An overview of services and how to use them


Services are software entities that operate in the background of the application, and outside of the controllers, routers, and listeners. Services are singletons as well—meaning only one instance of the service exists at all times.

Examples of services include:

  • Connection manager for MongoDB

  • Local caching algorithm for a content delivery network (CDN)

  • Gateway for communicating with Firebase Cloud Messaging

All services are located in app/services.

Implementing a Service

You implement a service by extending the Service class. Here is an example service for storing the messages we originally stored in a controller.


const { Service } = require ('@onehilltech/blueprint');

module.exports = Service.extend ({
  _messages: null,
  init () { (this, ...arguments);
    this._messages = [];
  push (msg) {
    this._messages.push (msg);
  find (id) {
    return this._messages.find (msg => === id);

As shown in the example implementation above, the service has methods for adding and finding messages.

Accessing a Service

You access a service by defining a property with the value service([name]). This method will bind the service to the associated property.

The name parameter is require if the (file) name of the service does not match the name of the property. For example, if a service is in a file named local-cache, then you must use service('local-cache')to access the service.

Below, we have re-implemented the message controller to use the message service.

const {Controller, model, service} = require ('@onehilltech/blueprint');

module.exports = Controller.extend ({
  messages: service (),       // access the messages service
  Message: model ('message'),
  create () {
    return Action.extend ({
      _nextId: 0,      // id of the next message
      // ...
      execute (req, res) {
        let id = this._nextId ++;
        let data = Object.assign ({id}, pick (req.body.message, ['from','to','date','subject','content']));
        let msg = this.Message.create (data);
        this.controller.messages.push (msg);
        res.status (200).json ({message: msg});
  getOne () {
    return Action.extend ({
      // ...
      execute (req, res) {
        const {messageId} = req.params;
        const found = this.controllers.messages.find (messageId);
        if (found)
          return res.status (200).json ({message: found});
          return res.sendStatus (404);  

In the example above, you will notice that the messages property has been changed from an array to a reference to the messages service. Now, the controller will read and write message to and from the messages service. More importantly, other entities can access this service and manipulate to the same messages this controller is able to manipulate.

Service Lifecycle

Services are loaded automatically by the application after the application has loaded its configuration files. Once the service is loaded into member, its lifecycle methods are called in the following order:

  1. configure This method is called when the service is to configure itself. The configure() method should not be confused with the init() method. The init() method is for synchronous configuration whereas the configure() method is for asynchronous configuration. This is because the configure method can return a Promise to signify asynchronous configuration.

  2. start This method is called when the service is started. If the service must perform any asynchronous operations, then it can return a Promise.

  3. destroy This method is called when the service is being destroyed. If the service must perform any asynchronous operations, then it can return a Promise.

Last updated