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One way to organize Sails routes

Your custom routes definitions can easily get out of hand in a large Sails application. In this article we are going to take a look at a pattern I use in large Sails applications for organizing custom routes definitions.

If you are new to the Sails ecosystem you can check out Understanding Sails routes by Kelvin Omereshone to understand how routes work in Sails before proceeding to read this article. Otherwise dive right in!

Currently I have a project that is built with Sails. The project has a website, admin panel and a main quiz flow with a payment gateway to get desired service for mothers or future mothers. Each part of the project has more than 20 routes to handle.

Sails provides you with a single config/routes.js file to define your application's custom routes. To prevent complexity when you have more than a handful of routes, it is a good idea to split the routes definitions into sub routes files. Doing so, when I need to work on the quiz flow part of the app, I will be focused on routes concerning it.

The Setup

Now that I have introduced you to the problem, let's look at how to setup a simple pattern to better organize the custom routes definitions

We will be using the merge method in Lodash library - a modern JavaScript utility library delivering modularity, performance & extras.

Sails by default, loads Lodash automatically into a global underscore _ variable however, it won't be available inside of config files because they will be loaded as part of Sails initialization. So we will have to require the already installed Lodash in config/routes.js when we need it.

We will create routes/ directory within the config/ driectory. After that we will create two files in routes folder called admin.js and app.js. Below is the content of both files:

/**
 * App Routes
 * config/routes/app.js
 */

module.exports = {

  'GET /': {
    controller: 'HomeController',
    action: 'index'
  },

}
/**
 * Admin Routes
 * config/routes/admin.js
 */

module.exports = {

  'GET /admin': {
    controller: 'Admin/DashboardController',
    action: 'index'
	},

}

The last step is merging those files into our main config/routes.js file. To do this, we will import the files in config/routes/ folder and since the files are exporting objects of routes definition, we can call lodash's merge function to merge the objects into one in config/routes.js. Here is the complete implementation for that:

// config/routes.js

const _ = require('@sailshq/lodash');
const appRoutes = require('./routes/app');
const adminRoutes = require('./routes/admin');

const routes = _.merge(appRoutes, adminRoutes);

module.exports.routes = routes;

That's all the changes you need to make in order to set up this pattern in your Sails application! Going forward, if you need a new category of routes, you simply just add a new route file in routes/ and define the associated routes inside. Then you import the file in config/routes.js and then pass it as one more argument to the _.merge method.

Conclusion

You config/routes.js can easily get out of hand if your applications have a lot of custom routes. In this article I have introduced a simple pattern to help organize your routes to make them more easy to work with by you or other members of your team.

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