CMPD Explorers Christmas Project
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CMPD Explorers Christmas Project 2018

This application, developed by Code for Charlotte, helps automate the CMPD Explorers Christmas Project.

Getting Started

Node 8 is required. We recommend at least Node 8.9.4. We also recommend using nvm to install and use the appropriate version of Node on a per-project basis but we do have it as a devDependency to ease that burden.

You'll also need to use yarn instead of npm. Install it using npm install -g yarn from the project directory (so it gets installed for the appropriate Node version).

See Dependencies Documentation below for more information on the dependencies we use.

  • Clone from github: git clone && cd cmpd-holiday-gift
  • If using nvm, run nvm use to ensure you're using the appropriate Node version for the project.
  • Install lerna globally yarn global add lerna
  • Run yarn bootstrap to install the dependencies. This will take a few minutes and it may look like the command has locked up.
  • In the root project directory, copy env.example.js to env.js. You don't need to make any changes just yet.
  • Run yarn start-client to start the front-end in development mode. Access the application at http://localhost:3000.
  • In a separate terminal (re-run nvm use if needed) run yarn start to start the back-end in development mode. The back end runs on port 3001 and the development mode front-end server will act as a reverse proxy for it. If you get an error saying you need to install sqlite3 manually, run yarn add sqlite3.
  • Run yarn seed to generate sample data.
    • IMPORTANT: If you plan on testing authentication, run SEED_FIREBASE=true yarn seed

Read Front end development notes here.

Read Back end development notes here.

Checking out the old codebase

To access the PHP version of the project from 2016 you can run git checkout 1.3.2. It's recommended to clone a separate copy of the repository for when you need to access the original application to research and port features.


Resetting your database

When you pull changes to the database schema or sample data the application may stop working. When this occurs you need to delete the SQLite database in run/ and restart your server instance. After restarting the server be sure to seed the database using yarn run seed. You should now be good to keep going!

Build for Production

To prepare the server for production, run yarn run build.

Optionally run yarn prune --production.

Start the production-mode server with NODE_ENV=production yarn run start-server

Front-end development

Static assets are in public/. The react app is in src/.

All front-end dependencies should be added using yarn install --save-dev. They will be bundled into build/ in production mode.

Back end development

The entire backend source is in server/. The dependencies and scripts are in package.json. The logs, database and temporary test files are placed in run/.

Optionally, set up a account if you are working on emails. Put your account info in env.js (see env.example.js for an example).

Seed database: yarn seed

Run tests: yarn test-server

Why we chose Node.js over PHP:

Back End Configuration

The default configuration is stored in server/config/env.default.js.

The values can be overridden in server/env.js. See server/env.example.js for examples.

The tests ignore server/env.js and use the values from server/config/env.default.js instead.


Each file in server/models/ describes a different table.

Private Fields

The private: true property prevents a field from being output as JSON in API responses.

Encrypted Fields

The encrypt: true property causes the field to be encrypted before storing it into the database.

Tests, types and lint

Before pushing your code or sending a pull request, make sure the tests pass and let ESLint clean up your code.

  • To test the front-end: yarn run test-client
  • To test the back-end: yarn run test-server
  • To run eslint: yarn run lint.

Dependencies Documentation

The backend is an Express application running in Node. Some newer ES6 features are used.

Authentication is provided by express-jwt and node-jsonwebtoken. Passwords are encrypted using bcrypt.

Data is stored in an Sqlite database using the Sequelize ORM. Some of the fields are encrypted using sequelize-encrpyted.

Email is sent using nodemailer. Email templates are rendered with Mustache. For development, we use to test sending emails.

The frontend is written with React. It is scaffolded using create-react-app. The theme is AdminLTE, based on Bootstrap 3. To use bootstrap components, use react-bootstrap. We're using styled-components for custom styles (in place of LESS / SCSS).

Back end tests are run using Jasmine.

Coding style is enforced by eslint.

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