TypeScript + Github Example

In this example, we are going to create a Zeit Now project that we can use to update files on a repo based on what is passed.

Setting up

Initialise a project in a folder yarn init -y.


mkdir project cd project yarn init -y # or npm npm i -g now # or yarn mkdir api touch api/example.ts tsconfig.json now.json .env .gitignore test.json yarn add --dev @now/node @types/js-base64 yarn add @octokit/rest js-base64

API Setup

Add the following to api/example.ts:

import { NowRequest, NowResponse } from '@now/node'; import Octokit from '@octokit/rest'; import { Base64 } from 'js-base64'; const gh = new Octokit({ auth: process.env.GITHUB_TOKEN, }); const owner = 'your_github_user_name'; // some helper functions for creating a repo // and writing a file - we won't update in this example const createOrUpdateFile = async ( repo: string, content: string, sha?: string, ) => { try { return gh.repos.createOrUpdateFile({ owner, repo, sha, path: 'hello.json', message: 'Updating the Hello JSON file', content: Base64.encode(JSON.stringify(content)), }); } catch (err) { // basic handling console.error(err.message); return undefined; } }; const createRepo = async (repo: string) => { try { await gh.repos.createForAuthenticatedUser({ name: repo, private: true, }); } catch (err) { // basic handling console.error(err.message); return undefined; } }; export default async (_req: NowRequest, res: NowResponse) => { const { repoName, content } = _req.body; const repo = await fetchRepo(repoName); await createRepo(repoName); const sha = upFile ? upFile.data.sha : undefined; const updatedJson = await createOrUpdateFile(repoName, content, sha); res.status(200).send({ success: true }); };


Add this is tsconfig.json (taken from this Zeit Now example):

{ "compilerOptions": { "target": "es5", "module": "commonjs", "lib": ["es2015"], "strict": true, "noImplicitAny": true, "strictNullChecks": true, "strictFunctionTypes": true, "strictBindCallApply": true, "strictPropertyInitialization": true, "noImplicitThis": true, "alwaysStrict": true, "esModuleInterop": true } }

Git Ignore

Ignore npm modules + .env where we will store the local key in our .gitignore file:

node_modules/ .env


In the .env file, add a personal GitHub token that we will use for authentication. This token is required for programmatic operations via the API.

If you need to create one, follow this article from the GitHub site.



We will use now.json to help define some env variables.

{ "name": "project-name", "version": 2, "env": { "GITHUB_TOKEN": "@github-token" } }


For what we will upload, add this to test.json:

{ "hello": "world" }

Local Development

Now we can develop locally. Run now dev to get localhost running on port 3000.

Once the port is running, we can ping http://localhost:3000/api/example and pass some params to generate a new repo and add some JSON.

In this example, I am using HTTPie and running http POST localhost:3000/api/example repoName=temp-zeit-a content:=@test.json on the command line will lead to the creation of a new private repo temp-zeit-a with content from the test.json local file saved into the hello.json file on the repo.



To deploy to production, we simply run now.

Moving forward

Updating the file on Github requires the SHA, so use the other Octokit methods to help with all of these issues.