CRUD Academy

A student directory application that allows users to manage campus and student information through a user interface.


This project creates a CRUD (CREATE, READ, UPDATE, DELETE) application with a relational database using Express to expose data through a REST API. The front-end utilizes React and Redux to manage the global state that is filled by the API.

This application presents school records where users can add, edit, and delete entries through a simple interface.

Tech Stack

This application was built from scratch, without the use of a boilerplate or scaffolding, to help me get a deeper understanding of how each piece of a full stack application works together. The backend server runs on Node.js and is written in Express. The data is stored in a PostgreSQL database and managed with Sequelize before being served to the React and Redux built frontend. For demonstration purposes, this web application is deployed and hosted through Heroku.



To keep this application simple, I created a school directory consisting of campuses and students. Models for the two are defined in the server/db/models folder with a one-to-many relationship established. After connecting the database to the server, routes and endpoints created in Express form a REST API.

A REST API is an application program interface that uses HTTP request methods as a form of network communication between applications. I've learned that it's not a protocol like other web services; instead, it is a set of architectural principles and standards.

In this application, CRUD operations can be applied to campus and student records through endpoints that are located in the server/api directory. The following table provides an overview of the REST API endpoints that will be exported.

GETcampusesGet all campuses
POSTcampusesCreate new campus
PUTcampuses/:idUpdate campus by id
DELETEcampuses/:idDelete campus by id
GETstudentsGet all students
POSTstudentsCreate new student
PUTstudents/:idUpdate student by id
DELETEstudents/:idDelete student by id


There are many tools built into the React library for state management and they work well for simple applications. However, things get trickier once complexity increases and the state is shared across multiple components globally. Fortunately, there are proven state management libraries, like Redux, available.

Redux simplifies state management with a centralized data store that persists across routes and components. For this application, the store contains a plain JavaScript object with slices of state data for campuses, students, and errors. Each slice is supported by action creators that dispatch payloads of data from components to a reducer.

export const createStudent = student => dispatch =>
    .post('/api/students', student)
    .then(res =>
    .then(student => dispatch({ type: CREATE_STUDENT, student }));

Reducers are functions that return a new updated state based on the current state and an action object. Instead of mutating the previous state, reducers must return a new state object.

export default (state = [], action) => {
  switch (action.type) {
      return [...state, action.student];
      return state;


The setup and configuration of the development environment from scratch proved to be challenging. As I began installing packages and planning the file structure, I learned that a build tool like Webpack was necessary in order to manage the assets. Webpack bundles up all modules into a single JavaScript asset to be represented for production and works through a configuration file that acts as a graph for dependencies.

Due to Webpack's open-ended ecosystem, configuring it was complicated. Beginners can get inundated with all the loaders and plugins - - available to use during the bundling process. However, Webpack is a commonly used technology with good documentation and resources. By utilizing those resources, I successfully set up and configured this project.