Starting out with Node.js

Here is an excellent guide for starting out with Node.js, the Express framework, and MongoDB: click me.

So what more is there for me to add? Well, here is some of my code and folder structure so you have a better idea of how to generalize this for web development.

Here are some differences that I introduce:

  • The article above uses an outdated method of connecting to MongoDB, so mine shows you a different way using the MongoClient class.
  • The example in the article above shows you a quick way to create REST services. You may also want to serve normal web pages, so that’s included below using the Express framework
  • I also include a way to exit the server gracefully (ie. a hook to release resources).

So here is a snapshot of my folder structure so you know what to aim for:

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 2.23.50 PM

Here’s the content of server.js (note the serving of normal web pages):

var port=3000;
var express = require('express');
var hand = require('./routes/hand');

var app = express();

 * Serve all pages under /html

 * Route REST calls
app.get('/hand/:id', hand.getHandById);

 * Start Server
console.log('Listening on port '+port);

Here’s the content of my hand.js

var mongo = require('mongodb');

var DB_NAME = 'myMongoDb';

var MongoClient = mongo.MongoClient;
var Server = mongo.Server;
var BSON = mongo.BSONPure;
var mongoClient = null;

 * Ensure proper shutdown when exiting
process.on('SIGINT', function() { process.exit(); });
process.on('exit', function shutdown() {
	console.log("shutting down...");
	if( mongoClient ) {
		console.log("close mongo");

 * Mongo Setup
mongoClient = new MongoClient(new Server('localhost', 27017, {auto_reconnect: true}));, mongoClient) {
	if( err ) {

var db = mongoClient.db(DB_NAME);
var handCollection = db.collection('hand');

exports.getHandById = function(req, res) {
	var id = new BSON.ObjectID(;
	handCollection.findOne({'_id':id}, function(err, item) {

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7 thoughts on “Starting out with Node.js

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    • kanesee says:

      I’ve been lucky that I haven’t had any hacks (that I’m aware of).
      But I found out my company’s wordpress site was hacked. It was fairly benign in that they simply injected some hidden spam links to increase traffic to their sites.
      Make sure you don’t have any default accounts and default passwords around. Not sure what else I can say.

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