Skip to content
On this page

Events

Events are the key part of Feathers real-time functionality. All events in Feathers are provided through the NodeJS EventEmitter interface. This section describes

Important

For more information on how to safely send real-time events to clients, see the Channels chapter.

EventEmitters

Once registered, any service gets turned into a standard NodeJS EventEmitter and can be used accordingly.

const messages = app.service('messages')

// Listen to a normal service event
messages.on('patched', (message: Message) =>
  console.log('message patched', message)
)

// Only listen to an event once
messsages.once('removed', (message: Message) =>
  console.log('First time a message has been removed', message)
)

// A reference to a handler
const onCreatedListener = (message: Message) =>
  console.log('New message created', message)

// Listen `created` with a handler reference
messages.on('created', onCreatedListener)

// Unbind the `created` event listener
messages.removeListener('created', onCreatedListener)

// Send a custom event
messages.emit('customEvent', {
  anything: 'Data can be anything'
})
const messages = app.service('messages')

// Listen to a normal service event
messages.on('patched', (message: Message) =>
  console.log('message patched', message)
)

// Only listen to an event once
messsages.once('removed', (message: Message) =>
  console.log('First time a message has been removed', message)
)

// A reference to a handler
const onCreatedListener = (message: Message) =>
  console.log('New message created', message)

// Listen `created` with a handler reference
messages.on('created', onCreatedListener)

// Unbind the `created` event listener
messages.removeListener('created', onCreatedListener)

// Send a custom event
messages.emit('customEvent', {
  anything: 'Data can be anything'
})

Service Events

Any service automatically emits created, updated, patched and removed events when the respective service method returns successfully. This works on the client as well as on the server. When the client is using Socket.io, events will be pushed automatically from the server to all connected clients. This is how Feathers does real-time.

tip

Events are not fired until all of your hooks have executed.

Additionally to the event data, all events also get the hook context from their method call passed as the second parameter.

created

The created event will fire with the result data when a service create returns successfully.

import { feathers, type Params, type HookContext } from '@feathersjs/feathers'

const app = feathers()

type Message = { text: string }

app.use('messages', {
  async create(data: Message, params: Params) {
    return data
  }
})

// Retrieve the wrapped service object which is also an EventEmitter
const messages = app.service('messages')

messages.on('created', (message: Message, contexHookContext) =>
  console.log('created', message)
)

messages.create({
  text: 'We have to do something!'
})
import { feathers, type Params, type HookContext } from '@feathersjs/feathers'

const app = feathers()

type Message = { text: string }

app.use('messages', {
  async create(data: Message, params: Params) {
    return data
  }
})

// Retrieve the wrapped service object which is also an EventEmitter
const messages = app.service('messages')

messages.on('created', (message: Message, contexHookContext) =>
  console.log('created', message)
)

messages.create({
  text: 'We have to do something!'
})

updated, patched

The updated and patched events will fire with the callback data when a service update or patch method calls back successfully.

import {
  feathers,
  type Id,
  type Params,
  type HookContext
} from '@feathersjs/feathers'

const app = feathers()

type Message = { text: string }

const app = feathers()

app.use('my/messages/', {
  async update(id: Id, data: Message) {
    return data
  },

  async patch(id: Id, data: Message) {
    return data
  }
})

const messages = app.service('my/messages')

messages.on('updated', (message: Message, context: HookContext) =>
  console.log('updated', message)
)
messages.on('patched', (message: Message) => console.log('patched', message))

messages.update(0, {
  text: 'updated message'
})

messages.patch(0, {
  text: 'patched message'
})
import {
  feathers,
  type Id,
  type Params,
  type HookContext
} from '@feathersjs/feathers'

const app = feathers()

type Message = { text: string }

const app = feathers()

app.use('my/messages/', {
  async update(id: Id, data: Message) {
    return data
  },

  async patch(id: Id, data: Message) {
    return data
  }
})

const messages = app.service('my/messages')

messages.on('updated', (message: Message, context: HookContext) =>
  console.log('updated', message)
)
messages.on('patched', (message: Message) => console.log('patched', message))

messages.update(0, {
  text: 'updated message'
})

messages.patch(0, {
  text: 'patched message'
})

removed

The removed event will fire with the callback data when a service remove calls back successfully.

import {
  feathers,
  type Id,
  type Params,
  type HookContext
} from '@feathersjs/feathers'

const app = feathers()

app.use('messages', {
  async remove(id: Id, params: Params) {
    return { id }
  }
})

const messages = app.service('messages')

messages.on('removed', (message: Message, context: HookContext) =>
  console.log('removed', message)
)
messages.remove(1)
import {
  feathers,
  type Id,
  type Params,
  type HookContext
} from '@feathersjs/feathers'

const app = feathers()

app.use('messages', {
  async remove(id: Id, params: Params) {
    return { id }
  }
})

const messages = app.service('messages')

messages.on('removed', (message: Message, context: HookContext) =>
  console.log('removed', message)
)
messages.remove(1)

Custom events

By default, real-time clients will only receive the standard events. However, it is possible to define a list of custom events when registering the service with app.use that should also be sent to the client when service.emit('customevent', data) is called on the server. The context for custom events won't be a full hook context but just an object containing { app, service, path, result }.

warning

Custom events can only be sent from the server to the client, not the other way (client to server). A custom service should be used for those cases.

For example, a payment service that sends status events to the client while processing a payment could look like this:

class PaymentService {
  async create(data: any, params: Params) {
    const customer = await createStripeCustomer(params.user)

    this.emit('status', { status: 'created' })
    const payment = await createPayment(data)

    this.emit('status', { status: 'completed' })

    return payment
  }
}

// Then register it like this:
app.use('payments', new PaymentService(), {
  events: ['status']
})
class PaymentService {
  async create(data: any, params: Params) {
    const customer = await createStripeCustomer(params.user)

    this.emit('status', { status: 'created' })
    const payment = await createPayment(data)

    this.emit('status', { status: 'completed' })

    return payment
  }
}

// Then register it like this:
app.use('payments', new PaymentService(), {
  events: ['status']
})

The database adapters also take a list of custom events as an initialization option:

import { MongoDbService } from '@feathersjs/mongodb'

app.use(
  'payments',
  new MongoDbService({
    events: ['status'],
    Model
  })
)
import { MongoDbService } from '@feathersjs/mongodb'

app.use(
  'payments',
  new MongoDbService({
    events: ['status'],
    Model
  })
)

Using service.emit custom events can also be sent in a hook:

app.service('payments').hooks({
  after: {
    create(context: HookContext) {
      context.service.emit('status', { status: 'completed' });
    }
  }
});
app.service('payments').hooks({
  after: {
    create(context: HookContext) {
      context.service.emit('status', { status: 'completed' });
    }
  }
});

Custom events can be published through channels just like standard events and listened to it in a Feathers client or directly on the socket connection:

client.service('payments').on('status', data => {});

socket.on('payments status', data => {});
client.service('payments').on('status', data => {});

socket.on('payments status', data => {});

Released under the MIT License.