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Welcome to the RBAC MERN Boilerplate project

A complete (Work in progress now) MERN boilerplate repository with RBAC feature, following all production best practices.

In this repository I will keep adding the production best practices we should follow in a MERN (MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js) project. Also for better UX I am using Antd Pro for the UI. May be later I will use MUI as well.

Below are the sample of a sample list page:

Product List Page

Product List Page

Technology stack

As the name suggests, this repository is built on top of Express.js and React.js, however in the implementation detail, we will find other supporting technologies as well.

Client side

  • React - A JavaScript library for building user interfaces
  • Ant Design Pro - A design system for enterprise-level products. Create an efficient and enjoyable work experience
  • Testing Library - React Testing Library
  • Umi Request - HTTP client for the executing HTTP request from browser to server.

Server side

  • Node.js - evented I/O for the backend
  • Express.js - Fast, unopinionated, minimalist web framework for Node.js
  • MongoDB - The application data platform for NoSQL databases
  • Mongoose - mongoose
  • Swagger - Swagger (Not done yet)
  • Jest - JavaScript testing framework
  • Super Test - Super test API testing framework

Details frameworks and packages can be found in the package.json files in server and client directory.

Running the application

This project can be run basically in two ways. One is using docker, other way is to run manually via vscode.


Depending on the MongoDB hosting option, we choose the appropriate docker-compose file.

Docker compose files

Currently we have two docker-compose files:

  • docker-compose.mongocloud.yml - hosted cluster
  • docker-compose.yml - Local MongoDB container
  1. We need to change the MONGODB_CLOUD_URL in docker-compose.mongocloud.yml to the appropriate MongoDB URL.
  2. We need to change the REACT_APP_API_URL in docker-compose.yml to the appropriate API URL. If we want to expose our client to the internet, we need to change the REACT_APP_API_URL to the appropriate API URL. Otherwise keep REACT_APP_API_URL as http://localhost:8002.

Run docker-compose commands

It is expected that the machine must have docker and docker-compose installed. Go to the root of the repository and execute appropriate commands. This will spin up the server and client containers along with the MongoDB container (if we are using local MongoDB server) inside of Docker environment.

Using docker containers with cloud hosted MongoDB

> cd project-root
> docker-compose -f docker-compose.mongocloud.yml build
> docker-compose -f docker-compose.mongocloud.yml up

Using docker containers with local MongoDB

> cd project-root
> docker-compose build
> docker-compose up

The client and server both are up and running and we should see the following screen if we navigate to the client url.

Login screen

  • seed data Go inside of the docker container and execute below commands. These will seed the database with roles, users and products data.

    docker exec -it appserver bash
    npm run db:seed
    npm run db:migrate

    You should see the following output: Product List Page

    Product List Page

    Product List Page

    You should be now login to the application and see the products list.

Visual Studio Code


  • Node.js : To run npm packages
  • MongoDB : As a database for the application
  • To run via vscode, we should run the server and client side projects separately, and also make sure mongodb is up and running.

  • Create a .env file inside of the server directory. Add the below entries or change accordingly. You can follow the .env.sample file to see the format.

    MONGODB_CLOUD_URL=mongodb+srv:// <USER >: <PASSWORD >

Server commands

We assume we run the MongoDB in the docker container.

cd server
npm i
npm run db:up
npm start

Client commands

cd client-pro
nvm use --lts
yarn start

Data seeding

To seed the database, we need to run the following commands in the docker container. You can run these commands in the terminal as well if you are running the server and client outside of the docker environment. I assume we are running appserver in the docker container.

docker exec -it appserver bash
npm run db:seed
npm run db:migrate

You should be able to see the username and password in the /server/setup/users.json file.

Permission management ui

I have introduced a permission management ui for the application. Sample image is given below.

Product List Page

Centralized log to

We can also send the logs to To use this feature, we need to add the dsn entry into client/src/env.config.js. Setup snippet is like below in index.js file

  dsn: Config.dsn,
  integrations: [new Integrations.BrowserTracing()],
  tracesSampleRate: 1.0,

Test server API (NOT DONE YET)

To view the api, open your browser and visit http://localhost:5000/api-docs Ideally we should add all of the API endpoints into the swagger, but for the demo purpose, we only added Products API endpoint.
To test the APIs, we can reuse the postman collection. Open docs/rbac-mern-boilerplate.postman_collection.json into Postman and you should see the endpoints with appropriate payloads.


Project Command Task
root npm run build Builds the containers
root npm run start Start the projects and database in docker containers
root docker exec -it appserver /bin/sh then npm run db:seed Executes seed products inside container
server npm i Install server side dependencies
server npm run db:up Start the database in a docker container
server npm run test Execute tests using jest
client npm i Install client side dependencies
client npm run start Start the react app
client npm run build Build the react app in production mode
client npm run test Execute tests using Testing Library

Types of testing

In this repository, we have included both unit testing and integration testing. For now, the code coverage is very low, but we are working on it to make it more than 90% somewhere in the future

Client side

  • We incorporated only unit tests in client side, and mock all the externals dependencies like localStorage and axios.

To run the tests, we can run npm run test command.

Server side

  • Integration testing: We have integrated the Jest as the testing library, and we have added supertest and mongodb-memory-server packages to make the integration testing easier.
  • Unit testing: We have used Jest to test the service layers and mock the external dependencies like MongoDB.

To run the tests, we can run npm run test command.


This project is MIT licensed.


For now, I am not taking any community contritutions in terms of code. But if you have any suggestions or you found any bugs, please feel free to open an issue or a pull request.

On the other hand, if you want to know something, or want to start a discussion about this project, please start a discussion in our GitHub's discussion board.

Tutorials about how to build or use this project

I have been screen recording the coding steps of this project. You can find the videos in the YouTube playlist. These videos are only in Bangla, but I am happy to take special dedicated+paid sessions in English for international intersted audience. Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] for any kind of help.

Thanks. Cheers.

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