In this example we will look at how to use React.js with a serverless API to create a simple click counter app. We’ll be using the SST and the SST StaticSite construct to deploy our app to AWS.


Create an SST app

Change indicator Let’s start by creating an SST app.

$ npx create-sst@latest --template=base/example react-app
$ cd react-app
$ npm install

By default, our app will be deployed to the us-east-1 AWS region. This can be changed in the sst.config.ts in your project root.

import { SSTConfig } from "sst";

export default {
  config(_input) {
    return {
      name: "react-app",
      region: "us-east-1",
} satisfies SSTConfig;

Project layout

An SST app is made up of a couple of parts.

  1. stacks/ — App Infrastructure

    The code that describes the infrastructure of your serverless app is placed in the stacks/ directory of your project. SST uses AWS CDK, to create the infrastructure.

  2. packages/functions/ — App Code

    The code that’s run when your API is invoked is placed in the packages/functions/ directory of your project.

  3. packages/frontend/ — React App

    The code for our frontend React.js app.

Create our infrastructure

Our app is made up of a simple API and a React.js app. The API will be talking to a database to store the number of clicks. We’ll start by creating the database.

Adding the table

We’ll be using Amazon DynamoDB; a reliable and highly-performant NoSQL database that can be configured as a true serverless database. Meaning that it’ll scale up and down automatically. And you won’t get charged if you are not using it.

Change indicator Replace the stacks/ExampleStack.ts with the following.

import { Api, StaticSite, StackContext, Table } from "sst/constructs";

export function ExampleStack({ stack }: StackContext) {
  // Create the table
  const table = new Table(stack, "Counter", {
    fields: {
      counter: "string",
    primaryIndex: { partitionKey: "counter" },

This creates a serverless DynamoDB table using the SST Table construct. It has a primary key called counter. Our table is going to look something like this:

counter tally
clicks 123

Creating our API

Now let’s add the API.

Change indicator Add this below the Table definition in stacks/ExampleStack.ts.

// Create the HTTP API
const api = new Api(stack, "Api", {
  defaults: {
    function: {
      // Bind the table name to our API
      bind: [table],
  routes: {
    "POST /": "packages/functions/src/lambda.handler",

// Show the URLs in the output
  ApiEndpoint: api.url,

We are using the SST Api construct to create our API. It simply has one endpoint (the root). When we make a POST request to this endpoint the Lambda function called handler in packages/functions/src/lambda.ts will get invoked.

We’ll also bind our table to our API. It allows our API to access (read and write) the table we just created.

Setting up our React app

To deploy a React.js app to AWS, we’ll be using the SST StaticSite construct.

Change indicator Replace the following in stacks/ExampleStack.ts:

// Show the API endpoint in the output
  ApiEndpoint: api.url,

Change indicator With:

// Deploy our React app
const site = new StaticSite(stack, "ReactSite", {
  path: "packages/frontend",
  buildCommand: "npm run build",
  buildOutput: "build",
  environment: {
    REACT_APP_API_URL: api.url,

// Show the URLs in the output
  SiteUrl: site.url,
  ApiEndpoint: api.url,

The construct is pointing to where our React.js app is located. We haven’t created our app yet but for now we’ll point to the packages/frontend directory.

We are also setting up a build time React environment variable REACT_APP_API_URL with the endpoint of our API. The StaticSite allows us to set environment variables automatically from our backend, without having to hard code them in our frontend. You can read more about this over in our chapter on, Setting serverless environments variables in a React app.

You can also optionally configure a custom domain.

// Deploy our React app
const site = new StaticSite(stack, "ReactSite", {
  // ...
  customDomain: "",

But we’ll skip this for now.

Reading from our table

Our API is powered by a Lambda function. In the function we’ll read from our DynamoDB table.

Change indicator Replace packages/functions/src/lambda.ts with the following.

import { DynamoDB } from "aws-sdk";
import { Table } from "sst/node/table";

const dynamoDb = new DynamoDB.DocumentClient();

export async function handler() {
  const getParams = {
    // Get the table name from the environment variable
    TableName: Table.Counter.tableName,
    // Get the row where the counter is called "clicks"
    Key: {
      counter: "clicks",
  const results = await dynamoDb.get(getParams).promise();

  // If there is a row, then get the value of the
  // column called "tally"
  let count = results.Item ? results.Item.tally : 0;

  return {
    statusCode: 200,
    body: count,

We make a get call to our DynamoDB table and get the value of a row where the counter column has the value clicks. Since we haven’t written to this column yet, we are going to just return 0.

Change indicator Let’s install the aws-sdk package in the packages/functions/ folder.

$ npm install aws-sdk

And let’s test what we have so far.

Starting your dev environment

Change indicator SST features a Live Lambda Development environment that allows you to work on your serverless apps live.

$ npm run dev

The first time you run this command it’ll take a couple of minutes to deploy your app and a debug stack to power the Live Lambda Development environment.

 Deploying app

Preparing your SST app
Transpiling source
Linting source
Deploying stacks
dev-react-app-ExampleStack: deploying...

 ✅  dev-react-app-ExampleStack

Stack dev-react-app-ExampleStack
  Status: deployed
    SiteUrl: http://localhost:5173

The ApiEndpoint is the API we just created. While the SiteUrl our React app will run locally once we start it.

Let’s test our endpoint with the SST Console. The SST Console is a web based dashboard to manage your SST apps. Learn more about it in our docs.

Go to the API tab and click Send button to send a POST request.

Note, The API explorer lets you make HTTP requests to any of the routes in your Api construct. Set the headers, query params, request body, and view the function logs with the response.

API explorer invocation response

You should see a 0 in the response body.

Setting up our React app

We are now ready to use the API we just created. Let’s use Create React App to setup our React.js app.

Change indicator Run the following in the project root.

$ npx create-react-app packages/frontend --use-npm
$ cd frontend

This sets up our React app in the packages/frontend/ directory. Recall that, earlier in the guide we were pointing the StaticSite construct to this path.

Create React App will throw a warning if it is installed inside a repo that uses Jest. To disable this, we’ll need to set an environment variable.

Change indicator Add the following to frontend/.env.


We also need to load the environment variables from our SST app. To do this, we’ll be using the sst bind command.

Change indicator Replace the start script in your frontend/package.json.

"start": "react-scripts start",

Change indicator With the following:

"start": "sst bind react-scripts start",

Let’s start our React development environment.

Change indicator In the packages/frontend/ directory run.

$ npm run start

This should open up our React.js app in your browser.

Add the click button

We are now ready to add the UI for our app and connect it to our serverless API.

Change indicator Replace packages/frontend/src/App.js with.

import { useState } from "react";
import "./App.css";

export default function App() {
  const [count, setCount] = useState(null);

  function onClick() {
    fetch(process.env.REACT_APP_API_URL, {
      method: "POST",
      .then((response) => response.text())

  return (
    <div className="App">
      {count && <p>You clicked me {count} times.</p>}
      <button onClick={onClick}>Click Me!</button>

Here we are adding a simple button that when clicked, makes a request to our API. We are getting the API endpoint from the environment variable, process.env.REACT_APP_API_URL.

The response from our API is then stored in our app’s state. We use that to display the count of the number of times the button has been clicked.

Let’s add some styles.

Change indicator Replace packages/frontend/src/App.css with.

html {
  height: 100%;
  display: grid;
#root {
  margin: auto;
.App {
  text-align: center;
p {
  margin-top: 0;
  font-size: 20px;
button {
  font-size: 48px;

Now if you head over to your browser, your React app should look something like this.

Click counter UI in React app

Of course if you click on the button multiple times, the count doesn’t change. That’s because we are not updating the count in our API. We’ll do that next.

Making changes

Let’s update our table with the clicks.

Change indicator Add this above the return statement in packages/functions/src/lambda.ts.

const putParams = {
  TableName: Table.Counter.tableName,
  Key: {
    counter: "clicks",
  // Update the "tally" column
  UpdateExpression: "SET tally = :count",
  ExpressionAttributeValues: {
    // Increase the count
    ":count": ++count,
await dynamoDb.update(putParams).promise();

Here we are updating the clicks row’s tally column with the increased count.

And if you head over to your browser and click the button again, you should see the count increase!

Click counter updating in React app

Also let’s go to the DynamoDB tab in the SST Console and check that the value has been updated in the table.

Note, The DynamoDB explorer allows you to query the DynamoDB tables in the Table constructs in your app. You can scan the table, query specific keys, create and edit items.

DynamoDB table view of counter table

Deploying to prod

Change indicator To wrap things up we’ll deploy our app to prod.

$ npx sst deploy --stage prod

This allows us to separate our environments, so when we are working in dev, it doesn’t break the app for our users.

Once deployed, you should see something like this.

 ✅  prod-react-app-ExampleStack

Stack prod-react-app-ExampleStack
  Status: deployed

Run the below command to open the SST Console in prod stage to test the production endpoint.

npx sst console --stage prod

Go to the API tab and click Send button to send a POST request.

API explorer prod invocation response

If you head over to the SiteUrl in your browser, you should see your new React app in action!

React app deployed to AWS

Cleaning up

Finally, you can remove the resources created in this example using the following commands.

$ npx sst remove
$ npx sst remove --stage prod


And that’s it! We’ve got a completely serverless click counter in React.js. A local development environment, to test and make changes. And it’s deployed to production as well, so you can share it with your users. Check out the repo below for the code we used in this example. And leave a comment if you have any questions!