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Created Mar 16, 2021
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Rails API Setup

Rails API Setup

Environment Setup

Make sure you are running a Ruby version supported by Heroku to make your app easier to deploy later. At the time of writing, that is:

  • 2.6.6
  • 2.7.2
  • 3.0.0

If you don't have that version, install it using RVM:

rvm install 2.6.6
rvm use 2.6.6 --default

You will also need Postgresql installed for the database in order to deploy your app to Heroku later. Check if Postgres is installed and running:

psql -p 5432 -h localhost -U postgres

Once connection is verified, you can quit by typing:


Creating the Backend

Create Rails API:

rails new project-server --api -T --database=postgresql

Here's what those option flags mean:

  • --api: Generate a project in API mode (no sessions/cookies; no view helpers; etc).
  • --database=postgresql: Use Postgresql as the database. Optional, but if you plan on deploying, you must use Postgresql.
  • -T: Skip test files.

Add Gems

Add the jwt gem if you plan on implementing auth:

bundle add jwt

Add Active Model Serializers gem for serializing your JSON response:

bundle add active_model_serializers

Uncomment bcrypt and rack-cors gems in Gemfile:

# Gemfile

# Use Active Model has_secure_password
gem 'bcrypt', '~> 3.1.7'

# Use Rack CORS for handling Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS), making cross-origin AJAX possible
gem 'rack-cors'

And install:

bundle install


Set up CORS config to allow requests from your frontent to your backend:

# config/initializers/cors.rb
Rails.application.config.middleware.insert_before 0, Rack::Cors do
  allow do
    origins '*' # change this when you deploy, please!

    resource '*',
      headers: :any,
      methods: [:get, :post, :put, :patch, :delete, :options, :head]

User Model (for auth)

Generate a User model (make sure your model has a password_digest field so that bcrypt will work; otherwise the attributes on your user model are up to you):

rails g resource User username password_digest image bio

Add password logic to model, and optionally, validations:

# app/models/user.rb
class User < ApplicationRecord
  validates :username, uniqueness: { case_sensitive: false }

Create seed data:

# db/seeds.rb
  username: "Ian",
  password: "123",
  bio: "Lead Instructor",
  image: ""

Database Setup

Setup database:

rails db:create db:migrate db:seed


rails c
> User.first
 => #<User id: 1, username: "Ian", password_digest: [FILTERED], bio: "Lead Instructor" ...>

Next Steps

  • Create routes
  • Create controllers
  • Add additional models
  • Add serializers for models
  • ???
  • Profit
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