Building a REST API with Nitric

This guide will show you how to build a serverless REST API with the Nitric framework using Dart. The example API enables reading, writing and editing basic user profile information using a Nitric key value store to store user data. Once the API is created we'll test it locally, then optionally deploy it to a cloud of your choice.

The example API enables reading, writing, and deleting profile information from a Nitric key value store.

The API will provide the following routes:

GET/profiles/[id]Get a specific profile image by its id
GET/profilesList all profiles
POST/profilesCreate a new profile image
DELETE/profiles/[id]Delete a profile

There is also an extended section of the guide that adds file operations using a Nitric bucket to store and retrieve profile pictures using signed URLs. The extension adds these routes to the API:

GET/profiles/[id]/image/uploadGet a profile image upload URL
GET/profiles/[id]/image/downloadGet a profile image download URL
GET/profiles/[id]/image/viewView the image that is downloaded


Getting started

Start by creating a base Dart

dart create -t console my-profile-api

Add the Nitric SDK and the uuid dependency by adding it to your pubspec.yaml.

  nitric_sdk: ^1.2.0
  uuid: ^4.3.3

Next, open the project in your editor of choice.

cd my-profile-api

The scaffolded project should have the following structure:

├── my_profile_api.dart
├── my_profile_api.dart
├── my_profile_api_test.dart

To create our Nitric project, we have to create a nitric.yaml file. The handlers key will point to where our

name: my_profile_api
  - match: bin/my_profile_api.dart
    start: dart run $SERVICE_PATH

Create a Profile class

We will create a class to represent the profiles that we will store in the key value store. We will add toJson and fromJson functions to assist.

class Profile {
  String name;
  int age;
  String homeTown;

  Profile(, this.age, this.homeTown);

  Profile.fromJson(Map<String, dynamic> contents)
      : name = contents["name"] as String,
        age = contents["age"] as int,
        homeTown = contents["homeTown"] as String;

  Map<String, dynamic> toJson() => {
        'name': name,
        'age': age,
        'homeTown': homeTown,

Building the API

Applications built with Nitric can contain many APIs, let's start by adding one to this project to serve as the public endpoint. Rename bin/my_profile_api.dart to bin/profiles.dart

import 'package:nitric_sdk/nitric.dart';
import 'package:nitric_sdk/resources.dart';

import 'package:uuid/uuid.dart';

void main() {
  // Create an API named 'public'
  final profileApi = Nitric.api("public");

  // Define a key value store named 'profiles', then request get, set and delete permissions.
  final profiles = Nitric.kv("profiles").allow([

Here we're creating an API named public and a key value store named profiles, then requesting get, set, and delete permissions which allows our function to access the key value store.

Create profiles with POST

Let's start adding features that allow our API consumers to work with profile data."/profiles", (ctx) async {
  final uuid = Uuid();

  final id = uuid.v4();

  final profile = Profile.fromJson(ctx.req.json());

  // Store the new profile in the profiles kv store
  await profiles.set(id, profile);

  // Send a success response.
  ctx.res.body = "Profile $id created.";

  return ctx;

Retrieve a profile with GET

profileApi.get("/profiles/:id", (ctx) async {
  final id = ctx.req.pathParams["id"]!;

  try {
    // Retrieve and return the profile data
    final profile = await profiles.get(id);
  } on Exception catch (e) {
    ctx.res.status = 404;
    ctx.res.body = "Profile $id not found.";

  return ctx;

Remove a profile with DELETE

profileApi.delete("/profiles/:id", (ctx) async {
  final id = ctx.req.pathParams["id"]!;

  // Delete the profile
  try {
    await profiles.delete(id);
    ctx.res.body = "Profile $id removed.";
  } on Exception catch (e) {
    ctx.res.status = 404;
    ctx.res.body = "Profile $id not found. $e";

  return ctx;

Ok, let's run this thing!

Now that you have an API defined with handlers for each of its methods, it's time to test it locally.

nitric start

Once it starts, the application will receive requests via the API port. You can use the Local Dashboard or any HTTP client to test the API. We'll keep it running for our tests. If you want to update your functions, just save them, they'll be reloaded automatically.

Test the API

Below are some example requests you can use to test the API. You'll need to update all values in brackets [] and change the URL to your deployed URL if you're testing on the cloud.

Create Profile

curl --location --request POST 'http://localhost:4001/profiles' \
--header 'Content-Type: text/plain' \
--data-raw '{
    "name": "Peter Parker",
    "age": "21",
    "homeTown" : "Queens"

Fetch Profile

curl --location --request GET 'http://localhost:4001/profiles/[id]'

Fetch All Profiles

curl --location --request GET 'http://localhost:4001/profiles'

Delete Profile

curl --location --request DELETE 'http://localhost:4001/profiles/[id]'

Deploy to the cloud

At this point, you can deploy the application to any supported cloud provider. Start by setting up your credentials and any configuration for the cloud you prefer:

Next, we'll need to create a stack. Stacks represent deployed instances of an application, including the target provider and other details such as the deployment region. You'll usually define separate stacks for each environment such as development, testing and production. For now, let's start by creating a dev stack.

nitric stack new
? What should we name this stack? dev
? Which provider do you want to deploy with? aws
? Which region should the stack deploy to? us-east-1


In the previous step we called our stack dev, let's try deploying it with the up command.

nitric up
| API  | Endpoint                                               |
| main |   |

When the deployment is complete, go to the relevant cloud console and you'll be able to see and interact with your API. If you'd like to make changes to the API you can apply those changes by rerunning the up command. Nitric will automatically detect what's changed and just update the relevant cloud resources.

When you're done testing your application you can tear it down from the cloud, use the down command:

nitric down

Optional - Add profile image upload/download support

If you want to go a bit deeper and create some other resources with Nitric, why not add images to your profiles API.

Access profile buckets with permissions

Define a bucket named profilesImg with reading/writing permissions.

final profilesImg = Nitric.bucket("profilesImg").allow([, BucketPermission.write]);

Get a URL to upload a profile image

profileApi.get("/profiles/:id/image/upload", (ctx) async {
  final id = ctx.req.pathParams["id"];

  // Return a signed upload URL, which provides temporary access to upload a file.
  final photoUrl = await profilesImg.file("images/$id/photo.png").getUploadUrl();

  ctx.req.body = photoUrl;

  return ctx;

Get a URL to download a profile image

profileApi.get("/profiles/:id/image/download", (ctx) async {
  final id = ctx.req.pathParams["id"];

  // Return a signed download URL, which provides temporary access to download a file.
  final photoUrl = await profilesImg.file("images/$id/photo.png").getDownloadUrl();

  ctx.req.body = photoUrl;

  return ctx;

You can also return a redirect response that takes the HTTP client directly to the photo URL.

profileApi.get("/profiles/:id/image/view", (ctx) async {
  final id = ctx.req.pathParams["id"];

  // Redirect to a signed read-only file URL.
  final photoUrl = await profilesImg.file("images/$id/photo.png").getDownloadUrl();

  ctx.res.status = 303;
  ctx.res.headers["Location"] = [photoUrl];

  return ctx;

Test the extended API

Update all values in brackets [] and change the URL to your deployed URL if you're testing on the cloud.

Get an image upload URL

curl --location --request GET 'http://localhost:4001/profiles/[id]/image/upload'

Using the upload URL with curl

curl --location --request PUT '[url]' \
--header 'content-type: image/png' \
--data-binary '@/home/user/Pictures/photo.png'

Get an image download URL

curl --location --request GET 'http://localhost:4001/profiles/[id]/image/download'