mount Express sub-apps and middleware from a directory listing

Usage no npm install needed!

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



Easily mount Express sub-applications and other middleware, from a directory listing.

Express-Depot allows you to create a plugin-like system for your Express applications. It will take a listing of folders (from a "parent" or "dispatch") folder, require each of the folders and mount the resulting sub-app or middleware as an enpoint in your Express application.

This is useful for Express apps that need to load third party or external plugins and services.

Getting Started

Install it:

npm install --save express-depot

Then in your Express app, run the dispatch method to load a complete list of directories from your "dispatch" folder, providing a base mount point for all of the sub-apps and other middleware to be mounted.

var express = require("express");
var path = require("path");
var depot = require("express-depot");

// ...

var app = express();

// ...

var dispatchFolder = path.join(__dirName, "dispatch");
depot.dispatch(app, "/plugins", dispatchFolder);

Creating Sub-Apps and Middleware To Dispatch

In your file system, create a folder called "dispatch" (as noted in the dispatchFolder variable, above). In this folder, create a single sub-directory for each sub-app or middleware that you wish to load.

Each folder should have an index.js file that exports valid Express middleware, (including a complete Express application object).

For example:

| dispatch/
| - cool-thing/
| - - index.js
| - whatever/
| - - index.js
| - - routes.js
| - - views/
| - - - index.jade

When you run the dispatcher, both cool-thing and whatever will be required and mounted into your parent Express app, using their folder name as the end-point.

If you dispatch to a /plugins folder, for example:

depot.dispatch(app, "/plugins", dispatchFolder);

You will create the following URI endpoints on your app:

  • /plugins/cool-thing
  • /plugins/whatever

From there, the URI and endpoint structure is determined by your middleware.

Demo App

For a quick demo of how this works with an Express Router or complete Express Sub-App, see the demo folder.

Run the demo app:

  • cd demo
  • npm install
  • node bin/wwww

Now open localhost:3000 to view the demo app and see the plugin end-points.

Be sure to examine the plugins folder in the demo to see how simple the middleware / sub-app exports can be.

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Distributed under MIT license.