Just Learn Code

Generating Unique IDs: An In-Depth Guide to Universally Unique Identifiers (UUIDs) in Node JS

Introduction to Universally Unique Identifiers (UUIDs)

Have you ever wondered how databases keep track of unique IDs for each record or how companies generate unique IDs for their customer accounts? Universally Unique Identifiers (UUIDs) are the answer.

UUIDs are a type of unique identifier that are designed to be globally unique, meaning they are highly unlikely to be duplicated by any other entity in the world. They are used in various applications, from database keys to authentication tokens.

In this article, we will explore UUIDs in-depth, including how to generate them using Node JS, the importance of their uniqueness, compatibility, and the different versions of UUIDs.

Generating Unique IDs using Node JS

Having globally unique IDs is crucial for different applications. UUIDs are generated based on algorithms specified in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Request for Comments (RFC) documents.

These algorithms ensure that each UUID generated will be unique. To generate UUIDs in Node JS, you will need to install the UUID package using the npm package installer.

This package provides different options for generating UUIDs based on the RFC versions, which we will discuss next. Version 1: Time-Based UUIDs

UUID version 1, also known as time-based UUIDs, are generated based on the current timestamp, MAC address, and a sequence number.

This version guarantees uniqueness as long as the MAC address is unique. However, privacy concerns arise since the MAC address can potentially be traced back to the device that generated the UUID.

Generating version 1 UUIDs using Node JS’s CommonJS syntax is simple. You just need to require the UUID package and call the `v1()` method, as shown below:


const { v1: uuidv1 } = require(‘uuid’);

const uuid = uuidv1();

console.log(uuid); // Output: 3d24f7a0-f33e-11eb-9a03-0242ac130003


Version 3 and 5: Name-Based UUIDs

UUID version 3 and 5 are also known as name-based UUIDs. They are generated based on a given namespace and name using a hashing algorithm.

This approach ensures that the same name in the same namespace will always generate the same UUID. The difference between version 3 and 5 is the hashing algorithm used.

Version 3 uses MD5, while version 5 uses SHA-1. Version 5 is considered more secure since SHA-1 is stronger than MD5.

Generating version 3 UUIDs using Node JS’s CommonJS syntax can be achieved by calling the `v3()` method, as shown below:


const { v3: uuidv3 } = require(‘uuid’);

const MY_NAMESPACE = ‘1b671a64-40d5-491e-99b0-da01ff1f3341’;

const uuid = uuidv3(‘hello’, MY_NAMESPACE);

console.log(uuid); // Output: 5df41881-3aed-3515-88a7-2f4a814cf09e


Version 4: Random UUIDs

UUID version 4, also known as random UUIDs, are generated using random or pseudo-random numbers. This method ensures that the generated UUIDs will be unique, even if multiple devices generate UUIDs at the same time.

Version 4 UUIDs are suitable for applications that don’t require the time component. Generating version 4 UUIDs using Node JS’s ES6 module syntax is simple.

You just need to import the UUID package and call the `v4()` method, as shown below:


import { v4 as uuidv4 } from ‘uuid’;

const uuid = uuidv4();

console.log(uuid); // Output: 75507de5-561b-4758-a638-9335c288a82d


Using the Crypto Module to Generate UUIDs

Another way to generate UUIDs using Node JS is through the crypto module. This module provides a `randomUUID()` method that generates a version 4 UUID.

One advantage of using the crypto module is caching. Once the crypto module generates a UUID, it caches it, resulting in faster UUID generation for subsequent calls.


const { randomUUID } = require(‘crypto’);

const uuid = randomUUID();

console.log(uuid); // Output: 11f2af4e-bbea-45b7-ac35-2b1350d3ccea


Compatibility and Cross-Platform Use of UUID Package with Node JS

The UUID package is compatible with Node JS and can be used in both CommonJS and ES6 module syntax. This allows developers to generate UUIDs regardless of the syntax they are using.


UUIDs are essential for maintaining unique record IDs in databases or generating unique customer IDs in various applications. We have explored how to generate UUIDs using Node JS and the different versions of UUIDs available.

By understanding UUID generation, developers can ensure uniqueness in their applications, leading to a better user experience. In this article, we explored Universally Unique Identifiers (UUIDs), which are globally unique identifiers used for different applications, including database keys and authentication tokens.

We learned how to generate UUIDs in Node JS using the UUID package and the different versions of UUIDs available, including time-based, name-based, and random UUIDs. By understanding UUID generation, developers can ensure uniqueness and better user experience in their applications. Takeaways from this article include understanding the importance of UUIDs and how to generate them using Node JS.

Overall, UUIDs are crucial for maintaining unique record IDs and generating unique customer IDs to ensure data integrity and security.

Popular Posts