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How to fetch data from a database using Node.js

May 27th, 2021
Learning to fetch data is a critical task for any web developer because web applications often need to communicate with external sources, such as databases.
Node.js is a JavaScript-based runtime environment popular among developers developing server-side applications and APIs. For this reason, it is a popular backend runtime environment, particularly in serverless architectures and Jamstack builds.
This blog will introduce the basic steps for fetching data from most databases and show you how easy it is to fetch data from Fauna using Node.js.

How to fetch data from most databases

Because every database is different, the syntax for fetching data from a database will depend on the specific database.

Step 1: Install Node.js and NPM

The first thing you need to do is install Node.js and pick the long-term support version. This will also install NPM. NPM is the Node Package Manager, and it comes alongside Node.js to allow the easy installation of many third-party packages, including database drivers.

Step 2: Install your database driver

Assuming Node.js and NPM are available on your machine, installing the specific database driver is usually the next step when fetching data. A database driver is a library that allows communication between your database and your application. In a nutshell, database drivers translate your application's data queries into a protocol language that the database server understands and return results to the application. Node.js provides, via NPM, different database drivers that can be added as node packages.

Step 3: Create a database connection

This step usually involves creating a connection script to access the database. The script consists of the database hostname and credentials to access the database. When you run the script, the connection will be established.
Node does not automatically close connections, so if you have a lot of connections, you may want to use a connection pool. In this way, a fixed number of connections will always be available, and as connections are no longer needed, they will be closed. In cases where the connection needs to support many queries, you might want to keep it alive longer by using the HTTP keep-alive option.
If your application is reading or writing sensitive data, you might want to encrypt your database connections to avoid leaking confidential information.

Step 4: Query the database

In this step, you can use statements to read, write, or delete data from the database. Again, depending on what kind of database you’re using, whether relational, NoSQL, or key-value store, your syntax may vary.
Whenever possible, use an ORM/ODM or a database library that escapes data or supports named or indexed parameterized queries and validates user input for expected types. This is critical to prevent query injection or other malicious attacks against a database.

How to fetch data from Fauna using Node.js

Fauna supports Node.js, making integration straightforward and fast. Assuming you have Node.js and NPM, developers can work with Fauna with just a few steps -

Step 1: Install the driver

Use NPM to install the driver for Fauna.
npm install --save faunadb

Step 2: Requiring the driver in the application

Require imports the FaunaDB module and initializes the variables that are needed for querying
var faunadb = require('faunadb'),
  q = faunadb.query 

Step 3: Instantiating a client and using queries

Create a new Fauna client connection passing in the required credentials and domain settings.
var client = new faunadb.Client({
domain: 'db.fauna.com',
// NOTE: Use the correct domain for your database's Region Group.
port: 443,
scheme: 'https',
Only the most basic configuration options are covered in the above steps. However, developers can use additional options in Node.js connections, such as pagination, timeouts, and per-query options. Learn more about these advanced options here.

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