HTTP GET Request in Node.js Express


Question

How can I make an HTTP request from within Node.js or Express.js? I need to connect to another service. I am hoping the call is asynchronous and that the callback contains the remote server's response.

1
180
3/22/2019 1:03:50 PM

Accepted Answer

Here is a snippet of some code from a sample of mine. It's asynchronous and returns a JSON object. It can do any form of GET request.

Note that there are more optimal ways (just a sample) - for example, instead of concatenating the chunks you put into an array and join it etc... Hopefully, it gets you started in the right direction:

const http = require('http');
const https = require('https');

/**
 * getJSON:  RESTful GET request returning JSON object(s)
 * @param options: http options object
 * @param callback: callback to pass the results JSON object(s) back
 */

module.exports.getJSON = (options, onResult) => {
  console.log('rest::getJSON');
  const port = options.port == 443 ? https : http;

  let output = '';

  const req = port.request(options, (res) => {
    console.log(`${options.host} : ${res.statusCode}`);
    res.setEncoding('utf8');

    res.on('data', (chunk) => {
      output += chunk;
    });

    res.on('end', () => {
      let obj = JSON.parse(output);

      onResult(res.statusCode, obj);
    });
  });

  req.on('error', (err) => {
    // res.send('error: ' + err.message);
  });

  req.end();
};

It's called by creating an options object like:

const options = {
  host: 'somesite.com',
  port: 443,
  path: '/some/path',
  method: 'GET',
  headers: {
    'Content-Type': 'application/json'
  }
};

And providing a callback function.

For example, in a service, I require the REST module above and then do this:

rest.getJSON(options, (statusCode, result) => {
  // I could work with the resulting HTML/JSON here. I could also just return it
  console.log(`onResult: (${statusCode})\n\n${JSON.stringify(result)}`);

  res.statusCode = statusCode;

  res.send(result);
});

UPDATE

If you're looking for async/await (linear, no callback), promises, compile time support and intellisense, we created a lightweight HTTP and REST client that fits that bill:

Microsoft typed-rest-client

206
3/22/2019 1:20:44 PM

Try using the simple http.get(options, callback) function in node.js:

var http = require('http');
var options = {
  host: 'www.google.com',
  path: '/index.html'
};

var req = http.get(options, function(res) {
  console.log('STATUS: ' + res.statusCode);
  console.log('HEADERS: ' + JSON.stringify(res.headers));

  // Buffer the body entirely for processing as a whole.
  var bodyChunks = [];
  res.on('data', function(chunk) {
    // You can process streamed parts here...
    bodyChunks.push(chunk);
  }).on('end', function() {
    var body = Buffer.concat(bodyChunks);
    console.log('BODY: ' + body);
    // ...and/or process the entire body here.
  })
});

req.on('error', function(e) {
  console.log('ERROR: ' + e.message);
});

There is also a general http.request(options, callback) function which allows you to specify the request method and other request details.


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