Get started w/ Next.js API

This guide will help you authenticate requests made to your Next.js API routes.

0. Pre-requirements

This guide assumes you have properly configured your frontend to make requests to your backend. If you haven't done so already, please follow the guide for making backend requests.


Create a file named .env.local in your application root if it doesn't exist already. Any variables inside this file will be accessible in your backend with process.env.VARIABLE_NAME.

Make sure you update this variable with the API key found in your dashboard under Settings API Keys.


2. Install clerk-sdk-node

Install Clerk's NPM package for node backends (under the hood, Next.js API routes are serverless Node.js functions).

npm install @clerk/clerk-sdk-node
# or
yarn add @clerk/clerk-sdk-node

3. Create an API route

In Next.js, API routes are created by adding a file to the pages/api folder. The filename is used as the API path. New Next.js applications come with a pages/api/hello.js file that we can edit.

import { requireSession } from "@clerk/clerk-sdk-node";
export default requireSession((req, res) => {
res.statusCode = 200;
res.json({ id: req.session.userId });

That's it! Now, if a user is signed in, requests to /api/hello will return that user's ID. This ID will never change for this user, so you can use it as a stable user ID in your own codebase.

If a user is signed out, the requireSession helper will automatically return with HTTP status 401 and no response body. If you'd prefer to process a request when there is no user, try the withSession helper instead:

import { withSession } from "@clerk/clerk-sdk-node";
export default withSession((req, res) => {
res.statusCode = 200;
if (req.session){
res.json({ id: req.session.userId });
} else {
res.json({ id: null });