HomeAmir Hossein Shekari (Vanenshi)

Building Safe and Dynamic URLs with TypeScript

  • #typescript
Amir Hossein Shekari (Vanenshi)

Amir Hossein Shekari

2 min read
Building Safe and Dynamic URLs with TypeScript

When developing applications, one of the common tasks is constructing URLs, especially when they contain dynamic parts, like IDs. Ensuring the correctness of these URLs can be tedious, leading to potential runtime errors if not done right. This is where TypeScript can lend a hand.

The Need for urlConverter

Using string-based routes can be error-prone. Miss a single character or forget to replace a dynamic segment, and the whole URL can break. By using TypeScript, we can create a utility that helps in generating these URLs while ensuring their correctness.

Building the urlConverter Step by Step

1. Organizing URLs

One of the first steps is to have all URLs organized in one place. Enums in TypeScript provide an excellent way to do this:

export enum UserUrls {
  getUserUrl = "/users/[userId]",
  getMyUserURL = "/users/me",
  // other URLs can go here...
}

2. Extracting Dynamic Parameters

For URLs with dynamic parts, we need a way to recognize and replace them. A custom TypeScript type can help identify these parts:


type IsParameter<Part> = Part extends `[${infer ParamName}]`
  ? ParamName
  : never;
type FilteredParts<Path> = Path extends `${infer PartA}/${infer PartB}`
  ? IsParameter<PartA> | FilteredParts<PartB>
  : IsParameter<Path>;
/**
 * A very special type that parse a template string to it's object
 * source: https://lihautan.com/extract-parameters-type-from-string-literal-types-with-typescript/
 * type ParamObject = Params<'/purchase/[shopId]/[itemId]'>;
 * type ParamObject = {
 *      shopId: string;
 *      itemId: string;
 *    }
 */
export type Params<Path> = {
  [Key in FilteredParts<Path>]: string | number;
};

This type works to find any segment enclosed within [].

3. Confirming the Presence of Parameters

To ensure that if a URL requires parameters, they're provided, we can use another type:

type HasParams<Path> = Path extends `${string}[${string}]${string}`
  ? true
  : false;

This will check if a route needs parameters.

4. Creating the urlConverter Function

With all the above in place, we can now create our utility:

type AllEnums = UserUrls;

export const urlConverter = <Route extends AllEnums>(
  routeKey: Route,
  ...paramsArr: HasParams<typeof routeKey> extends true ? [Params<Route>] : []
) => {
  let route = routeKey as string;

  if (!route) {
    throw Error("Invalid route key");
  }

  const params = paramsArr[0];
  if (params) {
    Object.keys(params).forEach((paramKey) => {
      const value = params[paramKey]?.toString();
      route = route.replace(`[${paramKey}]`, value);
    });
  }
  return route;
};

Usage Example

Generating a reset URL with a given token can be done easily:


const getUserUrl = urlConverter(UserUrls.getUserUrl, { userId: 12 });
console.log(getUserUrl); // Outputs: `/users/12`

Conclusion

The `urlConverter` utility ensures that constructing dynamic URLs is straightforward and less error-prone. Leveraging TypeScript allows for catching potential mistakes at compile-time rather than runtime, resulting in more robust applications.


I hope this approach helps in your development journey, ensuring cleaner and safer URL generation with TypeScript.


Amir Hossein Shekari

Written by Amir Hossein Shekari (Vanenshi)

Vanenshi is a Github Star 🌟 and Design Engineer 👨🏽‍💻. He is passionate about helping people build an accessible web faster. Sage is the author of Chakra UI, a React UI library for building accessible experiences.

Amir Hossein Shekari

Tech-savvy Software Engineer driven by a love for problem-solving and innovation.

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