Deploy a Web App Built on CockroachDB with Vercel

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This tutorial shows you how to use Vercel to deploy a web application built with Next.js, Express, Prisma, and CockroachDB Serverless.

Before you begin

Before starting the tutorial, do the following:

  1. Create a CockroachDB Cloud account.

  2. Create a Vercel account.

Step 1. Get the code

  1. Create a GitHub account if you haven't already.
  2. In GitHub, create your own fork of CockroachDB's prisma-examples repo.

Step 2. Create a Vercel project

  1. From the Vercel dashboard, click Add new... > Project.
  2. Select the prisma-examples repository you forked in Step 1 to import.
  3. From the Framework preset dropdown, select Next.js.
  4. In the Root directory field, click Edit.
  5. Select the typescript > rest-nextjs-api-routes directory.
  6. Click Continue.
  7. Open the Build and Output Settings and toggle the build command's Override switch to on.
  8. Enter yarn prisma db push && yarn next build as the Build command.
  9. Click Deploy.

    Your deployment will fail until you integrate CockroachDB in the next step, so you can leave this screen without waiting for it to finish.

Step 3. Integrate CockroachDB

  1. Navigate to the CockroachDB page of Vercel's integration marketplace.
  2. Click Add Integration.
  3. Select your Vercel account and click Continue.
  4. Select the project you just created and click Continue.
  5. Accept the permissions and click Add Integration.

    A window will pop up prompting you to log in to CockroachDB Cloud if you haven't already.

  6. In the CockroachDB Cloud pop-up window, select the organization in which you want to create a new CockroachDB Serverless cluster.

  7. Click Create.

    After a few seconds, your cluster will be created and the pop-up window will close automatically. Once this is done, your Vercel project will have the DATABASE_URL environment variable automatically populated with the connection string for your new cluster.

Step 3. Deploy the application

  1. Navigate to the Overview page for your Vercel project.
  2. Select the Deployments tab.
  3. Click Redeploy.
  4. Click Redeploy again from the pop-up dialog.

    Your project will be deployed in a few seconds. You can view the final product by clicking on the Domain link on your project's Overview page.

Step 1. Create a CockroachDB Serverless cluster


Organizations without billing information on file can only create one CockroachDB Serverless cluster.

  1. If you haven't already, sign up for a CockroachDB Cloud account.
  2. Log in to your CockroachDB Cloud account.
  3. On the Clusters page, click Create Cluster.
  4. On the Select a plan page, select Serverless.
  5. On the Cloud & Regions page, select a cloud provider (GCP or AWS) in the Cloud provider section.
  6. In the Regions section, select a region for the cluster. Refer to CockroachDB Cloud Regions for the regions where CockroachDB Serverless clusters can be deployed. To create a multi-region cluster, click Add region and select additional regions. A cluster can have at most six regions.
  7. Click Next: Capacity.
  8. On the Capacity page, select Start for free. Click Next: Finalize.
  9. On the Finalize page, click Create cluster.

    Your cluster will be created in a few seconds and the Create SQL user dialog will display.

After the cluster is created, the Connection info window appears. Click the Connection string tab and copy the connection string to a secure location. You will use this connection string to connect to CockroachDB later in the tutorial.


The connection string is pre-populated with your username, cluster name, and other details, including your password. Your password, in particular, will be provided only once. Save it in a secure place (we recommend a password manager) to connect to your cluster in the future. If you forget your password, you can reset it by going to the SQL Users page for the cluster, found at<CLUSTER ID>/users.

Step 2. Get the code

  1. Clone the cockroachdb fork of the prisma-examples repo:

    $ git clone
  2. Navigate to the rest-nextjs-api-routes directory:

    $ cd typescript/rest-nextjs-api-routes
  3. Install the application dependencies:

    $ npm install
  4. Install the vercel and prisma CLI tools:

    $ npm install --global vercel prisma

Step 3. Initialize the database

  1. Save the connection string you obtained earlier from the CockroachDB Cloud Console to the DATABASE_URL environment variable in an .env file in your project:

    $ echo "DATABASE_URL=<connection-string>" >> .env

    Prisma loads the variables defined in .env to the project environment. By default, Prisma uses the DATABASE_URL environment variable as the connection string to the database.

  2. Run Prisma Migrate to initialize the database with the schema defined in prisma/prisma.schema.

    $ prisma migrate dev --name init

    You should see the following output:

    Your database is now in sync with your schema.
    ✔ Generated Prisma Client (3.11.0 | library) to ./node_modules/@prisma/client in 87ms

    This command also initializes Prisma Client to communicate with your CockroachDB cluster, based on the configuration in the prisma/schema.prisma file.

Step 4. Deploy the application

  1. (Optional) Run the app server locally to preview your site:

    $ npm run dev

    You should see the following output:

    ready - started server on, url: http://localhost:3000
  2. Run the vercel command to start deploying the app:

    $ vercel deploy --confirm

    You will be asked to sign into your Vercel account. When you authenticate your credentials, you should see the following message:

    > Success! GitHub authentication complete ...

    The --confirm flag instructs Vercel to deploy the app to the example-app-typescript-vercel Vercel project, using the default settings:

    🔗  Linked to username/example-app-typescript-vercel (created .vercel and added it to .gitignore)
    🔍  Inspect: [1s]
    ✅  Production: [copied to clipboard] [47s]
    📝  Deployed to production. Run `vercel --prod` to overwrite later (
    💡  To change the domain or build command, go to

    Follow the links provided to view and manage your deployed application.

See also

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