Monitor web traffic with Node/Express middleware integration

In this tutorial, we'll start analysing the web traffic on a Node/Express application using Access Watch.

We'll use the Websocket protocol that is one of the many protocol available with the Access Watch Express Logger middleware.

Let's start!

Install Access Watch

On the same server where the Node/Express application is running, or on a server that is reachable by it, install the Access Watch processor.

As a prerequirement, you'll need Node.js >= 7. Use nvm if you're in trouble.

nvm install node

During the beta phase, let's use Git and clone the public repository:

git clone
cd access-watch
npm install

Configure Access Watch

In our suggested configuration, Access Watch will be listening for access logs using the Websocket protocol.

All communications between your Node/Express application and Access Watch will be happening in clear, so please only use that setup in your internal network. If on the public internet, we're advising to use the Websocket Secure protocol (wss) which is straightforward but out of the scope of this tutorial.

Now, you can create your own configuration in ./config/config.js:

const accessWatch = require('..')();

const { pipeline, input } = accessWatch;

const webSocketServerInput = input.websocket.create({
  name: 'WebSocket server (JSON standard format)',
  type: 'server',
  path: '/input/log'


Configure Node/Express

Now, install the Access Watch Express Logger middleware in your Node application:

npm install --save access-watch-express-logger

Then simply configure it like any other middlewares:

const express = require('express')
const accessWatchExpressLogger = require('access-watch-express-logger')

const app = express()

app.use(accessWatchExpressLogger('websocket', 'ws://localhost:3000/input/log'))

In this example, there are 3 important things:

  1. If Access Watch is running on the same server, we can use localhost as IP address. If it's on a different server, replace localhost by the proper private or public IP address.
  2. Replace the port (here 3000) by the relevant one, it should be the main port where Access Watch is running.
  3. Finally, the path /input/log should match the one configured on Access Watch side, If you're following this tutorial from start to begin, nothing to change!

Now, that you added and configured the Access Watch middleware, you can deploy and restart your application.

Note: The Access Watch middleware is also capable of logging using the HTTP(s) or the Syslog protocol. If you have any trouble with Websocket, you might want to try these one.

Start Access Watch

Ok, now go back to where Access Watch is installed and start it.

npm start config/config.js

Browse the interface

Now, you can point your browser to the IP/port where Access Watch is running. If you see data flowing, congrats you made it!