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Autocode API Development, Deployment, and Management Tools

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Autocode allows you to instantly build and host Webhooks, Scripts and APIs

Autocode Setup | Node | Python | Ruby | Web


Autocode is the fastest, easiest way to build web services and APIs that respond to external events. The Autocode CLI allows you to interact seamlessly with the following components of Autocode:

  1. Autocode Standard Library: A central registry for APIs
  2. Our scalable, serverless hosting platform

Autocode is based on Function as a Service ("serverless") architecture, initially popularized by AWS Lambda. You can use Autocode to build modular, scalable APIs for yourself and other developers in minutes without having to manage servers, gateways, domains, write documentation, or build SDKs. Your development workflow has never been easier - focus on writing code you love, let Autocode handle everything else.

Autocode uses an open specification called FunctionScript for function definitions and execution. If you run into concerns or questions as you're building from this guide, please reference the FunctionScript repository. :)

You can view services published by our large and growing developer community on the Autocode Standard Library page.


Table of contents

  1. Getting started
  2. Creating your first service
  3. Connecting service endpoints
  4. Accessing your APIs from other applications
  5. Accessing your APIs over HTTP
  6. Version control and package management
  7. Logging
  8. Additional functionality
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Contact

Getting started

To get started with Autocode, first make sure you have Node 8.x or later installed, available from the official Node.js website. Next install the Autocode CLI tools with:

$ npm install lib.cli -g

And you're now ready to start building!

Creating your first service

The first thing you'll want to do is create a workspace. Create a new directory you intend to build your services in and initialize the workspace.

$ mkdir autocode-workspace
$ cd autocode-workspace
$ lib init

You'll be asked for an e-mail address to log in to the Autocode registry. If you don't yet have an account, you can create one by going to Note that you can skip account creation with

lib init --no-login
. You'll be unable to use the registry, but it's useful for creating workspaces when you don't have internet access.

Next, create your service:

$ lib create 

You'll be asked for a default function name, which is the entry point into your service (useful if you only want a single entry point). This will automatically generate a service project scaffold in


Once created, enter the service directory:

$ cd your_username/your_service

In this directory, you'll see something like:

- functions/
  - __main__.js
- package.json
- env.json

At this point, there's a "hello world" function that's been automatically created (

). Autocode comes paired with a simple
command for testing your functions locally and running them in the cloud. To test your function:
$ lib .
"hello world"

If we examine the

file, we see the following:
* A basic Hello World function
* @param {string} name Who you're saying hello to
* @returns {string}
module.exports = async (name = 'world', context) => {
  return `hello ${name}`;

We can pass parameters to it using the CLI by specifying named parameters:

$ lib . --name "dolores abernathy"
"hello dolores abernathy"

Note that

is a magic parameter (automatically populated with execution details, when provided) as is
(terminates execution), so these don't need to be documented and can not be specified as parameters when executing the function.

Pushing to the cloud

To push your function to a development environment in the cloud...

$ lib up dev
$ lib your_username.your_service[@dev]
"hello world"

And to release it (when you're ready!)

$ lib release
$ lib your_username.your_service
"hello world"

You can check out your service on the web, and use it in applications using our functions gateway,

That's it! You haven't written a line of code yet, and you have mastery over building a service, testing it in a development (staging) environment online, and releasing it for private (or public) consumption.

Note: By default, APIs that you publish with

lib release
will have a documentation page in the Autocode public registry. You can keep your page private, as well as restrict execution access or add collaborators to your API, by modifying your API's permissions. For more information, see this docs page.

Another Note: Staging environments (like the one created with

lib up dev
) are mutable and can be replaced indefinitely. Releases (
lib release
) are immutable and can never be overwritten. However, any service can be torn down with
lib down 
lib down -r 
(but releases can't be replaced once removed, to prevent mistakes and / or bad actors).

Connecting service endpoints

You'll notice that you can create more than one function per service. While you can structure your project however you'd like internally, it should also be noted that these functions have zero-latency access to each other. You can access them internally with the

package on NPM, which behaves similarly to the
command for testing. Use:
$ npm install lib --save

In your main service directory to add it, and use it like so:


module.exports = async (a = 0, b = 0) => {
  return a + b;


const lib = require('lib');

module.exports = async (a = 0, b = 0, context) => { let result = await lib[${context.service.identifier}.add]({a: a, b: b}); return result * 2; };

In this case, calling

lib .add --a 1 --b 2
will return
lib .add_double --a 1 --b 2
will return
. The
magic parameter is used for its
property, which will return the string
in the case of local execution,
when deployed to an environment or release (where
is your environment name or semver).

Accessing your APIs from other applications

As mentioned in the previous section, you can use the NPM

package that's available on GitHub and NPM to access your APIs from legacy Node.js applications and even the web browser. We'll have more SDKs coming out in the following months.

An existing app would call a function (username.bestTrekChar with version 0.2.1):

const lib = require('lib');

let result;

try { result = await lib.username.bestTrekChar['@0.2.1']({name: 'spock'}); } catch (err) { // handle error }

// do something with result

Which would speak to your API...

module.exports = async (name = 'kirk') => {

if (name === 'kirk') { return 'why, thank, you, too, kind'; } else if (name === 'spock') { return 'i think this feeling is called "pleased"'; } else { throw new Error('Only kirk and spock supported.'); }


Accessing your APIs over HTTP

We definitely recommend using the lib library on NPM to make API calls as specified above, but you can also make HTTPS requests directly to the Autocode gateway. HTTP query parameters are mapped automatically to parameters by name.[email protected]/?name=BATMAN

Maps directly to:

* Hello World
* @param {string} name
* @returns {string}
module.exports = async (name = 'world') => {
  // returns "HELLO BATMAN" from above HTTP query
  return `Hello ${name}`;

Version control and package management

A quick note on version control - Autocode is not a replacement for normal git-based workflows, it is a supplement focused around service creation and execution.

You have unlimited access to any release (that hasn't been torn down) with

lib download 
to download and unpack the tarball to a working directory.

Tarballs (and package contents) are closed-source. Nobody but you (and potentially your teammates) has access to these. It's up to you whether or not you share the guts of your service with others on GitHub or NPM.

As mentioned above: releases are immutable and can not be overwritten (but can be removed, just not replaced afterwards) and development / staging environments are mutable, you can overwrite them as much as you'd like.


Logging for services is enabled by default. When running a service locally with

lib .
lib .functionname
, all logs will be output in your console. The very last output (normally a JSON-compatible string) is the return value of the function.

To view remote logs (in dev or release environments), use the following syntax:

:: Lists all logs for the service
$ lib logs username.servicename

:: Lists main service endpoint logs for "dev" environment $ lib logs username.servicename[@dev]

:: Lists service endpoint named "test" logs for "dev" environment $ lib logs username.servicename[@dev].test

:: Lists all logs for "dev" environment $ lib logs username.servicename[@dev]* $ lib logs username.servicename[@dev].*

The default log type is

, though you can specify
lib logs username.servicename -t stderr

Limit the number of lines to show with the

argument (or

Additional functionality

Autocode comes packed with a bunch of other goodies - as we roll out updates to the platform the serverless builds we're using may change. You can update your service to our latest build using

lib rebuild
. If for any reason your service goes down and is unrecoverable, you can fix it with this command.

To see a full list of commands available for the CLI tools, type:

$ lib help

We've conveniently copy-and-pasted the output here for you to peruse;

    -b                   Execute as a Background Function
    -d                   Specify debug mode (prints Gateway logs locally, response logs remotely)
    -i                   Specify information mode (prints tar packing and execution request progress)
    -t                   Specify an Identity Token to use manually
    -x                   Unauthenticated - Execute without a token (overrides active token and -t flag)
    --*                  all verbose flags converted to named keyword parameters

Runs an Autocode function, i.e. "lib user.service[@env]" (remote) or "lib ." (local)

create [service] -n No login - don't require an internet connection -w Write over - overwrite the current directory contents --no-login No login - don't require an internet connection --write-over Write over - overwrite the current directory contents

Creates a new (local) service

down [environment] -r Remove a release version (provide number) --release Remove a release version (provide number)

Removes Autocode package from registry and cloud environment

download [username/name OR username/[email protected] OR username/[email protected]] -w Write over - overwrite the target directory contents --write-over Write over - overwrite the target directory contents

Retrieves and extracts Autocode package

endpoints:create [name] [description] [param_1] [param_2] [...] [param_n] -n New directory: Create as a main.js file, with the name representing the directory --new New directory: Create as a main.js file, with the name representing the directory

Creates a new endpoint for a service

hostnames:add [source] [target] Adds a new hostname route from a source custom hostname to a target service you own. Accepts wildcards wrapped in curly braces ("{}") or "*" at the front of the hostname.

hostnames:list Displays created hostname routes from source custom hostnames to target services you own

hostnames:remove Removes a hostname route from a source custom hostname to a target service you own

http -p Port (default 8170) --port Port (default 8170)

Creates HTTP Server for Current Service

init [environment] -f Force command to overwrite existing workspace -n No login - don't require an internet connection --force Force command to overwrite existing workspace --no-login No login - don't require an internet connection

Initializes Autocode workspace

login --email E-mail --password Password

Logs in to Autocode

logout -f Force - clears information even if current Access Token invalid --force Force - clears information even if current Access Token invalid

Logs out of Autocode in this workspace

logs [service] -l The number of log lines you want to retrieve -t The log type you want to retrieve. Allowed values are "stdout" and "stderr". --lines The number of log lines you want to retrieve --type The log type you want to retrieve. Allowed values are "stdout" and "stderr".

Retrieves logs for a given service

rebuild [environment] -r Rebuild a release package --release Rebuild a release package

Rebuilds a service (useful for registry performance updates), alias of `lib restart -b`

release Pushes release of Autocode package to registry and cloud (Alias of lib up -r)

tokens Selects an active Identity Token for API Authentication

tokens:add-to-env Sets STDLIB_SECRET_TOKEN in env.json "local" field to the value of an existing token

tokens:list -a All - show invalidated tokens as well -s Silent mode - do not display information --all All - show invalidated tokens as well --silent Silent mode - do not display information

Lists your remotely generated Identity Tokens (Authentication)

up [environment] -f Force deploy -r Upload a release package --force Force deploy --release Upload a release package

Pushes Autocode package to registry and cloud environment

user -s Sets a specified key-value pair --new-password Sets a new password via a prompt --reset-password Sends a password reset request for the specified e-mail address --set Sets a specified key-value pair

Retrieves (and sets) current user information

version Returns currently installed version of Autocode command line tools

Upgrading from previous versions

If you're running a previous version and are having issues with the CLI, try cleaning up the old CLI binary links first;

$ rm /usr/local/bin/f
$ rm /usr/local/bin/lib
$ rm /usr/local/bin/stdlib

That's it!

Yep, it's really that easy. To keep up-to-date on developments, please star us here on GitHub, and sign up a user account for the registry. You can read more about service hosting and keep track of official updates on the official Autocode website,


Autocode is a product of and © 2021 Polybit Inc.

We'd love for you to pay attention to @AutocodeHQ and what we're building next! If you'd consider joining the team, shoot us an e-mail.

You can also follow our team on Twitter:

Issues encouraged, PRs welcome, and we're happy to have you on board! Enjoy and happy building :)


Special thanks to the people and companies that have believed in and supported our vision and development over the years.

... and many more!

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