Note App - Part 1: Setup the Node API

Note App - Part 1: Setup the Node API

Posted on 27th May 2019

8 min read

In this series we’re going to create a notes app with Node, MongoDB & React. For the first part, let’s setup the API.

I’m going to be using yarn as my package manager, but feel free to use npm or pnpm instead.

Initialize the project

First let’s create a folder called notes-api and initialize a project in it using

shell

We’re going to use Backpack to build and run our API, so we’ll install it as a dev dependency. Backpack has useful features like automatically reloading the server when any of the files are changed and being able to run ES6 code with without any configuration.

shell

Then add the following scripts to package.json.

package.json

json

yarn dev is used to start the development server and yarn build is used to get the production build.

Setup the database

Next let’s setup the MongoDB database. If you want a more detailed explanation on setting up the database, you can check out my previous post Setup MongoDB in Node.js with Mongoose.

We’ll create a database with mLab. Once you create it, you should create an user for the database and keep note of it’s path. The path should be something like mongodb://<dbuser>:<dbpassword>@ds250607.mlab.com:38485/notes-db where <dbuser> and <dbpassword> are the username and password of the user you created for the database respectively.

Then install the mongoose dependency.

shell

After that create a folder with the name ‘src’ in the project,create a file named database.js and insert the following code in it.

src/database.js

javascript

Replace the value of dbPath with the path of your database.

Create the notes model

Once we’re done setting up the database, we need to create a model to perform CRUD (Create, Retrieve, Update & Delete) operations on the database.

First create a folder with the name ‘models’ in ‘src’. Then create a file called noteModel.js in it and add the following code.

src/models/noteModel.js

javascript

Setup the server and routes

Now that we have setup the database and user model, we can start creating the server and the routes for the API. We’ll be creating the server with Express.

Let’s install the dependencies

shell

After the dependencies have finished installing create the file index.js in ‘src’ with the code

src/index.js

javascript

Just to make sure what we’ve done so far works fine run yarn dev. If nothing’s wrong it should show

shell

Let’s stop the server with Ctrl+C and continue adding the routes in the API.

Our first route will be one to create new notes.

src/index.js

javascript

The next route will be to get the entire list of notes.

src/index.js

javascript

We’ll need a route to get a single note based on the ID.

src/index.js

javascript

The second to last route will be to update a note.

src/index.js

javascript

Our final route will be to delete a note.

src/index.js

javascript

Finally index.js should look like this.

src/index.js

javascript

Wrapping up

I deliberately left out testing the API as I didn’t want to make this post too long but you could use software like Postman or Insomnia to test the API. My next post will be about creating a front-end with React to use with this API. I hope you found this post useful. 😊

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