Building a Node app that uploads data to Google Drive

Making use of Koa.js to upload JSON data to Google Drive

Eder Negrete
Apr 19, 2018 · 5 min read

The goal of this post is to make a Koa.js app that uploads a JSON file to our Google Drive, this is how we’re gonna achieve that:

We’ll send a POST request to /create with any JSON in the body and the app will create a JSON file and it will upload it to Google Drive, after that the file should be removed. Easy right?

These are the steps we’re gonna follow:

  • Create the basic structure
  • Configure the project
  • Create the server
  • Google Auth
  • Create the Koa App
  • Run the app

Create the basic structure

Create a folder with any name you want, this will be the root of our project, after that create this structure:

| Koa Tutorial

Configure the project

Inside the root folder make

npm init

and fill all the data in it, if you want to skip all that simply do

npm init --yes

Add the dependences, this is my package.json:

"name": "koa-app",
"version": "0.0.1",
"license": "MIT",
"main": "src/server.js",
"dependencies": {
"google-auth-library": "0.12.0",
"googleapis": "24.0.0",
"jsonwebtoken": "latest",
"koa": "latest",
"koa-body": "latest",
"koa-bodyparser": "4.2.0",
"koa-logger": "latest",
"koa-router": "latest"
"devDependencies": {
"nodemon": "latest"
"scripts": {
"dev": "DEBUG=* NODE_ENV=local nodemon --inspect --harmony src/server.js"

Install the dependences:

npm install

Let’s configure nodemon, go to the nodemon.json file

This is important, because we need to ignore the changes inside the /files folder so nodemon doesn’t restart the server each time a change happens there.

// nodemon.json
"ignore": ["files/*.json"]

Create the server

Go to the server.js file

// src/server.jsprocess.env.NODE_ENV = process.env.NODE_ENV || 'development';const app = require('./app');const config = {
port: process.env.PORT || 9000,
env: process.env.NODE_ENV,
app.listen(config.port, config.ip, () => {
console.log('Koa server listening on %d, in %s mode', config.port, config.env);
// Expose app
exports = module.exports = app;

Google Auth

First, we need to do the “Step 1: Turn on the Drive API” in this link:

Add this URI in the URI section

We download the client_secret.json and we add it to our /src folder

I refactored the code that comes in the Google example from the link above, we download it from here:

And we put it at src/google-auth.js

Create the Koa App

Finally, to the Koa app.

We need to create two endpoints

  • /auth (for the Google Auth)
  • /create (create a file with the provided JSON)

Go to the src/app.js

Let’s add the dependencies first:

//src/app.jsprocess.env.NODE_ENV = process.env.NODE_ENV || 'development';const Koa = require('koa');
const logger = require('koa-logger');
const router = require('koa-router')();
const bodyParser = require('koa-bodyparser');
const fs = require('fs');
const uploadFile = require('./google-auth.js');

Now let’s add the logger:

//src/app.jsapp.use(async (ctx, next) => {
const start =;
await next();
const ms = - start;
ctx.set('X-Response-Time', `${ms}ms`);

Let’s create two functions

  • writeJSONFile
  • removeFile

The process should be this:

  1. Write the JSON file
  2. Upload the file
  3. Remove the file

All of those should wait for the one before to end. (async / await 🙈)

Let’s write the writeJSONFile function:

// src/app.jsconst writeJSONFile = (ctx, fileName) => new Promise(
(resolve, reject) => {
try {
const createStream = fs.createWriteStream(`./files/${fileName}.json`);
const writeStream = fs.createWriteStream(`./files/${fileName}.json`);
} catch (err)

Now the removeFile function:

// src/app.jsconst removeFile = fileName => new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
fs.unlink(`./files/${fileName}.json`, (err) => {
if (err) {
throw err;
console.log('filePath was deleted');

Now let’s create the routes


// src/'/create', async (ctx, next) => {
if (!ctx.request.body) {
ctx.status = 400;
ctx.body = {
error: `expected an object in the body but got: ${ctx.request.body}`,
const newName = `${new Date().getTime()}`;
await writeJSONFile(ctx, newName);
await uploadFile.upload(newName);
await removeFile(newName);
ctx.status = 200;


// src/app.jsrouter.get('/auth', async (ctx) => {
ctx.body = {
message: ctx.request.query.code,

And at the end we need no use the routes and export our app

// src/app.jsapp.use(router.routes());
module.exports = app;

Let’s run the app.

Go to the terminal and run

npm run dev

You should see something like this:

Our app is at the 9000

Now to do the test we need to make a request, you can use Postman or any rest client

We need to do a POST to /create with any valid JSON in it

After that you should auth with Google, go to the console and you should see this:

Let’s access that link, and you will see something like this (depending if you have multiple Google Accounts)

After you select onau’ll see the token:

Copy and Paste it in the terminal and the process should begin, you should see something like this at the end:

And after that you can check your Google Drive and the file should be there:

You can check the full code here:

I’d love to hear from you, you can reach me out on twitter: @edernegrete_ ❤️

JavaScript in Plain English

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Eder Negrete

Written by

Frontend Engineer at RunaHR

JavaScript in Plain English

Learn the web's most important programming language.

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