req.body undefined in express.js

By default req.body is undefined or empty. The express engine does not read the body of the incoming request that is req.body.

If we want to read the request body and parse it into req.body, then you need to install the appropriate middleware.

First, it will see what type of request it is and does it have a body (like a POST or a PUT). Second, it will check the incoming content-type and does it know how to parse that.

If both matches then the middleware parses it and put it into req.body. If we do not have this type of middleware installed, then req.body will be undefined or empty.

Express has several built-in middleware for content-types. We can simply use them inside our express app. The following are some middleware for different content types:

express.json(...)    for "application/json"
express.raw(...)     reads the body into a Buffer for you to parse yourself
express.text(...)    for "text/plain" - reads the body into a string
express.urlencoded(...) for "application/x-www-form-urlencoded"

If the incoming request’s content-type is JSON, we can then use the following code inside the express app.