, the api() method is left empty. This is where we will build out each REST API endpoint.
  • The config() method wires up all of the middleware with our app, as well as the mongoose connection. I have a string constant in my code example for connecting to MongoDb. This is just for demo purposes. I would suggest a more robust solution for storing the connection string in a production application.

Install MongoDB and Mongoose

The next step is to install MongoDB. We’ll be using Homebrew to do this (we already installed Homebrew above in order to install Node).

$ brew install mongodb
$ ln -sfv /usr/local/opt/mongodb/*.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents

The second command above will enable MongoDb to start when your system starts. This is handy for your development enviroment.

Now, install Mongoose using npm:

$ npm install mongoose --save
$ npm install @types/mongoose --save-dev
$ npm install @types/mongodb --save-dev

Note that I have also installed the TypeScript declaration files for both mongoose as well as MongoDb.

Define Interface

The next step is to define our application’s interfaces. For this tutorial I am going to have a single Hero interface.

First, create the server/src/interfaces directory along with a hero.ts file:

$ mkdir interfaces
$ cd interfaces
$ touch hero.ts

Here is the very simply interface for our Hero:

export interface Hero {
  name?: string;
}

Our Hero only has a single string property: name.

Define Schema

The next step is to define a schema for our model. Create a new server/src/schemas directory along with a hero.ts file:

$ mkdir schemas
$ cd schemas
$ touch hero.ts

Then, define the schema in hero.ts:

import { Schema } from "mongoose";

export var heroSchema: Schema = new Schema({
  createdAt: { type: Date, default: Date.now },
  name: String
});

You might note that I also included an additional property named createdAt in my schema. This is going to be a Date that tracks when the hero was created, as the default value is Date.now.

Define Model

Finally, create the model that is based on our interface and schema. Create a new server/src/models directory along with the hero.ts file:

$ mkdir models
$ cd models
$ touch hero.ts

Now, let’s define our model:

import mongoose = require("mongoose");
import { Document, Model } from "mongoose";
import { Hero as HeroInterface } from "../interfaces/hero";
import { heroSchema } from "../schemas/hero";

export interface HeroModel extends HeroInterface, Document {}

export interface HeroModelStatic extends Model<HeroModel> {}

export const Hero = mongoose.model<HeroModel, HeroModelStatic>("Hero", heroSchema);

Great! We have now defined our Hero interface and the associated schema and model for interfacing with MongoDb using Mongoose.

REST API

The next step is to define a REST API in our Express application. For this tutorial we will only be defining a single REST API endpoint for our heros. Let’s start by creating the server/src/api directory and a new heros.ts file:

$ mkdir api
$ cd api
$ touch heros.ts

Now, create a new HerosApi class that will handle our CRUD operations using REST:

// express
import { NextFunction, Response, Request, Router } from "express";

// model
import { Hero } from "../models/hero";

/**
 * @class HerosApi
 */
export class HerosApi {

  /**
   * Create the api.
   * @static
   */
  public static create(router: Router) {
    // DELETE
    router.delete("/heros/:id([0-9a-f]{24})", (req: Request, res: Response, next: NextFunction) => {
      new HerosApi().delete(req, res, next);
    });

    // GET
    router.get("/heros", (req: Request, res: Response, next: NextFunction) => {
      new HerosApi().list(req, res, next);
    });
    router.get("/heros/:id([0-9a-f]{24})", (req: Request, res: Response, next: NextFunction) => {
      new HerosApi().get(req, res, next);
    });

    // POST
    router.post("/heros", (req: Request, res: Response, next: NextFunction) => {
      new HerosApi().create(req, res, next);
    });

    // PUT
    router.put("/heros/:id([0-9a-f]{24})", (req: Request, res: Response, next: NextFunction) => {
      new HerosApi().update(req, res, next);
    });
  }

  /**
   * Create a new hero.
   * @param req {Request} The express request object.
   * @param res {Response} The express response object.
   * @param next {NextFunction} The next function to continue.
   */
  public create(req: Request, res: Response, next: NextFunction) {
    // create hero
    const hero = new Hero(req.body);
    hero.save().then(hero => {
      res.json(hero.toObject());
      next();
    }).catch(next);
  }

  /**
   * Delete a hero.
   * @param req {Request} The express request object.
   * @param res {Response} The express response object.
   * @param next {NextFunction} The next function to continue.
   */
  public delete(req: Request, res: Response, next: NextFunction) {
    // verify the id parameter exists
    const PARAM_ID: string = "id";
    if (req.params[PARAM_ID] === undefined) {
      res.sendStatus(404);
      next();
      return;
    }

    // get id
    const id: string = req.params[PARAM_ID];

      // get hero
      Hero.findById(id).then(hero => {

      // verify hero exists
      if (hero === null) {
        res.sendStatus(404);
        next();
        return;
      }

      hero.remove().then(() => {
        res.sendStatus(200);
        next();
      }).catch(next);
    }).catch(next);
  }

  /**
   * Get a hero.
   * @param req {Request} The express request object.
   * @param res {Response} The express response object.
   * @param next {NextFunction} The next function to continue.
   */
  public get(req: Request, res: Response, next: NextFunction) {
    // verify the id parameter exists
    const PARAM_ID: string = "id";
    if (req.params[PARAM_ID] === undefined) {
      res.sendStatus(404);
      next();
      return;
    }

    // get id
    const id: string = req.params[PARAM_ID];

    // get hero
      Hero.findById(id).then(hero => {

      // verify hero was found
      if (hero === null) {
        res.sendStatus(404);
        next();
        return;
      }

      // send json of hero object
      res.json(hero.toObject());
      next();
    }).catch(next);
  }

  /**
   * List all heros.
   * @param req {Request} The express request object.
   * @param res {Response} The express response object.
   * @param next {NextFunction} The next function to continue.
   */
  public list(req: Request, res: Response, next: NextFunction) {
    // get heros
    Hero.find().then(heros => {
      res.json(heros.map(hero => hero.toObject()));
      next();
    }).catch(next);
  }

  /**
   * Update a hero.
   * @param req {Request} The express request object.
   * @param res {Response} The express response object.
   * @param next {NextFunction} The next function to continue.
   */
  public update(req: Request, res: Response, next: NextFunction) {
    const PARAM_ID: string = "id";

    // verify the id parameter exists
    if (req.params[PARAM_ID] === undefined) {
      res.sendStatus(404);
      next();
      return;
    }

    // get id
    const id: string = req.params[PARAM_ID];

    // get hero
    Hero.findById(id).then(hero => {

      // verify hero was found
      if (hero === null) {
        res.sendStatus(404);
        next();
        return;
      }

      // save hero
      Object.assign(hero, req.body).save().then((hero: HeroModel) => {
        res.json(hero.toObject());
        next();
      }).catch(next);
    }).catch(next);
  }

}

Some things to note:

  • We first import the necessary classes and interfaces from Express, along with our Hero model.
  • The static create() method requires the Router instance from our Server class and configures the routes for the /api/heros endpoint.
  • We implement the following verbs: DELETE, GET, POST, and PUT. Each verb invokes an appropriate method in the HerosApi class.
  • Each method requires the Express Request, Response and NextFunction objects.
  • There is no authentication or verification happening, meaning our API is open to the public. This is most likely not a good idea for prodution use. I am not including this in this tutorial, but one way to solve this is to have all of your REST API classes extend a BaseApi class that has an authorize() method that verifies your user is authenticated. You may also want to add additional logic in each REST API method for verifying that a user has permission to perform the specific action. For simplicity I am not including this here.
  • Using Mongoose the data is persisted to the MongoDb Heros collection.
  • Note that when sending the json result to the client using the res.json() method I first invoke the .toObject() method on the Document that is returned from mongoose.
  • If an exception occurs we simply use the catch() method of the Promise object to invoke the next method.
  • After sending a status code or the JSON result to the client be sure to invoke next().

Before we go any further we need to allow cross-origin requests. Our server (Express) and client (Angular) will be running on the same local machine, but on different ports (one on port 8080 and the other on Angular CLI’s default port of 4200), so we need to enable CORS. To do this, let’s use and install the cors middleware:

$ npm install cors --save
$ npm install @types/cors --save-dev

Then, import the cors middleware into the Server class in server/src/server.ts:

import * as cors from "cors";

Next, import the HerosApi class into our Server class.

import { HerosApi } from "./api/heros";

If you recall, we left the api() method in our Server class empty. Now it’s finally time to implement this and to wire up our HerosApi:

export class Server {

  // code omitted

  /**
   * REST API endpoints.
   */
  public api() {
    var router = express.Router();

    // configure CORS
    const corsOptions: cors.CorsOptions = {
      allowedHeaders: ["Origin", "X-Requested-With", "Content-Type", "Accept", "X-Access-Token"],
      credentials: true,
      methods: "GET,HEAD,OPTIONS,PUT,PATCH,POST,DELETE",
      origin: "http://localhost:4200",
      preflightContinue: false
    };
    router.use(cors(corsOptions));

    // root request
    router.get("/", (req: express.Request, res: express.Response, next: express.NextFunction) => {
      res.json({ announcement: "Welcome to our API." });
      next();
    });

    // create API routes
    HerosApi.create(router);

    // wire up the REST API
    this.app.use("/api", router);

    // enable CORS pre-flight
    router.options("*", cors(corsOptions));
  }

}

A couple of things to note:

  • First, we create a new Router instance, which will be passed into the HerosApi.create() static method. We will use this router for the base REST API URL: /api.
  • A CorsOptions object defines the options for configuring the CORS middleware. I am currently only allowing cross-origin requests from the URL http://localhost:4200, which is where my Angular application will be served from. For a production instance this would likely be a different URL or set of URLs.
  • Next, I create a root request that will respond to GET requests to “/api”, without specifying an endpoint. This is not necessary, but is good for testing that your API is alive. This simply replies with a JSON object that has an announcement property.
  • Then, I create my API routes. In this example, there is just the single HerosApi class.
  • Then, we invoke the use() method on our Express application and provide the base URL of /api.
  • Finally, we enable CORS pre-flight, which is necessary when using Angular Http class. Note that the CORS pre-flight configuration is after we wire up our REST API.

Test REST API

We’ll be using a testing framework called Mocha, along with Chai for BSD style assertions, and the chai-http plugin. If you haven’t caught on already, I’m a huge TypeScript fan. So, we’ll also be using mocha-typescript to write our tests using TypeScript, and leveraging some ES6/ES2015 features like decorators.

First, let’s get things installed via npm:

$ npm install mocha --save-dev
$ npm install chai --save-dev
$ npm install chai-http --save-dev
$ npm install mocha-typescript --save-dev
$ npm install @types/mocha --save-dev
$ npm install @types/chai --save-dev
$ npm install @types/chai-http --save-dev

Let’s create a server/src/tests directory, and a heros.ts test file:

$ mkdir tests
$ cd tests
$ touch heros.ts

Let’s start building our test:

process.env.NODE_ENV = "test";

// mocha
import "mocha";
import { suite, test } from "mocha-typescript";

// mongodb
import { ObjectID } from "mongodb";

// server
import { Server } from "../server";

// model
import { Hero } from "../interfaces/hero";
import { HeroModel, HeroModelStatic } from "../models/hero";
import { heroSchema } from "../schemas/hero";

// mongoose
import mongoose = require("mongoose");

//require http server
var http = require("http");

//require chai and use should assertions
let chai = require("chai");
chai.should();

//configure chai-http
chai.use(require("chai-http"));

Here is what we are doing at the top of the hero.ts test file:

  • First, we set the NODE_ENV environment variable to “test”. This is good practice, although I am not doing any runtime switching on this, it could be used for no-op code or mocking.
  • Next, we import the mocha library. Then, we import the suite and test decorators from the mocha-typescript package.
  • Next, we import the ObjectID class from the mongodb package.
  • Next, we import our Server class.
  • Then, we import our Hero interface, the HeroModel and HeroModelStatic classes, and finally, the heroSchema function. We need these to configure our Mongoose document for testing.
  • Next, we import the mongoose library.
  • Next, we import the Node.js http server.
  • Then, we import chai and instruct chai to use should style assertions.
  • Finally, we are using the chai-http plugin for chai to perform HTTP response assertions.

Now that we have the imports out of the way, let’s start to define the HerosTest class:

@suite class HerosTest {

  // constants
  public static BASE_URI: string = "/api/heros";

  // the mongooose connection
  public static connection: mongoose.Connection;

  // hero model
  public static Hero: HeroModelStatic;

  // hero document
  public static hero: HeroModel;

  // the http server
  public static server: any;

  /**
   * Before all hook.
   */
  public static before() {
     // connect to MongoDB
    mongoose.connect("mongodb://localhost:27017/mean-material-reactive");
    HerosTest.Hero = mongoose.model<HeroModel, HeroModelStatic>("Hero", heroSchema);

    // create http server
    let port = 8001;
    let app = Server.bootstrap().app;
    app.set("port", port);
    HerosTest.server = http.createServer(app);
    HerosTest.server.listen(port);

    return HerosTest.createHero();
  }

  /**
   * After all hook
   */
  public static after() {
    return HerosTest.hero.remove()
    .then(() => {
      return mongoose.disconnect();
    });
  }

  /**
   * Create a test hero.
   */
  public static createHero(): Promise<HeroModel> {
    const data: Hero = {
      name: "Brian Love"
    };
    return new HerosTest.Hero(data).save().then(hero => {
      HerosTest.hero = hero;
    });
  }

}

Our HerosTest class is starting to come together.

  • We defined a test suite using the suite decorator.
  • Inside our test suite I have defined several static properties and methods. Using mocha-typescript we can define static before() and after() methods that are invoked once; first, before() all of our tests are executed, and then after() all of our test have executed. This enables us to set things up, and then to tear things down.
  • In the static before() method we first establish a connection to the MongoDb server using mongoose.connect(). Then, I create the document model using the imported HeroModel and HeroModelStatic classes that we defined previously.
  • Next, we set up our HTTP server and start it.
  • Then, I create a new hero in the createHero() static method. This method returns a Promise<HeroModel> object. Note, that I return the Promise object in the before() static method as well. I am returning a promise object from my tests rather than using mocha’s more traditional done() callback approach. I think this is cleaner and easier to use.
  • In the static after() method I remove my test hero and disconnect from MongoDb.

Now that we have the bulk of the test setup and configured, let’s starting adding tests:

@suite class HerosTest {

  // code omitted

  @test public delete() {
    const data: Hero = {
      name: "To be deleted"
    };
    return new HerosTest.Hero(data).save().then(hero => {
      return chai.request(HerosTest.server).del(`${HerosTest.BASE_URI}/${hero._id}`).then(response => {
        response.should.have.status(200);
      });
    });
  }

  @test public get() {
    return chai.request(HerosTest.server).get(`${HerosTest.BASE_URI}/${HerosTest.hero._id}`).then(response => {
      response.should.have.status(200);
      response.body.should.be.a("object");
      response.body.should.have.property("name").eql(HerosTest.hero.name);
    });
  }

  @test public list() {
    return chai.request(HerosTest.server).get(HerosTest.BASE_URI).then(response => {
      response.should.have.status(200);
      response.body.should.be.an("array");
      response.body.should.have.lengthOf(1);
    });
  }

  @test public post() {
    const data: Hero = {
      name: "Magneto"
    };
    return chai.request(HerosTest.server).post(HerosTest.BASE_URI)
    .send(data)
    .then(response => {
      response.should.have.status(200);
      response.body.should.be.a("object");
      response.body.should.have.a.property("_id");
      response.body.should.have.property("name").eql(data.name);
      return HerosTest.Hero.findByIdAndRemove(response.body._id).exec();
    });
  }

  @test public put() {
    const data: Hero = {
      name: "Superman"
    }
    return chai.request(HerosTest.server).put(`${HerosTest.BASE_URI}/${HerosTest.hero._id}`)
    .send(data)
    .then(response => {
      response.should.have.status(200);
      response.body.should.be.a("object");
      response.body.should.have.a.property("_id");
      response.body.should.have.property("name").eql(data.name);
    });
  }

}

Let’s review our tests:

  • Note, we define a test using the @test decorator.
  • First, we have a delete() test. In our delete test we first create a new hero that will be deleted using the REST API. We’ll test this by ensuring that our API responds with a 200 OK status code.
  • Next, we have a get() test. This simply GETs our hero (me, haha) that was created in the createHero() static method before the tests were executed. We verify that the response is a 200 status, is an object and includes a property name with the correct value.
  • Next, we have a list() test. This simply GETs all of the heros. We verify that tehh reponse is a 200 status, is an array, and has a length of 1.
  • Next, we have a post() test to create a new hero. We define the data that we will POST to the server, and then send the request. We verify that the response is 200, that it is an object, that it contains both the _id and name properties, and that the name property is equal to the value that we sent in the data. Finally, we remove the new hero that we created and return that promise.
  • Finally, we have a put() test to update our hero. In this test we will update our hero’s name. To verify the test was successful we ensure that the response is 200, that it is an object, that it contains both the _id and name properties, and that the value of the name property is equal to the value that we sent in the data.

Let’s go ahead and run our tests to ensure that our REST API is working and operational.

Before we can run our tests, we need to create a new task in our gulpfile.ts. But, before we do that, let’s install the gulp-mocha package:

$ npm install gulp-mocha --save-dev

Now, let’s add a new task to the gulpfile.ts:

gulp.task("test:express", () => {
  gulp.src("dist/server/tests", { read: false })
  .pipe(gulpMocha());
});

Now, add the test:express task to the sequence of tasks to execute in the default task:

gulp.task("default", (done) => {
  runSequence("clean", "copy", "build:express", "test:express");
});

At this point we are ready to run gulp in our project:

$ gulp

You should see a success message indicating that all four tests have passed. Sweet!

MEAN App Server Tests

Review

Just to review, we:

  • Installed Node and the Node Package Manager (npm).
  • Installed gulp and created a workflow to automate the building and testing of our REST API.
  • Using npm we installed Express and the middleware required for our application.
  • Created a server start script to execute our HTTP server.
  • Created the Server class to create the HTTP server and REST API.
  • Installed MongoDb and Mongoose for data persistence.
  • Configured the Heros document in Mongoose.
  • Installed and created tests using Mocha and Chai.

Continue the Series

I hope you have enjoyed the first part in the series on building a MEAN app using TypeScript with Angular Material and Reactive programming.

Next, in part two of the series, we’ll start building our Angular application using Angular Material.

Brian Love

Hi, I'm Brian. I am interested in TypeScript, Angular and Node.js. I'm married to my best friend Bonnie, I live in Denver and I ski (a lot).