Testing custom REST APIs using a NodeJs http server

When you’re developing a REST API, and it’s not entirely clear how well your configuration of the client-side is working, it can be handy to get a server up quickly to log what it receives. In the Java servlet world, this might be done by introducing a filter class that inspects and logs all requests and responses. But if you don’t have the servlet itself setup yet, a faster way is to launch a NodeJs-based server locally.

If you’veĀ setup Eclipse IDE for debugging standalone JavaScript using NodeJs, then you can paste-in this as a new .js file and you’re almost home:

//Derived from http://stackoverflow.com/a/12007627

http = require('http');
//fs = require('fs');

port = 51100;
host = '';

server = http.createServer( function(req, res) {

    var htmlPrefix = '<html> <body>',
    	htmlSuffix = '<form method="post" action="http://'+ host +':'+ port +'"> String value to POST (type exit to quit): <input name="formSent" type="text"/> <input type="submit" value="Submit"/> </form> </body> </html>',
    	html = null, //fs.readFileSync('index.html');
    	body = '';
    var generateResponse = function() {
        html = html || htmlPrefix +'Received '+ req.method + (body ? ': '+body : '') + htmlSuffix;
        res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/html'});
        if (body == "formSent=exit") {
                //console.log("Exiting process");
    if (req.method == 'POST') {
        req.on('data', function (data) {
            body += data;
            console.log("Partial body: " + body);
        req.on('end', function () {
            console.log("Body: " + body);
    } else { //GET


server.listen(port, host);
console.log('Listening at http://' + host + ':' + port);

Once you see the console entry about “Listening…”, just open a browser tab to

If you can’t kill the process by entering exit into the web form, then you can kill the node process from the commandline.

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