Node.js Modules

In node.js, module is a JavaScript file and it will contain a set of functions to reuse it in node.js applications.

 

In node.js, each file is treated as separate module and the modules in node.js are same like JavaScript libraries.

 

In node.js, modules are useful to move the common functionalities to separate .js file to reuse it in applications based on our requirements. In node.js, each module has its own context, so if we create any new module that won’t interfere with other modules in application.

Include / Import Module in Node.js

In node.js, we can include or import a module by using require directive with module name like as shown below.

 

// importing node.js built-in http module

var http = require('http');

We imported an http module by using require directive. Now our application is having an access to HTTP module so we can create a server to listen a request and response on particular port number like as shown below.

 

// creating server

http.createServer(function (req, res) {

res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/html'});

res.write('Welcome to Tutlane');

res.end();

}).listen(4200);

This is how we can include or import a modules in our node.js applications.

Node.js Module Types

In node.js, modules are divided into three primary categories, those are:

 

  • Built-in Modules
  • External Modules
  • Custom Modules

Node.js Built-in / Core Modules

By default, the node.js comes with a set of built-in modules and these are useful while implementing an application.

 

Generally, the built-in or core modules are installed on our machine during the node.js installation and those will load automatically when node.js process starts. To use built-in modules in our node.js application, we need to import it using require directive like as mentioned above.

 

Following table lists some of the important built-in / core modules available in node.js.

 

ModuleDescription
http It is useful to create a HTTP server in node.js.
url It provides a utlities for URL resolution and parsing.
querystring It provides a functionalities to parse and format URL query strings.
path It is useful to deal with file paths.
fs It is useful to handle file system related operations like read, write, open, etc.
crypto It is useful to work with cryptographic functionalities like cipher key, decipher, sign, etc.
net This module provides an asynchronous network API for creating stream-based TCP or IPC servers.
dns It is useful for domain name resolutions and DNS queries.
os It is helpful to work with operating system related utility methods.

Node.js Built-in Module Example

Following is the example of using a built-in / core http module in node.js applications. Now, create a file called Helloworld.js and write the code like as shown below.

Helloworld.js

// importing node.js built-in http module

var http = require('http');

// creating server

http.createServer(function (req, res) {

res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/html'});

res.write('Hello World!');

res.end();

}).listen(4200);

If you observe above code, we imported an http module by using require directive to access HTTP module and created a server to listen the request and response on port number 4200.

 

Here, the above code will tells the computer to write “Hello World” if anyone tries to access your computer on port 4200.

 

Now, open node.js command prompt and navigate to the folder that contains a Helloworld.js file and initiate it by entering a command like as shown below.

 

Execute Built-in Modules Example in Node.js Command Prompt

 

Now your computer will work as server so if anyone tries to access your computer with port 4200, then in return they will get a “Hello world” message like as shown below.

 

Node.js Built-in Modules Example Result

Node.js External / Third Party Modules

In node.js, the external modules are implemented by node.js community people to solve the lot of common coding problems without rewriting the same code for every application.

 

Generally, these external modules are published in Node Package Manager (NPM) registry, so to use external modules in our application, first we need to install the external module codebase from NPM locally using Npm install module_name command.

 

Once we install the codebase locally from NPM, then we can import it in our application using require(‘module_name’) function.

 

Following table lists some of the widely downloaded external / third party modules from NPM in node.js.

 

ModuleDescription
bower It will make sure all application packages are up to date.
csv It provide a functionality to generate CSV file dynamically, modify it, transforming csv, etc.
debug It’s a utility to which consist core debugging methods.
gulp To make automation for your web app to resolve workflow.
lodash Provides an extensive set of functions to achieve high performance with fewer lines of code.
mongoose It is useful to work with object modeling tools.
mongodb It's an official MongoDB driver for the nodejs application.

Node.js Custom / Own Modules

In node.js, the built-in and external modules are created by others to fulfill some common functionalities, but it's not limited that we should use only those packages/modules.

 

In node.js, we can also create our own custom module and use it in our application by just importing it.

 

Following is the example of creating a module called custommodule to perform an arithmetic operations like addition, multiplication, subtraction and division.

 

Now, create a file called custommodule.js and write the code like as shown below.

custommodule.js

// Creating function for adding two values

exports.Addition = function(val1, val2)

{

    return (val1 + val2)

}

 

// Creating function for subtracting two values

exports.Subtract = function(val1, val2)

{

    return (val1 - val2)

}

 

// Creating function for multiplying two values

exports.Multiplication = function(val1, val2)

{

    return (val1 * val2)

}

 

// Creating function for dividing two values

exports.Division = function(val1, val2)

{

    return (val1 / val2)

}

Here, we created our own custom module (custommodule) with different functions and used an exports keyword to make our properties and methods available outside the module file.

Include / Import Custom Module in Node.js

In node.js, we can include or import our custom module same like built-in or external modules by using require directive with module name like as shown below.

 

Now, create a file called mathoperations.js and write the code like as shown following to include our custom module (custommodule) in node.js application.

mathoperations.js

// Import bulit-in and custom modules

var http = require('http');

var cm = require('./custommodule');

//Create server

http.createServer(function (req, res) {

    res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/html'});

    res.write('Addition: ' + cm.Addition(25,50) + '</br>');

    res.write('Subtraction: ' + cm.Subtract(25,50) + '</br>');

    res.write('Multiplication: ' + cm.Multiplication(25,50) + '</br>');

    res.write('Division: ' + cm.Division(25,50));

    res.end();

}).listen(4200, console.log('Server running on port 4200'));

If you observe above example, we used a ./ to locate our custom module (customodule) in require function, that means the custom module (custommodule.js) exists in the same folder where mathoperations.js file exists.

 

Now open node.js command prompt, navigate to the folder where the files exists and enter a command like node mathoperations.js and click enter like as shown below.

 

Execute custom modules in node.js command prompt

 

Now our computer will work as server, so if anyone tries to access our computer with http://localhost:4200 url, then in return they will get result like as shown below.

 

Node.js custom modules example result

 

This is how we can create and import custom modules in our node.js applications based on requirements.

 

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