Node.js Setup

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Overview

With ReadMe's Metrics API your team can get deep insights into your API's usage. If you're a developer, it's super easy to send your API request data to ReadMe. Here's an overview of how the integration works:

  • You add the Node.js SDK to your server manually or via the included Express middleware.
  • The Node.js SDK sends ReadMe the details of your API's incoming requests and outgoing responses, with the option for you to redact any private parameters or headers.
  • ReadMe uses these request and response details to populate Metrics charts which can be used to analyze specific API calls or monitor aggregate usage data.

Express.js Integration

Note: If you're not using Express.js, check out our Generic Node.js documentation.

  1. Locate the file in your organization's API codebase that contains your Express server. Often this file is named express.js or app.js. You can also search on the code snippet express().

  2. From the directory of this codebase, run the following command in your command line to install the readmeio package from npm:

npm install readmeio --save
  1. Load the readmeio module into your Express server. Usually near the beginning of the file, you will see several import or require statements. Add the following statement to that group:

Typescript

import * as readme from 'readmeio';

Node.js

const readme = require('readmeio');
  1. Configure the following middleware function:
app.use(readme.express(readmeAPIKey, req => ({
  apiKey: req.<apiKey>, // You might extract this from a header or parameter
  label: req.<userNameToShowInDashboard>, // You might extract this from user data associated with the API key
  email: req.<userEmailAddress>, // You might extract this from user data associated with the API key
})));

For more details about the parameters you can provide to the express function, refer to the Express.js documentation.

  1. Test a request:
curl -i {my api url}

You should see a response header x-documentation-url. This header contains a URL to a detailed log of the API request/response. For info on configuring this header, check out the Documentation URL docs.

Express Middleware Reference

The Express middleware accepts the following parameters:

Note that this middleware is not likely to be sensitive to order. If you are new to Express, see How to Write Middleware for Express.js Apps.

ParameterRequired?Description
readmeAPIKeyyesThe API key for your ReadMe project. This ensures your requests end up in your dashboard. You can read more about the API key in our docs.
groupFnyesA function that helps translate incoming request data to our metrics grouping data. You can read more under Grouping Function.
optionsnoAdditional options. You can read more under Additional Express Options

Example:

readme.express(readmeAPIKey, groupFn, options);

Grouping Function

The grouping function is a function your script should include that extracts identifying information out of the req object. While only apiKey is required, we recommend providing all three values to get the most out of the metrics dashboard.

Return data:

FieldRequired?TypeUsage
apiKeyyesstringAPI Key used to make the request. Note that this is different from the readmeAPIKey described above and should be a value from your API that is unique to each of your users.
labelnostringThis will be the user's display name in the API Metrics Dashboard, since it's much easier to remember a name than an API key.
emailnostringEmail of the user that is making the call.

Example:

app.use(readme.express(readmeAPIKey, req => ({
  apiKey: req.<apiKey>, // You might extract this from a header or parameter
  label: req.<userNameToShowInDashboard>, // You might extract this from user data associated with the API key
  email: req.<userEmailAddress>, // You might extract this from user data associated with the API key
})));

Additional Express Options

OptionTypeDescription
denyListArray of stringsAn array of parameter names that will be redacted from the query parameters, request body (when JSON or form-encoded), response body (when JSON) and headers. For nested request parameters use dot notation (e.g. a.b.c to redact the field c within { a: { b: { c: 'foo' }}}).
allowListArray of stringsIf included, denyList will be ignored and all parameters but those in this list will be redacted.
developmentboolDefaults to false. When true, the log will be marked as a development log. This is great for separating staging or test data from data coming from customers.
fireAndForgetboolDefaults to true. When false, the server will wait for the response from the metrics call. This will be slower, but the response is useful in debugging problems.
bufferLengthnumberDefaults to 1. This value should be a number representing the amount of requests to group up before sending them over the network. Increasing this value will increase performance but delay the time until logs show up in the dashboard. The default value is 1.
baseLogUrlstringThis value is used when building the x-documentation-url header (see docs below). It is your ReadMe documentation's base URL (e.g. https://example.readme.com). If not provided, we will make one API call a day to determine your base URL (more info in Documentation URL. If provided, we will use that value and never look it up automatically.

Example:

{
  denyList: ['password', 'secret'],
  development: true,
  fireAndForget: true,
  bufferLength: 1,
  baseLogUrl: "https://example.readme.com"
}

Documentation URL

With the middleware loaded, all requests that funneled through it will receive a x-documentation-url header applied to the response. The value of this header will be the URL on ReadMe Metrics with which you can view the log for that request.

Note that in order to generate this URL, an API request is made to ReadMe once a day, and cached to a local file in node_modules/.cache/readmeio, to retrieve your projects baseUrl. If this request to ReadMe fails, the x-documentation-url header will not be added to responses.

If you wish to not rely on this cache, you can opt to supply a baseLogUrl option into the middleware, which should evaluate to the public-facing URL of your ReadMe project.

Generic Node.js Integration

Note: If you're using Express.js check out our Express.js Integration documentation.

  1. Install readmeio via your package manager:
npm install readmeio --save
  1. Import the readmeio library:

Typescript

import * as readme from 'readmeio';

Node.js

const readme = require('readmeio');
  1. Add the log call to your Node.js server. The generic Node.js integration uses the standard Node.js IncomingMessage and ServerResponse variables. These are accessible through the request handler provided to your Node.js server.
const http = require('http');
const readme = require('readmeio');

const server = http.createServer((req, res) => {
  const timeOfRequest = new Date();

  res.on('finish', () => {
    const timeOfResponse = new Date();
    const response = 'Hello World';

    readme.log(readmeAPIKey, req, res, {
      apiKey: "abcdef1234",
      label: "User One",
      email: "[email protected]",
      startedDateTime: timeOfRequest,
      responseEndDateTime: timeOfResponse,
      responseBody: response
    }, {
      development: true,
      fireAndForget: true
    })
      .then((result) => {
        console.log(result);
      });
  });

  res.statusCode = 200;
  res.setHeader('Content-Type', 'text/plain');
  res.end(response);
});

For more details about the parameters you can provide to the log function, refer to the log documentation.

  1. Test a request:
curl -i {my api url}

Your server should log out an object that looks like this:

{
  ids: ['cedb5593-d840-46a9-8ac3-98248ac124bc']
}

Take one of your IDs and go to the following URL to see what details were logged about that request:

{your ReadMe documentation's base URL}/logs/{logId}

log Reference

ParameterRequired?TypeDescription
readmeAPIKeyyesstringThe API key for your ReadMe project. This ensures your requests end up in your dashboard. You can read more about the API key in our docs.
reqyesIncomingMessageA Node.js IncomingMessage object, usually found in your server's request handler.
resyesServerResponseA Node.js ServerResponse object, usually found in your server's request handler.
payloadDatayesObjectA collection of information that will be logged alongside this request. See Payload Data for more details.
logOptionsnoObjectAdditional options. You can read more under Additional Node.js Options

Example:

readme.log(readmeAPIKey, req, res, payloadData, logOptions)

Payload Data

When logging your request with Node.js's native request and response data we can't get all the information we need. This parameter to the log function includes all the information we can't easily retrieve for you.

OptionRequired?TypeDescription
apiKeyyesstringAPI Key used to make the request. Note that this is different from the readmeAPIKey described above and should be a value from your API that is unique to each of your users.
labelnostringThis will be the user's display name in the API Metrics Dashboard, since it's much easier to remember a name than an API key.
emailnostringEmail of the user that is making the call.
startedDateTimeyesDateA JavaScript Date object representing the time the server received the incoming request. This should be logged before retrieving and parsing the incoming request body.
responseEndDateTimeyesDateA JavaScript Date object representing the time the server finished sending the outgoing response.
logIdnostringA UUIDv4 identifier. If not provided this will be automatically generated for you. You can use this ID in conjunction with your base_url to create the URL that points to this log. i.e. {base_url}/logs/{logId}.
routePathnostringIf provided this path will be used instead of the request path. This is useful for grouping common routes together as /users/{user_id} instead of each page being unique as /users/1, /users/2, etc.
requestBodynoObject or stringThe incoming request body. You should provide this function a parsed object, but a string is acceptable if necessary.
responseBodynostringThe outgoing request body as a string.

Example:

{
  apiKey: "abcdef1234",
  label: "User One",
  email: "[email protected]",
  startedDateTime: timeOfRequest,
  responseEndDateTime: timeOfResponse,
  logId: "cedb5593-d840-46a9-8ac3-98248ac124bc",
  routePath: "/users/{user_id}",
  requestBody: {
    example: "data"
  },
  responseBody: "{\"example\": \"response\"}"
}

Additional Node.js Options

OptionTypeDescription
denyListArray of stringsAn array of parameter names that will be redacted from the query parameters, request body (when provided as an object, or as a JSON or form encoded string), response body (when JSON) and headers.
allowListArray of stringsIf included, denyList will be ignored and all parameters but those in this list will be redacted.
developmentboolDefaults to false. When true, the log will be marked as a development log. This is great for separating staging or test data from data coming from customers.
fireAndForgetboolDefaults to true. When false, the server will wait for the response from the metrics call. This will be slower, but the response is useful in debugging problems.

Example:

{
  denyList: ['password', 'secret'],
  development: true,
  fireAndForget: true
}

Limitations

  • The Express.js plugin only supports allowlist and denylist for JSON and form-encoded request bodies. If you need allowlist or denylist support for other request bodies, you can parse the request body yourself, and provide it to the log function.

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