RESTful APIs in 100 Seconds // Build an API from Scratch with Node.js Express | Summary and Q&A

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February 19, 2021
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RESTful APIs in 100 Seconds // Build an API from Scratch with Node.js Express

TL;DR

This content provides an overview of RESTful APIs, explains the request-response cycle, demonstrates building a RESTful API using Express.js in Node.js, and introduces the OpenAPI specification.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is an API and how does it differ from a website?

An API allows computers to communicate, while a website is accessed by humans through browsers. With API, code is written to request data from a server, rather than filling out forms or clicking buttons like on a website.

Q: What is the purpose and format of the start line in a request message?

The start line in a request message contains the URI you wish to access and the HTTP verb or request method, indicating your intent with the resource. A GET request is for reading data, POST for creating resources, PATCH for updates, and DELETE for removing data.

Q: What is the significance of status codes in a response message?

Status codes in response messages indicate the outcome of the request. Codes at the 200 level signify success, 400 level indicate issues with the request, and 500 level indicate server failures.

Q: How does middleware work in Express.js?

Middleware in Express.js is shared code that runs before every endpoint callback. It can be used to parse request data, modify headers, handle authentication, and perform various other tasks.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • An API allows two computers to communicate with each other, and a RESTful API follows specific rules to organize data entities and resources using unique URIs.

  • The request-response cycle involves sending a request message with specific formatting, including an HTTP verb, headers, and body, and receiving a response message with status codes, headers, and a data payload.

  • Building a RESTful API from scratch using Express.js involves setting up endpoints, handling different HTTP methods, parsing request data, and sending appropriate responses.

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