Getting started with AdonisJS — a JavaScript framework for Node.js

Published May 09, 2017Last updated May 17, 2017
Getting started with AdonisJS — a JavaScript framework for Node.js

TL;DR

AdonisJs is a true MVC Framework for Node.js. It encapsulate all the boring parts of Web programming and offers you a nice & clean API to work with. AdonisJs makes it easy to write web applications with less code. In this article, i will show you how to get started with AdonisJs. Checkout the repo on Github.

Node.js is one of the emerging technologies to write real-time applications using one of your favorite web languages: Javascript. With the ample choices of frameworks to write your first web server, not even a single one offers the desired developer experience. This is where AdonisJs shines.

What really Makes AdonisJs tick?

AdonisJs is inspired by a PHP Framework called Laravel. It borrows the concepts of Dependency injection and service providers to write beautiful code which is testable to its core. Shipped with some cool features like:

  • Lucid ORM (Effective Implementation of Active Record)
  • Authentication
  • Database Migrations
  • Mailing System
  • Data Validator

Similar to Laravel, here are some features Adonis has which are similar to Laravel’s:

  • Routing
  • Scaffolding
  • IOC (Inversion of Control) and Dependency Injection (DI)
  • Query Builder
  • Model Factories and Database Seeding
  • Directory Structure
  • Artisan like command utility called ACE

Why should I use AdonisJs?

AdonisJs focuses on the key aspects of creating stable and scalable web applications, some of them are:

Developer Experience

The framework makes use of latest inbuilt ES2015 features to get rid of spaghetti code. You will hardly find yourself writing callbacks since there is a solid support for ES2015 generators. Also, the OOP nature of the framework helps you in abstracting your code into multiple re-usable chunks.
Consistent API

Consistent API

The API throughout the code base is so consistent that after working for a while, you will be able to guess the method names, expected output, etc.
Speed & Productivity

Speed and Productivity

AdonisJs ships with a bunch of 1st party components known as providers. Writing entire web server is a matter of weeks(if not days). It ships with solid support for Mailing, Authentication, Redis, SQL ORM, Data validation and sanitization, etc.

Installing AdonisJS

Installing AdonisJs is very straight forward, the prerequisites is Nodejs >=4.0 and NPM >=3.0.

npm is a package manager for Node.js. During the development process, you will find yourself using npm install a lot. Hence all dependencies are pulled from npm only.

Note: We’ll be using a command line (terminal) through out, if you are on Mac OS, Ubuntu, Linux the commands we’d use should work. If you are on windows, get a command line tool like Git Bash, so you can use the same comamnds.

Installing Adonis-CLI

We’ll install adonis-cli globally using npm. It is a command line tool to scaffold new applications within a matter of seconds.

npm i -g adonis-cli

With Adonis-CLI installed, we can create projects using it. For this tutorial, we’ll be creating a project holla-adonis.

We’ll create the project using Adonis-CLI

adonis new holla-adonis


scaffolding a new project with adonis-cli

Now you’ve created a new project, lets move into the directory and launch the HTTP server.

cd holla-adonis thennpm run serve:dev

Now open up your favourite browser and navigate to http://localhost:3333 and you should see the welcome screen.
welcome screen

Installing AdonisJs manually

If you’d prefer installing Adonis without adonis-cli (which you should definitely use), you can clone the source from Github and build manually:

git clone --dissociate https://github.com/adonisjs/adonis-app holla-adonis

cd holla-adonis

Install Dependencies

npm install

Were there problems while Installing AdonisJs?

If you have not updated to the latest or supported version of Node.js , you might encounter Proxies Error why? Because older versions of Node.js requires the --harmony_proxies flag to add support for ES2015 Proxies. If you are using Node.js < 6.0, make sure to make following changes.

Open up the package.json file in your holla-adonis directory, and replace the values of the json keys to this:

And replace the first line of the ace file to:

#!/usr/bin/env node — harmony_proxies

Conclusion

In this article, we explored the AdonisJs framework from noting its features, to Installing and setting up a Project with it.

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