Tenso is an HTTP REST API framework
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Tenso is an HTTP REST API framework, that will handle the serialization & creation of hypermedia links; all you have to do is give it Arrays or Objects.


  1. Clone repository from GitHub.
  2. Install dependencies with npm or yarn.
  3. Execute benchmark script with npm or yarn.


Creating an API with Tenso can be this simple:

const path = require('path'),
    app = require("tenso")({routes: require(path.join(__dirname, "routes.js"))});

module.exports = app;

Creating Routes

Routes are loaded as a module, with each HTTP method as an export, affording a very customizable API server.

You can use res to res.send(body[, status, headers]), res.redirect(url), or res.error(status[, Error]).

The following example will create GET routes that will return an Array at /, an Error at /reports/tps, & a version 4 UUID at /uuid.

As of 10.3.0 you can specify always as a method to run middleware before authorization middleware, which will skip always middleware registered after it (via instance methods).

const uuid = require("tiny-uuid4");

module.exports.get = {
	"/": ["reports", "uuid"],
	"/reports": ["tps"],
	"/reports/tps": (req, res) => res.error(785, Error("TPS Cover Sheet not attached")),
	"/uuid": (req, res) => res.send(uuid(), 200, {"cache-control": "no-cache"})

Protected Routes

Protected routes are routes that require authorization for access, and will redirect to authentication end points if needed.

Unprotected Routes

Unprotected routes are routes that do not require authorization for access, and will exit the authorization pipeline early to avoid rate limiting, csrf tokens, & other security measures. These routes are the DMZ of your API! You must secure these end points with alternative methods if accepting input!

Reserved Route

The /assets/* route is reserved for the HTML browsable interface assets; please do not try to reuse this for data.

Request Helpers

Tenso decorates req with "helpers" such as req.allow, req.csrf, req.ip, req.parsed, & req.private. PATCH, PUT, & POST payloads are available as req.body. Sessions are available as req.session when using local authentication.

Tenso decorates res with "helpers" such as res.send(), res.status(), & res.json().


Responses will have a standard shape, and will be utf-8 by default. The result will be in data. Hypermedia (pagination & links) will be in links:[ {"uri": "...", "rel": "..."}, ...], & also in the Link HTTP header.

Page size can be specified via the page_size parameter, e.g. ?page_size=25.

Sort order can be specified via then order-by which accepts [field ]asc|desc & can be combined like an SQL 'ORDER BY', e.g. ?order_by=desc or ?order_by=lastName%20asc&order_by=firstName%20asc&order_by=age%20desc

  "data": "`null` or ?",
  "error": "`null` or an `Error` stack trace / message",
  "links": [],
  "status": 200

Final modifications can be made to a response body after hypermedia() by overriding tenso.final(req, res, body).

REST / Hypermedia

Hypermedia is a prerequisite of REST, and is best described by the Richardson Maturity Model. Tenso will automagically paginate Arrays of results, or parse Entity representations for keys that imply relationships, and create the appropriate Objects in the link Array, as well as the Link HTTP header. Object keys that match this pattern: /_(guid|uuid|id|uri|url)$/ will be considered hypermedia links.

For example, if the key user_id was found, it would be mapped to /users/:id with a link rel of related.

Tenso will bend the rules of REST when using authentication strategies provided by passport.js, or CSRF if is enabled, because they rely on a session. Session storage is in memory, or Redis. You have the option of a stateless or stateful API.

Hypermedia processing of the response body can be disabled as of 10.2.0, by setting req.hypermedia = false via middleware.

Browsable API / Renderers / Serializers

Tenso 1.4.0 added a few common format renderers, such as CSV, HTML, YAML, & XML. The HTML interface is a browsable API! You can use it to verify requests & responses, or simply poke around your API to see how it behaves.

Custom renderers can be registered with server.renderer('mimetype', fn); or directly on server.renderers. The parameters for a renderer are (req, res, arg). Custom serializes can be registered with server.serializer('mimetype', fn); or directly on server.serializers. The parameters for a serializer are (arg, err, status = 200, stack = false); if arg is null then err must be an Error & stack determines if the response body is the Error.message or Error.stack property.


Custom renderers can be registered with server.parser('mimetype', fn); or directly on server.parsers. The parameters for a renderer are (arg).


This is a sample configuration for Tenso, without authentication or SSL. This would be ideal for development, but not production! Enabling SSL is as easy as providing file paths for the two keys.

	"auth": { /* Optional, see Authentication section */
		"delay": 0 /* Random delay on authorization validation */
	"cacheSize": 1000, /* Optional, size of Etag & route LRU caches */
	"cacheTTL": 0, /* Optional, TTL of items in Etag & route LRU caches */
	"headers": {}, /* Optional, custom headers */
	"hostname": "localhost", /* Optional, default is 'localhost' */
	"index": ["index.htm", "index.html"], /* Files served when accessing a static assets folder */
	"json": 0, /* Optional, default indent for 'pretty' JSON */
	"logging": {
		"level": "info", /* Optional */
		"enabled": true, /* Optional */
		"stack": false, /* Optional */
		"stackWire": false /* Optional */
	"corsExpose": "x-custom-header, x-custom-header-abc",
	"origins": ["*"], /* Optional, allowed origins of CORS requests */
	"port": 8000, /* Optional */
	"routes": require("./routes.js"), /* Required! */
	"regex": {
		"hypermedia": "[a-zA-Z]+_(guid|uuid|id|url|uri)$", /* Optional, changes hypermedia detection / generation */
		"id": "^(_id|id)$" /* Optional, changes hypermedia detection / generation */
	"session": { /* Optional */
		"secret": null,
		"store": "memory", /* "memory" or "redis" */
		"redis": {} /* See connect-redis for options */
	"ssl": { /* Optional */
		"cert": null,
		"key": null
	"renderHeaders": true, /* false will disable headers in HTML interface */
	"title": "My API", /* Page title for browsable API */
	"uid": 33 /* Optional, system account uid to drop to after starting with elevated privileges to run on a low port */


The protect Array is the endpoints that will require authentication. The redirect String is the end point users will be redirected to upon successfully authenticating, the default is /.

Sessions are used for non Basic or Bearer Token authentication, and will have /login, /logout, & custom routes. Redis is supported for session storage.

Multiple authentication strategies can be enabled at once.

Authentication attempts have a random delay to deal with "timing attacks"; always rate limit in production environment!

Basic Auth

	"auth": {
		"basic": {
			"enabled": true,
			"list": ["username:password", ...],
		"protect": ["/"]


JWT (JSON Web Token) authentication is stateless and does not have an entry point. The auth(token, callback) function must verify token.sub, and must execute callback(err, user).

This authentication strategy relies on out-of-band information for the secret, and other optional token attributes.

	"auth": {
		"jwt": {
			"enabled": true,
			"auth": function (token, cb) { ... }, /* Authentication handler, to 'find' or 'create' a User */
			"algorithms": [], /* Optional signing algorithms, defaults to ["HS256", "HS384", "HS512"] */
			"audience": "", /* Optional, used to verify `aud` */
			"issuer: "", /* Optional, used to verify `iss` */
			"ignoreExpiration": false, /* Optional, set to `true` to ignore expired tokens */
			"scheme": "Bearer", /* Optional, set to specify the `Authorization` scheme */
			"secretOrKey": ""
		"protect": ["/private"]


Local authentication will create /login. auth(username, password) must execute callback(err, user).

	"auth": {
		"local": {
			"enabled": true,
			"auth": function ( ... ) { ... }, /* Authentication handler, to 'find' or 'create' a User */
		"protect": ["/private"]


OAuth2 authentication will create /auth, /auth/oauth2, & /auth/oauth2/callback routes. auth(accessToken, refreshToken, profile, callback) must execute callback(err, user).

	"auth": {
		"oauth2": {
			"enabled": true,
			"auth": function ( ... ) { ... }, /* Authentication handler, to 'find' or 'create' a User */
			"auth_url": "", /* Authorization URL */
			"token_url": "", /* Token URL */
			"client_id": "", /* Get this from authorization server */
			"client_secret": "" /* Get this from authorization server */
		"protect": ["/private"]

Oauth2 Bearer Token

	"auth": {
		"bearer": {
			"enabled": true,
			"tokens": ["abc", ...]
		"protect": ["/"]


SAML authentication will create /auth, /auth/saml, & /auth/saml/callback routes. auth(profile, callback) must execute callback(err, user).

Tenso uses passport-saml, for configuration options please visit it's homepage.

	"auth": {
		"saml": {
			"enabled": true,
		"protect": ["/private"]


Sessions can use a memory (default) or redis store. Memory will limit your sessions to a single server instance, while redis will allow you to share sessions across a cluster of processes, or machines. To use redis, set the store property to "redis".

If the session secret is not provided, a version 4 UUID will be used.

	"session" : {
		cookie: {
			httpOnly: true,
			path: "/",
			sameSite: true,
			secure: false
		name: "tenso.sid",
		proxy: true,
		redis: {
			host: "",
			port: 6379
		rolling: true,
		resave: true,
		saveUninitialized: true,
		secret: "tensoABC",
		store: "memory"


Tenso uses lusca for security as a middleware. Please see it's documentation for how to configure it; each method & argument is a key:value pair for security.

	"security": { ... }

Rate Limiting

Rate limiting is controlled by configuration, and is disabled by default. Rate limiting is based on token, session, or ip, depending upon authentication method.

Rate limiting can be overridden by providing an override function that takes req & rate, and must return (a modified) rate.

	"rate": {
		"enabled": true,
		"limit": 450, /* Maximum requests allowed before `reset` */
		"reset": 900, /* TTL in seconds */
		"status": 429, /* Optional HTTP status */
		"message": "Too many requests",  /* Optional error message */
		"override": function ( req, rate ) { ... } /* Override the default rate limiting */

Limiting upload size

A 'max byte' limit can be enforced on all routes that handle PATCH, POST, & PUT requests. The default limit is 20 KB (20480 B).

	"maxBytes": 5242880


Standard log levels are supported, and are emitted to stdout & stderr. Stack traces can be enabled.

	"logging": {
		"level": "warn",
		"enabled": true,
		"stack": true


The browsable template can be overridden with a custom HTML document.

    "template": ""

Static assets folder

The browsable template can load assets from this folder.

    "static": "/assets"

Static assets cache

The browsable template assets have a default public cache of 300 seconds (5 minutes). These assets will always be considered public, but you can customize how long they are cacheable.

    "staticCache": 300

Custom static routes

Custom static routes can be defined like such:

   "/other": (req, res) => req.server.static(req, res);

EventSource streams

Create & cache an EventSource stream to send messages to a Client. See tiny-eventsource for configuration options:

const streams = new Map();


"/stream": (req, res) => {
 const id = req.user.userId;

 if (streams.has(id) === false) {
   streams.set(id, req.server.eventsource({ms: 3e4), "initialized");

 streams.get(id).init(req, res);


// Send data to Clients

Testing Code Coverage

Run the coverage script with npm or yarn.

File             | % Stmts | % Branch | % Funcs | % Lines | Uncovered Line #s
All files        |   79.05 |     69.1 |   66.18 |   78.81 |                                                                                                                                                       
 tenso           |      80 |    63.16 |      50 |      80 |                                                                                                                                                       
  index.js       |      80 |    63.16 |      50 |      80 | 21-24,33-34,53-54                                                                                                                                     
 tenso/lib       |      79 |    69.35 |   66.42 |   78.75 |                                                                                                                                                       
  base.js        |    22.5 |      100 |   17.86 |    22.5 | 6-30,44-58,68-76,86-94                                                                                                                                
  middleware.js  |   89.86 |    77.36 |   83.33 |   91.18 | 13-14,43-44,87,132                                                                                                                                    
  parsers.js     |   58.33 |        0 |      50 |   58.33 | 12-19                                                                                                                                                 
  regex.js       |     100 |      100 |     100 |     100 |                                                                                                                                                       
  renderers.js   |    97.3 |    68.75 |   93.33 |     100 | 10-19,35,41-48,58                                                                                                                                     
  serializers.js |     100 |    55.56 |     100 |     100 | 6-16                                                                                                                                                  
  shared.js      |      40 |    33.33 |      50 |      40 | 8-11                                                                                                                                                  
  tenso.js       |   73.39 |    53.62 |      65 |    72.9 | 167-168,181-191,199-206,248-249,262,296-298,306-312,322-341                                                                                           
  utility.js     |   83.33 |    74.37 |   81.13 |   82.97 | 34,46-49,53,72,118-120,137-138,147-148,152-153,187,203,207,218-219,228,236,238,249-250,271,301,315-337,339-361,382,388-392,438-439,498,543,567,629-630


Copyright (c) 2021 Jason Mulligan

Licensed under the BSD-3-Clause license.

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