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README

This app fetches, caches, and displays data from the SWAPI API using Rails 5.2.1 and Webpacker 3.5.5.

See it here: https://brave-interview-swapi-api.herokuapp.com/

This was done as part of an interview at Brave. A soft 1 week goal was given, with a hard deadline of 3 weeks. I completed it in my spare time in about 1.5-2 weeks.

Build

To run on your local machine, first setup Postgres. Then download the code and run bundle install. Create your database:

rake run db:create
rake run db:migrate

Finally, run the rails server with rails s and Webpack server with ./bin/webpack-dev-server simultaneously in two seperate terminals. The website will be live on http://localhost:3000.

Quick Explanation

Server

All data can be fetched and displayed, though only the People and Films resources are cached. Search is performed through the route /search/:resource_type/:search_term.

People and Films resources are related through a Many-to-Many database model with a intermediary join table: Film Character. When a Person resource is fetched, his/her Film urls are used to find related Film records and connect them to his/her Person record. New Films are created using the film URL if necessary. This ensure the models are properly related

Currently, all other relations are stored as a string property. To further normalize and improve the resource, URLs could be broken out into a seperate table or more many-to-many models similar to Films/People.

Client

The front-end is built using Webpacker, React, React-Router, Material-UI, and Babel.

All routes other than search are redirected to React-Router, which has 2 pages: Index/Search and 404. When the user searches, React-Router updates the URL with search parameters to reflect that search (ensuring the page is shareable). When this updated URL is entered, the browser will perform a search using the necessary parameters. Clicking buttons performs a search and updates the DOM through React using the search results.

Material UI is used to provide a simple and clear design for a good user experience. Babel transpiles and ensures minification (~1.6KB in production) and improved browser compatibility.

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