This project provides common APIs for applications that live on VA.gov (formerly vets.gov APIs).
See the native setup instructions if you can't use docker
To start, fetch this code:
git clone https://github.com/department-of-veterans-affairs/vets-api.git
- Install Docker for Mac. This will configure both
- Setup localhost certificates / keys:
- Create a folder in your vets-api directory:
- Copy the certificate to
- Copy the key to
- NOTE: using
touchto create blank cert and key files no longer works. If you previously added certs in this manner replace them with the team repo certificate and key listed above.
- Create a folder in your vets-api directory:
Running the app
A Makefile provides shortcuts for interacting with the docker images. To run vets-api and its redis and postgres dependencies run the following command from within the repo you cloned in the above steps.
You should then be able to navigate to http://localhost:3000/v0/status in your browser and start interacting with the API. Changes to the source in your local directory will be reflected automatically via a docker volume mount, just as they would be when running rails directly.
make spec- Run the entire test suite via the docker image (alias for
make guard- Run the guard test server that reruns your tests after files are saved. Useful for TDD!
make lint- Run the full suite of linters on the codebase.
make security- Run the suite of security scanners on the codebase.
make ci- Run all build steps performed in CI.
Running a rails interactive console
make console- Is an alias for
rails console, which runs an IRB like REPL in which all of the API's classes and environmental variables have been loaded.
Running a bash shell
To emulate a local install's workflow where you can run
directly within the vets-api docker instance you can use the
make bash command.
$ make bash Creating network "vetsapi_default" with the default driver Creating vetsapi_postgres_1 ... done Creating vetsapi_redis_1 ... done # then run any command as you would locally e.g. [email protected]:/src/vets-api# rspec spec/requests/user_request_spec.rb:26
Vets API is configured with Config. The
default configuration is contained in settings.yml. To
customize your setup, you can create a
config/settings.local.yml file with
configuration specific to your needs. For example, to configure Redis and
PostgreSQL (PostGIS is required), place something like this in that file:
database_url: postgis://pg_host:9999/custom_db redis: host: redis_host port: 9999
This is also where you will place any other customizations, such as API tokens or certificate paths.
Config settings that vary in value depending on the deployment environment will also need to be set appropriately for each environment in the relevant devops (Private Repo) configurations (dev-, staging-, and prod-settings.local.yml.j2).
Some examples of configuration that will need to be added to these files are:
- API keys/tokens
- 3rd party service hostnames, ports, and certificates/keys.
- Betamocks settings
Optional application configuration
The following features require additional configuration, click for details.
- Authentication with ID.me
- Facilities Locator
- My HealtheVet (MHV)
- Education Benefits
- Master Veteran Index (MVI)
To mock one or more of the above services see Betamocks
Vets API will still run in a limited capacity without configuring any of these features, and will run the unit tests successfully.
make up fails with a message about missing gems
Could not find SOME_GEM_v0.0.1% in any of the sources Run `bundle install` to install missing gems.
There is no need to run
bundle install on your system to resolve this.
A rebuild of the
vets_api image will update the gems. The
vets_api docker image
installs gems when the image is built, rather than mounting them into a container when
it is run. This means that any time gems are updated in the Gemfile or Gemfile.lock,
it may be necessary to rebuild the
vets_api image using the
make rebuild- Rebuild the
Authentication required for enterprise.contribsys.com
Authentication is required for enterprise.contribsys.com. Please supply credentials for this source. You can do this by running: bundle config enterprise.contribsys.com username:password ERROR: Service 'vets-api' failed to build: The command '/bin/bash --login -c bundle install -j4' returned a non-zero code: 17 make: *** [db] Error 1
Sidekiq Enterprise is used for worker rate limiting and additional reliability. Most developers can bypass the installation of Sidekiq Enterprise with
$ EXCLUDE_SIDEKIQ_ENTERPRISE=true make rebuild
Vets.gov Team Engineers should follow instructions here:
to install the enterprise license on their systems.
DO NOT commit Gemfile modifications that result from local builds without sidekiq enterprise if you do not have it enabled on your development system
vets-api upon each merge to
Each deploy is available here:
API request key formatting
When sending HTTP requests use the
X-Key-Inflection request header to specify
which case your client wants to use. Valid cases are
snake. For example if you set
X-Key-Inflection: camel then you can use
camelCase keys in your JSON request body and you will get back data with
camelCase keys in the response body. If the header is not provided then the
server will expect snake_case keys in the request body and output snake_case in
How to contribute
There are many ways to contribute to this project:
If you spot a bug, let us know! File a GitHub Issue for this project. When filing an issue add the following:
- Title: Sentence that summarizes the bug concisely
- The environment you experienced the bug (browser, browser version, kind of account any extensions enabled)
- The exact steps you took that triggered the bug. Steps 1, 2, 3, etc.
- The expected outcome
- The actual outcome (include screen shot or error logs)
- Label: Apply the label
For security related bugs unfit for public viewing, email us [email protected]
This project logs all work needed and work being actively worked on via GitHub Issues. Submissions related to these are especially appreciated, but patches and additions outside of these are also great.
If you are working on something related to an existing GitHub Issue that already has an assignee, talk with them first (we don't want to waste your time). If there is no assignee, assign yourself (if you have permissions) or post a comment stating that you're working on it.
To work on your code submission, follow GitHub Flow:
- Branch or Fork
- Commit changes
- Submit Pull Request
- Discuss via Pull Request
- Pull Request gets approved or denied by core team member
If you're from the community, it may take one to two weeks to review your pull request. Teams work in one to two week sprints, so they need time to need add it to their time line.
If you have a question or comment about this project, file a GitHub Issue with
your question in the Title, any context in the Comment, and add the