API (4) - Add a Database

Created : August 11, 2020

Learned how to build a GraphQL API from scratch from How to GraphQL official tutorial.

  • Set up a SQLite to persist the data.
  • Instead of writing SQL directly, will use Prisma to access the database.
  • Prisma

    • An open source database toolkit
    • Provide a clean and type-safe API for submitting database queries.

Set up the project with Prisma and SQLite

  • Install : npm i -D @prisma/cli
  • Create prisma/schema.prisma file = Database schema
// prisma/schema.prisma

datasource db {
  provider = "sqlite"
  url      = "file:./dev.db"

generator client {
  provider = "prisma-client-js"

model Link {
  id          Int      @id @default(autoincrement())
  createdAt   DateTime @default(now())
  description String
  url         String
  • Components of Prisma's schema

    • Data source : Specifies database connection.

      • = Tells Prisma you’ll be using SQLite for your database connection.
    • Generator : Indicates that you want to generate Prisma Client.
    • Data model : Defines application models.

      • Each model will be mapped to a table in the underlying database.
      • The Link model defines the structure of the Link database table.

Create SQLite database

  • SQLite

    • An in-process library that implements a self-contained, serverless, zero-configuration, transactional SQL database engine.
    • No separate server process.
    • Reads and writes directly to ordinary disk files.
    • A complete SQL database with multiple tables, indices, triggers, and views, is contained in a single disk file.
  • Create a migration from the root directory of your project.

    • npx prisma migrate save --experimental
    • Select 'Yes', and type init for the 'Name of migration' when getting a prompt asking to create a new database.
    • prisma/migrations folder is created.
  • Execute the migration against your database.

    • npx prisma migrate up --experimental

Generate Prisma Client

npx prisma generate

  • Now have /node_modules/@prisma/client which can be imported and used in the code.
  • Create a new file src/script.js and run node src/script.js
// src/script.js

const { PrismaClient } = require('@prisma/client');

const prisma = new PrismaClient();

// To send queries to the database
async function main() {
  const newLink = await prisma.link.create({
    data: {
      description: 'Fullstack tutorial for GraphQL',
      url: 'www.howtographql.com',

  const allLinks = await prisma.link.findMany();

// Call the main function
  .catch(e => {
    throw e;
  // Close the database connections when the script terminates.
  .finally(async () => {
    await prisma.disconnect();

Workflow of Prisma to update the data

  1. Manually adjust Prisma data model.
  2. Migrate database using the prisma migrate CLI commands.
  3. (Re-)generate Prisma Client.
  4. Use Prisma Client in the application code to access the database.