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Query REST Data from Node.js

The API Server exposes Web services that allow connectivity to your data. Use the OData endpoint of the CData API Server to execute CRUD queries to REST data from Node.js.

The CData API Server, when paired with the ADO.NET Provider for REST, exposes REST data (or data from any of 190+ other ADO.NET Providers) as an OData endpoint, which can be queried from Node.js using simple HTTP requests. This article shows how to use the API Server to request JSON-formatted REST data in Node.js.

Set Up the API Server

Follow the steps below to begin producing secure REST OData services:

Deploy

The API Server runs on your own server. On Windows, you can deploy using the stand-alone server or IIS. On a Java servlet container, drop in the API Server WAR file. See the help documentation for more information and how-tos.

The API Server is also easy to deploy on Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2, and Heroku.

Connect to REST

After you deploy the API Server and the ADO.NET Provider for REST, provide authentication values and other connection properties needed to connect to REST by clicking Settings -> Connections and adding a new connection in the API Server administration console.

See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models REST APIs as bidirectional database tables and XML/JSON files as read-only views (local files, files stored on popular cloud services, and FTP servers). The major authentication schemes are supported, including HTTP Basic, Digest, NTLM, OAuth, and FTP. See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation for authentication guides.

After setting the URI and providing any authentication values, set Format to "XML" or "JSON" and set DataModel to more closely match the data representation to the structure of your data.

The DataModel property is the controlling property over how your data is represented into tables and toggles the following basic configurations.

  • Document (default): Model a top-level, document view of your REST data. The data provider returns nested elements as aggregates of data.
  • FlattenedDocuments: Implicitly join nested documents and their parents into a single table.
  • Relational: Return individual, related tables from hierarchical data. The tables contain a primary key and a foreign key that links to the parent document.

See the Modeling REST Data chapter for more information on configuring the relational representation. You will also find the sample data used in the following examples. The data includes entries for people, the cars they own, and various maintenance services performed on those cars.

You can then choose the REST entities you want to allow the API Server access to by clicking Settings -> Resources.

Authorize API Server Users

After determining the OData services you want to produce, authorize users by clicking Settings -> Users. The API Server uses authtoken-based authentication and supports the major authentication schemes. Access can also be restricted based on IP address; all IP addresses except the local machine are restricted by default. You can authenticate as well as encrypt connections with SSL.

Consume REST OData Feeds from Node.js

OData feeds are easy to work with in Node.js. You can use the HTTP client in Node.js to request JSON-formatted data from the API Server's OData endpoint. After making the request, you can construct the body of the response and call the JSON.parse() function to parse it into records.

The code below will make an authenticated request for people data. The example URL below applies a simple filter that searches for records with a value of Roberts in the [ personal.name.last ] column.

var http = require('http'); http.get({ protocol: "http:", hostname: "MyServer.com", port: MyPort, path: "/api.rsc/people?$filter=" + encodeURIComponent("[ personal.name.last ] eq 'Roberts'"), auth: 'MyUser:MyAuthtoken' }, function(res) { var body = ''; res.on('data', function(chunk) { body += chunk; }); res.on('end', function() { console.log(body); var jsonData = JSON.parse(body); }); }).on('error', function(e) { console.log("Error: ", e); });