How to create a SIMPLE Node API with Typescript

JonathanSanchez.Dev
3 min readJul 17, 2023

If you don’t have a project already let's create one from scratch

  1. Create a new project folder
$ mkdir node-api-ts

2. Go into the created project folder and initialize npm in the project

$ cd node-api-ts 

# this initializes npm and creates a new file called package.json with defaults
$ npm init -y

3. Make a src folder and a index.ts file inside

$ mkdir src && cd src && touch index.ts && cd .. 

Now let's implement Typescript on the project

  1. Make sure you have Typescript installed on your computer
# this tells you what version of Typescript you have installed
$ tsc -v

# for example my version is 5.0.2
$ Version 5.0.2

# if you don't get a version number is because is not installed yet
# so lets install it globally on your computer with this command
$ npm i -g typescript

# then check again if it gives you the version with tsc -v

2. Initialize Typescript in your project

# this will create a tsconfig.json file in your root folder
$ tsc --init

3. Update some properties in the tsconfig.json file

{
"compilerOptions": {
"target": "es2016",
"module": "commonjs",
"rootDir": "./src", /* this is so that it listens to our src */
"outDir": "./build", /* this is the folder with the compiled js code */
"esModuleInterop": true,
"forceConsistentCasingInFileNames": true,
"strict": true,
"skipLibCheck": true
}
}

4. Add NPM packages to the project

# install express and cors
$ npm i express cors

# the -D will install this package into the devDependencies
$ npm i ts-node @types/express @types/cors -D

5. Let's configure the project to use type: module so we could use import rather than require to use the NPM packages

# in package.json add the following line

"type": "module",
package.json It should look like this

6. Now let's add some code to the index.ts file

// src/index.ts
// minimal Express API

import express, { Request, Response } from 'express'
import cors from 'cors'

const app = express()

app.use(cors())
app.use(express.json())

app.get('/', (req: Request, res: Response) => {
res.json({ greeting: 'Hello world!' })
})

app.listen(4000, () => console.log('api listening on PORT ', 4000))

9. Manually let’s trigger the typescript compiler which basically creates the build folder and generates the .js files from the .ts files

# run the typescript compiler with 
$ tsc

7. Nodemon installed?

# check if you have nodemon installed with: 
$ nodemon -v

# if it does not gives you a version number then install it with:
$ npm i -g nodemon

10. Finally let’s add a start script to package.json that will allow Nodemon to listen to the .TSfiles changes


"scripts": {
"start": "nodemon --exec ts-node-esm ./src/*.ts",

Now you should be able to listen to your .ts files with

npm run start

and it should look like this:

Now any change you make on your .ts files Nodemon will listen for those changes

Enjoy 🍻

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JonathanSanchez.Dev

Developer by day, rockin' drummer by night. Loves dogs🐶 and collaborating with fellow engineers. Passionate, creative, and always up for a coding adventure! 🚀