On the third day of Enhancing: API routes and the Store

Simon MacDonald’s avatar

by Simon MacDonald

hens Original photo by Jan Kraus on Unsplash

On day one, we started a new project, then on day two, we created a new page and our first Enhance component. Today, we’ll introduce API routes and the store.

API Routes

Enhance’s API routes are backend JSON routes designed for seamless client-side progressive enhancement. API routes are defined under app/api and follow the same file-based routing conventions as app/pages. JSON response values from API routes are passed automatically to corresponding page routes.

Adding an API Route

Let’s add a new API route to pass data via the store to the about.html page. Run the following command from your terminal:

begin gen api –path /about

The file structure of your project should look like this:

├── app
│   ├── api
│   │   └── about.mjs
│   ├── elements
│   │   └── social-links.mjs
│   └── pages
│       ├─– about.html
│       └── index.html
└── public

Now when your browser requests http://localhost:3333/about the Enhance router first calls the GET function in app/api/about.mjs. Then it will pass the returned data via the store to app/pages/about.html where it will be available to the page and all child elements.

No. Prop. Drilling.

See the Enhance lifecycle for more information on how a request travels through the system.

The API route is an excellent place for you to fetch data from a database or a 3rd party service, but for our example, we will return some hard coded strings. Open app/api/about.mjs and replace the contents with:

export async function get () {
 return {
   json: { socials: [
      { href:"https://github.com/macdonst", label: 'GitHub' },
      { href:"https://mastodon.online/@macdonst", label: 'Mastodon' },
      { href:"https://simonmacdonald.com", label: 'Website' },
    ] } }

Again, feel free to add your own social links, you don’t have to use mine.

Let’s use cURL to test that our API route is up and running. From the command line execute:

curl http://localhost:3333/about -H "Accept: application/json"

And you’ll see a response like:

  "socials": [
      "href": "[https://github.com/macdonst",
      "label": "GitHub"
      "href": "https://mastodon.online/@macdonst",
      "label": "Mastodon"
      "href": "https://simonmacdonald.com",
      "label": "GitHub"
      "href": "https://mastodon.online/@macdonst",
      "label": "Mastodon"
      "href": "https://simonmacdonald.com",
      "label": "Website"

Using the Store

Yesterday we mentioned that the store is one of the properties of the state object passed into your custom element. Now that our API is provides data to the about.html page, let’s use it in our social-links component.

Let’s update the contents of app/elements/social-links.mjs to be:

export default function Element ({ html, state }) {
 const { store } = state
 const { socials = [] } = store
 return html`
   ${socials.map(social => `<li><a href="${social.href}">${social.label}</a></li>`).join('')}

Now our component reads the list of social links from the data passed into the component via the store. While this is a trivial example, the store is a powerful tool to pass complex data to your components.

Next Steps

Tomorrow we’ll look at composing components out of other components.