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README.rst

API Documentation Tool

https://secure.travis-ci.org/Pajk/apipie-rails.png?branch=master

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

  • no need to learn yet another syntax, you already know Ruby, right?
  • possibility reuse the doc for other purposes (such as validation)
  • easier to extend and maintain (no string parsing involved)
  • possibility to use other sources for documentation purposes (such as routes etc.)

The documentation is available right in your app (by default under /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 form of 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 it's further processing, you can use http://localhost:3000/apipie.json.

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

Screenshots

https://img.skitch.com/20120428-nruk3e87xs2cu4ydsjujdh11fq.pnghttps://img.skitch.com/20120428-bni2cmq5cyhjuw1jkd78e3qjxn.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 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 will the resource 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 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 what 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 per_version basis.

Example:

resource_description do
  short 'Site members'
  path '/users'
  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 %>"
  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
Say how is this method exposed and provide short description. The first parameter is HTTP method (one of :GET/:POST/:PUT/:DELETE). The second parameter is relative URL path which is mapped to this method. The last parameter is methods short description. You can use this +api+ method more than once for one method. It could be useful when there are more routes mapped to it.
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 what calling this method. HTTP response code and description can be provided.
description
Full method description which will be converted to HTML by chosen markup language processor.
example
Provide example of server response, whole communication or response type. It will be formatted as code.
see
Provide reference to another method, this has to be string with controller_name#method_name.

Example:

api :GET, "/users/:id", "Show user profile"
error :code => 401, :desc => "Unauthorized"
error :code => 404, :desc => "Not Found"
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"
description "method description"
formats ['json', 'jsonp', 'xml']
example " 'user': {...} "
see "users#showme"
def show
  #...
end

Parameter Description

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

name
The first argument is parameter name as a symbol.
validator
Second parameter is 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
Set true is nil can be passed for this param.

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"
end
def create
  #...
end

Configuration Reference

Create configuration file in e.g. /config/initializers/apipie.rb. You can set application name, footer text, API and documentation base URL and turn off validations. You can also choose your favorite markup language of 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.
app_info
Application long description.
reload_controllers
Set to enable/disable reloading controllers (and the documentation with it), by default enabled in development.
api_controllers_matcher
For reloading to work properly you need to specify where your API controllers are.
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 Redcarpet 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]

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 = true
  config.api_controllers_matcher = File.join(Rails.root, "app", "controllers", "**","*.rb")
  config.app_info = "
    This is where you can inform user about your application and API
    in general.
  ", '1.0'
end

Validators

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

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

TypeValidator

Check the parameter type. Only String, Hash and Array are supported for the sake of simplicity. Read more to 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"

ArrayValidator

Check if parameter value is included given array.

param :array_param, [100, "one", "two", 1, 2], :desc => "array validator"

ProcValidator

If you need more complex validation and you know you won't reuse it you can use Proc/lambda validator. Provide your own Proc taking value of parameter as the only argument. Return true if value pass validation or return some text about what is wrong. _Don't use the keyword return if you provide 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 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 is any NilValidator but setting it to nil can be used to override parameters described on resource level.

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

Adding custom validator

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

When searching for validator +build+ method of every subclass of Apipie::Validator::BaseValidator is called. The first one whitch return constructed validator object is used.

Example: Adding IntegerValidator

We want to check if 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 informations about 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 belong to config.default_version ("1.0" by default)

resource_description do
  api_versions "1", "2"
end

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

In the example above we say the whole controller/resource is defined for versions "1" and "2", but we override this with 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).

From the Apipie API perspective, the resources belong to 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, the application that doesn't need versioning should work as before.

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

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

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

Markup

The default markup language is RDoc. It can be changed in 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 to_html(text) method. For inspiration this is how Textile look like:

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

Static files

To generate static version of documentation (perhaps to put it on project site or something) run rake apipie:static task. It will create set of html files (multi-pages, single-page, plain) in your doc directory. By default the documentation for 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?

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 this 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. 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. Similarly to the bootstrapping, you can use it with functional tests or a running server, setting APIPIE_RECORD=examples

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

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

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, more and more there was a need for changes on 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 rigth way to do it (what gems to use, how the API should look like etc.).

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

There is, however, even better and more flexible way to reuse your API documentation for this purpose: using the API the Apipie provides in the generator code. You can inspire by Foreman API bindings that 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 get a Disqus discussion for the right into your documentation. Just set the credentials in Apipie configuration:

config.disqus_shortname = "MyProjectDoc"

External References

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