Building a RESTful API with TypeScript and Express


Building a RESTful API is a common task in web development, and using TypeScript with the Express.js framework can enhance the development process. In this guide, we'll explore the steps to create a RESTful API using TypeScript and Express, understand the benefits of this combination, and provide sample code to help you get started.

Why TypeScript and Express.js?

Using TypeScript with Express.js offers several advantages when building RESTful APIs:

  • Static Typing: TypeScript allows you to define and enforce types, catching type-related errors during development and improving code quality.
  • Enhanced Tooling: Modern code editors provide features like autocompletion, code navigation, and refactoring support for TypeScript code, making development more efficient.
  • Improved Code Readability: The use of type annotations often makes TypeScript code more self-documenting and easier to understand, which is especially beneficial in large API projects.
  • Scalability: TypeScript scales well in large RESTful API projects, making it suitable for building complex web services and APIs.

Setting Up TypeScript with Express.js

To start building your RESTful API with TypeScript and Express, follow these steps:

1. Create a Project Folder

Create a folder for your project, and open it in your code editor. You can name the folder whatever you like.

2. Initialize a Node.js Project

Open your terminal or command prompt, navigate to your project folder, and run the following command to create a package.json file for your project:

npm init -y

3. Install TypeScript

Next, install TypeScript globally on your system:

npm install -g typescript

4. Create a TypeScript File

Create a app.ts file in your project folder and add the following TypeScript code to set up your Express.js application:

// TypeScript code (app.ts)
import express, { Request, Response } from 'express';
import bodyParser from 'body-parser';
const app = express();
const port = 3000;
// Middleware for parsing JSON data
// Sample data
let todos: { id: number, text: string, done: boolean }[] = [];
// RESTful API endpoints
app.get('/api/todos', (req: Request, res: Response) => {
});'/api/todos', (req: Request, res: Response) => {
const newTodo = req.body;
app.listen(port, () => {
console.log(`API server is running on http://localhost:${port}`);

5. Compile TypeScript to JavaScript

Open your terminal, navigate to your project folder, and run the TypeScript compiler to transpile your TypeScript code to JavaScript:

tsc app.ts

6. Start Your API Server

In your terminal, run the JavaScript file created by TypeScript:

node app.js

7. Test Your API

You can now test your RESTful API using tools like Postman or by making HTTP requests from your client application.


Congratulations! You've created a basic RESTful API using TypeScript and Express.js. This is just the beginning, and you can continue to build more complex APIs by adding routes, middleware, and database connections as needed. TypeScript's static typing and Express.js's simplicity make it a powerful combination for building RESTful APIs.