Uploading a file in Sails

Aug 12, 2014

Hi all

Here is a new tutorial in the Sails and Angular Series. Actually i was thinking about writing a tutorial on loading effects during Sails Angular API calls . This will be handled in next tutorials.To keep you engaged today we will see how an upload function can be created in Sails.

Configure route and layout

Before we create an upload function , we have to create a form that takes input. Here we can use Sails layouts which is based on ejs templating.

Create a view uploadfile.ejs in views folder( app/views/ ) as shown below.


Now we can create a form which accept file as input . enctype="multipart/form-data" is used to take file,image etc as input .Code is shown below.

<!-- enctype="multipart/form-data" -->
<form id="uploadForm"
    	<input type="file" name="uploadFile" />
    	<input type="submit" value="submit"/>

Now configure a route to this file . This can be done in routes.js file (located in app/config/routes.js).You will see the following code .

module.exports.routes = {

  // Make the view located at `views/homepage.ejs` (or `views/homepage.jade`, etc. depending on your
  // default view engine) your home page.
  // (Alternatively, remove this and add an `index.html` file in your `assets` directory)
  '/': {
    view: 'homepage'

  // Custom routes here...

  // If a request to a URL doesn't match any of the custom routes above,
  // it is matched against Sails route blueprints.  See `config/blueprints.js`
  // for configuration options and examples.


You can add custom routes as follows

    view: 'uploadfile'  // view 'uploadfile' in views directory will loaded automatically

Configure controller

Upto here we have created a view for uploading our file to server. Now we move on to controller part where we configure the file upload path . Sails uses skipper to upload file in which it uploads the files to .tmp/uploads. We will now see how this can be acheived.

Create a File controller as shown below.


We will add new function upload in File controller which can be accessed through REST api /file/upload . We will block access to upload API through GET method . When upload function is complete we will return the file details with status 200.

upload: function(req, res) {
    if (req.method === 'GET')
        return res.json({ 'status': 'GET not allowed' });
    //	Call to /upload via GET is error

    var uploadFile = req.file('uploadFile');

    uploadFile.upload(function onUploadComplete(err, files) {
        //	Files will be uploaded to .tmp/uploads

        if (err) return res.serverError(err);
        //	IF ERROR Return and send 500 error with error

        res.json({ status: 200, file: files });
  • req.method : Returns the method by which API is called . GET,POST etc.
  • req.file : Returns the name of file being uploaded
  • .upload function : Upload the files to server (.tmp/uploads)

Now will lift the app and see whether the code is correct or not.Go to http://localhost:1337/upload-file.You will be able to see the following screen.


Now try adding a file and hit on submit.


The response screen will be like this.


Now check whether a file uploaded in the folder or not.Execute the following commands from Sails Directory.

cd .tmp/uploads


Yaay!!! It works .

Uploading to a custom folder

Here we could upload the file to .tmp/uploads . So how do we configure it with a custom folder , say ‘assets/images’. We can achieve this by adding options to upload function as shown below.

The tutorial has been updated to work with latest Sails version .

// Configure with 'dirname' 

uploadFile.upload({ dirname: '../../assets/images' }, function onUploadComplete(err, files) {
    // Earlier it was ./assets/images .. Changed to ../../assets/images
    //	Files will be uploaded to ./assets/images
    // Access it via localhost:1337/images/file-name

    if (err) return res.serverError(err);
    //	IF ERROR Return and send 500 error

    res.json({ status: 200, file: files });

You can add an option dirname (string) to upload to a custom folder .For more see skipper-docs.

Check whether this is okay or not.


The API returns the same content as seen in previous test. I’ve uploaded an image , so let us check whether it is accessible thorugh browser.


Yeah !! Everything is fine . Here we have set a folder only . If we want a custom name for the file , we can generate it by using UUID or date and time and pass it as a parameter as saveAs in upload options.

That’s all for today . We’ll see the loading effects in Sails Angular API calls in next tutorial . See you there bye. :)