Data Providers

Whenever react-admin needs to communicate with your APIs, it does it through an object called the dataProvider. The dataProvider exposes a predefined interface that allows react-admin to query any API in a normalized way.

For instance, to query the API for a single record, react-admin calls dataProvider.getOne():

    .getOne('posts', { id: 123 })
    .then(response => {
        console.log(; // { id: 123, title: "hello, world" }

It’s the Data Provider’s job to turn these method calls into HTTP requests, and transform the HTTP responses to the data format expected by react-admin. In technical terms, a Data Provider is an adapter for an API.

Data Provider architecture

Thanks to this adapter system, react-admin can communicate with any API, whether it uses REST, GraphQL, RPC, or even SOAP, regardless of the dialect it uses. Check out the list of supported backends to pick an open-source package for your API.

You can also Write your own Data Provider so that it fits the particularities of your backend(s). Data Providers can use fetch, axios, apollo-client, or any other library to communicate with APIs. The Data Provider is also the ideal place to add custom HTTP headers, authentication, etc.

A Data Provider must have the following methods:

const dataProvider = {
    getList:    (resource, params) => Promise, // get a list of records based on sort, filter, and pagination
    getOne:     (resource, params) => Promise, // get a single record by id
    getMany:    (resource, params) => Promise, // get a list of records based on an array of ids
    getManyReference: (resource, params) => Promise, // get the records referenced to another record, e.g. comments for a post
    create:     (resource, params) => Promise, // create a record
    update:     (resource, params) => Promise, // update a record based on a patch
    updateMany: (resource, params) => Promise, // update a list of records based on an array of ids and a common patch
    delete:     (resource, params) => Promise, // delete a record by id
    deleteMany: (resource, params) => Promise, // delete a list of records based on an array of ids

Tip: A Data Provider can have more methods than the 9 methods listed above. For instance, you create a dataProvider with custom methods for calling non-REST API endpoints, manipulating tree structures, subscribing to real time updates, etc.

The Data Provider is at the heart of react-admin’s architecture. By being very opinionated about the Data Provider interface, react-admin can be very flexible AND provide very sophisticated features, including reference handling, optimistic updates, and automated navigation.