API Routes

API Routes Details

Here is some essential information you should know about API Routes.

Do Not Fetch an API Route from getStaticProps or getStaticPaths

You should not fetch an API Route from getStaticProps or getStaticPaths. Instead, write your server-side code directly in getStaticProps or getStaticPaths (or call a helper function).

Here’s why: getStaticProps and getStaticPaths runs only on the server-side. It will never be run on the client-side. It won’t even be included in the JS bundle for the browser. That means you can write code such as direct database queries without them being sent to browsers.

A Good Use Case: Handling Form Input

A good use case for API Routes is handling form input. For example, you can create a form on your page and have it send a POST request to your API Route. You can then write code to directly save it to your database. The API Route code will not be part of your client bundle, so you can safely write server-side code.

export default function handler(req, res) {
  const email = req.body.email
  // Then save email to your database, etc...
}

Preview Mode

Static Generation is useful when your pages fetch data from a headless CMS. However, it’s not ideal when you’re writing a draft on your headless CMS and want to preview the draft immediately on your page. You’d want Next.js to render these pages at request time instead of build time and fetch the draft content instead of the published content. You’d want Next.js to bypass Static Generation only for this specific case.

Next.js has a feature called Preview Mode to solve the problem above, and it utilizes API Routes. To learn more about it take a look at our Preview Mode documentation.

Dynamic API Routes

API Routes can be dynamic, just like regular pages. Take a look at our Dynamic API Routes documentation to learn more.

That’s It!

In the next and final basic lesson, we’ll talk about how to deploy your Next.js app to production.

Quick Review: Which of the following is a good use case for an API Route?