Developing Locally

Starting a Development Server

Once you’ve created a Space project, you can start developing your app locally using the Space CLI’s space dev command.

space dev

Behind the scenes, the Space CLI is:

  • Generating and injecting a Data Key so you can use the Deta SDK
  • Running each of your Micros in a separate process
  • Exposing all of your Micros through a single entrypoint (following the routing in your Spacefile)

If you want to open the app in your browser automatically after starting your Micros, use the --open flag.

Any data you save to Base or Drive using the Deta SDK will be stored in your Builder project. You can view and edit the data using the UI in the “Data” tab of the “Develop” page in your Builder project.

You can customize the development command for each Micro in your Spacefile using the dev key.

v: 0
  - name: client
    src: ./client
    engine: svelte
    primary: true
    path: client
  - name: api
    src: ./api
    engine: nodejs16
    dev: nodemon index.js # start the micro in development mode
    path: api

The specified dev commands need to start a web server that listens on the port specified with the PORT environment variable. This way the CLI can properly forward requests to the Micro.

You can find instructions on how to setup the right dev command for each engine in the “Quickstart Guides”.

Advanced Usage

If you want to have more control over the development process, you can also split the dev command into two parts:

  • First, start Micros individually using the space dev up command
  • Then, start the reverse proxy using the space dev proxy

For our example above, this would look like this:

# Start the Micros individually
space dev up client
space dev up api

# Start the reverse proxy
space dev proxy

Some use cases for this approach include:

  • Running each Micro in a separate terminal window
  • Integrating Micros with other development tools (ex: vscode tasks)

The space dev command is just a shortcut for the combination of space dev up and space dev proxy.

Running scheduled actions manually

You can trigger scheduled actions from your local development server by using the space dev trigger command.

First make sure you have defined a scheduled action in your Spacefile and set up the right handler in your Micro:

v: 0
  - name: backend
    src: backend
    engine: nodejs16
    run: "node index.js"
      - id: "cleanup"
        name: "Clean Up"
        description: "Cleans up unused data"
        trigger: "schedule"
        default_interval: "0/15 * * * *"

After starting your development server using either space dev or space dev up, you can trigger the action manually using the space dev trigger command:

space dev trigger cleanup

This will call your local action handler with a mock payload and print the returned response to your console.

Running commands in the context of your project

If you don’t want to specify a dev command in your Spacefile or you want to run a one-off script while still benefitting from the automatic Base & Drive SDK setup you can wrap your command a space exec call:

# Run a command in the context of your project
space exec --project <project-id> -- npm run

If you run the command from a directory that is linked to a space app, you can omit the --project flag.

Some use cases include:

  • testing Base & Drive locally
  • pre-filling your projects Bases & Drives with data
  • programmatically interacting with Base & Drive
  • …anything you can think of!