Laravel API Documentation Generator
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README.md

Laravel API Documentation Generator

Automatically generate your API documentation from your existing Laravel routes. Take a look at the example documentation.

php artisan api:gen --routePrefix="settings/api/*"

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Installation

Require this package with composer using the following command:

$ composer require mpociot/laravel-apidoc-generator

Go to your config/app.php and add the service provider:

Mpociot\ApiDoc\ApiDocGeneratorServiceProvider::class,

Usage

To generate your API documentation, use the api:generate artisan command.

$ php artisan api:generate --routePrefix="api/v1/*"

This command will scan your applications routes for the URIs matching api/v1/* and will parse these controller methods and form requests. For example:

// API Group Routes
Route::group(array('prefix' => 'api/v1', 'middleware' => []), function () {
    // Custom route added to standard Resource
    Route::get('example/foo', 'ExampleController@foo');
    // Standard Resource route
    Route::resource('example', 'ExampleController'));
});

Available command options:

Option Description
output  The output path used for the generated documentation. Default: public/docs
routePrefix The route prefix to use for generation - * can be used as a wildcard
routes The route names to use for generation - Required if no routePrefix is provided
middleware The middlewares to use for generation
noResponseCalls Disable API response calls
noPostmanCollection Disable Postman collection creation
useMiddlewares Use all configured route middlewares (Needed for Laravel 5.3 SubstituteBindings middleware)
actAsUserId The user ID to use for authenticated API response calls
router The router to use, when processing the route files (can be Laravel or Dingo - defaults to Laravel)
bindings List of route bindings that should be replaced when trying to retrieve route results. Syntax format: binding_one,id|binding_two,id
force Force the re-generation of existing/modified API routes
header Custom HTTP headers to add to the example requests. Separate the header name and value with ":". For example: --header 'Authorization: CustomToken'

Publish rule descriptions for customisation or translation.

By default, this package returns the descriptions in english. You can publish the packages language files, to customise and translate the documentation output.

 $ php artisan vendor:publish

After the files are published you can customise or translate the descriptions in the language you want by renaming the en folder and editing the files in public/vendor/apidoc/resources/lang.

How does it work?

This package uses these resources to generate the API documentation:

Controller doc block

This package uses the HTTP controller doc blocks to create a table of contents and show descriptions for your API methods.

Using @resource in a doc block prior to each controller is useful as it creates a Group within the API documentation for all methods defined in that controller (rather than listing every method in a single list for all your controllers), but using @resource is not required. The short description after the @resource should be unique to allow anchor tags to navigate to this section. A longer description can be included below.

Above each method within the controller you wish to include in your API documentation you should have a doc block. This should include a unique short description as the first entry. An optional second entry can be added with further information. Both descriptions will appear in the API documentation in a different format as shown below.

/**
 * @resource Example
 *
 * Longer description
 */
class ExampleController extends Controller {

    /**
     * This is the short description [and should be unique as anchor tags link to this in navigation menu]
     *
     * This can be an optional longer description of your API call, used within the documentation.
     *
     */
     public function foo(){

     }

Result:

Doc block result

Form request validation rules

To display a list of valid parameters, your API methods accepts, this package uses Laravels Form Requests Validation.

public function rules()
{
    return [
        'title' => 'required|max:255',
        'body' => 'required',
        'type' => 'in:foo,bar',
        'thumbnail' => 'required_if:type,foo|image',
    ];
}

Result: Form Request

API responses

If your API route accepts a GET method, this package tries to call the API route with all middleware disabled to fetch an example API response.

If your API needs an authenticated user, you can use the actAsUserId option to specify a user ID that will be used for making these API calls:

$ php artisan api:generate --routePrefix="api/*" --actAsUserId=1

If you don't want to automatically perform API response calls, use the noResponseCalls option.

$ php artisan api:generate --routePrefix="api/*" --noResponseCalls

Note: The example API responses work best with seeded data.

Postman collections

The generator automatically creates a Postman collection file, which you can import to use within your Postman App for even simpler API testing and usage.

If you don't want to create a Postman collection, use the --noPostmanCollection option, when generating the API documentation.

As of as of Laravel 5.3, the default base URL added to the Postman collection will be that found in your Laravel config/app.php file. This will likely be http://localhost. If you wish to change this setting you can directly update the url or link this config value to your environment file to make it more flexible (as shown below):

'url' => env('APP_URL', 'http://yourappdefault.app'),

If you are referring to the environment setting as shown above, then you should ensure that you have updated your .env file to set the APP_URL value as appropriate. Otherwise the default value (http://yourappdefault.app) will be used in your Postman collection. Example environment value:

APP_URL=http://yourapp.app

Modify the generated documentation

If you want to modify the content of your generated documentation, go ahead and edit the generated index.md file. The default location of this file is: public/docs/source/index.md.

After editing the markdown file, use the api:update command to rebuild your documentation as a static HTML file.

$ php artisan api:update

As an optional parameter, you can use --location to tell the update command where your documentation can be found.

Skip single routes

If you want to skip a single route from a list of routes that match a given prefix, you can use the @hideFromAPIDocumentation tag on the Controller method you do not want to document.

Further modification

This package uses Documentarian to generate the API documentation. If you want to modify the CSS files of your documentation, or simply want to learn more about what is possible, take a look at the Documentarian guide.

License

The Laravel API Documentation Generator is free software licensed under the MIT license.