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json-server
database
backend

How to create a fake backend server

Youssef Zidan

To create and host a fake server, follow these steps:

  1. Create the server
  2. Create the database
  3. Host server on Heroku
  4. Create a pipeline

Using the process above, you can create and host a fake server that acts as a normal backend server and uses all the CRUDCreate, Read, Update, Delete operations through HTTPHyperText Transfer Protocol requests.

1. Create the fake server

  • Create a folder and name it fake-server.
  • Open the terminal and run the init npm command to make the entry point server.js, as shown below:
npm init 
npm i json-server
  • Add a start script in the package.json file, as shown below:
{
  "name": "fake-server",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "fake server with fake database",
  "main": "server.js",
  "scripts": { 
    "start": "node server.js"
  },
  "author": "Youssef Zidan",
  "license": "ISC",
  "dependencies": {
    "json-server": "^0.16.3"
  }
}
package.json
  • Create a .gitignore file and add the keyword node_modules on the first line, as shown below:
node_modules
.gitignore
  • Create the server.js file and add the following information to it:
const jsonServer = require('json-server');
const server = jsonServer.create();
const router = jsonServer.router('db.json'); // <== Will be created later
const middlewares = jsonServer.defaults();
const port = process.env.PORT || 3200; // <== You can change the port

server.use(middlewares);
server.use(router);

server.listen(port);
server.js

At this point, your server has been created. Now you can publish your repo to GitHub, as shown below:

git init
git remote add origin https://github.com/<YourName>/<Repo-Name>.git
git add .
git push --set-upstream origin master

2. Create the database

  • Create a db.json file.
  • Fill the database with dummy data.

db.json

{
  "users": [
    {
      "id": 1,
      "first_name": "Justina",
      "last_name": "Ginglell",
      "email": "jginglell0@networkadvertising.org",
      "gender": "Female"
    },
    {
      "id": 2,
      "first_name": "Marion",
      "last_name": "Jenman",
      "email": "mjenman1@surveymonkey.com",
      "gender": "Male"
    },
    {
      "id": 3,
      "first_name": "Alfy",
      "last_name": "Begin",
      "email": "abegin2@list-manage.com",
      "gender": "Female"
    },
    {
      "id": 4,
      "first_name": "Karney",
      "last_name": "Zanussii",
      "email": "kzanussii3@hao123.com",
      "gender": "Male"
    },
    {
      "id": 5,
      "first_name": "Reid",
      "last_name": "Schapero",
      "email": "rschapero4@timesonline.co.uk",
      "gender": "Male"
    },
    {
      "id": 6,
      "first_name": "Dorine",
      "last_name": "Braybrookes",
      "email": "dbraybrookes5@gov.uk",
      "gender": "Female"
    },
    {
      "id": 7,
      "first_name": "Sarena",
      "last_name": "Frape",
      "email": "sfrape6@alexa.com",
      "gender": "Female"
    },
    {
      "id": 8,
      "first_name": "Malva",
      "last_name": "Pierse",
      "email": "mpierse7@usda.gov",
      "gender": "Female"
    },
    {
      "id": 9,
      "first_name": "Rania",
      "last_name": "Dablin",
      "email": "rdablin8@state.gov",
      "gender": "Female"
    },
    {
      "id": 10,
      "first_name": "Ingrim",
      "last_name": "Offen",
      "email": "ioffen9@slideshare.net",
      "gender": "Male"
    }
  ]
}
db.json
  • Push your work to GitHub, as shown below:
git add .
git commit -m "creating the database"
git push

3. Host the server

  • Create account on Heroku.
  • Install the Heroku CLI on your computer.
  • Open the terminal, log in, and then input these commands:
heroku login
  • Create a project
heroku create fake-server-app
  • Push your app to Heroku
git push heroku master
  • Open your created app
heroku open

You will see something like this:

Heroku App

Now you can access and modify resources via any HTTP method, e.g., GET, POST, PUT, PATCH, DELETE, OPTIONS, etc.

4. Create a pipeline

A pipeline is simply a connection between your GitHub repo and your Heroku Project.

If, for example, you update your db.json file and push your changes to a specific branch, Heroku listens to this branch and builds your app with the updated database.

  • Open your dashboard on Heroku and choose your app. Alt Text

  • Navigate to the Deploy tab and create a pipeline. Then connect your GitHub with the fake-server repo.

Alt Text

  • Configure “auto-deploy” and choose the branch of the pipeline:

Alt Text

Now whenever you push the changes to the selected branch, the database will be updated.

You can view the final directory structure and contents on the following link.

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database
backend
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