Simple API Calls with Node.js and Express


Question

I'm just getting started with Node, APIs, and web applications.

I understand the basic workings of Node.js and Express, but now I want to start making calls to other service's APIs and to do stuff with their data.

Can you outline basic HTTP requests and how to grab/parse the responses in Node? I'm also interested in adding specific headers to my request (initially I'm using the http://www.getharvest.com API to crunch my time sheet data).

P.S. This seems simple, but a lot of searching didn't turn up anything that answered my question. If this is dupe, let me know and I'll delete.

Thanks!

1
47
12/26/2017 12:52:38 PM

Accepted Answer

You cannot fetch stuff with Express, you should use Mikeal's request library for that specific purpose.

The API for that library is very simple:

var request = require('request');
request('http://www.google.com', function (error, response, body) {
  if (!error && response.statusCode == 200) {
    console.log(body) // Print the google web page.
  }
})

Edit: You're better of using this library instead of the http default one because it has a much nicer API and some more advanced features (it even supports cookies).

51
12/15/2011 7:16:34 AM

You can use the http client:

var http = require('http');
var client = http.createClient(3000, 'localhost');
var request = client.request('PUT', '/users/1');
request.write("stuff");
request.end();
request.on("response", function (response) {
  // handle the response
});

Also, you can set headers as described in the api documentation:

client.request(method='GET', path, [request_headers])

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