Building a RESTful API with Node.js and Hapi.js

RESTful APIs are a popular way to build web applications that can be consumed by a variety of clients, including web browsers, mobile apps, and other web services. Node.js is a popular platform for building RESTful APIs, and Hapi.js is a powerful framework that can be used to build scalable and maintainable APIs. In this article, we’ll explore how to use Node.js and Hapi.js to build a RESTful API.

What is Hapi.js?

Hapi.js is a Node.js framework that provides a powerful set of tools for building web applications, including RESTful APIs. Hapi.js is known for its scalability, modularity, and ease of use, making it a popular choice for building large-scale web applications.

Creating a new Hapi.js project

To get started with Hapi.js, you’ll need to install it on your machine. You can do this using Node.js package manager (npm) by running the following command:

npm install hapi

Once you have installed Hapi.js, you can create a new project by running the following command:

mkdir my-api && cd my-api
npm init

This will create a new directory called my-api and initialize a new Node.js project in that directory. You can then install Hapi.js and other dependencies by running the following command:

npm install hapi joi boom

This will install Hapi.js, Joi (a powerful data validation library), and Boom (a library for handling HTTP errors) as dependencies for your project.

Creating a simple API endpoint

To create a simple API endpoint using Hapi.js, you’ll need to create a new file called index.js in your project directory. You can then add the following code to create a new Hapi.js server and a simple API endpoint:

const Hapi = require('hapi');

const server = Hapi.server({
  port: 3000,
  host: 'localhost'

  method: 'GET',
  path: '/hello',
  handler: (request, h) => {
    return 'Hello, world!';

async function start() {
  try {
    await server.start();
    console.log(`Server running at: ${}`);
  } catch (err) {


This code creates a new Hapi.js server on port 3000, with a single API endpoint at the /hello path. When a GET request is made to this endpoint, the server returns the string “Hello, world!”.

Adding data validation to your API

One of the key features of Hapi.js is its support for data validation using the Joi library. You can use Joi to define schemas for your API endpoints, which can be used to validate incoming request data.

Here’s an example of how to use Joi to validate incoming data for a POST request to create a new user:

const Joi = require('joi');

  method: 'POST',
  path: '/users',
  options: {
    validate: {
      payload: Joi.object({
        name: Joi.string().required(),
        email: Joi.string().email().required(),
        password: Joi.string().required()
    handler: (request, h) => {
      // create new user
      return { message: 'User created successfully' };

In this example, the validate option is used to define a Joi schema for the incoming request payload. The schema requires a name, email, and password field, all of which must be strings and all of which are required. If the incoming request payload does not meet the validation requirements, Hapi.js will automatically return a 400 Bad Request error to the client.

Handling errors in your API

Another important aspect of building a robust API is handling errors. Hapi.js provides a powerful library called Boom for handling HTTP errors. You can use Boom to generate error responses for common HTTP error codes like 400, 401, 404, and 500.

Here’s an example of how to use Boom to handle a 404 error:

const Boom = require('boom');

  method: 'GET',
  path: '/users/{id}',
  handler: (request, h) => {
    const id =;
    const user = getUserById(id);

    if (!user) {
      throw Boom.notFound(`User with ID ${id} not found`);

    return user;

In this example, the getUserById function returns null if the user with the specified ID is not found. If the function returns null, the API endpoint throws a 404 Not Found error using the Boom.notFound function.


In this article, we’ve explored how to use Node.js and Hapi.js to build a RESTful API. We’ve seen how to create a simple API endpoint, add data validation using Joi, and handle errors using Boom. Hapi.js is a powerful and flexible framework that can be used to build a wide variety of web applications, and is well-suited for building large-scale, maintainable APIs.