Next.js advanced API routes

Next.js sites on Netlify can take advantage of advanced API route capabilities in addition to support for basic and dynamic API routes. These enhancements include running a process in the background for a long-running task and scheduling a process to run at a regular interval. They are available for Next.js 12.2 and later.

# Background API routes

This feature is in BETA and may not be available on all plans.

With background API routes, you can invoke an API route and instead of instantly returning the data, the function can return a HTTP 202 Accepted response, allowing it to process the request in the background for up to 15 minutes. You can read more about this functionality in the Netlify Background Functions documentation.

To enable a background API route in your Next.js project, add a TypeScript or JavaScript file inside the folder pages/api and export the following config object:

export default async (req, res) => {
   // Do something slow
}

export const config = {
  type: 'experimental-background',
}

Check out a more extensive background API route code example for details.

# Scheduled API routes

This feature is in BETA.

Scheduled API routes are triggered on a schedule rather than in response to an HTTP request. This functionality is powered by Netlify Scheduled Functions.

To enable a scheduled API route in your Next.js project, add a TypeScript or JavaScript file inside the folder pages/api and export the following config object:

export default (req, res) => {
  // Do something scheduled
}

export const config = {
  type: 'experimental-scheduled',
  schedule: '@hourly',
}

Scheduled functions use the “cron expression” format used by tools like crontab and are executed according to the UTC timezone. For example, the cron expression 0 0 * * * will run a scheduled function every day at midnight UTC. We also support the extensions in the RFC, except for the @reboot and @annually specifications. With extensions, the expression 0 0 * * * can be written as @daily.

# Test locally

Follow these steps to test a background API route or scheduled API route during development. A scheduled API route will only run on a schedule once deployed to production.

  1. Run your Next.js project locally in development mode with next dev.
  2. Trigger the route by invoking the URL path.

Testing with Netlify Dev isn’t supported

Netlify Dev doesn’t currently support serving background and schedule API routes for local testing. Instead, we recommend that you test with next dev.