Before implementing our API, we’re first going to build a basic server-side web application. This application will act as the basis for the back-end of our API. We’ll be using the Express framework. Express is a “minimalist web framework for Node.js,” meaning that it does not ship with a lot of features, but is highly configurable. We’ll be using Express as the backbone of our API, but Express can also be used independently to build fully featured web applications.
User interfaces, such as web sites and mobile applications communicate with web servers when they need to access data. This data could be anything from the HTML required to render a page in a web browser to the results of a user’s search. The client interface communicates with the server using the HyperTextTransfer Protocol (HTTP). The data request is sent from the client via HTTP to the web application that is running on our server. The web application then processes the request and returns the data to the client, again over HTTP.
In this chapter we’ll build a small server-side web application, which will be the basis for our API. To do this, we’ll use the Express.js framework to build a basic web application that sends a basic request.
Now that we understand the basics of server-side web applications, let’s
jump in. Within the
src directory of our
api project, create a file
index.js and add the following: