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Arun Kumar Dorepally
Arun Kumar Dorepally

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Learn How to Create and Test a File Upload API using NestJS and Postman

File Upload API Documentation using NestJS


This guide provides detailed instructions for implementing a file upload API using NestJS. The architecture consists of three key files:

  • file.module.ts: Manages module configuration and imports necessary dependencies.
  • file.controller.ts: Defines controller logic for processing file upload requests.
  • file.service.ts: Encapsulates core file upload business logic within the service layer.

Step-by-Step Implementation

1. Create file.module.ts:

// file.module.ts

import { Module } from '@nestjs/common';
import { MulterModule } from '@nestjs/platform-express';
import { FileController } from './file.controller';
import { FileService } from './file.service';

  imports: [
    MulterModule.register({ dest: './uploads' }), // Configure file storage location
  controllers: [FileController],
  providers: [FileService],
  exports: [FileService], // Make FileService available to other modules
export class FileModule {}
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  • This module imports MulterModule for file upload handling, configuring the storage destination (./uploads).
  • It registers the FileController and FileService, exporting the latter for wider access.

2. Create file.controller.ts:

// file.controller.ts

import { Post, UseInterceptors, UploadedFile, Controller } from '@nestjs/common';
import { FileInterceptor } from '@nestjs/platform-express';
import { FileService } from './file.service';

@Controller('file') // Base route for file-related operations
export class FileController {
  constructor(private readonly fileService: FileService) {}

  @Post('upload') // Endpoint for uploading files
  @UseInterceptors(FileInterceptor('file')) // Intercept and handle file uploads
  async uploadFile(@UploadedFile() file: Express.Multer.File) {
    // Delegate file handling to the FileService
    return await this.fileService.uploadFile(file);
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  • This controller defines a POST endpoint (/file/upload) for file uploads.
  • The @UseInterceptors decorator employs FileInterceptor to intercept incoming files.
  • The @UploadedFile decorator injects the uploaded file data into the uploadFile method.
  • The uploadFile method calls the corresponding service method for further processing.

3. Create file.service.ts:

// file.service.ts

import { Injectable } from '@nestjs/common';
import { Express } from 'express';

export class FileService {
  async uploadFile(file: Express.Multer.File) {
    // Add your specific file upload logic here, including:

    // 1. Validation (e.g., file size, type, MIME type)
    // ...

    // 2. Custom filename generation (optional)
    // ...

    // 3. Advanced storage logic (optional)
    // ...

    // 4. Return relevant information or perform further actions
    return {
      originalname: file.originalname,
      filename: file.filename,
      size: file.size,
      mimetype: file.mimetype,
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  • This service contains the uploadFile method, responsible for core file upload logic.
  • You'll implement essential steps like:
    • Validation: Enforce file size, type, MIME type restrictions.
    • Custom filename generation: (Optional) Create unique filenames.
    • Advanced storage logic: (Optional) Utilize diskStorage from Multer for more granular control.
    • Returning information/performing actions: Return details about the uploaded file or execute further actions based on the upload.

Additional Notes:

  • Adjust import paths within files to match your project structure.
  • Implement robust error handling and validation for various upload scenarios.
  • Customize the file storage location and filename generation process.
  • Consider integration with cloud storage solutions for scalability and redundancy.
  • Thoroughly test your API with diverse file types, sizes, and edge cases.

Using the API:

  1. Install NestJS and necessary dependencies (refer to your project's requirements).
  2. Create the file.module.ts, file.controller.ts, and file.service.ts files with the provided code (adapted to your project).
  3. Run your NestJS application.
  4. Use tools like Postman or curl to test the API:
    • Endpoint: POST http://localhost:3000/file/upload
    • Body: Use form-data and include a file with the field name file.
    • Expected Response: Details about the uploaded file or the result of additional actions.

Testing the API using Postman:

Install Postman:

If you don't have Postman installed, download and install it from Postman's official website.

Run Your NestJS Application:

Ensure that your NestJS application is up and running.

Open Postman:

Open the Postman application.

Create a New Request:

  • Click on the "New" button to create a new request.
  • Choose a request type (e.g., POST) and enter the API endpoint: http://localhost:3000/file/upload.

Configure the Request:

  • Select the Body tab.
  • Choose form-data as the body type.
  • Add a key-value pair with the key file and select a file to upload.

Send the Request:

  • Click the "Send" button to send the request.
  • Observe the response in the Postman console.

Verify the Response:

  • Check the response for details about the uploaded file or any additional actions performed by the API.

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