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Cover image for Episode 1 - JSON API using ASP.NET Core, Docker & MongoDB
Gareth Bradley
Gareth Bradley

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Episode 1 - JSON API using ASP.NET Core, Docker & MongoDB


There is a series on that I have followed by Nathan Bland who has recorded as series of videos around creating a JSON API, using Node.js, docker and Express.

I liked the idea around this, so I’m going to do the same, but in a blog style, but replacing Node.js and Express with ASP.NET Core WebAPI. I also want to use a MongoDB as a the backend.

Set the Scene

The API itself will be for a Book Shop Chain who want to expose their stores and titles via a public RESTful service for other companies to use. This can be used for stock lookups and to see which stores have stock available to sell.

Here are some example Epics to show the shape of the API needed:

As a book store_I can _add our store to the database_So_ we can be accessible

As a book store_I can _add our inventory to our database_So_ we can expose our inventory

As a book store_We can _update a books stock level_For_ an accurate stock level

As a API consumer_I can look up a _stores addressSo we know where to buy a book

As a API consumer_I can look up a _bookSo we can get a list of stores who sell a_book_

As book store IT Security_We can add _API Keys to the API_For_ API Consumers to use when querying the API

What to expect

My plan is to release weekly blog posts covering in a similar fashion like Nathan’s:

  • Setting up your .NET Core Project Structure.
  • Setting up docker environment using docker-compose.
  • Modelling API JSON back end using Mongo.
  • Modelling API using Swagger.
  • Unit Tests with Xunit.
  • Integration Tests with Postman.
  • Skeleton Book Store API (Routes etc).
  • Skeleton Inventory API (Routes etc).
  • Securing your API.
  • Data validation.
  • Pagination for large data queries.
  • Filter and Search.
  • Hooking up to Azure Dev Ops for Build and Release Pipeline.
  • Publisher Swagger Documentation on Github.

I will post any code on Github as well.

Start at Zero

So before starting cracking on with this, make sure your environment is set up. Because this is .NET Core, this is cross platform, so if you own a Mac or Linux box, feel free to join in. I’m going to be building this on a Surface Book, but I will try to be a good Xpat-Citizen and test across environments.

Please make sure the following is installed:

  • Dotnet Core - I’m currently using 2.2.
  • Docker - You will need to also create a login for Docker Hub if you do not have one.
  • Powershell Core - PowerShell Core is cross-platform and runs on Windows, Linux, and MacOS while the old one runs on Windows only(CLI). There are options to install on the OS of choice.

We wont need to install Mongo as we will be running it using Docker.


I will be using Visual Studio Code for cross platform .NET Core support. I use a bunch of extension which I have put here:

You can import these using the following Settings Sync extension on the marketplace:

If you already use VSCode, you may just want to find the C#, Docker GitLens and .NET Core Test Explorer extensions.

Note: My list contains extensions like Jekyll support which you wont need for this.

Next time

We will create the ASP.NET Core WebAPI template, set up the project structure. Join me next time!.

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