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API Documentation Tool

https://travis-ci.org/Apipie/apipie-rails.png?branch=master https://codeclimate.com/github/Apipie/apipie-rails.png

Apipie-rails is a DSL and Rails engine for documenting your RESTful API. Instead of traditional use of #comments, Apipie lets you describe the code, through the code. This brings advantages like:

  • No need to learn yet another syntax, you already know Ruby, right?
  • Possibility of reusing the docs for other purposes (such as validation)
  • Easier to extend and maintain (no string parsing involved)
  • Possibility of reusing other sources for documentation purposes (such as routes etc.)

The documentation is available from within your app (by default under the /apipie path.) In development mode, you can see the changes as you go. It's markup language agnostic, and even provides an API for reusing the documentation data in JSON.

Getting started

The easiest way to get Apipie up and running with your app is:

echo "gem 'apipie-rails'" >> Gemfile
bundle install
rails g apipie:install

Now you can start documenting your resources and actions (see DSL Reference for more info):

api :GET, '/users/:id'
param :id, :number
def show
  # ...
end

Run your application and see the result at http://localhost:3000/apipie. For further processing, you can use http://localhost:3000/apipie.json.

For a more comprehensive getting started guide, see this demo, which includes features such as generating documentation from tests, recording examples etc.

Screenshots

https://github.com/Apipie/apipie-rails/blob/master/images/screenshot-1.png https://github.com/Apipie/apipie-rails/blob/master/images/screenshot-2.png

Authors

Pajk and iNecas

Contributors

See Contributors page. Special thanks to all of them!

License

Apipie-rails is released under the MIT License

Documentation

DSL Reference

Resource Description

You can describe a resource on the controller level. The description is introduced by calling resource_description do ... end.

Inheritance is supported, so you can specify common params for group of controllers in their parent class.

The following keywords are available (all are optional):

resource_id
How the resource will be referenced in Apipie (paths, see command etc.); by default controller_name.downcase is used.
name
Human readable name of resource. By default class.name.humanize is used.
short (also short_description)
Short description of the resource (it's shown on both the list of resources, and resource details)
desc (also description and full_description)
Full description of the resource (shown only in resource details)
param
Common params for all methods defined in controller/child controllers.
api_base_url
What URL is the resource available under.
api_versions (also api_version)
What versions does the controller define the resource. (See Versioning for details.)
formats
Request / response formats.
error
Describe every possible error that can happen when calling all methods defined in controller. HTTP response code and description can be provided.
app_info
In case of versioning, this sets app info description on a per_version basis.
meta
Hash or array with custom metadata.

Example:

resource_description do
  short 'Site members'
  formats ['json']
  param :id, Fixnum, :desc => "User ID", :required => false
  param :resource_param, Hash, :desc => 'Param description for all methods' do
    param :ausername, String, :desc => "Username for login", :required => true
    param :apassword, String, :desc => "Password for login", :required => true
  end
  api_version "development"
  error 404, "Missing"
  error 500, "Server crashed for some <%= reason %>", :meta => {:anything => "you can think of"}
  meta :author => {:name => 'John', :surname => 'Doe'}
  description <<-EOS
    == Long description
     Example resource for rest api documentation
     These can now be accessed in <tt>shared/header</tt> with:
       Headline: <%= headline %>
       First name: <%= person.first_name %>

     If you need to find out whether a certain local variable has been
     assigned a value in a particular render call, you need to use the
     following pattern:

     <% if local_assigns.has_key? :headline %>
        Headline: <%= headline %>
     <% end %>

    Testing using <tt>defined? headline</tt> will not work. This is an
    implementation restriction.

    === Template caching

    By default, Rails will compile each template to a method in order
    to render it. When you alter a template, Rails will check the
    file's modification time and recompile it in development mode.
  EOS
end

Method Description

Then describe methods available to your API.

api

Describe how this method is exposed, and provide a short description. The first parameter is HTTP method (one of :GET/:POST/:PUT/:DELETE). The second parameter is the relative URL path which is mapped to this method. The last parameter is the methods short description. You can use this +api+ method more than once per method. It could be useful when there are more routes mapped to it.

When providing just one argument (description), or no argument at all, the paths will be loaded from the routes.rb file.

api!
Provide a short description and additional option. The last parameter is the methods short description. The paths will be loaded from routes.rb file. See Rails Routes Integration for more details.
api_versions (also api_version)
What version(s) does the action belong to. (See Versioning for details.)
param
Look at Parameter description section for details.
formats
Method level request / response formats.
error
Describe each possible error that can happen while calling this method. HTTP response code and description can be provided.
description
Full method description, which will be converted into HTML by the chosen markup language processor.
example
Provide an example of the server response; whole communication or response type. It will be formatted as code.
see
Provide reference to another method, this has to be a string with controller_name#method_name.
meta
Hash or array with custom metadata.
show
Resource is hidden from documentation when set to false (true by default)

Example:

# The simplest case: just load the paths from routes.rb
api!
def index
end

# More complex example
api :GET, "/users/:id", "Show user profile"
show false
error :code => 401, :desc => "Unauthorized"
error :code => 404, :desc => "Not Found", :meta => {:anything => "you can think of"}
param :session, String, :desc => "user is logged in", :required => true
param :regexp_param, /^[0-9]* years/, :desc => "regexp param"
param :array_param, [100, "one", "two", 1, 2], :desc => "array validator"
param :boolean_param, [true, false], :desc => "array validator with boolean"
param :proc_param, lambda { |val|
  val == "param value" ? true : "The only good value is 'param value'."
}, :desc => "proc validator"
param :param_with_metadata, String, :desc => "", :meta => [:your, :custom, :metadata]
description "method description"
formats ['json', 'jsonp', 'xml']
meta :message => "Some very important info"
example " 'user': {...} "
see "users#showme", "link description"
see :link => "users#update", :desc => "another link description"
def show
  #...
end

Parameter Description

Use param to describe every possible parameter. You can use the Hash validator in conjunction with a block given to the param method to describe nested parameters.

name
The first argument is the parameter name as a symbol.
validator
Second parameter is the parameter validator, choose one from section Validators
desc
Parameter description.
required
Set this true/false to make it required/optional. Default is optional
allow_nil
Setting this to true means that nil can be passed.
as
Used by the processing functionality to change the name of a key params.
meta
Hash or array with custom metadata.
show
Parameter is hidden from documentation when set to false (true by default)

Example:

param :user, Hash, :desc => "User info" do
  param :username, String, :desc => "Username for login", :required => true
  param :password, String, :desc => "Password for login", :required => true
  param :membership, ["standard","premium"], :desc => "User membership"
  param :admin_override, String, :desc => "Not shown in documentation", :show => false
end
def create
  #...
end

DRY with param_group

Often, params occur together in more actions. Typically, most of the params for create and update actions are shared between them.

These params can be extracted with def_param_group and param_group keywords.

The definition is looked up in the scope of the controller. If the group is defined in a different controller, it might be referenced by specifying the second argument.

Example:

# v1/users_controller.rb
def_param_group :address do
  param :street, String
  param :number, Integer
  param :zip, String
end

def_param_group :user do
  param :user, Hash do
    param :name, String, "Name of the user"
    param_group :address
  end
end

api :POST, "/users", "Create an user"
param_group :user
def create
  # ...
end

api :PUT, "/users/:id", "Update an user"
param_group :user
def update
  # ...
end

# v2/users_controller.rb
api :POST, "/users", "Create an user"
param_group :user, V1::UsersController
def create
  # ...
end

Action Aware params

In CRUD operations, this pattern occurs quite often - params that need to be set are:

  • for create action: required => true and allow_nil => false
  • for update action: required => false and allow_nil => false

This makes it hard to share the param definitions across theses actions. Therefore, you can make the description a bit smarter by setting :action_aware => true.

You can specify explicitly how the param group should be evaluated with :as option (either :create or :update)

Example

def_param_group :user do
  param :user, Hash, :action_aware => true do
    param :name, String, :required => true
    param :description, :String
  end
end

api :POST, "/users", "Create an user"
param_group :user
def create
  # ...
end

api :PUT, "/users/admin", "Create an admin"
param_group :user, :as => :create
def create_admin
  # ...
end

api :PUT, "/users/:id", "Update an user"
param_group :user
def update
  # ...
end

In this case, user[name] will be not be allowed nil for all actions and required only for create and create_admin. Params with allow_nil set explicitly don't have this value changed.

Action awareness is inherited from ancestors (in terms of nested params).

Concerns

Sometimes, the actions are not defined in the controller class directly but included from a module instead. You can load the Apipie DSL into the module by extending it with Apipie::DSL::Concern.

The module can be used in more controllers. Therefore there is a way to substitute parts of the documentation in the module with controller specific values. These substitutions can be stated explicitly with apipie_concern_subst(:key => "value") (needs to be called before the module is included to take effect). The substitutions are performed in the paths and descriptions of APIs and names and descriptions of params.

There are some default substitutions available:

:controller_path
value of controller.controller_path, e.g. api/users for Api::UsersController. Only if not using the api! keyword.
:resource_id
Apipie identifier of the resource, e.g. users for Api::UsersController or set by resource_id

Example

# users_module.rb
module UsersModule
  extend Apipie::DSL::Concern

  api :GET, '/:controller_path', 'List :resource_id'
  def index
    # ...
  end

  api! 'Show a :resource'
  def show
    # ...
  end

  api :POST, '/:resource_id', "Create a :resource"
  param :concern, Hash, :required => true
    param :name, String, 'Name of a :resource'
    param :resource_type, ['standard','vip']
  end
  def create
    # ...
  end

  api :GET, '/:resource_id/:custom_subst'
  def custom
    # ...
  end
end

# users_controller.rb
class UsersController < ApplicationController

  resource_description { resource_id 'customers' }

  apipie_concern_subst(:custom_subst => 'custom', :resource => 'customer')
  include UsersModule

  # the following paths are documented
  # api :GET, '/users'
  # api :GET, '/customers/:id', 'Show a customer'
  # api :POST, '/customers', 'Create a customer'
  #   param :customer, :required => true do
  #     param :name, String, 'Name of a customer'
  #     param :customer_type, ['standard', 'vip']
  #   end
  # api :GET, '/customers/:custom'
end

Configuration Reference

Create a configuration file in e.g. /config/initializers/apipie.rb. You can set the application name, footer text, API and documentation base URL and turn off validations. You can also choose your favorite markup language for full descriptions.

app_name
Name of your application; used in breadcrumbs navigation.
copyright
Copyright information (shown in page footer).
doc_base_url
Documentation frontend base url.
api_base_url
Base url of your API, most probably /api.
default_version
Default API version to be used (1.0 by default)
validate
Parameters validation is turned off when set to false. When set to :explicitly, you must invoke parameter validation yourself by calling controller method apipie_validations (typically in a before_filter). When set to :implicitly (or just true), your controller's action methods are wrapped with generated methods which call apipie_validations, and then call the action method. (:implicitly by default)
validate_value
Check the value of params against specified validators (true by default)
validate_presence
Check the params presence against the documentation.
validate_keys
Check the received params to ensure they are defined in the API. (false by default)
process_params
Process and extract the parameter defined from the params of the request to the api_params variable
app_info
Application long description.
reload_controllers
Set to enable/disable reloading controllers (and the documentation with it). Enabled by default in development.
api_controllers_matcher
For reloading to work properly you need to specify where your API controllers are. Can be an array if multiple paths are needed
api_routes
Set if your application uses a custom API router, different from the Rails default
routes_formatter
An object providing the translation from the Rails routes to the format usable in the documentation when using the api! keyword. By default, the Apipie::RoutesFormatter is used.
markup
You can choose markup language for descriptions of your application, resources and methods. RDoc is the default but you can choose from Apipie::Markup::Markdown.new or Apipie::Markup::Textile.new. In order to use Markdown you need Maruku gem and for Textile you need RedCloth. Add those to your gemfile and run bundle if you want to use them. You can also add any other markup language processor.
layout
Name of a layout template to use instead of Apipie's layout. You can use Apipie.include_stylesheets and Apipie.include_javascripts helpers to include Apipie's stylesheets and javascripts.
ignored
An array of controller names (strings) (might include actions as well) to be ignored when generationg the documentation e.g. %w[Api::CommentsController Api::PostsController#post]
namespaced_resources
Use controller paths instead of controller names as resource id. This prevents same named controllers overwriting each other.
authenticate
Pass a proc in order to authenticate user. Pass nil for no authentication (by default).
show_all_examples
Set this to true to set show_in_doc=1 in all recorded examples
link_extension
The extension to use for API pages ('.html' by default). Link extensions in static API docs cannot be changed from '.html'.
languages
List of languages the API documentation should be translated into. Empty by default.
default_locale
Locale used for generating documentation when no specific locale is set. Set to 'en' by default.
locale
Pass locale setter/getter
config.locale = lambda { |loc| loc ? FastGettext.set_locale(loc) : FastGettext.locale }
translate
Pass proc to translate strings using the localization library your project uses. For example see Localization

Example:

Apipie.configure do |config|
  config.app_name = "Test app"
  config.copyright = "&copy; 2012 Pavel Pokorny"
  config.doc_base_url = "/apidoc"
  config.api_base_url = "/api"
  config.validate = false
  config.markup = Apipie::Markup::Markdown.new
  config.reload_controllers = Rails.env.development?
  config.api_controllers_matcher = File.join(Rails.root, "app", "controllers", "**","*.rb")
  config.api_routes = Rails.application.routes
  config.app_info["1.0"] = "
    This is where you can inform user about your application and API
    in general.
  "
  config.authenticate = Proc.new do
     authenticate_or_request_with_http_basic do |username, password|
       username == "test" && password == "supersecretpassword"
    end
  end
end
checksum_path
Used in ChecksumInHeaders middleware (see JSON checksums for more info). It contains path prefix(es) where the header with checksum is added. If set to nil, checksum is added in headers in every response. e.g. %w[/api /apipie]
update_checksum
If set to true, the checksum is recalculated with every documentation_reload call

Rails Routes Integration

Apipie is able to load the information about the paths based on the routes defined in the Rails application, by using the api! keyword in the DSL.

It should be usable out of box, however, one might want to do some customization (such as omitting some implicit parameters in the path etc.). For this kind of customizations one can create a new formatter and pass as the Apipie.configuration.routes_formatter option, like this:

class MyFormatter < Apipie::RoutesFormatter
  def format_path(route)
    super.gsub(/\(.*?\)/, '').gsub('//','') # hide all implicit parameters
  end
end

Apipie.configure do |config|
 ...
 config.routes_formatter = MyFormatter.new
 ...
end

A similar way can be used to influence things like order, or a description of the loaded APIs, even omitting some paths if needed.

Processing

The goal is to extract and pre-process parameters of the request.

For example Rails, by default, transforms an empty array to nil value. Perhaps you want to transform it again into an empty array. Or you want to support an enumeration type (comma separated values) and you want to automatically transform this string into an array.

To use it, set the process_params configuration variable to true.

Also by using as you can separate your API parameter names from the names you are using inside your code.

To implement it, you just have to write a process_value function in your validator:

For an enumeration type:

def process_value(value)
 value ? value.split(',') : []
end

Validators

Every parameter needs to have an associated validator. For now there are some basic validators. You can always provide your own to achieve complex results.

If validations are enabled (default state) the parameters of every request are validated. If the value is wrong an +ArgumentError+ exception is raised and can be rescued and processed. It contains a description of the parameter value expectations. Validations can be turned off in the configuration file.

Parameter validation normally happens after before_filters, just before your controller method is invoked. If you prefer to control when parameter validation occurs, set the configuration parameter validate to :explicitly. You must then call the apipie_validations method yourself, e.g.:

before_filter: :apipie_validations

This is useful if you have before_filters which use parameter values: just add them after the apipie_validations before_filter.

TypeValidator

Check the parameter type. Only String, Hash and Array are supported for the sake of simplicity. Read more to find out how to add your own validator.

param :session, String, :desc => "user is logged in", :required => true
param :facts, Hash, :desc => "Additional optional facts about the user"

RegexpValidator

Check parameter value against given regular expression.

param :regexp_param, /^[0-9]* years/, :desc => "regexp param"

EnumValidator

Check if parameter value is included in the given array.

param :enum_param, [100, "one", "two", 1, 2], :desc => "enum validator"

ProcValidator

If you need more complex validation and you know you won't reuse it, you can use the Proc/lambda validator. Provide your own Proc, taking the value of the parameter as the only argument. Return true if value passes validation or return some text about what is wrong otherwise. _Don't use the keyword return if you provide an instance of Proc (with lambda it is ok), just use the last statement return property of ruby.

param :proc_param, lambda { |val|
  val == "param value" ? true : "The only good value is 'param value'."
}, :desc => "proc validator"

HashValidator

You can describe hash parameters in depth if you provide a block with a description of nested values.

param :user, Hash, :desc => "User info" do
  param :username, String, :desc => "Username for login", :required => true
  param :password, String, :desc => "Password for login", :required => true
  param :membership, ["standard","premium"], :desc => "User membership"
end

NilValidator

In fact there isn't any NilValidator, but setting it to nil can be used to override parameters described on the resource level.

param :user, nil
def destroy
  #...
end

ArrayValidator

Check if the parameter is an array

Additional options

of
Specify the type of items. If not given it accepts an array of any item type
in
Specify an array of valid item values.

Examples

Assert things is an array of any items

param :things, Array

Assert hits must be an array of integer values

param :hits, Array, of: Integer

Assert colors must be an array of valid string values

param :colors, Array, in: ["red", "green", "blue"]

The retrieving of valid items can be deferred until needed using a lambda. It is evaluated only once

param :colors, Array, in: ->  { Color.all.pluck(:name) }

NestedValidator

You can describe nested parameters in depth if you provide a block with a description of nested values.

param :comments, Array, :desc => "User comments" do
  param :name, String, :desc => "Name of the comment", :required => true
  param :comment, String, :desc => "Full comment", :required => true
end

Adding custom validator

Only basic validators are included but it is really easy to add your own. Create a new initializer with a subclass of Apipie::Validator::BaseValidator. Two methods are required to implement this - instance method validate(value) and class method build(param_description, argument, options, block).

When searching for the validator +build+ method, every subclass of Apipie::Validator::BaseValidator is called. The first one that returns the constructed validator object is used.

Example: Adding IntegerValidator

We want to check if the parameter value is an integer like this:

param :id, Integer, :desc => "Company ID"

So we create apipie_validators.rb initializer with this content:

class IntegerValidator < Apipie::Validator::BaseValidator

  def initialize(param_description, argument)
    super(param_description)
    @type = argument
  end

  def validate(value)
    return false if value.nil?
    !!(value.to_s =~ /^[-+]?[0-9]+$/)
  end

  def self.build(param_description, argument, options, block)
    if argument == Integer || argument == Fixnum
      self.new(param_description, argument)
    end
  end

  def description
    "Must be #{@type}."
  end
end

Parameters of the build method:

param_description
Instance of Apipie::ParamDescription contains all given information about the validated parameter.
argument
Specified validator; in our example it is +Integer+
options
Hash with specified options, for us just {:desc => "Company ID"}
block
Block converted into Proc, use it as you desire. In this example nil.

Versioning

Every resource/method can belong to one or more versions. The version is specified with the api_version DSL keyword. When not specified, the resource belongs to config.default_version ("1.0" by default)

resource_description do
  api_versions "1", "2"
end

api :GET, "/api/users/", "List: users"
api_version "1"
def index
  # ...
end

api :GET, "/api/users/", "List: users", :deprecated => true

In the example above we say the whole controller/resource is defined for versions "1" and "2", but we override this by explicitly saying index belongs only to version "1". Also, inheritance works (therefore we can specify the api_version for the parent controller, and all children will know about that). Routes can be flagged as deprecated, and an annotation will be added to them when viewing in the API documentation.

From the Apipie API perspective, the resources belong to the version. With versioning, there are paths like this provided by apipie:

/apipie/1/users/index
/apipie/2/users/index

When not specifying the version explicitly in the path (or in DSL), default version (Apipie.configuration.default_version) is used instead ("1.0" by default). Therefore, an application that doesn't need versioning should work as before.

The static page generator takes a version parameter (or uses default).

You can specify the versions for the examples, with the versions keyword. It specifies the versions the example is used for. When not specified, it's shown in all versions with the given method.

When referencing or quering the resource/method descripion, this format should be used: "version#resource#method". When not specified, the default version is used instead.

Markup

The default markup language is RDoc. It can be changed in the config file (config.markup=) to one of these:

Markdown
Use Apipie::Markup::Markdown.new. You need Maruku gem.
Textile
Use Apipie::Markup::Textile.new. You need RedCloth gem.

Or provide you own object with a to_html(text) method. For inspiration, this is how Textile markup usage is implemented:

class Textile
  def initialize
    require 'RedCloth'
  end
  def to_html(text)
    RedCloth.new(text).to_html
  end
end

Localization

Apipie has support for localized API documentation in both formats (JSON and HTML). Apipie uses the library I18n for localization of itself. Check config/locales directory for available translations.

A major part of strings in the documentation comes from the API. As preferences regarding localization libraries differ amongst project, Apipie needs to know how to set the locale for your project, and how to translate a string using the library your project uses. That can be done using lambdas in configuration.

Sample configuration when your project uses FastGettext

Apipie.configure do |config|
 ...
 config.languages = ['en', 'cs']
 config.default_locale = 'en'
 config.locale = lambda { |loc| loc ? FastGettext.set_locale(loc) : FastGettext.locale }
 config.translate = lambda do |str, loc|
   old_loc = FastGettext.locale
   FastGettext.set_locale(loc)
   trans = _(str)
   FastGettext.set_locale(old_loc)
   trans
 end
end

And the strings in the API documentation need to be marked with the N_() function

api :GET, "/users/:id", N_("Show user profile")
param :session, String, :desc => N_("user is logged in"), :required => true

When your project use I18n, localization related configuration could appear as follows

Apipie.configure do |config|
 ...
 config.languages = ['en', 'cs']
 config.default_locale = 'en'
 config.locale = lambda { |loc| loc ? I18n.locale = loc : I18n.locale }
 config.translate = lambda do |str, loc|
   old_loc = I18n.locale
   I18n.locale = loc
   trans = I18n.t(str)
   I18n.locale = old_loc
   trans
 end
end

And the strings in the API documentation needs to be in the form of translation keys

api :GET, "/users/:id", "show_user_profile"
param :session, String, :desc => "user_is_logged_in", :required => true

The localized versions of the documentation are distinguished by language in the filename. E.g. doc/apidoc/apidoc.cs.html is static documentation in the Czech language. If the language is missing, e.g. doc/apidoc/apidoc.html, the documentation is localized with the default_locale.

The dynamic documentation follows the same schema. The http://localhost:3000/apidoc/v1.cs.html is documentation for version '1' of the API in the Czech language. For JSON descriptions, the API applies the same format: http://localhost:3000/apidoc/v1.cs.json

Modifying Views

To modify the views of your documentation, run rails g apipie:views. This will copy the Apipie views to app/views/apipie/apipies and app/views/layouts/apipie.

Static files

To generate a static version of documentation (perhaps to put it on your project site or something), run the rake apipie:static task. It will create a set of HTML files (multi-pages, single-page, plain) in your doc directory. If you prefer a JSON version run rake apipie:static_json. By default the documentation for the default API version is used. You can specify the version with rake apipie:static[2.0]

When you want to avoid any unnecessary computation in production mode, you can generate a cache with rake apipie:cache and configure the app to use it in production with config.use_cache = Rails.env.production?

Default cache dir is File.join(Rails.root, "public", "apipie-cache"), you can change it to where you want, example: config.cache_dir = File.join(Rails.root, "doc", "apidoc").

If, for some complex cases, you need to generate/re-generate just part of the cache use rake apipie:cache cache_part=index resp. rake apipie:cache cache_part=resources To generate it for different locations for further processing use rake apipie:cache OUT=/tmp/apipie_cache.

JSON checksums

If the API client needs to be sure that the JSON didn't changed, add the ApipieChecksumInHeaders middleware in your rails app. It can add a checksum of the entire JSON document in the response headers.

"Apipie-Checksum"=>"fb81460e7f4e78d059f826624bdf9504"

Apipie bindings uses this feature to refresh its JSON cache.

To set it up add the following to your application.rb

require 'apipie/middleware/checksum_in_headers'
# Add JSON checksum in headers for smarter caching
config.middleware.use "Apipie::Middleware::ChecksumInHeaders"

And in your apipie initializer allow checksum calculation

Apipie.configuration.update_checksum = true

By default the header is added to responses for config.doc_base_url and /api. It can be changed in configuration (see Configuration Reference for details).

The checksum calculation is lazy, and done with the first request. If you run with use_cache = true, do not forget to run the rake task apipie:cache.

Tests Integration

Apipie integrates with automated testing in two ways. Documentation bootstrapping and examples recording.

Documentation Bootstrapping

Let's say you have an application without REST API documentation. However you have a set of tests that are run against this API. A lot of information is already included in these tests, it just needs to be extracted somehow. Luckily, Apipie provides such a feature.

When running the tests, set the APIPIE_RECORD=params environment variable or call Apipie.record('params') from specs starter. You can either use it with functional tests:

APIPIE_RECORD=params rake test:functionals

or you can run your server with this param, in case you run the tests against running server:

APIPIE_RECORD=params rails server

When the process quits, the data from requests/responses are used to determine the documentation. It's quite raw, but it makes the initial phase much easier.

Examples Recording

You can also use the tests to generate up-to-date examples for your code. Similar to the bootstrapping process, you can use it with functional tests or a running server, setting APIPIE_RECORD=examples or calling Apipie.record('examples') in your specs starter.

APIPIE_RECORD=examples rake test:functionals
APIPIE_RECORD=examples rails server

The data is written into doc/apipie_examples.yml. By default, only the first example is shown for each action. You can customize this by setting the show_in_doc attribute at each example.

You can add a title to the examples (useful when showing more than one example per method) by adding a 'title' attribute.

--- !omap
  - announcements#index:
    - !omap
      - title: This is a custom title for this example
      - verb: :GET
      - path: /api/blabla/1
      - versions:
        - '1.0'
      - query:
      - request_data:
      - response_data:
        ...
      - code: 200
      - show_in_doc: 1   # If 1, show. If 0, do not show.
      - recorded: true

In RSpec you can add metadata to examples. We can use that feature to mark selected examples – the ones that perform the requests that we want to show as examples in the documentation.

For example, we can add show_in_doc to examples, like this:

describe "This is the correct path" do
  it "some test", :show_in_doc do
    ....
  end
end

context "These are edge cases" do
  it "Can't authenticate" do
    ....
  end

   it "record not found" do
     ....
   end
end

And then configure RSpec in this way:

RSpec.configure do |config|
  config.treat_symbols_as_metadata_keys_with_true_values = true
  config.filter_run :show_in_doc => true if ENV['APIPIE_RECORD']
end

This way, when running in recording mode, only the tests that have been marked with the :show_in_doc metadata will be run, and hence only those will be used as examples.

Caveats

Make sure to enable config.render_views in your config/rails_helper.rb or config/spec_helper.rb if you're using jbuilder, or you will get back empty results

Bindings Generator

In earlier versions (<= 0.0.13), there was a simple client generator as a part of Apipie gem. As more features and users came to Apipie, there was a greater need for changes on a per project basis. It's hard (or even impossible) to provide a generic solution for the client code. We also don't want to tell you what's the right way to do it (what gems to use, how the API should look like etc.).

Therefore you can't generate client code directly by a rake task in further versions.

There is, however, an even better and more flexible way to reuse your API documentation for this purpose: using the API the Apipie provides in the generator code. Check out our sister project apipie-bindings, as they use exactly this approach. You also don't need to run the service, provided it uses Apipie as a backend.

And if you write one on your own, don't hesitate to share it with us!

Disqus Integration

You can setup Disqus discussion within your documentation. Just set the credentials in the Apipie configuration:

config.disqus_shortname = "MyProjectDoc"

External References

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