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Nexmo Developer

Build Status MIT licensed

This repository is the code and content for, which includes the Nexmo documentation, API reference, SDKs, Tools & Community content. To get a Nexmo account, sign up for free at

Testing · Running Locally · Admin Dashboard · Troubleshooting · Contributing · License


We use rspec to test Nexmo Developer.

To run all tests:

bundle exec rspec

To generate code coverage, set the COVERAGE environment variable when running the tests.

COVERAGE=1 bundle exec rspec

This will create a folder named coverage. Open index.html in this folder to view coverage statistics.

Spell Checking

We write the docs in US English and enforce this at build time with a CI check. You can run the check locally using the following command:

./node_modules/.bin/mdspell -r -n -a --en-us '_documentation/en/**/*.md' '_partials/*.md' '_partials/**/*.md' '_modals/**/*.md' '_tutorials/**.md'

If there is a word that isn't in the dictionary but is correct to use, add it to the .spelling file (there's a lot of exceptions in there, including Nexmo!)

Running locally

The project can be run on your laptop, either directly or using Docker. These instructions have been tested for Mac.

Setup for running directly on your laptop

Before you start, you need to make sure that you have:

System Setup (OSX)

Install Homebrew

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Install required packages, create database and configure git.

Note: A default database is created for you when you run the db:setup script. If you'd like to create and use a different database or user, use createdb database_name_here or createuser username_here and make sure your .env file is updated accordingly (See .env.example).

brew install postgres rbenv git yarn nvm redis
brew services start postgresql
brew services start redis

git config --global "NAME"
git config --global ""

Generate an SSH key for authentication

ssh-keygen -t rsa
cat .ssh/ # Add to Github

Clone NDP to your local machine

git clone
cd nexmo-developer
cp .env.example .env

Add to ~/.bash_profile (or equivalent file on your system):

eval "$(rbenv init -)"
export NVM_DIR="$HOME/.nvm"
. "/usr/local/opt/nvm/"

Install the correct versions of ruby and node

rbenv install 2.5.7
rbenv global 2.5.7
gem install bundle
bundle install
nvm install 12
nvm use 12

yarn install

Edit the .env file as appropriate for your platform. Then, run the following:

Install project dependencies, run database migrations and start the server

bundle install
bin/rails db:setup
bin/yarn install
bin/rails s

You should now be able to see the site on http://localhost:3000/

Setting up with Docker

If you don't want to install Ruby & PostgreSQL then you can use docker to sandbox Nexmo Developer into its own containers. After you Install Docker run the following:

$ git clone
$ cd nexmo-developer
$ cp .env.example .env

Edit the .env file as appropriate for your platform. Then, start the web server with this command:

$ docker-compose up

At this point, open your browser to http://localhost:3000/ ... and wait (it takes about 30 seconds for the first load).

To stop the server cleanly run:

$ docker-compose down

Admin dashboard

You can access the admin dashboard by visiting /admin. If you've populated data via rake db:seed you will have an admin user with the username of and password of development.

The following is an example if you are running Nexmo Developer within a Docker container:

docker exec -it <container_id> rake db:seed

New admin users can be created by visiting /admin/users or by accessing the rails console and creating a new User like so:

User.create!(email: '', password: 'password', admin: true)

Working with submodules

Some of the contents of NDP are brought in via git submodules, such as the Open API Specification (OAS) documents. A submodule is a separate repository used within the main repository (in this case NDP) as a dependency. The main repository holds information about the location of the remote repository and which commit to reference. So to make a change within a submodule, you need to commit to the submodule and the main repository and crucially remember to push both sets of changes to GitHub.

Here are some tips for working with submodules:

When cloning the repo or starting to work with submodules

git submodule init
git submodule update

When pulling in changes to a branch e.g. updating master

git pull
git submodule update

When making changes inside the submodule within NDP

Make sure you are inside the directory that is a submodule.

  • make your changes
  • commit your changes
  • push your changes from here (this is the bit that normally trips us up)
  • open a pull request on the submodule's repository - we can't open the PR on the main repo until this is merged

You are not done, keep reading! A second pull request is needed to update the main repo, including any other changes to that repo and an update to the submodule pointing to the new (merged) commit to use.

  • open your PR for this change including any changes to the main project (so we don't lose it) but label it "don't merge" and add the URL of the submodule PR we're waiting for
  • once the submodule has the change you need on its master branch, change into the subdirectory and git pull
  • change directory back up to the root of the project
  • commit the submodules changes
  • push these changes too
  • Now we can review your PR

Bringing submodule changes into NDP

If you made changes on the repo outside of NDP, then you will need to come and make a commit on NDP to update which commit in the submodule the NDP repository is pointing to.

Make a branch, change into the submodule directory and git pull or do whatever you need to do to get HEAD pointing to the correct commit. In the top level of the project, add the change to the submodules file and commit and push. Then open the pull request as you would with any other changes.

Further advice and resources for successful submodule usage

Never git add . this is lazy practice anyway but will make bad things happen with submodules. Try git add -p instead. You're welcome.

If you're not sure what to do, ask for help. It's easier to lend a hand along the way than to rescue it later!

Git docs for submodules:

A flow chart on surviving submodules from @lornajane:


I'm having issues with my Docker container

The image may have changed, try rebuilding it with the following command:

$ docker-compose up --build

I get an exception PG::ConnectionBad - could not connect to server: Connection refused when I try to run the app.

This error indicates that PostgreSQL is not running. If you installed PostgreSQL using brew you can get information about how to start it by running:

$ brew info postgresql

Once PostgreSQL is running you'll need to create and migrate the database. See Setup for instructions.

Upgrading Volta

Volta is the Vonage design system, and is used to style Nexmo Developer. To upgrade the version of Volta used:

  • Clone Volta on to your local machine
  • Remove the app/assets/volta/scss folder in Nexmo Developer
  • Copy the scss folder from the Volta repo in to app/assets/volta
  • Commit and push. Rails will take care of compilation etc


We ❤️ contributions from everyone! It is a good idea to talk to us first if you plan to add any new functionality. Otherwise, bug reports, bug fixes and feedback on the library is always appreciated. Look at the Contributor Guidelines for more information and please follow the GitHub Flow.

contributions welcome GitHub contributors


This library is released under the MIT License

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