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NestJs +MongoDB + GraphQL - All the basics you want to know

joelvinaykumar profile image Joel Vinay Kumar Updated on ・3 min read

This is first part of series "How to build graphql API with mongoose and NestJS"

Not a long topic, but I wish to keep it simple and brief.

Before we jump in, I assume you already have an idea of Typescript & OOPS has it installed on your machine.

Part I:

What is NestJS?

It is a framework to build server side applications. Thereby provides robust and scalable applications. It has a ton of features built in & is also capable of custom plugins.
TL;DR - Angular for backend

NestJS can use express or fastify. You need to define it explicitly which to use while setting up your project

How to install?

To install nest:

sudo npm i -g @nestjs/cli

To create a new nest project:

nest new <project-name>

A basic nest project structure:

dist/
node__modules/
src/
   - app.controller.ts
   - app.module.ts
   - app.service.ts
   - main.ts
test/
.eslintrc
nest-cli.json
package.json
Readme.md
tsconfig.build.json
tsconfig.json
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I won't go deep with "NestJs project structure", but this is something you should understand to further advance in this series.

NestJS comes with facility to write unit tests and do end-to-end testing as well.The main core lies in the src folder where all the magic happens.

How nest carries a request?

This is an example of how a request is processed

Alt Text

Controller class will route the request according to the method.
Service class will manage the business logic and does the math.
Module class is responsible for importing all dependent modules, classes & bind them together.

This will ensure we can quickly develop modules in organized fashion and readable code.

If you encounter some line of code like @Injectable() are decorators, it will basically just inject dependency modules into your class so you don't need to bother importing all those same modules every time. If you can, just do a web search about dependency injection. It is a great read.

If you're new, just do npm start and run the server. Open your browser and navigate to http://localhost:3000 and try to make sense of the controller, service structure.

import { AppService } from './app.service';

@Controller()
export class AppController {
  constructor(private readonly appService: AppService) { }

  @Get()
  getHello(): string {
    return this.appService.getHello();
  }
}

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@Controller routes the incoming request with base url ending with / to it's particular method.
In our case, it is GET and function to be called is getHello.
This function invokes the method called getHello in app service class.

Alt Text

Image credits: Santosh Yadav

Now, I'm bluntly assuming you have a basic idea of how nest can produce a web app. You can peep into package.json file for all scripts to run the application.

If you don't want to reload your server for every change, you can run server in watch mode like this :

npm run start:dev
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Stay tuned for next part of the series where I discuss how to use MongoDB to build GraphQL APIs.

It's an immense pleasure to know what you think in the comments below. Peace ✌️

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