Building a RESTful API is a common requirement for many modern applications, and it’s essential to follow best practices when designing one. RESTful APIs provide a standardized way for clients to interact with your application, allowing seamless integration with other services and platforms.
By utilizing a development environment with native support for NestJS, Prisma and GraphQL, application development can be streamlined and its quality improved.
NestJS & Prisma
NestJS is a server-side framework built to provide developers with tools to build complex web applications that can be easily maintained over time. It includes features like dependency injection, modular architecture, and TypeScript support.
Prisma is an open-source tool that provides a type-safe and queryable API for your database schema, supporting multiple databases and features like automatic migrations and schema introspection. With Prisma, you can define your database schema using a declarative syntax and generate a set of TypeScript types and query API.
NestJS and Prisma provide a robust solution for building modern, scalable, and maintainable web applications. NestJS provides a framework for building server-side logic, while Prisma offers seamless integration with your database.
How to Build a RESTful API
- NestJS CLI
- Prisma CLI
Utilizing a development environment with native support and adaptive code completion for NestJS and Prisma would be a great advantage.
Step 1: Create a new NestJS project.
Navigate to the desired directory in your terminal where you intend to create your new project. After navigating to the desired directory in your terminal, execute the following command to create a new NestJS project:
A new directory named my-API-project will be created, which will contain the NestJS project you just created.
Once the project has been created, navigate to the project directory:
Step 2: Install Prisma and the database client.
Install Prisma and the database client for your database. We’ll use PostgreSQL.
First, install Prisma:
Install the PostgreSQL client:
Step 3: Configure Prisma.
Configure Prisma to use our PostgreSQL database.
Create a new file called Prisma/schema.Prisma and add the following code:
Replace username, password, and mydatabase with your own PostgreSQL database credentials. This file tells Prisma how to connect to your database and generates a Prisma client to interact with the database.
Step 4: Generate Prisma client.
Generate the Prisma client based on our schema.
Run the following command to generate the client:
This will generate a new directory called node_modules/.prisma/client containing the generated client.
Step 5: Create a new endpoint.
Create a new endpoint to return a list of users from our database.
First, create a new file called src/users/users.controller.ts. This file will contain our controller logic.
Add the following code to define a basic UsersController:
This defines a new controller for handling requests to /users. When a GET request is received, the getUsers() method is called, which queries the database using the Prisma client and returns a list of users.
Next, create a new file called src/users/users.module.ts and add the following code:
This defines a new module for our UsersController and injects the Prisma client as a provider.
Finally, update ‘app.module.ts’
High-Level API Building Best Practices
- Use pagination and filtering to limit response sizes and improve performance.
- Implement proper error handling, including returning meaningful messages and status codes.
- Version your API to maintain backward compatibility and avoid breaking changes.
- Use authentication and authorization to secure your API.
- Document your API thoroughly, providing clear documentation for each endpoint.
- Use automated testing to ensure your API functions correctly.
Building an API requires careful planning and attention to detail. You can build a secure, scalable API by following the listed best practices.