Create rest APIs with strapi

June 14, 2021

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Strapi is an open source headless CMS that let's you create powerful backends using nodejs

A headless CMS is similar to the famous known CMSs like Wordpress and Drupal except it doesn't have a frontend template. It Decouples the frontend from the backend, and exposes restful or graphql APIs.

When I first found Strapi I was astonished by the abilities it gave me and the easy to use interface, it gave me the ability to develop a mobile application without having to write backend code.

Strapi is built entirely using nodejs, which makes it perfect for developers who are familiar with JavaScript. It's also open source and can be self-hosted.

I will walk you through how to setup a Strapi project and create a simple e-commerce app with it, I promise you it will be ready in minutes !

How to Get Started with Strapi

Creating a new project

To create a new blank project we can use the following command in the terminal

npx create-strapi-app project-name --quickstart

--quickstart means that we will use a blank project, but you can use a template instead which will come with pre-defined configurations and setup

After the installation is finished we'll move into the project directory

cd project-name

and then we'll start the project with the following command

yarn develop

The dashboard will open in the browser and the registration page will appear so you can create the Admin account

alt strapi regsitration page

After you register you will be greeted with the dashboard, it has a Users collection created for us, this allows for authentication using JWT, which is provided by strapi by default, pretty cool right !

alt strapi home page

Creating a collection

To create a collection we'll use the content types builder, and we will press on the Create new collection type a modal will popup for us to choose the name of the collection type, I will call it Products.

Now we can add the fields we need, we'll need a name for the product, an id, a price and a description, we'll keep it simple.

Those are the different field types we can choose from alt strapi field types

After we are done with creating the fields we can save and the dashboard will update with the new collection type products, I populated the table with one product.

alt strapi products table

Setting up the APIs

After we created the collection types product the rest APIs will also be created for us, Strapi will provide us with the GET,POST,PUT,DELETE routes for products as such

/products //to get all the products or add a product

/products/:id // to get one product or delete or update

To be able to use those APIs we'll have to make them public, they are made private by default which is exaclty what we need since we only want the find and findone APIs to be public.

To do that we'll have to navigate to

settings > USERS & PERMISSIONS PLUGIN > Roles > Public

And we'll set find and findone as such

alt strapi permissions

save and then we try to use them and we get the following responses in JSON format

// find all : localhost:1337/products
    "description":"A unique and special T-shirt",

// find one : localhost:1337/products/1
    "description":"A unique and special T-shirt",

Congrats we have setup a backend with an admin panel for our app now !

I have personally used Strapi in a lot of my projects, it's a solid CMS and if you dig deep enough you can build anything with it, we can add custom plugins that we create with nodejs and react, also add hooks, integrate authorizations from different platforms (google,facebook...) and integrate different databases.

In this blog post I only scratched the surface of the capabilities that Strapi has, if you want to dig deeper check the official website here