Node.js Tips

Node.js Tips — Try/Catch, Express and Clusters, and Getting Mime Types

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Like any kind of apps, there are difficult issues to solve when we write Node apps.

In this article, we’ll look at some solutions to common problems when writing Node apps.

Getting Line Number in try-catch

We can get the line number with try-catch by using the stack property.

For instance, we can write:

try {
} catch(err) {

Display PDF in the Browser Using Express

To display a PDF in the browser, we set a few headers to make sure that our Express route returns a PDF.

For instance, we can write:'/url/to/hit', (req, res, next) => {
  const stream = fs.readStream('/location/of/pdf');
  const filename = "doc.pdf";

  filename = encodeURIComponent(filename);

  res.setHeader('Content-Disposition', `inline; filename=${filename}`);
  res.setHeader('Content-Type', 'application/pdf');

We set the Content-Disposition header to set the header to the PDF file’s file name.

inline means display the data in the browser within a web page or part of a page.

Also, we’ve to set the Content-type header to application/pdf to make sure that the client knows that we’re responding with a PDF.

Accept POST Body from Request Using Express

To make sure that we can send POST requests to an Express sewer, we should use the body-parser middleware.

For instance, we write:


Then we have the routes below these 2 lines.

Now we can parse JSON payloads on the server-side.

Then on the client-side, we should have the Content-Type request header set to application/json .

Mixing JavaScript and TypeScript in Node.js

There are a few ways to let us mix JavaScript and TypeScript in Node apps.

We can set the --allowJs compiler option.

We also need to set the --outDir option to set the folder for storing the compiled files.

--checkJs lets us check the types of JavaScript files.

Node.js Clusters with a Simple Express App

We can use an Express app in a cluster.

For example, we can write:

const cluster = require('cluster');
const express = require('express');
const app = express.createServer();

if (cluster.isMaster) {
  for (let i = 0; i < 2; i++) {
} else {
  app.configure(() => {
    app.set('view options', {
      layout: false
    app.set('view engine', 'jade');
    app.set('views', __dirname + '/views');
  app.get('/', (req, res) => {

We use the cluster module create our cluster by calling cluer.fork if the process is a master process.

Other, we create an instance of the Express app.

Sequelize Update with Association

We can use Sequelize to update a database entry and its association.

For instance, we can write:

const filter = {
  where: {
  include: [{
    model: Profile

Product.findOne(filter).then((product) => {
  if (product) {
    return product.Profile.updateAttributes(updateProfile).then((result) => {
      return result;
  } else {
    throw new Error("product not found");

We get the Product with a filter object.

Then we get its child association with product.Profile to get the Profile model.

And we call the updateAttributes method on it.

In the filter object, we’ve to ad the include property with the child model we want to include.

Exclude Route from Express Middleware

To exclude a route from running an Express middleware, we can pass in the regex of the pattern of the route that we want to run.

For instance, we write:

app.use(//((?!foo).)*/, routerHandler);

We exclude the route with path /foo with our pattern.

Then routerHandler runs on everything except when the path is /foo .

Render Raw HTML

We can render raw HTML by writing:

app.get('/', (req, res) => {
  res.sendFile(__dirname + '/public/layout.html');

We use res.sendFile to render the HTML located in the absolute path.

Get File Type of File

To get the type of the file, we can use the mime module.

For instance, we can write:

const mime = require('mime');

const type = mime.getType('/path/to/file.txt');

We just call the getType method.

There’s also the mime-types method:

const mime = require('mime-types');

const type = mime.lookup(fileImageTmp);


We can use the body-parser to parse the request body.

Also, we can use a package to parse the mime type of a file.

Sequelize can update associations.

The cluster module can update child associations.

We can respond with PDFs with a cluster.

By John Au-Yeung

Web developer specializing in React, Vue, and front end development.

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