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ยท 7 min read
Josh Twist

Supabase is an incredible open-source alternative to Firebase and other BaaS (Backend-as-a-service) options. The design is somewhat optimized for consumption by first-party clients like your own website or mobile app. But what if you wanted to take all that supa-ness and make an API-first product โ€” that is a developer-friendly public API?

There is an accompanying video for this post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJSkbxMnWxE

This is where Zuplo can help. Zuplo is the fastest way to get your API to market and get a Stripe-quality experience with the three critical pillars of any API program:

  • authentication
  • protection (rate-limiting, firewall)
  • documentation

zuplo layout

In this example I'm going to work with a simple table that allows people to read and write entries to a supabase table that contains some reviews of skis (yes, I love to ski). Because this is an API for developers, they may be calling it from some backend service and can't login using the standard supabase method. This is where API keys are a much better choice - see Wait, you're not using API keys?.

We'll allow people, with a valid API key, to read data from the ski results table and to create new records. Hopefully it's obvious that there are many ways you can extend this example to add more behavior like roles based access, with custom policies, custom handlers and more. Come join us on Discord if you have questions or need inspiration.

Setting up Supabaseโ€‹

If you haven't already, create a new project in supabase and create a table called ski-reviews with the following columns (feel free to use another domain and invent your own example):

  • id (int8)
  • created_at (timestamptz)
  • make (varchar)
  • model (varchar)
  • year (int8)
  • rating (int2)
  • author (varchar)

Manually enter a couple of rows of data - so we have something to read from the DB.

The read all reviews route in Zuploโ€‹

Create a new project in Zuplo - I went with supabase-ski-reviews.

Select the File tab and choose Routes. Add your first route with the following settings:

  • method: GET
  • path: /reviews
  • summary: Get all reviews
  • version: v1
  • CORS: Anything goes

And in the request handler section, paste the READ ALL ROWS URL of your supabase backend (you can get to this in the **API docs section of Supabase)

  • URL Rewrite: https://YOUR_SUPABASE_URL.supabase.co/rest/v1/ski-reviews?select=*
  • Forward Search: unchecked

In order to call the supabase backend I need to add some authentication headers to the request before we call supabase.

Expand the Policies section of your route. Click Add policy on the Request pipeline.

First, we don't want to forward any old headers that the client sends us to Supabase so find the Clear Headers Policy and add that to your inbound pipeline. Note, that we will allow the content-type header to flow through, so this should be your policy config.

{
"export": "ClearHeadersInboundPolicy",
"module": "$import(@zuplo/runtime)",
"options": {
"exclude": ["content-type"]
}
}

Next, we need to add the credentials to the outgoing request. We'll need to get the JWT token from supabase - you'll find it in Settings > API as shown below:

secret_role jwt

Once you've got your service_role JWT, click Add Policy again on the Request pipeline and choose the Add/Set Headers Policy and configure it as follows:

{
"export": "SetHeadersInboundPolicy",
"module": "$import(@zuplo/runtime)",
"options": {
"headers": [
{
"name": "apikey",
"value": "$env(SUPABASE_API_KEY)",
"overwrite": true
},
{
"name": "authorization",
"value": "$env(SUPABASE_AUTHZ_HEADER)",
"overwrite": true
}
]
}
}

Save your changes.

Next, create two secret environment variables as follows:

  • SUPABASE_API_KEY: "YOUR_SUPABASE_SECRET_ROLE_JWT"
  • SUPABASE_AUTHZ_HEADER: "Bearer YOUR_SUPABASE_SECRET_ROLE_JWT"

Obviously, in both instances replace YOUR_SUPABASE_SECRET_ROLE_JWT with your service_role JWT from supabase.

You are now ready to invoke your API gateway and see data flow through from Supabase!

Click on the open in browser button shown below and you should see the JSON, flowing from supabase in your browser ๐Ÿ‘.

open in browser

Adding authenticationโ€‹

At this point, that route is wide open to the world so we need to secure it. We'll do this using API keys. You can follow this guide Add API key Authentication. Be sure to drag the API Key authentication policy to the very top of your Request pipeline. Come back here when you're done.

Welcome back! You've now learned how to secure your API with API-Keys.

Adding a Create routeโ€‹

Next we'll add a route that allows somebody to create a review. Add another route with the following settings

  • method: POST
  • path: /reviews
  • summary: Create a new review
  • version: v1
  • CORS: Anything goes

And the request handler as follows:

  • URL Rewrite: https://YOUR_SUPABASE_URL.supabase.co/rest/v1/ski-reviews
  • Forward Search: unchecked

Expand the policies section and add the same policies (note you can reuse policies by picking from the existing policies at the top of the library)

existing policies

  • api-key-auth-inbound
  • clear-headers-inbound
  • set-headers-inbound

Now your create route is secured, will automatically set the right headers before calling supabase. That was easy.

You can test this out by using the API Test Console to invoke your new endpoint. Go to the API Test Console and create a new test called create-review.json.

  • Method: POST
  • Path: /v1/reviews
  • Headers:
    • content-type: application/json
    • authorization: Bearer YOUR_ZUPLO_API_KEY
  • Body:
{
"make": "Rossignol",
"model": "Soul HD7",
"rating": 5,
"year": 2019
}

Test console

If you invoke your API by clicking Test you should see that you get a 201 Created - congratulations!

Add validation to your postโ€‹

To make your API more usable and more secure it is good practice to validate incoming requests. In this case we will add a JSON Schema document and use it to validate the incoming body to our POST.

Create a new schema document called new-review.json.

new schema

This example fits the ski-reviews table we described above

{
"$id": "http://example.com/example.json",
"type": "object",
"default": {},
"title": "Root Schema",
"required": ["make", "model", "rating", "year"],
"additionalProperties": false,
"properties": {
"make": {
"type": "string",
"default": "",
"title": "The make Schema",
"examples": ["DPS"]
},
"model": {
"type": "string",
"default": "",
"title": "The model Schema",
"examples": ["Pagoda"]
},
"rating": {
"type": "integer",
"default": 0,
"title": "The rating Schema",
"examples": [5]
},
"year": {
"type": "integer",
"default": 0,
"title": "The year Schema",
"examples": [2018]
}
},
"examples": [
{
"make": "DPS",
"model": "Pagoda",
"rating": 5,
"year": 2018,
"author": "Josh"
}
]
}

Now add a new policy to request pipeline for your Create new review route. Choose the JSON Body Validation policy and configure it to use your newly created JSON schema document:

{
"export": "ValidateJsonSchemaInbound",
"module": "$import(@zuplo/runtime)",
"options": {
"validator": "$import(./schemas/new-review.json)"
}
}

This policy can be dragged to the first position in your pipeline.

Now to test this is working, go back to your API test console and change the body of your create-review.json test to be invalid (add a new property for example). You should find that you get a 400 Bad Request response.

400 Bad Request

Finally, lean back and marvel at your beautiful Developer Portal that took almost zero effort to get this far, wow! Hopefully you already found the link for this when adding API key support :)

Developer Portal

See also - API Authentication with Supabase JWT Tokens