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Building RESTful APIs with Node.js

Application Programming Interface (API) is an essential element in the software industry. For those who are unaware of what is API, it is basically a software interface making the interaction between two applications possible. This interaction is required for higher scalability and reusability. Nowadays, having public APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) is not a common phenomenon where they perform Social Media Logins, Credit Card Debts, and Performance Tracking. 

But to perform such activities a particular standard called Representational State Transfer (REST) is a must. The REST perfectly works with Node.js development techniques making the sense to run APIs compatible with Node js. 

Furthermore, Node.js and Express.js are two different things which are helpful to build a good API. But there is always a difference between nodejs vs expressjs

If you want to build the Node js REST API from zero by leveraging nodejs hosting, this guide is the right knowledge hub for the same. Keep reading to know how!

Know all about the REST API

REST API also known as RESTful API is an architectural style mostly used in web development services. One of the major benefits of REST technology requires less bandwidth. Thus, users can access applications with efficient internet usage.  

REST technology handles multiple types of calls, returns, different data formats and even structural changes. And by taking the benefit of freedom and flexibility with REST API designs, you are easily creating an API that meets your needs, as well as those of your customers.

Know all about Node.js 

Based solely on the V8 JavaScript Chrome Engine, Node.js is an Open-Source Server-Side Runtime Environment. For developing highly scalable Server-Side JavaScript applications, it provides Event-driven, Non-Blocking (Asynchronous) I/O and Cross-Platform runtimes.

There are a number of applications that can be created using Node.js, such as Command-Line Applications, Web Applications, Real-Time Chat Applications, REST API Servers, and so on. All HTTP requests are handled by its Event-Driven Runtime, which goes in the sleep mode when not needed. Developers can use JavaScript to generate Dynamic Web Content before it is delivered to the user’s browser through Server-Side Scripting.

Next, we will be discussing building a secured RESTful API with the help of the Node.js platform. 

Generate the required directories

First, let’s begin with generating directories containing the code for Node.js REST API. Open the CLI (Command Line Interface) that creates new projects having the following command:

mkdir express-ads-api

After creating the directory, practice npm install to frame a new project:

npm init –y

Once you open this directory in the text editor, you can see the npm command while creating the file called package.json. Then, you begin the computing to build the Node.js REST API and you can experience that the file size increased. Later, create a new directory called src within the design source by using the following command: mkdir src. Once done, create a new file called index.js within it and add the following code to it:

    // ./src/index.js 

    console.log(‘Hello there!’); 

Save the file and run the node src command to experiment with it:

The final output will be ‘Hello there!’ message prompted on your screen.

  1. Creating the First App express API

Adding only a “Hello there” message will not deliver an appropriate outcome. Therefore, to bring more value to your projects follow these steps to create a secure Node.js REST API.

Add the following code in your existing command line interface code:

npm install body-parser cors express helmet morgan

In this code 5 dependencies are there 

  • body-parser
  • cors
  • express
  • helmet
  • morgan

After initiating the previous command, you must mark two items in your project. An original feature called dependencies will be included in the package.json file with all the libraries.

NPM uses this method to determine which dependencies the project needs. Second, you’ll find a new file named package-lock.json in the project root.

Create the User Module

Building a user module is easier with the help of Mongoose. After that, create a new schema in the directory. Now, simply connect the schema to the User Module. Once connected to the schema and user module, use this model to perform all CRUD operations within Express (dependency of code) points. 

Create User operation is easy to configure by finding routes in users/routes.config.js:

Creating an Auth Module

To secure your Node.js REST API, the next step after implementing permission and validation middleware for the Users module is to create a robust authentication module. This involves generating a JSON Web Token (JWT) upon successful verification of the user’s email and identification, which is essential in building a secure REST API in Node.js.

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