Fake API with JSON Server

January 31, 2020

3 min read

Many times as developers we want a quick back-end to fetch data from. Instead of a real API we just want to have some fake data to play with. Whatever the reason is, a fake API comes in handy during development.

For this we are going to use a package called json-server.

We are going to set up a quick server and explore some cool features that ship with json-server. There are more features included like pagination and filtering but here are the one’s that I found myself grabbing the most.

As always you can dig into the documentation.

Here is the source.

Basic Server

First we are going to init a package.json file in our project…

mkdir fake-api
cd fake-api
npm init -y

Note: With the -y flag we are going to skip the prompt process.

… and install json-server

npm install json-server

We are going to create a db.jsonfile where our data going to be stored just like a server.

{
  "songs": [
    {
      "title": "Africa",
      "band": "Toto"
    },
    {
      "title": "Fkj",
      "band": "Moments"
    }
  ]
}

In our package.json file we are going to add the following script. All we are doing here is watching in our db.json file for changes which is hosted in port 3001.

"json": "json-server --watch db.json --port 3001"

Now if we run npm run json our server is running.

Terminal

Generate Random Data

In an index.js file we are going to generate some random users.

let names = ["Mary", "John", "Mike", "Paul", "Anna", "Chris"]
let ages = [34, 56, 12, 22, 24, 54]

module.exports = () => {
  const data = { users: [] }
  for (let i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
    let randomName = names[Math.floor(Math.random() * names.length)]
    let randomAges = ages[Math.floor(Math.random() * ages.length)]
    data.users.push({ id: i, name: `${randomName}`, age: `${randomAges}` })
  }
  return data
}

Our script will look like this.

"db": "json-server --watch index.js --port 3002"

And again by running npm run db we have yet another server.

Custom Routes

Many times when we are building our fake API we want our endpoints to mimic a real case scenario. We might want our url’s to look something like this.

http://localhost:3004/rock/songs
http://localhost:3004/rock/bands
http://localhost:3004/classical/pieces
http://localhost:3004/classical/artists

So how we do this?

Our db.json will have the typical JSON format.

{
  "rock_songs": [
    {
      "title": "Africa",
      "band": "Toto"
    },
    {
      "title": "Fkj",
      "band": "Moments"
    }
  ],
  "rock_bands": [
    {
      "name": "prestige"
    },
    {
      "name": "columbia"
    }
  ],
  "classical_pieces": [
    {
      "name": "prestige"
    },
    {
      "name": "columbia"
    }
  ],
  "classical_artists": [
    {
      "name": "prestige"
    },
    {
      "name": "columbia"
    }
  ]
}

Then we create a routes.json with the following.

{
  "/": "/",
  "/rock/songs": "/rock_songs",
  "/rock/bands": "/rock_bands",
  "/classical/pieces": "/classical_pieces",
  "/classical/artists": "/classical_artists"
}

On the left side is how we want our endpoint to look like, and in the right the corresponding array in our db.json file.

We will adjust our script …

"custom:routes": "json-server db.json  --routes routes.json --port 3003"

. . .and if run npm run custom:routes we get our custom endpoints.

Terminal


Written by John Raptis.
In love with JavaScript, React and programming fundamentals in general.
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© 2020, John Raptis