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YSM Backend

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A NestJS API server with Jest testing.

If you'd like to help Chayn by tackling any of our open Github issues, please get in touch with us to express your interest in volunteering via this form. We'll get back to you to schedule an onboarding call.


Note: if you just want to run the backend service locally and not do any development work on it, you can instead skip to the section on how to run it in a Docker container.


  • NodeJS v12+
  • Yarn v1.21+

Set up local env config

Certain config values are required to run the server.

For local development, create a new .env.development file and add in the following:

STORYBLOK_TOKEN={value}  # The API token from Storyblok (must have 'draft' access)

FIREBASE_SERVICE_ACCOUNT={value}  # The service account JSON object serialised into a string and then base64 encoded

CONTENT_EDITOR_EMAILS={value}  # Optional. A comma separated list of email addresses of the users that are allowed to access preview mode (for viewing draft content from Storyblok)

ROLLBAR_TOKEN={value}  # Optional when running in `dev` mode. Either set this to the Rollbar server token, or to `false` to disable.
ROLLBAR_ENV=local-dev  # Required in `production` mode or if `ROLLBAR_TOKEN` is set.

RATE_LIMIT_WINDOW_MS={value} # Optional. The window of time (in milliseconds) for the rate limiting to apply.
RATE_LIMIT_MAX=(value) # Optional. The max number of requests (per IP address) within the window of time (above).

Env config for tests

Tests will use a separate .env.test file which should already be present.

You'll also need to create a .env.test.local file (see below for more details).

All access to external services in unit tests should be mocked out, so when adding new config to the app make sure to add a dummy 'noop' value in the .env.test file and commit to the repo.

It's also advisable to mock out access to external services in the e2e tests (e.g. like with Storyblok), but sometimes it makes sense to actually call the external service (like for Firebase Auth tokens). In the latter case, make sure all "live" config is set in a .env.test.local file (which must NOT be committed to the repo), with the following:

FIREBASE_SERVICE_ACCOUNT={value}  # Same as in .env.development - the service account JSON object serialised into a string and then base64 encoded

FIREBASE_WEB_API_KEY={value}  # Special API key just for use in e2e tests - found in the settings page for the Firebase project

Install dependencies


Run locally

# development
$ yarn start

# watch mode
$ yarn start:dev

# production mode
$ yarn start:prod

Run tests

# unit tests
$ yarn test

# e2e tests
$ yarn test:e2e

# test coverage
$ yarn test:cov

Formatting and linting

yarn lint

To lint and fix:

yarn lint:fix

Formatting and linting is provided by ESLint and Prettier (see the relevant configs for details).

Workspace settings for VSCode are included in this folder.

Build the app for production

yarn build

Generating new modules, controllers, services, etc

NestJS provides the nest generate command to help generate relevant files.

Debug logs for all axios requests (e.g. for Storyblok requests)

To see debug logs for all axios requests made – e.g. by the Storyblok client – start the dev server with:

DEBUG=axios yarn start:dev

Note: the axios-debug-log library used to provide this logging has only been added as a dev dependency, so this will not work in production environments.

Running as a Docker container locally

You may want to run the backend service in a Docker container if:

  1. You don't intend to do any development work on it and just need a running service for the frontend to access.
  2. You want to test that the Docker image works as expected, e.g. if you've made any changes to the Dockerfile.

First, ensure you have the Docker service installed and running on your machine. More info on how to do this:

Then, follow the section on setting up your local env config, above. Note that you don't need to follow any other instructions from the previous sections (like having the prerequisites, installing dependencies, etc.) as the Docker build process will do all this for you.

Then, build the image:

docker build -t ysm-backend .

Then, run the backend service in a container:

docker run --rm -it -p 3000:3000 --env-file=.env.development -e PORT=3000 --init ysm-backend

You can now test that the service is running, either using curl:

curl -v http://localhost:3000/api/resources

… or opening the URL http://localhost:3000/api/resources in your browser. It should show the JSON output of the /resources API.


Code for the backend / API of the Your Story Matter (YSM) service