Go from having no previous setup to deploying a simple Node website

These are a set of steps for going from having nothing setup to a simple site built with node and hosted in the cloud. This simple site will have one route to the index.html page. The html page will point to a static hosted image file. It will also call an API which pulls data from a database ( DocumentDB but with the MongoDB API ).

Prep / Setup

Node, NPM, and Hapi

  • Install the latest stable version of Node from https://nodejs.org.
  • Create a folder named ‘dev’ in your Documents folder.
  • Open your command-line tool to the ‘dev’ folder.
  • Type npm init to initialize by creating a ‘package.json’ file.
    • Press ENTER through all the prompts to select the defaults.
  • Add Hapi by entering npm install --save Hapi

The ‘–save’ (or ‘-S’) adds it to the ‘package.json’ file as a dependency for this app. This will tell cloud service, or any dev, what packages are needed to build this project.

Create the app


Competitors to Hapi are Express, Koa, Lazo, Restify - I am keeping a list here

  • Create a ‘index.js’ file in the ‘dev’ folder. This can also be ‘server.js’ or ‘app.js’.
  • Copy and paste into ‘index.js’ the first example from https://hapijs.com/
  • In the terminal window, that is open to the ‘dev’ folder type node .. This tells Node to run the app.
  • In a browser go to ‘http://localhost:8000/hello’ to view the app.
  • Use ctrl C, in the terminal window, to shut down the app.
  • Next lets change the server connection port to be ready for deployment to a cloud service.
    server.connection({ port: process.env.PORT || 7070 });

I am dropping localhost because it’s my system knows that and azure won’t want it. If that breaks things for you than put it back.

Serving HTML and static files

  • Add a ‘views’ folder to the ‘dev’ folder.
  • Add an ‘index.html’ file with HTML code such as:
    <!doctype html>
        <meta charset="UTF-8">

Be sure to use a web text editor, TextEdit gave me issues at this step.

  • With NPM install the node modules ‘vision’ and ‘handlebars’:
    npm install -S vision && npm install -S handlebars
  • Change the ‘routes’ block to this:
    server.register(require('vision'), function(err) {
        if (err) {throw err;}
            method: 'GET',
            path: '/',
            handler: function (request, reply) {reply.view('index');}
            engines: { html: require('handlebars') },
            relativeTo: __dirname,
            path: 'views',

‘Vision’ is “Templates rendering support for hapi.js” from the core team https://github.com/hapijs/vision

  • Now start the app from the terminal window with node ..
  • Check it out at ‘http://localhost:7070/’. You should see ‘Hello’ from your index view.

Serve up static files

  • Create a folder named ‘public’.
  • Add an image file named ‘logo.png’.
  • With NPM install inert: npm install -S inert

‘Inert’ is static file and directory handlers for hapi.js from the core team https://github.com/hapijs/inert

  • In the ‘index.js’ file add the following block above this line ‘server.register(require(‘vision’)…’:
    server.register(require('inert'), function(err){
        if (err) {throw err;}
            method: 'GET',
            path: '/{file*}',
            handler: {
            directory: {path: 'public'},
  • In the BODY of the ‘index.html’ file add the logo image
    <img src="/img/logo.png" />
  • Now start the app from the command-line tool with node ..
  • Check it out at ‘http://localhost:7070/’. You should see the image in the web page.

Deploying to a cloud service

In this demo we will be deploying to Azure but it could any PaaS (Platform as a Service). I am keeping a list here


  • In the Azure portal create a NEW Web App. Give it a name, a Resource Group, and a Service Plan.
  • When it is created click the Quickstart button in the Web App properties. Choose Node and then ‘Local Source Control’.
  • Click the link to configure credentials. Make a Username and Password.
  • Click to the Deployment Options. Choose ‘Local Git Repo’. Click OK.
  • Find the GIT URL on the properties page of your Web App.


  • Install Git from https://git-scm.com/ or see all the ways here
  • In command-line tool type git init to initialize this folder as a git repo.
  • Add a .gitignore file to your repo paste these two items into it:
  • Type git add -A to add all files to the git repo.
  • Type git commit -m "Hello Azure App Service" to commit the changes.
  • Type git remote add azure https://USERNAME@WEBAPPNAME.scm.azurewebsites.net:443/WEBAPPNAME.git
  • Type git push azure master

The official MS Docs with more info can be found here

Add a Database

DocumentDB but really MongoDB but really DocumentDB

  • In the Azure portal Click NEW > DATABASES > NOSQL/DOCUMENTDB.
  • Give it a name.
  • Click to make it use the MongDB API.
  • Choose a Resource Group and Location.
  • Click Ok.
  • In the properties click the Quickstart button. Choose the Node.js tab and find the connection string.

Create an API with I/O to the database

  • First install the ‘hapi-mongodb’ package with npm install -S hapi-mongodb.
  • In the ‘index.js’ find the block that starts with ‘server.start(err => {…’
  • Instead of that whole block paste this one but include your Database Connection String:
  var MongoDB = require('hapi-mongodb');
  var dbOpts = {
      settings: {
          db: { native_parser: false },
          method: 'GET',
          path: '/allbooks',
          config: {
              handler: function(request, reply){
                  var db = request.server.plugins['hapi-mongodb'].db;
                  reply(db.collection('books').find({}, { title: 1 }).toArray());
              cors: true
          method: 'POST',
          path: '/addbook',
          config: {
              handler: function(request, reply){
                  var db = request.server.plugins['hapi-mongodb'].db;
                  { title: request.payload.title },
                  { title: request.payload.title },
                  { upsert: true },
                  function(err, result){
                      return reply(result);
              cors: true
  server.register({ register: MongoDB, options: dbOpts }, function(err){
      if (err) { throw err; }
  • Let’s walk through what the above code does.
    • It ‘requires’ the hapi-mongodb package.
    • It includes the DB connection string from azure
    • It creates two routes. One for getting all records from the database and one for adding records to the database.
    • Then it starts the server after registering the MongoDB module with an options object.

Use the API from the view

  • In the ‘index.html’ file add this jQuery script under the IMG tag:
    <script src="https://code.jquery.com/jquery-3.2.0.min.js"></script>
  • Then add this block inside of a new SCRIPT block:
    var unique = new Date().getTime();
    var sendr = $.post("/addbook", { title: "Title " + unique });
        $.getJSON("/allbooks").then(function (res) {
            var arr = res.map(function(o){
                return '<li>' + o.title + '</li>';
            $(document.body).append( '<ol>' + arr.join('') + '</ol>');
  • The above code sends off a request that tells the API to create a new record in the database. When that request is complete it asks the api to get all records and appends them to the BODY.

Comments and questions are here: /blog/issues/17

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