Command Line

Sequential bootloader and context for node applications

app-context ships with a convenient command-line to work with your application in a simple and standard way. Every command will load your application context, boot to a certain run level, and then take an action.

Starting an Application

$ app-context start

Loads to the running run level. When the last initializer finishes (resolves it's promise or calls it's callback) the application will be exited using process.exit(). start will also exit the application if SIGINT is sent to the process.

start is great to use with your web app or long-running process. To have your process never exit, just don't close out the final initializer. For instance:

module.exports = function() {
    .use(function(context, done) {
      // kick off some long-running job
      // don't call done

This application can still be exited by sending it a SIGINT (pressing CTRL-C).

Running a script

$ app-context run <script>

Loads to the initialized run level and then executes the script that you pass in. When the script finishes (resolves it's promise or calls it's callback) the application will be exited. This is very similar to start, but can be used to execute any script in the same environment as your full application.

In order for app-context to know when your script has completed, you must export a method or an object with a key named execute that is a method. Your method will be passed the application context and can signal that it is finished by returning a promise or taking a second parameter as a callback.

For example, this method will be called and the application will be exited when it finishes.

// context is the same as APP
module.exports = function(context) {

Here, the method will be called and the application will be exited when the promise is resolved.

module.exports = function(context) {
  return promisedFoo();

This time we use a callback.

module.exports = function(context, done) {
  foo(function(err) {
    if (err) { return done(err); }

Printing the Configuration

$ app-context config

Loads to the configured run level and then prints the contents of APP.config.

Starting a REPL Console

$ app-context console

Loads to the initialized run level and then will create a node REPL that has your application context already loaded and initialized. This is great for debugging your app's environment (via APP).

The REPL also has built-in support for promises. If you run a method that returns a promise, the REPL will print the result of the promise when it is resolved or print the error if it is rejected. For callbacks, there is a helper method to do the same thing through $_. So you can do fs.readFileSync('./config.json', $_).

Changing the Environment

app-context bases it's current environment on the value of NODE_ENV. So to run any of the above commands in a specific environment, just change the value of NODE_ENV.

For instance, to run your application in production mode, you could just run:

$ NODE_ENV=production app-context start