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How to Build REST API Using Node Js Feathers Framework

DevPool
My mission at DevPool, is to help beginners and juniors to succeed in the tech industry. Instead of spending years on learning, I am here to help my viewers to get there in a matter of months!
・4 min read

This article will create a simple REST API vehicle system with full authentication and CRUD (create, read, update, delete) capabilities.

We will be creating a simple vehicle API support.

Our Use Cases:

  • As a user, I should be able to register.
  • As a user, I should be able to login.
  • As a user, I should be able to perform any CRUD operations on the vehicle data.
    • create
    • read
    • update
    • delete

Project Setup

mkdir vehicle-api
cd vehicle-api
feathers g app
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running command

As you're answering the above questions, you'll notice that you can create your application using TypeScript and not JavaScript, or we can select any other database type.

For simplicity, I went with yarn, JavaScript, and NeDB, but if you're planning to use npm, TypeScript, or Postgres/MongoDB, you can do so.

Next, open your project with an editor of your choosing (I'm personally going with VS Code)

openProject

To run the application, run the appropriate package manager command that you've selected. In this case:

yarn dev
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and you should be able to see this page in your browser:

running

Congratulations!
You've set up your first Feathers application, and here is the tree structure of our project:

tree

You can find more information how what do this files do in here: https://docs.feathersjs.com/guides/basics/generator.html#the-generated-files

Notice how under 1 minute, we've generated an application with a full authentication implementation and our first user service has full CRUD capabilities.

So how do we communicate with our backend if we don't have a frontend?

Whenever we work on the API, engineers would use a tool called Insomnia or Postgres (in this example, I'll be using insomnia). Overall it will enable us to send and get a response from our API without running the frontend.

insomnia-0

What we want to do next is to create "register" and "login" requests in our insomnia workspace.

In my workspace, I'll be creating a new folder, "Authentication," that will contain "register" and "login" requests.

Register

register

After sending the request, we should see the following:

register-complite

Login

login

After sending the request, we should see the following:

login-final

If you see the same thing, then your authentication is set up correctly!

Since the basics of our applications are set up and running, it's time to create our vehicle service.

To do that, run the following command and answer all of the questions in the same way as we did it right from the beginning:

feathers g service
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vehicles-setup

And if you look under the services/model folder, we now have a vehicle implementation that we can perform entire CRUD operations on.

vehivle-service

At this point, our REST API is fully ready to take in some data and perform the entire CRUD operation on our new vehicle service!

Let's create a few records to demonstrate that.

create

Oh no, what happened here!? We're getting an error message "Not authenticated."

That's the expected behavior because our system is saying that "you're trying to access an endpoint when you are not authenticated." Translation, not logged in.

So let's send the request with the generated token from before and try to resent the request

token

create-success

At this point, we can now save a record into our DB.

data

Let's create few more records and get all vehicles:

all

At this point, our Update and Delete will look very similar.

Additional Recourses:

If this was your first RESTful API build, unfortunately, I didn't explain models, why we named our folders "Authentication" or "vehicles" in our insomnia, and what some of the things are. Thankfully, I do have a video where I give more information for beginners as I'm building out the API:

https://youtu.be/H0KhcB3D8aQ

Feathers Documentation:

https://docs.feathersjs.com/guides/basics/generator.html

Conclusion

We just created our first RESTfull API using FeatherJs framework WooHoo! I hope this tutorial was helpful for some of you. We did many things, and it could be a lot at first and could be confusing at the beginning. But to be honest, once you master this, you will realize that we have created an amazing backend with many complex pieces, and we can create all of it unless 2 minutes. So big congrats to you on getting to the end of this tutorial!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or you can find me on my YouTube channel DevPool

YouTube - DevPool

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