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SAP HANA XS Advanced - Modules within Node.js SAP HANA applications

Working with Node.js modules
You will learn

In a previous tutorial you created a Node.js Module, but didn’t really do much Node.js specific programming. You were only using Node.js to run XSJS and XSODATA services. The support for XSJS and XSODATA is an important feature for XS Advanced. It not only allows backward compatible support for much of your existing development, but it also provides a simplified programming model as an alternative to the non-blocking I/O event-driven programming model normally used by Node.js

jung-thomasThomas JungJanuary 12, 2021
Created by
September 16, 2016


, but you certainly aren’t limited to only the functionality provided by XSJS and XSODATA. You have access to the full programming model of Node.js as well. In this section you will learn how to extend your existing Node.js module in the SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA.

You will learn about how to create and use reusable code in the form of Node.js modules. You will use package.json to define dependencies to these modules which make the installation of them quite easy. You will use one of the most popular modules – express - which helps with the setup the handling of the request and response object. You will use express to handle multiple HTTP handlers in the same service by using routes.

You will learn about the fundamentals of the asynchronous nature of Node.js You will also see how this asynchronous capability allows for non-blocking input and output. This technique is one of the basic things that makes Node.js development different from other JavaScript development and also creates one of the reasons for its growing popularity. You will see how these techniques are applied to common operations like HTTP web service calls or even SAP HANA database access. You will also see how to create language translatable text strings and HANA database queries from Node.js

Your final part of this section will demonstrate the ease at which you can tap into the powerful web sockets capabilities of Node.js You will use web sockets to build a simple chat application. Any message sent from the SAPUI5 client side application will be propagated by the server to all listening clients.

  • Step 1

    Return to the project from the previous tutorial ( and create a new module of type Node.js.

    New Module

    Give the module the name: core_node. Leave all other fields at the default and press Finish.

    New Module Finish

    In this new Node.js module you have the server.js source file as your mail entry point. You would like to extend server.js to also handle some purely Node.js code as well.

    server file

    Begin by adding two new Node.js module requirements toward the beginning of the file. One is for the http built-in module and the other is the popular open source module express. One of the most common tasks in Node.js is acting as a web server and handling http requests/responses. Express is a module that wraps and extends the low level http library and provides many additional services.

    /*eslint no-console: 0, no-unused-vars: 0, no-undef:0, no-process-exit:0*/
    /*eslint-env node, es6 */
    "use strict";
    const https = require("https");
    const port = process.env.PORT || 3100;
    const server = require("http").createServer();
    const express = require("express");
    //Initialize Express App for XSA UAA and HDBEXT Middleware
    const xsenv = require("@sap/xsenv");
    const passport = require("passport");
    const xssec = require("@sap/xssec");
    const xsHDBConn = require("@sap/hdbext");
    xsenv.loadEnv(); = xsenv.loadCertificates();
    global.__base = __dirname + "/";
    global.__uaa = process.env.UAA_SERVICE_NAME;
    let logging = require("@sap/logging");
    let appContext = logging.createAppContext();
    //Initialize Express App for XS UAA and HDBEXT Middleware
    let app = express();
    //Build a JWT Strategy from the bound UAA resource
    passport.use("JWT", new xssec.JWTStrategy(xsenv.getServices({
    	uaa: {
    		tag: "xsuaa"
    //Add XS Logging to Express
    	appContext: appContext,
    	logNetwork: true
    //Add Passport JWT processing
    let hanaOptions = xsenv.getServices({
    	hana: {
    		plan: "hdi-shared"
    hanaOptions.hana.pooling = true;
    //Add Passport for Authentication via JWT + HANA DB connection as Middleware in Expess
    	passport.authenticate("JWT", {
    		session: false
    //Setup Additional Node.js Routes
    require("./router")(app, server);
    //Start the Server
    server.on("request", app);
    server.listen(port, function () {`HTTP Server: ${server.address().port}`);

    Please take a look at the code you have just pasted.

    First, the @sap/logging module is used to write log and trace files. By calling the external node module, passport, you are enforcing the UAA authentication you defined earlier. How? By using a JWT (JSON web token) strategy, a middleware function passes the request to the actual route which, in this case, is the xsuaa service you defined at the very beginning using the XS client. You are then injecting an instance of @sap/hdbext, called xsHDBConn. This module is designed to expose pooled HANA database connections as a Node.js middleware.

  • Step 2

    Back in server.js, you are calling a router. You will now create a router that will accommodate the different Express route requests. You will mimic part of the folder structure suggested in the Express module documentation and create a folder called router with a file called index.js in it.

    Create routes and index file

    Routes determine how your application will respond to different requests based on the URI and HTTP method. In the following code, a call aiming at the path node like https://app_URL:port/node will be handled by a script called myNode:.

    /*eslint no-console: 0, no-unused-vars: 0, no-undef:0, no-process-exit:0*/
    /*eslint-env node, es6 */
    "use strict";
    module.exports = (app, server) => {
    	app.use("/node", require("./routes/myNode")());
    	app.use( (err, req, res, next) => {
    		res.status(500).send(`System Error ${JSON.stringify(err)}`);

    Add the code to the new index.js file and save.

  • Step 3

    As you can imagine from the code in the previous step, you now need a script called myNode.js in a folder called routes

    myNode.js new file

    Add the following code to it:

    /*eslint no-console: 0, no-unused-vars: 0, no-shadow: 0, new-cap: 0*/
    /*eslint-env node, es6 */
    "use strict";
    var express = require("express");
    module.exports = function() {
    	var app = express.Router();
    	//Hello Router
    	app.get("/", (req, res) => {
    		return res.type("text/plain").status(200).send("Hello World Node.js");
    	return app;

    You are now responding to a GET request to the relative root location of the file (in this case, router). However, in the index.js file inside the router folder, you set the path to /node in the URL. You need to map this route in the xs-app.json file in the HTML5 module.

  • Step 4

    Because it is the web module that is exposed for calls, you need to add the new /node route to the file xs-app.json:

     		"source": "/node(.*)",
     		"destination": "core-backend",
     		"csrfProtection": true,
     		"authenticationType": "xsuaa"

    As follows:

    Add route in xs-app.json

    We also need to go to the mta.yaml and now extend the web module to include a dependency to the core_node module. Add a new Requires entry for the web module. Set it to the core_node_api (provider) with a Group value of destinations. Create properties of name = core-backend, url = ~{url}, and forwardAuthToken = true.

    Add dependency in mta.yaml

    Now we need to extend the dependencies for the core_node module itself so it has access to the UAA and HANA service also. Add entries in the Requires section for these resources.

    Add dependency in mta.yaml for core_node

  • Step 5

    Back in step 1 you added the modules express, passport and several other modules using the require function. You now need to add them manually in the package.json file with the rest of the dependencies for the core_node module.

    Add dependencies in js module
    "express": "^4.17",
    "@sap/xssec": "^2.2",
    "@sap/xsenv": "^2.2",
    "@sap/hdbext": "~6.2",
    "@sap/textbundle": "latest",
    "@sap/logging": "~5.2",
    "passport": "~0.4.0",
    "async": "latest",
    "ws": "~7.2",
    "accept-language-parser": "latest",
    "node-xlsx": "~0.15",
    "node-zip": "~1.1.1",
    "xmldoc": "~1.1.2",
    "winston": "~3.2",
    "body-parser": "~1.19",
    "elementtree": "latest",
    "then-request": "latest"
  • Step 6

    You can now run the core_node module.

    Run and build

    After it has built and started running, you can run the web module. This will open a new tab with the index.html. Test the original .xsjs service is running properly after the paths were changed with the route handler. Replace html with xsjs:


    You can also test the newly added router by adding /node to the URL:

    Replace with node
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