Create an Express-like Framework in Next.js

Create an Express-like Framework in Next.js

In this article, I demonstrate how you can craft an Express-like API in Next.js without deploying an Express server with only a couple of adjustments.

In this article, I demonstrate how you can craft an Express-like API in Next.js without deploying an Express server with only a couple of adjustments.

If you’re looking for the benefits of Express’s framework but are happy with your application remaining serverless, this could be an option for you.

Considerations for using Next.js

I began my journey with Next.js because it makes server-side rendering for React straightforward. It allows me to easily choose what to render before page load, and has a pages folder for intuitive routing. I also discovered  other benefits of going serverless like ease of deployment and focusing more on product development over managing servers.

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This means less work on your end, but also less control. It’s useful to  read the limitations for the Vercel platform to see if it’s right for your application, taking note that there is a  limit of 1000 concurrent requests without an enterprise plan.

Next.js’s API vs Expresss

A primary concern for me was how I would architect my API. With  Serverless Functions, the ideal pattern is to have each route serve a single function in a single file in your pages/api directory (e.g. GET ‘/api/user/:id’ ).

I was migrating from an Express environment and enjoy the logical flow of leaving functionality to the controllers. My application had a custom authentication flow, so an endpoint like /api/login/ would be too large to comfortably restrict to a single function. Not to mention that I want to reuse some of this functionality, so having this logic stored in isolated endpoints did not make sense to me.

react serverless nextjs

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