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Dockerized development

You can setup your local environment following different approaches.

Approach #1: without Verboice nor Nuntium

If you don't need to connect to Verboice nor Nuntium, you can move forward with this setup.

  1. You need to use dockerdev to access the web app at and ngrok at Just follow the project's readme. WARNING: You should install dockerdev before creating your stack's network in Docker. If you have already run ./, you may want to run docker compose down -v to delete every container, data and other artifacts from the project and start from scratch after running dockerdev.
  2. Clone this repository.
  3. In the project's root, execute ./
  4. Start the app with docker compose up.
  5. Once the app is up and running, you can visit from your browser.
  6. You will be able to Create an Account and Login with a built-in authentication. However, you might fail to receive the needed emails that are sent during this flow. You can check the CLI console where you'll be able to see logs with the email content, including the links that you need to complete the workflow.

If needed, you can change the authentication mechanism to Guisso. This will take your local app 1 step closer to similarity with the production environment. The section "Guisso" in this document, explains how to achieve this.

Approach #2: with Verboice and Nuntium

Here we have 2 options regarding the connection of your local Surveda with Verboice and Nuntium:

  1. You can install and setup Verboice and Nuntium locally on your computer.

  2. You can use Verboice and Nuntium from the cloud in the Staging environment.

Both guides include setting up Guisso, so you can skip the following GUISSO section.

Useful commands

We can open a shell in a service. For example the app service:

$ docker compose exec app bash

or the db service:

$ docker compose exec db bash

For a list of all available services, we can run:

$ docker compose ps --services

Also we can run Interactive Elixir like this:

$ docker compose exec app iex

And if we want to start an Interactive Elixir in the context of our running Phoenix app:

$ docker compose exec app iex -S mix


We can run a one-time command to execute all the backend tests:

$ docker compose run --rm app mix test

For the client side, we can open a terminal:

$ docker compose run --rm webpack bash

and then we can run all JavaScript tests:

$ yarn test

we can also check JavaScript types with Flow:

$ yarn flow

and finally run a static analysis/style guide with ESLint:

$ yarn eslint


Ngrok is a service that exposes local servers over secure channels. From a Dev perspective, it's very useful avoiding the need of having Guisso, Verboice and Nuntium running locally. That could be inconvenient for the daily work. The docker-compose.yml has instructions to get the service working. You'll need to have an account and get your auth token to use the service.


You need GUISSO to access Verboice and/or Nuntium channels.

Get a working GUISSO instance (online, or hosted on your development machine) and create a new Application. If it's a local Guisso instance, use as the domain, and this two redirect URIs:

To work with a cloud GUISSO, make sure your ngrok service is running (docker compose up ngrok), and get your ngrok domain visiting Fill the Application information as for the local case, but using the ngrok domain instead. When you restart your ngrok service, you will need to update this information before approving new authorizations in GUISSO.

On your local surveda directory, create a config/local.exs file like below, including the client ID & secret from your Application in GUISSO:

use Mix.Config

config :alto_guisso,
  enabled: true,
  base_url: "", # or for a cloud GUISSO
  client_id: "<your app's client id in guisso>",
  client_secret: "<your app's client secret in guisso>",

config :ask, AskWeb.Endpoint,
  url: [host: ""] # or "" for a cloud GUISSO

IVR channels with Verboice

To setup a channel you need to create it using the console. For that you need to create a channel with the folowing settings:

%Ask.Channel{name: "Channel name",
  provider: "verboice",
  settings: %{
    "channel" => "Verboice Channel name in Verboice",
    "username" => "Your Verboice username",
    "password" => "Your Verboice password",
    "url" => ""
  type: "ivr",
  user_id: your ask user id

In order for it to work, that Verboice channel must be associated to a dummy flow of a dummy Verboice project. Otherwise it will fail and won't log anything.

Verboice Channel

Once you have GUISSO enabled on Surveda, you can connect a Verboice instance that's already registered with GUISSO by adding this fragment to your config/local.exs:

config :ask, Verboice,
  base_url: "", # or the URL for your Verboice instance
  channel_ui: true,
  base_callback_url: "", # specify the base URL to use on channel callbacks if it's not the same as the host
  guisso: [
    base_url: "", # or the URL for your GUISSO
    client_id: "<Surveda's client id>",
    client_secret: "<Surveda's client secret>",
    app_id: "" # or your Verboice APP ID in GUISSO



We're using Coherence to support registration, authorization, and other user management flows. If you need to upgrade the version of Coherence that Ask uses, there are some steps that you need to mind. Please check them out here:

Coherence Mails

Coherence uses Swoosh as it's mailer lib. In development, we use Swoosh's local adapter, which mounts a mini email client that displays sent emails at {BASE_URL}/dev/mailbox. That comes handy to test flows which depend on email without having to send them in development.


Surveda supports Intercom as its CRM platform. To load the Intercom chat widget, simply start Surveda with the env variable INTERCOM_APP_ID set to your Intercom app id (

Surveda will forward any conversation with a logged user identifying them through their email address. Anonymous, unlogged users will also be able to communicate.

If you don't want to use Intercom, you can simply omit INTERCOM_APP_ID or set it to ''.

To test the feature in development, add the INTERCOM_APP_ID variable and its value to the environment object inside the app service in docker-compose.yml.

InSTEDD's url shortener

Surveda uses InSTEDD's shorter for sending urls to respondents when web-mobile mode is used.

Is necessary to configure an api-key in surveda to use this service. If no api-key is provided, surveda works fine but full-urls are sent to respondents

For editing/creating a new api-key:

  1. Go to AWS console
  2. Go to API Gateway service
  3. Select Usage-Plans
  4. Select "Surveda Shorter" plan
  5. Edit or create under "API Keys" tab

Screen resolutions

The minimum supported screen resolution is 1366x768. Mobile devices and screen resolutions less than 1366x768 are not supported.

Linting and Formatting

To help us keep a consistent coding style, we're using StandardJS. Follow their instructions to install it:

If you're using Sublime, you can setup a Build System that will use StandardJS to format your code when you hit Ctrl+B. To do so:

  1. In Sublime, go to Tools -> Build System -> New Build System...
  2. A file will open, replace its contents with:
  "cmd": ["standard", "--fix", "$file"],
  "selector": "source.js"
  1. Save. That's it. When you want to format, just hit Ctrl+B. Note that the formatter is a bit slow, so it's not a good idea to format on save.