It’s time to replace Express with Fastify

Dominic Tobias

Dominic Tobias

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Dec 23 · 2 min read

Released in 2016, Fastify isn’t a new project but it has been actively maintained and with 21.5k stars on GitHub, it has gathered quite the following. Based on its stats, it’s easy to see why:

Not only is it 5x faster than Express, you can still use the Express middleware you’re used to, so it’s simple to pick up. The API is also typed, which is something we have come to expect from modern JavaScript libraries.

Another nice feature is that it supports JSON Schema to validate input and output of HTTP handlers (more on that later).

Installation

First we will install fastify, middie, and some commonly used middleware:

yarn add fastify middie cors frameguard x-xss-protection

Server setup

To give you an idea of using the optional JSON Schema, let’s validate and strongly type a querystring so that it must contain postcode:

Here you can see that we’re not only using TypeScript, but also additional JSON schema to validate and ensure that our API output is exactly what we want it to be.

On line 14, we see that our API looks almost identical to what we would typically expect to see from an Express API. This makes it easy for Express developers to quickly jump over to Fastify and stay productive. So it’s an easy replacement with a great performance boost!

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