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PostgREST – Serve a RESTful API from Any Postgres Database
22 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 29 Dec 2022
At work, we've finally replaced a large part of a custom (mostly-)web backend with PostgREST recently, and that's quite a relief: considerably less code to maintain in that project now, and that was a rather awkward code. Something akin to PostgREST's "Embedding with Top-level Filtering"  had to be provided for all the tables, with OpenAPI schema and a typed API (Haskell + Servant); I avoided manually writing it all down, but at the cost of poking framework internals, and maintainability suffered. It was particularly annoying that the code doesn't really do anything useful, except for standing between a database and an HTTP client, and simply mimics the database anyway. Whenever a change had to be introduced, it was introduced into the database, the backend, and the frontend simultaneously, so it wasn't even useful for some kind of compatibility.
Now PostgREST handles all that, and only a few less trivial endpoints are handled by a custom backend (including streaming, which I'm considering replacing with postgrest-websocket  at some point).
During the switch to PostgREST, the encountered minor issues were those with inherited tables (had to set a bunch of computed/virtual columns  in order to "embed" those), and with a bug on filtering using such relations (turned out it was an already-fixed regression , so an update helped). Also a couple of helper stored procedures (to use via /rpc/) for updates in multiple tables at once (many-to-many relationships, to edit entities along with their relationships, using fewer requests) were added (though the old custom backend didn't have that), the security policies were set from the beginning, the frontend was rewritten (which allowed to finally switch without adding more work), so it was only left to cleanup the backend.
Not using views, since as mentioned above, database changes usually correspond to frontend changes, and the API doesn't have to be that stable yet.
Happy with it so far.
What are some alternatives?
postgrest - REST API for any Postgres database
graphql-api - Write type-safe GraphQL services in Haskell
servant - Main repository for the servant libraries — DSL for describing, serving, querying, mocking, documenting web applications and more!
graphql - Haskell GraphQL implementation
stripe-core - :moneybag: Stripe API
servant-elm - Automatically derive Elm functions to query servant webservices
keter - Web app deployment manager
apiary - Simple and type safe web framework that can be automatically generate API documentation.
HaTeX - The Haskell LaTeX library.
airship - Helium + Webmachine = Airship. A toolkit for building declarative, RESTful web apps.