Getting started with Node.js applications and environments

If you are already familiar with the Cloud Platform user interface, getting started with a Node.js application is similar to the other applications you have already created in Cloud Platform.

For your reference, here is how Node.js applications and environments are managed, and how you develop your code in them, which may be slightly different than your previously created applications and environments.

Managing applications

Many of the basic application management functions are the same for Cloud Platform-hosted Drupal applications. These functions include:

  • Modifying views of applications
  • Adding applications
  • Renaming applications

For a full explanation of each of these functions, see Managing applications with the Cloud Platform interface.

Managing environments

The Cloud Platform implementation of Node.js uses separate environments to help you maintain a clear and orderly workflow as you develop, test, and publish your applications. An application is deployed on each of its environments, but each environment may be in a different state—possibly with a build artifact deployed. Each environment has a URL at which its application can be accessed, but only the production environment’s URL is designed to be visible to the application’s users (website visitors).

Acquia Node.js applications start with one production (Prod) environment, and one development (Dev) environments. See Resources and limitations for Node.js environments for infrastructure details.

  • Development environments: Shared between customers
  • Production environments: Dedicated to a single customer

Determining Node.js version on an environment

The Overview page for an environment displays the Node.js version installed on an environment. To check the version installed on an environment, complete the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Cloud Platform user interface.
  2. In the breadcrumbs menu, click the triangle and select your organization, application, and environment to display the environment’s Overview page.
  3. On the environment’s Overview page, scroll down to the Information section.

The Cloud Platform user interface displays the Node.js version at the bottom of the Information section as shown in the following example:

Node.js version displayed on Overview page

Configuring Node.js version on an environment

  1. Sign in to the Cloud Platform user interface.

  2. Select your application and environment.

  3. Click the Configure icon. Cloud Platform will display the Configuration panel.

  4. In the Configuration panel, select the Node version you want to use for the environment:

    Node configuration panel

  5. Click Save.

Developing your application

Development with Node.js on Cloud Platform requires you create pipelines for your code.

Based on the normal pipelines workflow, after connecting your application to a repository, you must create your build definition file.

The Cloud Platform uses the conventional npm start command to start your Node.js application. Ensure that you have a snippet similar to the following in your application’s package.json file:

"scripts": {
    "start": "node index.js"

Enclose your application in error-handling code which captures error information through console.log() or console.error() for log and error message display in Log Streaming.

Node.js applications on Cloud Platform have a docroot directory. This directory isn’t used by Node.js applications, and can be safely added to your .gitignore file.

For a detailed tutorial about local Drupal and Node.js setup, see Node.js with Decoupled Drupal on Cloud Platform

Pipelines client commands

The pipelines client for Cloud Platform includes commands that are specific to Node.js applications and commands available for your YAML file. For a listing of commands in the CLI client, see Using the Cloud Platform pipelines client.

Creating a pipelines artifact for a Node.js application

Here is an example script for building a pipelines artifact with your Node.js application:

# For more acquia-pipelines.yaml pipelines examples, see
version: 1.0.0

        - build:
              - nvm install 10
              - nvm use 10
              - npm install --production
        - upload-artifact:
              - pipelines-artifact start
              - pipelines-artifact upload $SOURCE_DIR
        - fail:
              - pipelines-artifact fail

For other example scripts for pipelines, see Example pipelines build definition files.