DEV Community

Cover image for a first look at keystoneJS
anthony-campolo
anthony-campolo

Posted on • Updated on

a first look at keystoneJS

KeystoneJS is a CMS for developers that provides a GraphQL API & Management UI for content and data based on your schema. In this tutorial we will use create-keystone-app to scaffold a basic blog dashboard with users. In a future part we will deploy this project.

Create Keystone App

create-keystone-app is a CLI app for getting started with Keystone. It will generate a couple of files for you and install all the dependencies you need to run the Admin UI and start using the GraphQL API.

yarn create keystone-app
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
success Installed "create-keystone-app@4.0.12" with binaries:
      - create-keystone-app

ℹ️ You're about to generate a project using Keystone
Next packages. If you'd like to use Keystone 5, please
use `create-keystone-5-app` instead. Learn more about
the changes between Keystone 5 and Keystone Next on
our website.

https://next.keystonejs.com/guides/keystone-5-vs-keystone-next​
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Give your project a name. Mine will be called ajcwebdev-keystone.

✔ What directory should create-keystone-app generate your app into? · ajcwebdev-keystone
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

You will need a database URL. If you want one fast you can use Railway, Supabase, Fly, or any of the other couple dozen "spin up Postgres in 30 seconds" services out there. I'll be using Railway.

You can follow the first half of this guide to see how to spin up the database. The only important difference is when you copy your connection string from Railway, change the first part from postgresql:// to postgres://.

Your connection string will look like this with a password instead of xxxx:

✔ What database url should we use? · postgres://postgres:xxxx@containers-us-west-3.railway.app:6787/railway
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

This will create the app and provide further instructions.

🎉  Keystone created a starter project in: ajcwebdev-keystone

To launch your app, run:

  - cd ajcwebdev-keystone
  - yarn dev

Next steps:

  - Edit ajcwebdev-keystone/keystone.ts to customize your app.
  - Open the Admin UI - ​http://localhost:3000​
  - Read the docs - ​https://next.keystonejs.com​
  - Star Keystone on GitHub - https://github.com/keystonejs/keystone​
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Develop Keystone App Locally

Run yarn dev to start your local development server.

cd ajcwebdev-keystone
yarn dev
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

This will run keystone-next dev.

$ keystone-next dev

✨ Starting Keystone

⭐️ Dev Server Ready on http://localhost:3000

✨ Generating GraphQL and Prisma schemas
✨ Your database is now in sync with your schema. Done in 3.17s
✨ Connecting to the database
✨ Generating Admin UI code
✨ Creating server
✨ Preparing GraphQL Server
✨ Preparing Admin UI Next.js app

info  - Using webpack 4. Reason: custom
webpack configuration in next.config.js

https://nextjs.org/docs/messages/webpack5

event - compiled successfully

👋 Admin UI and GraphQL API ready
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Open localhost:3000.

01-welcome-to-keystonejs-localhost

Create a user

02-create-first-user

You are then asked if you want to sign up for the KeystoneJS newsletter. Bold move!!!

03-sign-up-for-keystone-mailing-list

After you decide whether to reward such brash behavior you will be taken to the Keystone dashboard where you can view your users and posts.

04-keystone-dashboard

You will see the user you initially created.

05-keystone-dashboard-users

Create a Post

You will see that there are no posts yet. What ever shall we do?

06-keystone-dashboard-posts

After clicking "Create Post" you will be able to create a post.

07-keystone-dashboard-create-post-template

Write a post. Make it a masterpiece.

08-a-new-post

Look back at your database to make sure it didn't explode.

09-post-in-railway

Query your GraphQL API

Open localhost:3000/api/graphql and run the following posts query.

query {
  posts {
    title
  }
}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

10-graphql-posts-query

Deploy Keystone App

Turns out deploying a Keystone app is kind of complicated unless you follow a separate guide called How to embed Keystone + SQLite in a Next.js app. If it's possible to deploy this thing to Vercel, then in theory it should be possible to deploy it to Netlify. Tune in next time for that!

You can also view all the code for this project on my GitHub but if you clone it then it's not actually gonna work if you try and spin it up cause by default create-keystone-app hardcodes your DATABASE_URL and figuring out how to make it work without doing that is kind of complicated.

Discussion (0)