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Rocket 🚀 GoDoc Build Status Coverage Status

Rocket is the management and onboarding system for UBC Launch Pad. More information can be found in the Wiki. Rocket is a Slack bot you can talk to at by messaging @rocket. It features GitHub integration, a robust command framework, and a simple interface through which plugins can easily be added.


To get started, make sure you have Golang installed and download the Rocket codebase:

$ go get
$ cd $GOPATH/src/
$ make                  # install dependencies
$ make test             # run unit tests

Additional integration tests can be run if you have postgres installed (for Mac users, an easy way is to brew install postgresql):

$ make test-integration  # runs integration tests

Make sure you mark integration tests as -short-skippable:

func TestMyIntegratedFunction(t *testing.T) {
	if testing.Short() {
		t.Skip("skipping integration test")
	// ...

Creating Your Own Rocket Plugin

Features can easily be added to Rocket through Rocket's plugin framework. A Rocket Plugin is simply any type that implements the Plugin interface:

// Plugin is any type that exposes Slack commands and event handlers, and can
// be started.
type Plugin interface {
	// Starts the plugin or returns an error if one occurred.
	// Use this as an opportnity to start background goroutines or do any other
	// additional setup for your plugin.
	Start() error
	// Returns a slice of commands that the plugin handles.
	Commands() []*cmd.Command
	// Returns a mapping from event type to a event handler.
	// See for event types.
	EventHandlers() map[string]bot.EventHandler

The prime example of a plugin is Rocket's Core plugin which provides basic Launch Pad administration commands for managing teams and users on both Slack and GitHub. An even simpler plugin example is the welcome plugin that welcomes users when they join our Slack workspace:

// Start starts the welcome plugin.
func (wp *Plugin) Start() error { return nil }

// Commands returns an empty list of commands, because this plugin has no commands.
func (wp *Plugin) Commands() []*cmd.Command { return []*cmd.Command{} }

// EventHandlers returns a map from event type to event handler.
func (wp *Plugin) EventHandlers() map[string]bot.EventHandler {
	return map[string]bot.EventHandler{"team_join": wp.handleTeamJoin}

You can use the Start method of your plugin to start any background tasks you need to. Any Commands and EventHandlers you expose to Rocket in your implementation of the Plugin interface will be automatically registered with the Bot. See the Slack's API Event Types for a list of events and their names if you implement your own EventHandlers for your plugin.

To add your plugin to Rocket, just make a new package for your plugin at the same level as the core package (within the plugins directory), create your type that implements the Plugin interface, and register your plugin in plugin.RegisterPlugins. Once you are done, open up a pull request! 🎉


Slack Bot

The Bot holds references to structures that we use to communicate with our external dependencies (Slack, GitHub, and Postgres). It also contains logic for handling Slack messages. The commands property maps from command name to command handler.


The command framework can be found in cmd. It defines a set of data structures and functions for parsing, validating, and automatically documenting Rocket commands. All commands are defined in the bot package.


A Rocket plugin is intended to be a standalone component of Rocket. Rocket's core Slack functionality is implemented as a plugin in package core.


server.go defines some handlers for HTTP requests. Our website will make requests to /api/teams and /api/members to display information about our teams and members. Note that content is served over HTTPS using acme/autocert to get TLS certificates from LetsEncrypt.


We use the go-pg for querying our Postgres database from Rocket. The dal package provides an interface to querying our database. The model package holds all our data structures that are used by the dal package in our queries.

The database schema is defined in tables.go.


This section is for reference or for when moving Rocket to a new server. On the current Google Cloud server, Docker is already setup.

We use Docker and docker-compose to run Rocket and the Postgres database that it relies on. In order for Rocket to access the database the rocket container (called "rocket" in docker-compose.yml) needs to be running on the same Docker network as the Postgres container (called "postgres" in docker-compose.yml). Starting both containers with docker-compose up will create a Docker container network called rocket_default. Once this is done Rocket will be able to access the DB with the host name postgres.

Before deploying, you will have to create two config files using the templates provided in .app.env.example and .db.env.exmaple. Copy these files and add the relevant values to them. Here are the recommended settings with passwords an security tokens omitted:

App Environment Variables

  • ROCKET_HOST: should essentially always be (bind on all interfaces)
  • ROCKET_PORT: can be any unreserved port, as long as it is mapped from the container to the host properly in your docker-compose.yml under ports for the rocket service (it's assumed to be port 80 in docker-compose.yml)
  • ROCKET_SLACKTOKEN: get this from Slack
  • ROCKET_GITHUBTOKEN: get this from Github
  • ROCKET_POSTGRESUSER: can be anything, but rocket is the most sensical choice.
  • ROCKET_POSTGRESPASS: pick a secure password and make sure it matches POSTGRES_PASSWORD in the DB env file
  • ROCKET_POSTGRESDATABASE: the name of the database to create - it can be anything, but again rocket is the most sensical choice

DB Environment Variables

  • POSTGRES_USER: username for the Postgres DB, make sure this matches ROCKET_POSTGRESUSER
  • POSTGRES_PASSWORD: anything secure, make sure this matches ROCKET_POSTGRESPASS
  • POSTGRES_DB: the name of the DB to create, but rocket is the most sensical choice - make sure this matches ROCKET_POSTGRESDATABASE

These variables are propagated to their respective Docker containers when you do docker-compose up via the env_file property, so make sure env_file for the rocket service points to your app environment variables file, and env_file for the postgres service points to your DB environment variables file. Our docker-compose.yml points to .app.env.example and .db.env.example by default. Note that data is mounted into the Postgres container from a directory called pgdata in the rocket directory. The first time you do docker-compose up this directory will be created for you, the rest of the time it will be re-used. This was if the DB container goes down your data is still on the host machine in the pgdata directory.

Database Setup

If you're starting the database for the first time you'll need to execute the script defining Rocket's schemas in schema/tables.sql:

# Copy tables.sql into the /tmp folder in the Postgres container
$ docker cp schema/tables.sql <Postgres container ID>:/tmp/
# Run a shell in the Postgres container
$ docker-compose exec postgres bash
# Execute the SQL script against the database
# Exit the container
$ exit

Note that all the data stored in the DB is mounted into the Postgres container from a directory called pgdata in the root folder of this project. This means you can kill the Postgres container and bring it up again and none of your data will be lost.


If you're updating the DB schema because you want to store a new resource or update an existing one: you'll need to create a migration script under schema/migrations and run it against the DB the same way you would run schema.sql. Don't forget to update schema.sql to include any changes you apply in your migrations.


🚀 Slack bot, team management, and onboarding system for UBC Launch Pad - superseded by Rocket2:







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