Extended APIs for ArangoJS (an ArangoDB Javascript driver)

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import arangojsExtended from '';



Extended APIs for ArangoJS driver Currently, this library features an extension to enable collections with revision history for its documents.


npm install arangojs-extended


Same usage experience as ArangoJS

var arango = require('arangojs-extended');
var db = arango.Connection('http://localhost:8529');

// create a tracked collection
db.trackedCollection.create('trackedCollection1', ...);

// add a document to a tracked collection, comes with a revision history
db.trackedDocument.create('collection1', { name: 'new document' }, ...);

// in addition to that, we can still access the default APIs available in ArangoJS
// create a vanilla, non-tracked collection
db.collection.create('collection1', ...);

// add a document to a collection
db.document.create('collection1', { name: 'new document' }, ...);

Extended APIs

In addition to the APIs in available in ArangoJS, the following extended APIs are available

Revision (db.revision)

  • list(document_id, opts, cb))
    • Lists ordered revisions keys for a tracked document
  • latest(document_id, cb)
    • Retrieves latest revision key for a tracked document
  • get(collection_name, revision, cb)
    • Retrieves a revision state of a tracked document in a tracked collection
  • previous(collection_name, revision, cb)
    • Retrieves previous revision state relative to given revision key for a tracked document
  • next(collection_name, revision, cb)
    • Retrieves next revision state relative to given revision key for a tracked document

TrackedCollection (db.trackedCollection)

  • list(excludeSystem cb))
    • Lists tracked collections
  • create(collection_name, opts, cb)
    • Creates a tracked collection that has its document revision history enabled
  • get(id, cb)
    • Retrieves an existing tracked collection (an alias to db.collection.get)
  • delete(id, cb)
    • Deletes an existing tracked collection and its revision history
  • truncate(id, cb)
    • Deletes all documents of a tracked collection and its revision history
  • count(id, cb)
    • Counts the document in the collection

TrackedDocument (db.trackedDocument)

  • create(collection, data, opt, cb)
    • Creates a document in a tracked collection.
    • If data has ._key specified and it belongs to an an existing document in the collection, the document will then be replaced with the data and a new revision point will be created if data has changed.
  • get(id, opt, cb)
    • Retrieves a document from a tracked collection (an alias to db.document.get)
  • exists(id, cb)
    • Checks if a document exists
  • put(id, data, opt, cb)
    • Replaces an existing document with new data and a new revision point will be created if data has changes.
    • No revision point will be created if no changes are made since last revision.
  • delete(id, opt, cb)
    • Deletes an existing document and its revision history
  • list(collection, cb)
    • Lists all documents in a collection


ArangoJS is a Javascript client library for ArangoDB and provides a mechanism to extend the API of the client library.

While working on a project that uses ArangoDB as a document store, there was a need for a way to track history of revisions for documents added/updated in a collection. There have been discussions about the possibility of returning revisions for a document right off from ArangoDB but at the moment, its still in planning stages.

This extensions implements a collection that keeps a history of document state whenever its content changes.

To open up possibility for more custom extended APIs, the implementation was designed generic enough so that its easy to add more APIs if more use-cases arises that are not currently covered by ArangoDB/ArangoJS

Implementation details


  • Internally, a trackedCollection has an associated *_history and *_edges collection associated with it.
  • For e.g, db.trackedCollection.create('col1', ...); will create the following collections in ArangoDB:
    • col1
    • col1_history
    • col1_edges (an edges collection)
  • The additional two collections will be used to track revision history for documents in that collection


  • Each trackedDocument will have an edge (type:headRevision) pointing to its HEAD revision (current revision)

  • Each revision will have an edge (type:prevRevision) pointing to the previous revision, creating a linked list of revisions. This allows linearly traversing through revision history.

  • In addition to that, each revision will have an edge to it the primary document (type:revision).

  • Revisions for a document for a collection are stored in *_history collection

  • Revision edges for a document are stored in *_edges collection

  • Below illustrates the relationshop between a document (doc1) and its revisions and edges

    doc1 --- HEAD ---> doc1.revision(N)
                        '---> doc1.revision(N-1)
                                '---> doc.revision(N-2)
                                        '--> doc.revision(1);


npm test


  • write tests for scenarios when a trying to create a trackedDocument in a vanilla collection
  • write tests for scenarios when trying to get revisions for a vanilla document

Known Issues




Copyright (c) 2014 Hafiz Ismail. This software is licensed under the MIT License.