NodeJS Store System – Introduction

During the creation of my Produce Code PLU Database, I was making use of JavaScript Objects to hold the data needed for the project. This data at the time included the Item Code, Item Category, and Item Name – perfect for a code lookup tool! But I got wondering – could you sort out the data by category using an array method? And upon realizing that I indeed could, I started writing code that could easily sort out large amounts of JavaScript Objects by category, which made it easier to add even more data since it would be even easier to browse through. Within a couple of days, I had code that ran through all the JavaScript Objects that had all the item information, which now included filepaths to product images, pricing, tax information, unit of measurement information (each, or by weight), and if the item would be sold at a feature retail price. I also used this code base to build a point-of-sale system which would use another array method to calculate costs – including taxes.

All of this programming happened in a handful of hours, which is good – except it didn’t seem like as big of a challenge as it could be. It also wasn’t something that could be scaled across multiple hypothetical retail store locations very easily as it was all written in client-side JavaScript. So, with scaleability in mind, I decided to take this small retail store application and turn it into a Full-Stack NodeJS MongoDB application – one which held item data which would be used to populate a store website, but also allowed people to use that website to place an order for pickup, allowed a staff member to select the items ordered and prepare them for pickup, as well as other store functions such as signage creation.

This project is too big to describe in a single post, so stay tuned – lots more is coming!

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A Free Public API for Produce PLU Codes

When I built the app that allowed anyone to look up a Produce department item PLU code for use at self-checkouts by customers or for sign making by staff, I always wanted to put the data used into a public API so that individuals looking to make their own projects could make use of this data that I’ve collected.

Previously, all the data was stored in JavaScript objects – which is okay – but not great if you’re trying to build a more impressive project. The API data that I have made available is served up through NodeJS and Express and connects to a MongoDB database which now stores all the data.

The API only allows certain types of data to be delivered from the database – the database includes example pricing and this data is not sent out when the API is called.

The API can be accessed at and will be maintained at this location for some time to come. If you make use of it, please let me know – I’d be glad to check out your project and link to it as well 🙂

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