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API Applications

Applications that only serve API end-points, typically JSON, are very different from those that serve HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. In this chapter, you'll learn how to build an API-only app, using Buffalo.

Creating a new API Application

When creating a new Buffalo application using the buffalo new command, the optional --api flag will generate an application that is better suited to serving JSON APIs than a stock Buffalo application.

$ buffalo new --api coke

Slimmed Project Layout

Applications generated with the --api flag don't contain any front systems. This means there is no templating, stylesheets, etc...

buffalo new coke --api
├── Dockerfile
├── README.md
├── actions
│   ├── actions_test.go
│   ├── app.go
│   ├── home.go
│   ├── home_test.go
│   └── render.go
├── database.yml
├── fixtures
│   └── sample.toml
├── grifts
│   ├── db.go
│   └── init.go
├── inflections.json
├── main.go
└── models
    ├── models.go
    └── models_test.go
buffalo new coke
├── Dockerfile
├── README.md
├── actions
│   ├── actions_test.go
│   ├── app.go
│   ├── home.go
│   ├── home_test.go
│   └── render.go
├── assets
│   ├── css
│   │   └── application.scss
│   ├── images
│   │   ├── favicon.ico
│   │   └── logo.svg
│   └── js
│       └── application.js
├── database.yml
├── fixtures
│   └── sample.toml
├── grifts
│   ├── db.go
│   └── init.go
├── inflections.json
├── locales
│   └── all.en-us.yaml
├── main.go
├── models
│   ├── models.go
│   └── models_test.go
├── node_modles
├── package.json
├── public
│   ├── assets
│   │   └── .keep
│   └── robots.txt
├── templates
│   ├── _flash.html
│   ├── application.html
│   └── index.html
├── webpack.config.js
└── yarn.lock

Tuned actions/app.go actions/render.go Files

API applications have actions/app.go and actions/render.go files that are a good starting point for JSON API applications.

buffalo new coke --api
func App() *buffalo.App {
    if app == nil {
        app = buffalo.New(buffalo.Options{
            Env:          ENV,
            SessionStore: sessions.Null{},
            PreWares: []buffalo.PreWare{
                cors.Default().Handler,
            },
            SessionName: "_coke_session",
        })
        app.Use(forceSSL())
        app.Use(middleware.SetContentType("application/json"))

        if ENV == "development" {
            app.Use(middleware.ParameterLogger)
        }

        app.Use(middleware.PopTransaction(models.DB))
        app.GET("/", HomeHandler)
    }
    return app
}
func init() {
    r = render.New(render.Options{})
}
buffalo new coke
func App() *buffalo.App {
    if app == nil {
        app = buffalo.New(buffalo.Options{
            Env:         ENV,
            SessionName: "_pepsi_session",
        })
        app.Use(forceSSL())
        if ENV == "development" {
            app.Use(middleware.ParameterLogger)
        }
        app.Use(csrf.New)
        app.Use(middleware.PopTransaction(models.DB))
        app.Use(translations())
        app.GET("/", HomeHandler)
        app.ServeFiles("/", assetsBox) // serve files from the public directory
    }
    return app
}
func init() {
    r = render.New(render.Options{
        HTMLLayout:   "application.html",
        TemplatesBox: packr.NewBox("../templates"),
        AssetsBox:    assetsBox,
        Helpers:      render.Helpers{},
    })
}