Thursday, July 25, 2013

Server side modules with Architect

After my last notes on a client side modular architecture using require.js I'll talk about server side modules using Architect.


In my opinion every application (not only the bigger ones) needs to be divided into interdependent modules. This helps a lot when you deal with testing and enhancing your application.
In node.js applications, you will see and use this pattern very often:

//import a module
var Database = require('./db');

// initialize a module using some options 
var db = new Database('http://my.db.connection');

// initializing a module injecting a dependency 
var usermanager = require('./usermanager')(db);

But what if you want to use this module in other applications ? In this case you should make an npm independent package for each module, of course. And, in the main application you would initialize each package in the proper order. This is repeatitive and tedious furthermore, when the number of the packages starts to get bigger, initializing each module in the proper order can be an issue.

From modules to plugins

Architect uses a simple declarative syntax to explain the interconnections between packages. It also starts the system in the correct order initializing each package just once.
I recommend to read the documentation on github. It's very clear and detailed.

Express.js and Architect

I have set up a simple express.js/architect boilerplate to show how to use Architect to make an extensible express.js application.

I hope this will be useful ...

A friend of mine suggest me to use a git subtree for each package. Nice idea!