A lightweight web framework for Node.js apps powered by InversifyJS, TypeORM and Express

Usage no npm install needed!

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


:gem: Zafiro is a strongly typed and lightweight web framework for Node.js apps powered by TypeScript, InversifyJS, TypeORM and Express :rocket:

Join the chat at npm version Build Status Dependencies img Known Vulnerabilities Twitter Follow

:warning: :construction: This library is under construction :construction: :warning:

The Basics

This step-by-step guide will guide your through the Zafiro basics.


You can install Zafiro using npm:

npm install zafiro reflect-metadata

Creating an application

Zafiro exposes a function named createApp that allows you to bootstrap an Express application in just a few minutes.

The application entry point look as follows:

import "reflect-metadata";
import { createApp } from "zafiro";
import { appBindings } from "./config/ioc_config";
import { expressConfig } from "./config/express_config";
import { CustomAccountRepository } from "./repositories/account_repository";

(async () => {

    try {
        const app = await createApp({
            database: "postgres",
            containerModules: [appBindings],
            expressConfig: expressConfig,
            AccountRepository: CustomAccountRepository

            () => console.log(
                "Example app listening on port 3000!"

    } catch (e) {


You can learn more about all the available configuration options in the wiki page about configuration.

Required Environment Variables

A Zafiro application expects the following environment variables to be available:

  • The DATABASE_HOST variable should contain the network address of your database.
  • The DATABASE_PORT variable should contain the network port of your database.
  • The DATABASE_USER variable should contain the user name of your database.
  • The DATABASE_PASSWORD variable should contain the user password of your database.
  • The DATABASE_DBvariable should contain the name of your database.

Required Project Folders

A Zafiro application expects the following directory structure and convention:

  • /src/controllers/ You must add your controllers unders this folder. The controllers are powerd by inversify-express-utils.

  • /src/entities/ You must add your entities unders this folder. The entities are powerd by TypeORM.

:warning: Please note that each entity and each controller in your application must be defined on its own file and be exported using a default ES6 export.

Defining an Entity

You can define an entity as follows:

import { Entity, Column, PrimaryGeneratedColumn } from "typeorm";

export default class DirectMessage {

    id: number;

    senderId: number;

    recipientId: number;

    content: string;

    createdDate: Date;

The Entity API in Zafiro is powered by TypeORM API:

Declaring a Repository

A Repository<T> will be generated automatically at runtime. The repository API is powered by TypeORM.

You can access a Repository<T> by injection it into a Controller, BaseMiddleware, AuthProvider, etc. First you need to declare a type identifier for the repository that you wish to inject:

const TYPE = {
    DirectMessageRepository: Symbol.for("Repository<DirectMessage>")

Then you can inject it using the @inject annotation:

@inject(TYPE.DirectMessageRepository) private readonly _dmRepository: Repository<DirectMessage>;

The Dependency Injection API in Zafiro is powered by InversifyJS.

The Repository API in Zafiro is powered by TypeORM API:

Declaring a Controller

You can declare a controller as follows:

import { injectable, inject } from "inversify";
import { controller, httpGet, BaseHttpController } from "inversify-express-utils";
import { TYPE } from "./contants/types";

class UserPreferencesController extends BaseHttpController {

    @inject(TYPE.DirectMessageRepository) private readonly _dmRepository: Repository<DirectMessage>;

    public async get() {
        if (!this.httpContext.user.isAuthenticated()) {
        } else {
            return await this._dmRepository.find({


The Controllers API in Zafiro is powered by inversify-express-utils.

Why Zafiro?

I created Zafiro because I love working with JavaScript and Node.js but I miss the boilerplate-automation and the type-safety productivity boost that I have experienced while working with other technologies in the past.

Thanks to InversifyJS and TypeORM, Zafiro is able to automate a lot of the boilerplate required to create an Express application. As a first step, Zafiro is able to create a database connection, auto-generate the data repositories and inject them into your controllers:

Zafiro has been designed with the goal of providing a great developer experience.

I plan to continue working hard to:

  • Make Zafiro very robust.
  • Reduce the amount of required boilerplate.
  • Improve the developer experience.

Example Application

An example application is available at zafiro-realworld-example.