Working with Node.js and PostgreSQL

In this post I create a simple Webserver with Node.js which uses PostgreSQL database in the backend. This post shows how to perform simple database operations of insert, select, update and delete using REST APIs (POST, GET, PUT & DELETE).

Assuming that you already have Node.js installed here are the steps to create this CRUD (Create, Remove Update & Delete) Webserver.

1.Install Node.js if you already haven’t from
2. Create a test directory pg for this PostgreSQL based Node.js Webserver
3. Open a command prompt and run
npm install pg
4.You will also need to install the PostgreSQL Enterprise DB with installer. Choose the appropriate OS and CPU
5.For this example I create a simple Employee Database.
6. In Windows Click Start->All Programs->PostgreSQL 9.3->pgAdmin III
7. Right click Databases-> New Database and Enter employees
8. The next step is to create Node.js Webserver and connect to this Database. PostgreSQL accepts DB connections through port 5432.
9.In this post The Webserver accepts connections from port 5433. Here is the shell of the Node.js Webserver
var pg = require("pg")
var http = require("http")
var port = 5433;
var host = '';

http.createServer(function(req, res) {
if(req.method == 'POST') {
else if(req.method == 'GET') {
else if(req.method == 'PUT') {
else if(req.method == 'DELETE') {
console.log("Connected to " + port + "   " + host);

The Webserver accepts the usual 4 REST API calls – POST, GET, UPDATE, and DELETE for which there are 4 separate function calls.  The REST API calls correspond to the database operations insert, select, update and delete respectively.

10. Prior to performing each operation the  a client connects to the database as follows

var conString = "pg://postgres:postgres@localhost:5432/employees";
var client = new pg.Client(conString);

11. The POST operation is performed as follows

var insert_records = function(req, res) {

//Drop table if it exists
client.query("DROP TABLE IF EXISTS emps");
// Creat table and insert 2 records into it
client.query("CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS emps(firstname varchar(64), lastname varchar(64))");
client.query("INSERT INTO emps(firstname, lastname) values($1, $2)", ['Tinniam', 'Ganesh']);
client.query("INSERT INTO emps(firstname, lastname) values($1, $2)", ['Anand', 'Karthik']);

12. To display the contents of the database the list_records function is used as follows

var list_records = function(req, res) {
console.log("In listing records");
// Select all rows in the table
var query = client.query("SELECT firstname, lastname FROM emps ORDER BY lastname, firstname");
query.on("row", function (row, result) {
query.on("end", function (result) {

13. The REST API Update is performed as below

var update_record = function(req, res) {
// Update the record where the firstname is Anand
query = client.query("UPDATE emps set firstname = 'Kumar' WHERE firstname='Anand' AND lastname='Karthik'");

14.Finally a delete is performed using a delete_record method

var delete_record = function(req, res) {
// Delete the record where the lastname is Karthik
client.query("DELETE FROM  emps WHERE lastname = 'Karthik'");

15.The output of each operation is sent back as HTML  as

query.on("row", function (row, result) {
query.on("end", function (result) {
// On end JSONify and write the results to console and to HTML output
console.log(JSON.stringify(result.rows, null, "    "));
res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'});
res.write(JSON.stringify(result.rows) + "\n");

16.To test the Webserver you need to install a REST API client for the browser you use. I installed the SureUtils-.REST API Client. his is a Chrome extension nand can be installed from Chrome Web Store (search for REST API client). You could choose any REST API client of your choice for the browser you intend to use (Chrome, Firefox)

17.Here are the tests I performed

18.The POST API call

19. The GET API call

20.The PUT  call followed by GET call
The PUT API updates Anand Karthik to Kumar Karthik. This is shown in the GET API call.
21. The DELETE call followed by the GET call

Here the DELETE API call deletes the Kumar Karthik record. The GET API call now displays only 1 record.



22. The console.log output for the operations above  is shown below


The code for the Node.js- PostgreSQL can be cloned from GitHub at node-pg

Also see
Brewing a potion with Bluemix, PostgreSQL, Node.js in the cloud
A Bluemix recipe with MongoDB and Node.js A Cloud medley with IBM Bluemix, Cloudant DB and Node.js
Rock N’ Roll with Bluemix, Cloudant & NodeExpress

Also see
Introducing cricketr: An R package for analyzing performances of cricketers
– A crime map of India in R: Crimes against women
– What’s up Watson? Using IBM Watson’s QAAPI with Bluemix, NodeExpress – Part 1
– Bend it like Bluemix, MongoDB with autoscaling – Part 1
– Analyzing cricket’s batting legends – Through the mirage with R
– Masters of spin: Unraveling the web with R

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11 thoughts on “Working with Node.js and PostgreSQL

  1. I like your simple, easy and clean.
    Some questions: how the connection is reused or it can’t be?
    Can you for example, create a connection pool or point me a lib?
    thanks in advance.

  2. Another question it may sound little dumb.
    I will write the functions in .sql files how do you include those files in main application files like in controllers I am using Node ExpressJS framework, I mean should I just keep all those SQL files with functions in one directory in root of project directory and include the specific .sql file in my JS file and use the function written in that specific .sql file like in my controller javaScript file I should var sqlFunctions = require(‘./sql-directory/productfunctions’); and then use function like this sqlFunctions.MyFunction() or those files needs to be compiled someway then functions will be accessible directly then use? can you please help me.
    Thanks in advance.

  3. Pingback: Sixer – R package cricketr’s new avatar | Giga thoughts …

  4. Hello,
    My requirement is to accept the parameters from user(HTML file) for the operation UPDATE,DELETE.
    Also I would like to add condition in WHERE clause in SELECT query and get that condition from user.
    For example: SELECT firstname from employee WHERE employee.salary<20000.
    Condition (salary<20000) should come from user.
    How can we achieve all that in above example.

  5. In the insert statements you use parameterized queries but in the update example you don’t. Is it not necessary or if it is why did you not on only that example?

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