DEV Community

loading...
Cover image for rails new API with PostgreSQL w/rails g resource

rails new API with PostgreSQL w/rails g resource

gamil91 profile image Alexa Gamil Updated on ・3 min read

At the beginning of my Flatiron journey, we were writing in Ruby. We were taught about models and associations. Soon enough we were learning the magic of Rails. I think the best part was learning how to use all of that and be able to create my own API.

My first take-home challenge is to make an API. I decided to leave this here to remember the exact syntax when I create a new one in the future. In this example, we’re going to create a Books API

Open your terminal :

Create a directory(folder)

mkdir book-app
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

mkdir command is used to make a new directory. It is followed by whatever you want to name that directory.

Change directory

cd book-app
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Create API with PostgreSQL

rails new books-api --api --database=postgresql
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

rails new : creates a new Rails application
books-api : is whatever you want to name your Rails application
--api : this is the api flag. We use this flag to create a lightweight version of a Rails application. Since this project will only be used as an API, this will leave out modules that are used for a browser application.
--database=postgresql : this flag tells our Rails application which database we are using

Change directory to your Rails API

cd books-api
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

And type code . to open that project in your code editor

This is a good time to create a new repository in your GitHub if you haven't already :)


Bonus
I'm going to create 3 models. Author, Book, and Like.
The relationship will be the following :

Looking at this diagram, you may spot a problem already. After creating all these models and you go on rails c or rails console, accessing author.books would be a problem. author.books could be author has many books OR author has many books through likes. Before we tackle this, let's generate our models first.

Generate models, controllers, migrations through Resource

rails g resource <model_name> <attribute>:<data_type> 
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
rails g resource Author name age:integer
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
rails g resource Book title author:references
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
rails g resource Like author:references book:references
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

rails g : short term for rails generate
resource : this creates a number of files for us:

  1. a model file
  2. a controller file
  3. resources call in the routes.rb.
  4. a migration file that creates a new database table for the attributes we passed

references : this adds the line belongs_to:<model> and creates a foreign key column to that table. In our Like model if we didn't include those references it would look like this.

rails g resource Like author_id:integer book_id:integer
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

However, doing so will require you to add the belongs_to relationship in your models.

You may have noticed name and title doesn't have a data type, this is because the default is string

since we configured this app as an API with --api flag, it will skip generating views, helpers, and assets. Otherwise, resource will generate these as well.

Establish associations
If you used the references, you won't have to do anything in like.rb. It should look like this already.

class Like < ApplicationRecord
    belongs_to :author
    belongs_to :book
end
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

In your book.rb, it will have the belongs_to macros there as well

class Book < ApplicationRecord
    belongs_to : author
end
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

This is how to fix the problem I mentioned earlier.
In your author.rb

class Author < ApplicationRecord
    has_many :books, dependent: :destroy
    has_many :likes, dependent: :destroy 
    has_many :liked_books, through: :likes, source: :book
end
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

We are using source to call the books liked by the author and call it liked_books instead. So if we run author.liked_books in our console --it is referring to the books that are liked by this author.

dependent: :destroy this will automatically delete the books associated with the author when that author is deleted. If you don't have an author the book should not exist.

Migrate

rails db:create
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
rails db:migrate
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

And you're good to go!

Discussion (1)

pic
Editor guide
Collapse
sturpin profile image
Sergio Turpín

Good article Alexa!! ☺️👍