Customizing Serializers in Open Event Front-end

Open Event Front-end project primarily uses Ember Data for API requests, which handles sending the request to correct endpoint, serializing and deserializing the request/response. The Open Event API project uses JSON API specs for implementation of the API, supported by Ember data.

While sending request we might want to customize the payload using a custom serializer. While implementing the Users API in the project, we faced a similiar problem. Let’s see how we solved it.

Creating a serializer for model

A serializer is created for a model, in this example we will create a user serializer for the user model. One important thing that we must keep in mind while creating a serializer is to use same name as that of model, so that ember can map the model with the serializer. We can create a serializer using ember-cli command:

ember g serializer user

 
Customizing serializer

In Open Event Front-end project every serializer extends the base serializer application.js which defines basic serialization like omitting readOnly attributes from the payload.

The user serializer provides more customization for the user model on top of application model. We override the serialize function, which lets us manipulate the payload of the request. We use `snapshot.id` to differentiate between a create request & an update request. If `snapshot.id` exists then it is an update request else it is a create request.

While manipulation user properties like email, contact etc we do not need to pass ‘password’ in the payload. We make use of ‘adapterOptions’ property associated with the ‘save()’ method. If the adapterOptions are associated and the ‘includePassword’ is set then we add ‘password’ attribute to the payload.

import ApplicationSerializer from 'open-event-frontend/serializers/application';
import { pick, omit } from 'lodash';

export default ApplicationSerializer.extend({
  serialize(snapshot, options) {
    const json = this._super(...arguments);
    if (snapshot.id) {
      let attributesToOmit = [];
      if (!snapshot.adapterOptions || !snapshot.adapterOptions.includePassword) {
        attributesToOmit.push('password');
      }
      json.data.attributes = omit(json.data.attributes, attributesToOmit);
    } else if (options && options.includeId) {
      json.data.attributes = pick(json.data.attributes, ['email', 'password']);
    }
    return json;
  }
});

If we want to add the password in the payload we can simply add ‘includePassword’ property to the ‘adapterOptions’ and pass it in the save method for operations like changing the password of the user.

user.save({
  adapterOptions: {
    includePassword: true
  }
})

Thank you for reading the blog, you can check the source code for the example here.
Resources

Learn more about how to customize serializers in ember data here