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The 'me' route

A common API pattern for any application with users is often referred to as the 'me' route.

Requesting the current user

Let's say you want to display information about your app's current user, like their name or email address. Typically, your frontend application would make a GET request to /users/:id with the id of the desired user. But in this case, your app doesn't know the id of the current user.

A solution for this common scenario is to create a designated route for requesting the current user, the 'me' route. With this solution, all requests to /users/me are interpreted by the server as requests for the current user. The server then uses the authorization token included with the request to identify the current logged-in user and their id.

With Authmaker, adding a 'me' route to your API is done using the translateId() hook.

Translating the ID

The library express-autoroute-json provides a translateId() method that allows you to access the id on all requests for individual records. Using this hook, we can inspect the request object and alter the id before it is used to query your database. This is helpful when the request id is not a Mongo ObjectID, like a request for /users/me.

translateId(id, req) {
  // write your custom logic here
  // return an Object Id for query
  return id;

If translateId() is defined in your route file, the function will execute before all findOne queries to your database. If your conditions for translating the id are not met (for example, a valid Object Id is passed in), your function still must return the id.

Adding a 'me' route

The example below demonstrates how to create a 'me' route for users with the translateId() hook.

When a request to the server is authenticated by Authmaker, the current user's Object Id is added to the request object, as req.user.id.

Inside the hook we have access to the both the request id and the request object, which includes the current user's id. If the request id is 'me', we simply return the current user's id instead. Instead of querying the database for a user with an id of 'me', which is invalid, the server will query the database with our new id value, req.user.id. The response, if authorized, will include the current user's email and displayName attributes.

const autorouteJson = require('express-autoroute-json');
const authmakerVerifyExpress = require('authmaker-verify-express');

module.exports.autoroute = autorouteJson({
  model: authmakerVerifyExpress.models.user,
  resource: 'user',
  authentication: authmakerVerifyExpress.mongo(),
  attributes: ['email', 'displayName'],

  translateId(id, req) {
    // if id equals 'me', return the current user's id
    if (id === 'me') {
      return req.user.id;
    // if id is valid Object Id, return it
    return id;

  find: {
    // authorization runs after translateId
    authorisation(req) {
      // users can only view their own information
      return {
        userId: req.user.id,