Node API using Vercel Serverless Functions

This note is about how to setup, build and deploy an API using Vercel Serverless Functions.


If you prefer to watch the video instead of reading article,
its available at
Length: 14:38 mins
For sure, the video version has some more info(verbose 😀) in it.

Setup Vercel

  1. Create an account at Vercel.
  2. install Vercel CLI and log in

    yarn global add vercel
    vercel login

Setup Project

  1. Initiate the project using below commands and add Vercel NPM module as dev dependency.

    mkdir node-api-using-vercel
    cd node-api-using-vercel
    yarn init -y
    yarn add vercel -D

Create API

Next, lets create an API endpoint /hello

mkdir api
cd api
touch hello.js

Add the following code to hello.js

module.exports = (req, res) => {
      msg: 'hello there, how are you!!'

Test API

To test the API, start the local dev server using

vercel dev

Your API should be exposed on localhost:3000/api/hello and hitting this endpoint will return below response

    "msg": "hello there, how are you!!"

Path Segments

You can easily have path segments by naming your file like [file_name.js].
When a file's name is wrapped in the square brackets, it is treated as a (dynamic) path segment
and its value is assigned to a variable with a name same as file name, file_name in above case.
This variable is then passed under req.query object to the API code.

So if we create a directory users under api directory and
then create a file [user_id].js file in it with following code

module.exports = (req, res) => {
    const {
        query: { user_id },
      } = req;
          msg: `Hello ${user_id}!`

Now when we hit the endpoint localhost:3000/api/users/123, it will respond back as below

    "msg": "Hello 123!"

Vercel Config

You can configure your Vercel Project with various options available at

But lets see one option rewrites.

To avoid api being part of the endpoint, we can define a rewrite rule.
For that create vercel.json in project root with following content.

    "rewrites": [
            "source": "/users/:user_id",
            "destination": "/api/users/:user_id"

Restart the server using vercel dev command.

Now you can call the API using localhost:3000/hello instead of localhost:3000/api/hello

Thats it about this note.


If you think this is helpful 🎈
Don't keep it to yourself 🙊

Share it with your lovely followers at twitter 🗽

lets connect viatwitter