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Blueprint API


Together, blueprint routes and blueprint actions constitute the blueprint API, the built-in logic that powers the RESTful JSON API you get every time you create a model and controller.

For example, if you create a User.js model and UserController.js controller file in your project, then with blueprints enabled you will be able to immediately visit /user/create?name=joe to create a user, and visit /user to see an array of your app's users. All without writing a single line of code!

Blueprints are great for prototyping, but they are also a powerful tool in production due to their ability to be overridden, protected, extended or disabled entirely.

Blueprint Routes

When you run sails lift with blueprints enabled, the framework inspects your controllers, models, and configuration in order to bind certain routes automatically. These implicit blueprint routes (sometimes called "shadows") allow your app to respond to certain requests without you having to bind those routes manually in your config/routes.js file. By default, the blueprint routes point to their corresponding blueprint actions (see "Blueprint Actions" below), any of which can be overridden with custom code.

There are three types of blueprint routes in Sails:

  • RESTful routes, where the path is always /:modelIdentity or /:modelIdentity/:id. These routes use the HTTP "verb" to determine the action to take; for example a POST request to /user will create a new user, and a DELETE request to /user/123 will delete the user whose primary key is 123. In a production environment, RESTful routes should generally be protected by policies to avoid unauthorized access.
  • Shortcut routes, where the action to take is encoded in the path. For example, the /user/create?name=joe shortcut creates a new user, while /user/update/1?name=mike updates user #1. These routes only respond to GET requests. Shortcut routes are very handy for development, but generally should be disabled in a production environment.
  • Action routes, which automatically create routes for your custom controller actions. For example, if you have a FooController.js file with a bar method, then a /foo/bar route will automatically be created for you as long as blueprint action routes are enabled. Unlike RESTful and shortcut routes, action routes do not require that a controller has a corresponding model file.

See the blueprints subsection of the configuration reference for blueprint configuration options, including how to enable / disable different blueprint route types.

Blueprint Actions

Blueprint actions (not to be confused with blueprint action routes) are generic actions designed to work with any of your controllers that have a model of the same name (e.g. ParrotController would need a Parrot model). Think of them as the default behavior for your application. For instance, if you have a User.js model and an empty UserController.js controller, find, create, update, destroy, populate, add and remove actions exist implicitly, without you having to write them.

By default, the blueprint RESTful routes and shortcut routes are bound to their corresponding blueprint actions. However, any blueprint action can be overridden for a particular controller by creating a custom action in that controller file (e.g. ParrotController.find). Alternatively, you can override the blueprint action everywhere in your app by creating your own custom blueprint action. (e.g. api/blueprints/create.js).

The current version of Sails ships with the following blueprint actions:

Consequently, the blueprint API methods covered in this section of the documentation correspond one-to-one with the blueprint actions above.

Overriding Blueprints

( taken from )

To override blueprints in Sails v0.10, you create an api/blueprints folder and add your blueprint files (e.g. find.js, create.js, etc.) within. You can take a look at the code for the default actions in the Sails blueprints hook for a head start.

Note: Currently all files must be lowercase! (The default actions contains findOne.js, but in /api/blueprints it needs to be findone.js)

Adding custom blueprints is also supported, but they currently do not get bound to routes automatically. If you create a /blueprints/foo.js file, you can bind a route to it in your /config/routes.js file with (for example):

GET /myRoute: {blueprint: 'foo'}

Disabling blueprints on a per-controller basis

You may also override any of the settings from config/blueprints.js on a per-controller basis by defining a '_config' key in your controller definition, and assigning it a configuration object with overrides for the settings in this file.

module.exports = {
  _config: {
    actions: false,
    shortcuts: false,
    rest: false


  • While the following documentation focuses on HTTP, the blueprint API (just like any of your custom actions and policies) is also compatible with WebSockets, thanks to the request interpreter. Check out the reference section on the browser SDK for example usage.

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