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A Node.js wrapper for the DocumentCloud API

Apr 7th, 2016


Anthony DeBarros

Thanks to Ryan Murphy of the Texas Tribune, there’s a new way to simplify using DocumentCloud’s API – a Node.js library aptly called node-documentcloud.

“Why should Ruby and Python get to have all the fun?” Murphy said, referring to the fact that coders for some time have been able to use python-documentcloud and the documentcloud RubyGem wrappers to work with the DocumentCloud API.

“The more I use Node.js, the more I like having the option to complete tasks in the language,” Murphy said. “DocumentCloud also has a relatively straightforward API structure, so it also seemed like a good opportunity to try building a client for the first time (something I’ve wanted to attempt for a while).”

DocumentCloud’s API is a powerful piece of the platform, a web service that lets you interact programmatically with resources such as documents, projects and entities. Various API methods let you upload files, create projects, update document data and embed assets via oEmbed, among other tasks.

You can interact with our API via the programming language of your choice, but if you’re a user of Python, Ruby, or now Node.js, the wrappers around the API contributed by the open-source community provide many shortcuts over coding all the interactions yourself.

Murphy sees his library as a gateway to additional features and platforms around DocumentCloud.

“For example, one of the first spinoffs I’ve begun work on is a command line interface on top of node-documentcloud — something that would allow you to interface with the DocumentCloud client from your terminal,” Murphy said.

“Then, it could be as simple as something like documentcloud-cli upload <name_of_folder> to send a bunch of documents to the service. Or, documentcloud-cli download <document_id> to pull down a file. It’s still early going!”

Read all about the wrappers

You can learn more about node-documentcloud by visiting its documentation on Github or npm.

If you’re a Python or Ruby coder, take a look at:

python-documentcloud: From Ben Welsh of the Los Angeles Times’ data desk comes this full-featured API client for Python programmers. In addition to covering the basics, this library goes deep with providing details such as the location of annotations in a document. Documentation.

pneumatic: A Python bulk-upload library for DocumentCloud, written by Anthony DeBarros of the DocumentCloud team. Provides features including cataloging all the files uploaded and their URLs in a database. Documentation.

DocumentCloud: A RubyGem for interacting with the DocumentCloud API, created by Miles Zimmerman. Upload, search, retrieve data about documents. Github. RubyGems.

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