💪 Express.js on steroids: an OOP way for organizing Node.js project [starring TypeScript]

Table of contents

1. Intro
2. Divide it into layers
3. Add some OOP
4. Under the hood
5. Example


Well, I like Express.js for its minimalism and beginner-friendliness — this framework is really easy to use. But when code grows, you need a way to organize it somehow. Unfortunately, Express.js doesn’t provide any convenient way to do it, so we developers must organize it by ourselves.

Divide it into layers

For convenience, let’s divide our server application into separate layers.

  1. Controller — a server unit that receives particular data from the client and passes it to the Service layer
  2. Service — business logic, i.e. pieces of code that are responsible for handling and manipulating data
  3. Model — data from our database, which is well organized by ORM

Add some OOP

Imagine there’s a controller that is responsible for authenticating a user. It has to provide login logic and some other.

class AuthController extends Controller {
path = '/auth'; // The path on which this.routes will be mapped
routes = [
path: '/login', // Will become /auth/login
method: Methods.POST,
handler: this.handleLogin,
localMiddleware: []
// Other routes...

constructor() {

async handleLogin(req: Request, res: Response, next: NextFunction): Promise<void> {
try {
const { username, password } = req.body; // Get credentials from client
const userService = new UserService(username, password);
const result = await userService.login(); // Use login service
if (result.success) {
// Send success response
} else {
// Send error response
} catch(e) {
// Handle error
// Other handlers...

As you can see, routes now look like an array of objects with the following properties:

  • path
  • method: HTTP method
  • handler: particular handler for the path
  • localMiddleware: an array of middleware that is mapped to path of each route

Also, login logic is encapsulated into the service layer, so in the handler, we just pass the data to the UserService instance, receive the result, and send it back to the client.

Under the hood

import { Response, Request, NextFunction, Router, RequestHandler } from 'express';

// HTTP methods
export enum Methods {
GET = 'GET',
PUT = 'PUT',

// Route interface for each route in `routes` field of `Controller` class.
interface IRoute {
path: string;
method: Methods;
handler: (req: Request, res: Response, next: NextFunction) => void | Promise<void>;
localMiddleware: ((req: Request, res: Response, next: NextFunction) => void)[]

export default abstract class Controller {
// Router instance for mapping routes
public router: Router = Router();
// The path on which this.routes will be mapped
public abstract path: string;
// Array of objects which implement IRoutes interface
protected abstract readonly routes: Array<IRoute> = [];

public setRoutes = (): Router => {
// Set HTTP method, middleware, and handler for each route
// Returns Router object, which we will use in Server class
for (const route of this.routes) {
for (const mw of route.localMiddleware) {
this.router.use(route.path, mw)
switch (route.method) {
case 'GET':
this.router.get(route.path, route.handler);
case 'POST':
this.router.post(route.path, route.handler);
case 'PUT':
this.router.put(route.path, route.handler);
case 'DELETE':
this.router.delete(route.path, route.handler);
// Throw exception
// Return router instance (will be usable in Server class)
return this.router;

Well, everything seems pretty trivial. We have a Router instance which we use as an "engine" for every instance of a class that will be inherited from the abstract Controller class.

Another good idea is to look at how the Server class is implemented.

class Server {
private app: Application;
private readonly port: number;

constructor(app: Application, database: Sequelize, port: number) {
this.app = app;
this.port = port;

public run(): http.Server {
return this.app.listen(this.port, () => {
console.log(`Up and running on port ${this.port}`)

public loadGlobalMiddleware(middleware: Array<RequestHandler>): void {
// global stuff like cors, body-parser, etc
middleware.forEach(mw => {

public loadControllers(controllers: Array<Controller>): void {
controllers.forEach(controller => {
// use setRoutes method that maps routes and returns Router object
this.app.use(controller.path, controller.setRoutes());

public async initDatabase(): Promise<void> {
// ...

And in index.js:

const app = express();
const server = new Server(app, db, PORT);

const controllers: Array<Controller> = [
new AuthController(),
new TokenController(),
new MatchmakingController(),
new RoomController()

const globalMiddleware: Array<RequestHandler> = [
urlencoded({ extended: false }),
cors({ credentials: true, origin: true }),
// ...

.then(() => server.initDatabase())
.then(() => {


I used this organizing practice in my recent project, source code of which you can find here: https://github.com/thedenisnikulin/chattitude-app-backend

That’s pretty much it, thank you for reading this article :).

Originally published at https://dev.to on November 10, 2020.