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What is an NPM?

  • NPM stands for the Node Package Manager, It is a package manager for node.js applications.
  • NPM helps you to install, update, remove, and publish packages.
  • NPM acts as a Repository and a Command-Line Interface (CLI) tool.
  • The repository, which now has over 800,000 packages, allows Node.js developers to publish and distribute reusable code.
  • Node.js package ecosystem is the world’s largest ecosystem/repository of open-source online libraries.
  • In simple terms, you can compare npm to the PlayStore (Android). From the play store, we can get any type of apps that are developed by any android programmer from anywhere in the whole world.
  • In the same way, we can get any package from NPM developed and published by any Node.js programmer and include it in our Node.js application to reduce the efforts
  • For example, if say John wants a calculator on his mobile, he will simply go to the play store and download it and use it on his android device instead of creating the whole android application.
  • In the same way, if you want to perform say encryption in your node.js application, then, instead of creating the logic and coding it from scratch, you just include the crypto package (which is used for encryption and stuff) from NPM and your task is done.
  • So npm is a package manager for Node.js, with the help of which we can find, share, and reuse packages of code from hundreds of thousands of developers and assemble them in a powerful new way.
  • NPM also keeps track of the packages you add to your project while managing your application’s dependencies.
  • When you publish an application to users, npm resolves dependencies for you by downloading and installing the necessary packages.
  • And npm can update your project’s dependencies with a single command as soon as maintainers of those packages release new versions.

NPM Security Threats

  • Because of its open-source and global nature and its ease of use, npm is subject to various security risks.
  • According to Adam Baldwin, vice president of security at npm, the largest security vulnerabilities that we’ve found have been related to packages stored in the npm registry or the maintainers of the packages.
  • Publishing packages to npm has a low barrier to entry, so a new package can contain just about any content.
  • On the other hand, the security staff of npm sees every freshly published package before anyone else.
  • To avoid malicious packages, NPM is regularly updating its tools to improve its security.
  • The audit command was added to npm in 2018, and it helps detect vulnerabilities in npm packages.

Node.js Package.json

  • The package in Node.js contains all the files you require for a module.
  • You can download the NPM packages by using a command-line interface.
  • NPM creates a folder named node_modules in your current directory, where the package will be placed.
  • All packages you install in the future will be placed in this folder.
  • Package.json is a build tool available for npm packages.
  • Package.json can install the necessary packages to execute a system; however, it will only install npm packages if the necessary packages are not already installed.
  • Package.json tracks all your installations of npm packages, so when you want to install in the different machines rather than using the individual commands, you can use the package.json file to install them all together.
  • Package.json not only tracks the installation but also tracks the dependencies for your installations.

Most Popular NPM packagesExpress


Express is the most popular Node web framework, which serves as the foundation for many other prominent Node web frameworks.

Note: This adaptability is a two-edged sword. There are middleware packages to meet practically any problem or demand, but determining which packages to utilize can be difficult at times. There is also no “correct” method to organize an application, and many examples you may find on the Internet are either not optimum or just represent a small portion of what you need to accomplish to construct a web application.

How to Install Express:

You can install the Express framework using the below command
$ npm install express

Unopinionated Express Framework:

  • The Express framework is unopinionated, which means, an impartial framework, on the other hand, contains significantly fewer constraints on how to connect components to achieve a goal, or even what components should be employed.
  • The express framework allows you to put any compatible middleware in the request handling chain in any sequence you want.
  • The software can be organized in a single file or several files, with any directory structure.

Features of Express Framework are:

  • Robust routing.
  • Focus on high performance.
  • Super-high test coverage.
  • HTTP helpers (redirection, caching, etc).
  • View system supporting 14+ template engines.
  • Content negotiation.
  • Executable for generating applications quickly.

How Does Express Framework work:

The Express framework uses a callback function whose parameters are Request and Response objects.

    • Express web framework helps to perform the below task:
      • Create handlers for requests with various HTTP verbs and URL paths.
      • Integrate with view rendering engines to generate responses by inserting data into templates.
      • Set up the connection port and the location of templates for displaying the response.
      • Adds middleware at any point within the request handling pipeline.
    • Express helps to create many compatible middleware packages to handle any web development problem.
    • Many libraries work with the session, cookie, user logins, URL parameters, Post Data, Security headers,

etc.

Helmet

  • A helmet can help prevent your app from some well-known online vulnerabilities by properly configuring HTTP headers.
  • The helmet is merely a collection of smaller middleware operations that set security-related HTTP response headers:
    • csp sets the Content-Security-Policy header to help prevent cross-site scripting attacks and other cross-site injections.
    • hidePoweredBy removes the X-Powered-By header.
    • hsts sets a Strict-Transport-Security header that enforces secure (HTTP over SSL/TLS) connections to the server.
    • ieNoOpen sets X-Download-Options for IE8+.
    • noCache sets Cache-Control and Pragma headers to disable client-side caching.
    • noSniff sets X-Content-Type-Options to prevent browsers from MIME-sniffing a response away from the declared content-type.
    • frameguard sets the X-Frame-Options header to provide clickjacking protection.
    • xssFilter sets X-XSS-Protection to disable the buggy Cross-site scripting (XSS) filter in web browsers.

How to Install Helmet:

You can install the Helmet frame by using the below command

$ npm install helmet –save

How Does Helmet Work:

  • The helmet is middleware in the Connect style that is compatible with frameworks such as Express.
  • The top-level helmet function acts as a container for 15 smaller middlewares, 11 of which are activated by default.

Config

  • Node-config organizes your app deployments’ hierarchical setups.
  • It allows you to create a basic set of settings and then extend them for different deployment circumstances (development, qa, staging, production, etc.).
  • Configurations are saved in configuration files within your program, and they can be modified and extended by environment variables, command line parameters, or external variables.
  • This provides your application with a standard configuration interface that is shared by a growing range of npm modules that also use node-config.

Features of Config:

  • Simple – Get started fast.
  • Powerful – For multi-node enterprise deployment.
  • Flexible – Supporting multiple config file formats.
  • Lightweight – Small file and memory footprint.
  • Predictable – The well-tested foundation for module and app developers.

How to Install Config:

You can install the config by using the below command.
$ npm install config

Chalk

  • The Node.js Chalk module is a third-party module used to decorate text format and design our themes in the Node.js project.
  • The advantages of Chalk modules are as below:
    • It is useful for customizing the color of the command-line output.
    • It aids in the improvement of output quality by providing a variety of color options, such as warning messages in red color, and many more.
    • Chalk provides a fluent API that allows you to chain methods to mix and match colors and modifiers.

Note: Chalk includes a simple composable API that allows you to link and layer the styles you want.

Features of Chalk:

  • API that is expressive.
  • Extremely efficient.
  • Styles can be nestled.
  • Color support for 256/Truecolor.
  • Color support is auto-detected.
  • This method does not extend String.prototype.
  • Focused and clean.
  • Actively kept up with.
  • As of January 1, 2020, 50,000 shipments were using it.

How to Install Chalk:

You can install Chalk using the below command
$ npm install chalk

JSON Web Token

  • JSON Web Token (JWT) is an open standard (RFC 7519) that offers a compact and self-contained method for securely communicating information as a JSON object between parties.
  • JWTs can be signed using a secret (using the HMAC algorithm) or with an RSA or ECDSA public/private key combination.
  • Signed tokens can be used to validate the validity of the claims they contain, whilst encrypted tokens keep those claims hidden from third parties.
  • When public/private key pairings are used to sign tokens, the signature additionally verifies that only the party with the private key signed it.

When Should you use JSON Web Token?

Authorization:

The JWT is used to once authorize when the user has logged in, allowing the user to access routes, services, and resources that are permitted with that token.

Information Exchange:

JSON Web Tokens are a good way to send information securely between parties.

What is the Structure of JSON Web Token:

The JSON Web Token contains three parts, separated by dots(.), which are Header, Payload, and Signature. Therefore, a JWT typically looks like the following.
xxxxx.yyyyy.zzzzz

Header: The header consists of two parts: the type of the token, which is JWT, and the signing algorithm being used, such as HMAC SHA256 or RSA. The JSON is Base64Url encoded to form the first part of the JWT.
Example: {
“alg”: “HS256”,
“typ”: “JWT”
}

Payload: The payload is the second part of the token, contains claims, these claims are a statement about an entity and additional data.

Signature: You must sign the encoded header, the encoded payload, a secret, and the procedure indicated in the header to construct the signature section.
○ If you want to utilize the HMAC SHA256 algorithm, for example, the signature will be formed as follows:
HMACSHA256(
base64UrlEncode(header) + “.” +
base64UrlEncode(payload),
secret)

How Does JSON Web Token work:


● Whenever user signs in with their credentials, a JSON Web Token is returned in the authentication.
● Here, tokens are credentials, extreme caution must be exercised to avoid security risks.
● In general, don’t store tokens for longer than necessary.
● Because of the lack of security, avoid storing important session data in the browser’s storage.
● The user agent should deliver the JWT whenever the user wishes to access a protected route or resource, often in the Authorization header using the Bearer schema.
● The header should contain the following information:
Authorization: Bearer
● In the case of a stateless authorization mechanism, Protected routes on the server will look for a valid JWT in the Authorization header, and if one is found, the user will be granted access to protected resources.

● The need to query the database for some operations may be decreased if the JWT has the relevant data, though this is not always the case.
● Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) will not be an issue if the token is sent in the Authorization header because it does not employ cookies.

How To Install JSON Web Token:

You can install JSON Web Token using the following command:
$ npm install jsonwebtoken

Benefits of Using JWT:

● Because JSON is less verbose than XML, its size shrinks when encoded, making JWT more compact than SAML. As a result, JWT is an excellent solution for passing data in HTML and HTTP settings.
● Because JSON parsers translate directly to objects, they are common in most computer languages.
● XML, on the other hand, lacks a natural document-to-object mapping. This makes JWT more user-friendly than SAML assertions.

BCrypt.js

  • One of the most popular packages for working with passwords in JavaScript is the BCrypt npm package.
  • It is always a safe practice to store user passwords in a secure manner to create a secure application.
  • The BCryt.js is used to store a user’s password in the hash format.
  • Password hashing is the best one-way encryption technique to secure a user’s password.
  • The process of storing the password in the combination of text and unique characters is known as the password hashing technique.
  • It is difficult to decrypt the encrypted password from the hacker because it will take a lot of effort and time.

How to Install BCrypt.js

You can install BCrypt.js using the below command
npm install bcryptjs –save

How Does BCrypt.js work

  • BCrypt is an adaptive hash function that is based on the Blowfish block cipher cryptomatic algorithm.
  • With Key Factor BCrypt may alter the cost of hashing.
  • The hash output can be changed by changing Key Factors.
  • As a result, BCrypt is resistant to hackers, particularly the rainbow table method of password cracking.

Benefits of BCrypt.js

  • The most significant advantage of bcrypt is that the iteration count may be increased overtime to make it slower, allowing it to scale with processing power.
  • By raising the number of rounds of bcrypt, we can reduce any benefits attackers would gain from faster hardware.
  • The bcrypt was created to hash passwords, hence it is a slow algorithm.
  • This is beneficial for password hashing because it limits the number of passwords an attacker can hash in a dictionary attack by a second.

Mongoose

  • Mongoose is a wonderful NPM (Node Package Manager) library that is an ORM (Object-Relational Mapping).
  • It manages data associations, does schema validation, and is used to translate between objects in code and their MongoDB representations.
  • It makes it simple to organize your data. With Mongoose, you can perform everything that the MongoDB native driver can accomplish.
  • Rather than writing all of that boilerplate code yourself, most people opt to utilize Mongoose.
  • Mongoose has a tremendous amount of capability for generating and working with schemas.

How to Install Mongoose

You can install Mongoose by using the following command
npm install mongoose –save

Mongoose Schema Types

  • Mongoose has a tremendous amount of capability for generating and working with schemas.
  • When a property is persisted to MongoDB in Mongoose, it is saved as one of eight SchemaTypes.
  • They are as follows:
    • String
    • Number
    • Date
    • Buffer
    • Boolean
    • Mixed
    • ObjectId
    • Array
  • Where each data type allows specifying
    • a default value
    • a custom validation function
    • indicate a field is required
    • a get function that allows you to manipulate the data before it is returned as an object
    • a set function that allows you to manipulate the data before it is saved to the database
    • create indexes to allow data to be fetched faster
  • In addition to these standard settings, specific data types provide you even more control over how data is saved and retrieved from the database.
  • A String data type, for example, allows you to define the following extra options:
    • convert it to lowercase
    • convert it to uppercase
    • trim data prior to saving
    • a regular expression that can limit data allowed to be saved during the validation process
    • an enum that can define a list of strings that are valid

Benefits of Mongoose NPM Module:

  • Collection validation of the MongoDB database can be done easily.
  • Predefined Structure can be implemented on the collection.
  • Constraints can be applied to documents of collections using Mongoose.
  • Mongoose module built on the top of MongoDB driver and provides an easy abstraction of the query and defines a query.

Sequelize

  • Sequelize is a Node.js ORM for Postgres, MySQL, MariaDB, SQLite, and Microsoft SQL Server that uses promises based node.js.
  • It includes transaction support, relations, eager and lazy loading, read replication, and other features.
  • Sequelize follows Semantic Versioning and supports Node v10 and above.
  • It offers a robust migration mechanism that can convert an existing database schema into a new one.
  • It also has database synchronisation techniques that allow you to declare the model structure and establish a database structure.

How to Install Sequelize

$ npm install –save sequelize

Conclusion

NPM has several advantages because it is an online repository of open-source packages that may be accessed on npm. Let’s say you’re working on something and you need to restart the server every time you make a change.

That’s when nodemon comes in handy. Nodemon is an utility that detects changes in the server and restarts it automatically.

I Have explained few popular NPM packages, In the same way, still there are multiple number of NPM packages are available like, Fastify, Socket.io, Async, RxJS,Lodash,Underscore.js, Ramda, Validator,Yup,Day.Js

GPT-3 for Next Generation

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