There comes a time when you need to add an API to your little Startup. Either to let your iOS or Android app communicate with your page and/or to please your users. Luckily it's very easy in Rails to create a nice API with a beautifull documentation like this:
On that screenshot you are seeing Swagger. A little collection of HTML and Javscript to create a beautifull and interactive API documentation. If you combine that with Grape, a micro framework for REST-like APIS, you can start writing your API within minutes.
The first step for this is to add the following gems to your
gem 'grape', '~> 0.6.1' gem 'grape-entity', '~> 0.4.0' gem 'rack-contrib', '~> 1.1.0' gem 'grape-swagger', '~> 0.7.2' gem 'grape-swagger-rails', '~> 0.0.8'
grape and the
grape-entity gems are the API DSL, the
rack-contrib is used to be able to
use JSONP callbacks, the
grape-swagger creates the
Swagger description file and
grape-swagger-rails embeds Swagger into your app.
Now you need to configure where the Swagger UI can find your API description file. For this add
config/initializers/grape_swagger_rails.rb and add the following code to it:
GrapeSwaggerRails.options.url = "/api/swagger_doc.json" GrapeSwaggerRails.options.app_name = 'Example' GrapeSwaggerRails.options.app_url = '/'
Now you need to wire your API into the routes of your app. Add the following Files to the
routes.rb of your Rails project:
# API+API Documentation mount API::Base => '/api' mount GrapeSwaggerRails::Engine => '/apidoc'
This adds the API into
/api and the documentation to
The only thing missing now is the actual API. For example something like this:
module API class Base < Grape::API default_format :json # Separate the api into smaller # modules like this mount API::HighScores => '/high_scores' # Adds the swagger documentation to your # api. You only need this once, not in # every sub module add_swagger_documentation( base_path: "/api", hide_documentation_path: true ) end end
I created a little project as a starting point for your experiments with this setup.
Grape is a very powerful API framework and should have everything you need from an API. There are tons of plugins for caching, Hypermedia style APIs and much more. The very extensive documentation is a good start to get into it.