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Node.js: Implementing Routing using Express.js

Posted by: Mahesh Sabnis , on 6/23/2016, in Category Node.js
Views: 7344
Abstract: Use Express.js and Node.js to implement routing on server side to deliver Html pages as well as Data

In this article, we will use Express.js to implement routing on server side to deliver Html pages as well as Data.

Node.js & Express application: The implementation

This application will be implemented using Visual Studio Code (VSCode). VSCode is a new IDE from Microsoft used for developing and debugging modern application. This is a free IDE and can be installed on Windows OS, Linux and MAC OSX. You can download VSCode from this link.


Step 1: Create a folder on your machine with the name RoutingUsingExpress. Open VSCode. Using File > Open Folder option, open RoutingUsingExpress. Using VSCode create a new JavaScript file of the name app.js.

Step 2: We need to install Node Intellisense and Express.js for the application. To install these, right click on app.js and select Open in Command Prompt. This will open the command prompt from where we will install the required packages.

Run the following command from the command prompt:

npm install tsd –g

This is a TSD package manager for searching and installing TypeScript definition files. We will use this package for installing Express. We also need TSD to use intellisense in VSCode.

tsd query node --action install

This will install TSD for Node so that we can use its intellisense.

Npm install express
tsd query express --action install

This will install Express using Node Package manager and install the TypeScript definition for Express so that we can use its intellisense in VSCode.

Step 3: In the project, add the Views folder with following three files

  • Home.html
  • About.html
  • Contact.html

Step 4: In app.js, add the following code:

var express = require('express');
var path = require('path');
var app = express();
var objExpress = express.Router();

objExpress.get("/", function (request, response) {
    response.sendFile('home.html', { root: path.join(__dirname, './Views') });

objExpress.get('/about', function (request, response) {
    response.sendFile('about.html', { root: path.join(__dirname, './Views') });
objExpress.get('/contact', function (request, response) {
    response.sendFile('contact.html', { root: path.join(__dirname, './Views') });
objExpress.get('/data', function (req, resp) {
    var Emp = [
        { 'EmpNo': 101, 'EmpName': "A" },
        { 'EmpNo': 102, 'EmpName': "B" },
objExpress.get('/data/:dname', function (req, resp) {
    var id = req.params.dname;
    if (id == 'IT') {
        var Emp = [
            { 'EmpNo': 101, 'EmpName': "A", 'DeptNae': 'IT' },
            { 'EmpNo': 102, 'EmpName': "B" , 'DeptNae': 'IT' },
    } else {
        var Emp = [
            { 'EmpNo': 101, 'EmpName': "C", 'DeptNae': 'Systems' },
            { 'EmpNo': 102, 'EmpName': "D", 'DeptNae': 'Systems' },

app.listen(8090, function () {
    console.log('Listening on  port 8090');
console.log('Application started....');


The above code has the following specifications:

Note: Line numbers below matches with the comments applied on the code.

1. Loads the Express module

2. Loads the path module so that the directory path for html files can be read.

3. Creates an instance of Express object. This will be used to define the port on which incoming http requests will be read.

4. This line calls the Router() function so that functions for route can be defined for http request types (get, post, put, delete, etc.). The instance of the Routing is defined as objExpress.

5. Use the get() function on the Express router object. This accepts two parameters - the first parameter is Route Expression URI and second parameter is the callback which responds with the home.html file in the Views directory.

6. Route expression for about.html

7. Route expression for contact.html.

8. The get() call which has the URL expression ‘/data’. This function is written to respond with an Employee array.

9. The get() call uses /data:dname, URI expression. Here
dname is the parameter which will be passed with Http request in the URL. The get() function will execute based on the value of dname. In the current example, if dname is IT then the if statement will be executed, otherwise else statement will be executed.

10. The use() function loads the router object in Express instance so that it will be used in http requests.

11. Express will start listening on 8090 port using the listen() function.

Step 5: To run the application, enter the following command in the command prompt which can be opened using Step 2.

Node app

The following result will be displayed


Open the Browser e.g. Chrome and enter the following URL






This will show the Employees data as shown in the following image



This will show Employee data with DeptName value as IT:



Express web application in Node.js provides functions using which we can implement routing for responding with html views and data.

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Mahesh Sabnis is a DotNetCurry author and Microsoft MVP having over 17 years of experience in IT education and development. He is a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) since 2005 and has conducted various Corporate Training programs for .NET Technologies (all versions). Follow him on twitter @maheshdotnet

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