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object-encode

Encode your objects into simple string hashes that you can then pass around. Then decode them back with ease.


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Object Encode

This module has been used in production a few times already and I haven't had any issues raised so far. The latest update was only to write better tests using jest.

I would love to hear about what you build using Object Encode.

Intro

Sometimes you need to safely encode an object into a string and then decode it back into an object.

My Use Case

My desire to encode/decode objects to and from strings came when I needed time based database tables so that I can easily partition & 'retire' old data but keep it on disk in case I needed it.

For this use case, I decided that users would request for data using a hash id. So I decided to code all the info necessary into the hash (string) i.e {user:1, database:'2016-10-09_data'} translates to a hash id like 'x2YWw6bGV2ZWxfMV9WYWwpKSxudWxsOi0tLHRoaXM6dGhhdCk=' which the user then uses.

You get the point?

OK, How To Use

First install via npm npm install --save object-encode

Then initialize and (en/de)code away!


var objCodec = require('object-encode');

var object = {
  this : 'that',
  foo : 'bar',
  "null" : false,
  nested : {
    "level1" : {
      val : 'level 1 Val',
      "level2" : {
        val : "level 2 Val"
      }
    }
  }
};

var salt = ')*myNewAWESOME-salt254@%^&%';

//encode object using specified algorithm
var encodedString = objCodec.encode_object( object, 'base64', salt );

//decode string back to the object
var decodedObject = objCodec.decode_object(encodedString, 'base64', salt );

console.log(encodedString);
console.log(decodedObject);


API

This module uses juri to encode/decode objects to strings and string-codec to further encode those strings using one of hex, base64, ascii85, base91, rot5, rot13, rot18, rot47, rev, url or punycode algorithms.

.encode_object(object [,algorithm, salt])

Takes an object and encodes it using the algorithm given into a string, and then shuffles the string using the given salt value.

NOTE:

  • encode_object() uses JSON.stringify methods. As such, only pass objects that can be stringified safely. Things like circular references and functions will throw an error.

  • Default algorithm is base64.

  • Salt allows you to mangle your encoded string so that it may not be easily decoded back into the object without one knowing that value.

  • Default algorithm is changeme.

.decode_object(string [,algorithm, salt])

Takes an string, unshuffles it using provided salt and then decodes it using the algorithm given back to an object.

NOTE: (AS ABOVE)

If all you need is string encoding & decoding...

I have also exposed two other methods:

  • encode(string, [algorithm, runs])
  • decode(string, [algorithm, runs])

To help you encode/decode strings.

What's Your Use Case?

I needed hash ids that could be shared via web addresses and therefore required a method that them short and URL-safe. But that might not be what you want to do with your encoded objects.

Depending on your use case, you can choose another algorithm and see how things go.

Install dev dependecies and run test.js to see how they compare.

A Note On Security

The default salt value is 'changeme' so please use your own. Like passwords, choose a strong salt value.

Please do not encode sensitive data like passwords within your objects. This library is not built with security in mind. The ultimate goal was to simply encode objects into strings so be wise & keep your sensitive data safe!

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Package last updated on 30 Dec 2023

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