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The Money Advice Service's responsive website.



Clone the repository:

$ git clone --recursive

Install Mysql 5.7

$ brew install mysql@5.7
$ brew link mysql@5.7 --force

Make sure MySQL is running.

$ brew services start mysql@5.7

Install Bower

npm install -g bower

Make sure all dependencies are available to the application:

$ bundle install
$ bowndler install

Make sure to copy the .env-example file:

cp .env-example .env

Setup the database:

bundle exec rake db:create && bundle exec rake db:schema:load


To start the application:

$ foreman s

The site makes a lot of requests to the CMS application. If you are not developing anything that integrates with CMS, you can enable the application cache in development mode by running:

DEV_CACHE=true rails s -p 5000

Or alternatively you can add DEV_CACHE=true to your .env file.

Change CMS URL Path

In development, frontend will use the local CMS for convenience. See CMS repository README for instructions on setting up a local CMS instance.

You can change the MAS_CMS_URL on .env file. Use for testing, or http://localhost:PORT to point to a local running CMS.

Don't forget to restart the server after the modification.

Development setup gotchas

Contento 404 error

Unable to fetch Footer JSON from Contento error: [#<Core::Connection::Http::ResourceNotFound: the server responded with status 404>] url_prefix: [#<URI::HTTP http://localhost:3000/>]

The CMS is setup but the database is empty. A solution is to copy the QA CMS database into the CMS, as detailed in the CMS repository README.

Problems loading Dough or Yeast

Assuming you have run bowndler install, you may have issues with previous bower installations.

rm -rf vendor/assets/bower_components
rm bower.json
bowndler install


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Keep your feature branch focused and short lived
  4. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  5. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  6. Create new Pull Request

Feature Development

We like to develop features from the outside in. We write our user stories in a declarative style. When contributing a feature:

  1. Create a new feature file in features.
  2. Write scenarios to exercise the scope of the feature in it's entirety.
  3. Create page objects in features/support/ui and expose them to the world in features/support/world/pages.rb.
  4. Start with a failing scenario then make it pass.
  5. Write unit tests for the objects you identify for your feature.
  6. Start with a failing unit test then make it pass.
  7. Keep your unit tests isolated.
  8. Test the Routing, Models, Controllers, Decorators, Helpers and JavaScript of your feature.
  9. Test your features against the mock API and record interactions with VCR.


The application is backed by a RESTful JSON API. This is described for humans as a blueprint file using the API Blueprint Language Specification. Changes you make to the blueprint file will be automatically reflected in the online API documentation and mock API.


The application includes an internal styleguide for contributors. It contains a living CSS styleguide, JavaScript styleguide and some recommendations on how to write Ruby code. As a contributor you should update the styleguide as you update the application. The CSS styleguide is powered by KSS, a documenting syntax for CSS.

### Writing front-end code

There are a number of documents to help everyone write maintainble, performant and readible HTML, CSS and Javascript.

We recommend having a flick through these when working on new features:

Front-end Package Management

The application uses Bower to manage front-end packages. Dependencies should be defined in the bower.json configuration file. Once installed they will be automatically available to the asset pipeline.

Consuming the front-end without having to manually import dependencies

We have a couple of projects that live outside of this website, but benefit from having the generated HTML and CSS. I.e. they don't need to manually import Dough, Yeast, and MAS Dough Theme, etc.

Useful if you're an agency and want to get up and running quickly, we render both English and Welsh versions of our 'empty' template. This can then be pulled in via curl or good old view-source and copying & pasting.

There are minor differences to the header and footer in the empty template, to enable the HTML to run in a static fashion. For example, we remove the authentication links in the header as they require knowledge about the user's sessions – which can't easily be shared across multiple sites, domains, etc.

This is done via a hide_elements_irrelevant_for_third_parties? flag in the views.

Projects such as RAD keep this stored in their repo, and have a simple CSS file that overrides or adds the bits they want.



We use Draper for decorators. Decorators help us to keep logic out of our views, avoid procedural helpers and ensure our models are free of any presentational concerns.

Running Karma javascript tests

Run the following in the command line.

RAILS_ENV=development bundle exec rake karma:install karma:run_once

Deploy to staging and production

Today the current process occurs in GO. You need to change the build number here:

Make sure before you changed and open a PR to run the follow script and paste on the PR description:

./bin/mas-version-diff 1869 1870

Obs.: 1869 and 1870 is just an example of versions to be shown. Use the GO build number in ascending order.


The Money Advice Service's improved website.




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