Saturday, March 9, 2013

Creating a simple NodeJS app with Mongo

Okay, I woke up this morning (6am) with a need to create a simple reporting dashboard to display the coverage results from OpenCover when it dog-foods its own tests. Now that OpenCover has no reported bugs, I decided to use my spare time to investigate other technologies for a while.

What I needed was simple 'online' storage to capture results from the build system and the ability to extract that data into charts. Normally I'd probably knock up a simple rails app because it is easy to do, however I decided, probably due to the heat, to use the following:

  • node.js - a technology I haven't used but have meant to for a while; I also like the JavaScript syntax better than ruby (it's a personal thing)
  • mongodb - a database I am familiar with
  • google charts - free; as in beer.
  • heroku - free; well my intended usage will be.
A quick time-boxed search of the web about how to use node with mongodb and create a RESTful API and I settled on the following packages:
  • mongoose - for interacting with the mongo database
  • restify - for creating a simple rest server
  • nodemon - monitors changes in your app and restarts; sounds useful
I'll assume other packages will be added to the mix as challenges present themselves. It's now 7am and time for breakfast and then the fun starts... 

And a few hours later we have a simple storage system hosted on heroku all we need now is the charts

The repository can be found on github

I am sure it will evolve over time but it was very simple to get to this stage by leveraging the work of all those who have gone before.

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