Node & Express as Workflow Tools


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Node & Express as Workflow Tools

“Enterprise” and “Node.js” are generally two terms which are rarely seen together, but developing on an (what are considered) “enterprise level” stack doesn’t mean you can’t sneak some Node.js into your workflow. This talk will cover using Node.js, Express, Grunt/Gulp, Commander to build custom workflow tools, mock APIs, and test suites to allow you to maintain sanity while working with more traditional environments. We will cover a simple use case for using Node and Express to smooth Front-end development workflow, and how to package your custom tool as an NPM module for others to install.

Presented live at FITC's Spotlight: MEAN Stacks event held on March 28th, 2014

More info at

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Node & Express as Workflow Tools

  1. 1. Building Custom Development Tools With Node.js Commander.js Topher Bullock Software Engineer - Pivotal @topherbullock .. and other tools to help along the way.
  2. 2. About ● Topher Bullock ● Software Engineer - Pivotal; working on Cloud Foundry Services. ● Full-stack JavaScript @topherbullock pivotal-topher-bullock
  3. 3. ● Faster / Easier Development ● Rapid Prototyping ● Task Automation ● Test Driven Development ● Build Systems ● Debugging
  4. 4. Case Study : Tomcat Woes ● Large scale JS MVC app ● leveraging APIs served by Spring* ● eventually need to deploy everything together in one big happy .war file ● working on everything together meant being tied to an IDE to deploy web app changes to Tomcat ~> slow development. * Disclaimer : Spring is totally cool and is a solid framework for Java projects. They are making strides for improving workflows; e.g Spring Boot
  5. 5. Observability Browser Tomcat File System (Workspace) IDE
  6. 6. Using a traditional stack in production doesn’t mean you can’t use Node.js for development. Enterprises will resist deploying Node.js in favor of other technologies.
  7. 7. Commander.js
  8. 8. JIFASNIF JavaScript is Fun And So Node.js is Fun“
  9. 9. ● CLI tool written in Node.js ● Task Automation / Build Tool (mvn-ish) ● Simple Config / Pre Built tasks Grunt
  10. 10. Extending Grunt ● Roll your own Grunt tasks ● Programmatically run tasks and listen for events
  11. 11. ● The E in MEAN :3 ● Great for quickly spinning up a mock API server ● Good plumbing to serve front-end app for development Express
  12. 12. A Few CLI Libraries
  13. 13. Awesome colored output for console. Progress bars, because they’re awesome. Useful CLI Tools General purpose CLI lib Useful command prompt tools; works well alongside CommanderJS Command.prompt() removed in 2.0.0
  14. 14. Contrary to the belief of many, ‘npm’ is not in fact an abbreviation for ‘Node Package Manager.’ It is a recursive bacronymic abbreviation for ‘npm is not an acronym.’ (If it was ‘ninaa’, then it would be an acronym, and thus incorrectly named.) “ ”
  15. 15. ● Not "Node Package Manager.".. but it is the Package Manager for Node. -_- ● Great for distributing your tools ● $ npm link is your friend NPM
  16. 16. Thanks! Questions? @topherbullock pivotal-topher-bullock