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Braintree with Nodejs and React

Published: Jan 2, 2019

Last updated: Jan 2, 2019

    Braintree is one of those methods to get started with payments.

    I've been looking for alternatives to Stripe more for comparisons sake to see what would be easiest to implement and more relevant to what I am trying to achieve en masse down the road.

    This is a small hello world into getting up and running with Braintree using Express on the serverside and React on the frontend.


    If you are following along, you should sign up for a Sandbox account.

    This tutorial will use create-react-app and a user contributed npm module to abstract some of the time required for setup.

    Another useful link comes from their website for Node.js and JS. Although I will be deterring away from it, it is still a useful reference.

    We are going to treat this project as a monorepo for now, so in the root directory we need to create a subdirectory for the frontend and a directory for the server.

    Building the Express server


    mkdir server cd server yarn init -y yarn add express body-parser morgan cors dotenv braintree mkdir routes touch server.js .env .gitignore routes/index.js


    For the sake of doing things right, let's just quickly update our file to ignore node_modules and the .env file.

    .env node_modules/


    Here we need to update our file with the sandbox tokens given to us from the Braintree sandbox environment. The keys and configuration can be found on your Braintree dashboard:

    BRAINTREE_MERCHANT_ID=<use_your_merchant_id> BRAINTREE_PUBLIC_KEY=<use_your_public_key> BRAINTREE_PRIVATE_KEY=<use_your_private_key>

    Now we can use dotenv in our app to access the variables and keep them out of our git history.


    To set up the main server, update the server.js file to look like so:

    // Add variables from dotenv into process.env vars require("dotenv").config(); // Main starting point of the application const express = require("express"); const http = require("http"); const bodyParser = require("body-parser"); const morgan = require("morgan"); const app = express(); const cors = require("cors"); // Routes Setup const routes = require("./routes"); // App Setup const morganFormat = process.env.NODE_ENV === "production" ? "combined" : "dev"; app.use(morgan(morganFormat)); app.use(cors()); app.use(bodyParser.json()); app.use(bodyParser.urlencoded({ extended: true })); // Add routes after setting up middleware routes(app); // Server Setup const port = process.env.NODE_ENV == "production" ? 80 : 5000; const server = http.createServer(app); server.listen(port); console.log("Server listening on:", port);

    This server.js file will load the routes/index.js file, which we will now update.


    Let's now update our routes/index.js to take setup the gateway and setup three routes - one for a simple ping test, another for fetching a client token and a third for making a payment:

    const braintree = require("braintree"); var gateway = braintree.connect({ environment: braintree.Environment.Sandbox, // Use your own credentials from the sandbox Control Panel here merchantId: process.env.BRAINTREE_MERCHANT_ID, publicKey: process.env.BRAINTREE_PUBLIC_KEY, privateKey: process.env.BRAINTREE_PRIVATE_KEY, }); module.exports = function (app) { app.get("/braintree", function (req, res) { res.send("Braintree route is healthy"); }); app.get("/api/braintree/v1/getToken", async function (req, res) { try { gateway.clientToken.generate({}, function (err, response) { if (err) { res.status(500).send(err); } else { res.send(response); } }); } catch (err) { res.status(500).send(err); } });"/api/braintree/v1/sandbox", async function (req, res) { try { // Use the payment method nonce here var nonceFromTheClient = req.body.paymentMethodNonce; // Create a new transaction for $10 var newTransaction = { amount: "10.00", paymentMethodNonce: nonceFromTheClient, options: { // This option requests the funds from the transaction once it has been // authorized successfully submitForSettlement: true, }, }, function (error, result) { if (result) { res.send(result); } else { res.status(500).send(error); } } ); } catch (err) { // Deal with an error console.log(err); res.send(err); } }); };

    Now if we run node server.js, we should have our app up and running on port 5000!

    We can run curl http://localhost:5000/braintree from another terminal to see our Braintree route is healthy response.

    Now we need to set up the clientside.

    Building the React frontend

    React Installation

    create-react-app clientside cd clientside yarn add braintree-web braintree-web-drop-in-react axios

    Updating the app

    Go to our App.js file and clean it out. Replace the file with the following:

    import React, { Component } from "react"; import "./App.css"; import "braintree-web"; import axios from "axios"; import DropIn from "braintree-web-drop-in-react"; class App extends Component { instance; state = { clientToken: null, }; async componentDidMount() { try { // Get a client token for authorization from your server const response = await axios.get( "http://localhost:5000/api/braintree/v1/getToken" ); const clientToken =; this.setState({ clientToken }); } catch (err) { console.error(err); } } async buy() { try { // Send the nonce to your server const { nonce } = await this.instance.requestPaymentMethod(); const response = await "http://localhost:5000/api/braintree/v1/sandbox", nonce ); console.log(response); } catch (err) { console.error(err); } } render() { if (!this.state.clientToken) { return ( <div> <h1>Loading...</h1> </div> ); } else { return ( <div> <DropIn options={{ authorization: this.state.clientToken, }} onInstance={(instance) => (this.instance = instance)} /> <button onClick={}>Buy</button> </div> ); } } } export default App;

    This code is a variation of the intro code found on the Braintree Web Drop-in React Github intro.

    If we run yarn start we should load up the React app on locahost and you should be able to see the following:

    React Frontend

    React Frontend

    If that is the case, perfect! We are ready to roll.

    Making the payment

    The following comes directly from the Node.js quickstart for Braintree.

    Card number: 4111 1111 1111 1111 Expiry: 09/20 CVV: 400 Postal Code: 40000

    If we insert both the card number and expiry, that should be enough for us to get to the end of the road! After inserting and making the payment, our front end should look like the following:

    Payment made

    Payment made

    Opening up devtools, we can even inspect the response object we are logging to see our great success!




    The server terminal

    If we checkout the server terminal, we should be able to see how events went down thanks to Morgan doing our logging:

    Express App

    Express App

    The image above can help us fully understand the process. When our frontend app loads, we make a GET request to fetch the token from /api/braintree/v1/getToken. This token is required for when that final payment request was made. The OPTIONS 204 request we see there secondly is a CORS preflight request made to ensure we are allowed to make the call and finally and POST 200 to /api/braintree/v1/sandbox is our success response after making the payment.


    If we now go back to our Sandbox dashboard, we can now see the successful transaction has been recorded!



    Very cool. We just went from 0 to payment in a short amount of time.

    Next steps

    What's next? Something I like about Braintree is UI extensibility. Although we used a frontend package on this occassion, try building out your own UI for taking payments!

    Whether or not you are a fan of Braintree or Stripe really is up to you and your business needs at the end of the day. It is worth looking up both the pros and cons of the developer docs and the rates to decide what is best for your specific usecase (or any other payment platform for that case).

    Original post:

    Git repo:

    Depth is a series that goes into more detail for projects than it's friendly counterpart series "Hello".

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    Dennis O'Keeffe

    • Melbourne, Australia

    Hi, I am a professional Software Engineer. Formerly of Culture Amp, UsabilityHub, Present Company and NightGuru.
    I am currently working on Visibuild.


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    Braintree with Nodejs and React


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