Difference between app.use and app.get in express.js

Issue

I’m kind of new to express and node.js, and I can’t figure out the difference between app.use and app.get. It seems like you can use both of them to send information. For example:

app.use('/',function(req, res,next) {
    res.send('Hello');
    next();
});

seems to be the same as this:

app.get('/', function (req,res) {
   res.send('Hello');
});

Solution

app.use() is intended for binding middleware to your application. The path is a “mount” or “prefix” path and limits the middleware to only apply to any paths requested that begin with it. It can even be used to embed another application:

// subapp.js
var express = require('express');
var app = modules.exports = express();
// ...
// server.js
var express = require('express');
var app = express();

app.use('/subapp', require('./subapp'));

// ...

By specifying / as a “mount” path, app.use() will respond to any path that starts with /, which are all of them and regardless of HTTP verb used:

  • GET /
  • PUT /foo
  • POST /foo/bar
  • etc.

app.get(), on the other hand, is part of Express’ application routing and is intended for matching and handling a specific route when requested with the GET HTTP verb:

  • GET /

And, the equivalent routing for your example of app.use() would actually be:

app.all(/^\/.*/, function (req, res) {
    res.send('Hello');
});

(Update: Attempting to better demonstrate the differences.)

The routing methods, including app.get(), are convenience methods that help you align responses to requests more precisely. They also add in support for features like parameters and next('route').

Within each app.get() is a call to app.use(), so you can certainly do all of this with app.use() directly. But, doing so will often require (probably unnecessarily) reimplementing various amounts of boilerplate code.

Examples:

  • For simple, static routes:

    app.get('/', function (req, res) {
      // ...
    });
    

    vs.

    app.use('/', function (req, res, next) {
      if (req.method !== 'GET' || req.url !== '/')
        return next();
    
      // ...
    });
    
  • With multiple handlers for the same route:

    app.get('/', authorize('ADMIN'), function (req, res) {
      // ...
    });
    

    vs.

    const authorizeAdmin = authorize('ADMIN');
    
    app.use('/', function (req, res, next) {
      if (req.method !== 'GET' || req.url !== '/')
        return next();
    
      authorizeAdmin(req, res, function (err) {
        if (err) return next(err);
    
        // ...
      });
    });
    
  • With parameters:

    app.get('/item/:id', function (req, res) {
      let id = req.params.id;
      // ...
    });
    

    vs.

    const pathToRegExp = require('path-to-regexp');
    
    function prepareParams(matches, pathKeys, previousParams) {
      var params = previousParams || {};
    
      // TODO: support repeating keys...
      matches.slice(1).forEach(function (segment, index) {
        let { name } = pathKeys[index];
        params[name] = segment;
      });
    
      return params;
    }
    
    const itemIdKeys = [];
    const itemIdPattern = pathToRegExp('/item/:id', itemIdKeys);
    
    app.use('/', function (req, res, next) {
      if (req.method !== 'GET') return next();
    
      var urlMatch = itemIdPattern.exec(req.url);
      if (!urlMatch) return next();
    
      if (itemIdKeys && itemIdKeys.length)
        req.params = prepareParams(urlMatch, itemIdKeys, req.params);
    
      let id = req.params.id;
      // ...
    });
    

Note: Express’ implementation of these features are contained in its Router, Layer, and Route.

Answered By – Jonathan Lonowski

This Answer collected from stackoverflow, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published