Deploy your Rails API onto Heroku

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Go to your Heroku Dashboard. Click “new”-> “create new app”

Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 11.09.15 AM

Give your app a name and click “Create app”

Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 11.12.34 AM

There are several ways to deploy

  • Heroku CLI  – push your project up to Heroku from your command line
  • Github – Heroku is connected to github, so everytime github is updated your app is
  • Dropbox connected
  • Container Registry

We will be using Heroku CLI. If you need to install  use these instructions

By default Heroku ONLY supports the master branch. If you want to push up a branch other than master follow these instructions.

Add Heroku as a remote to your project

heroku git:remote -a name-of-your-heroku-app

Push your project to Heroku

git push heroku master

Did you just get an error? Did you use sqlite3 for your project?

remote: An error occurred while installing sqlite3 (1.3.13), and Bundler cannot
remote: continue.
remote: Make sure that `gem install sqlite3 -v ‘1.3.13’` succeeds before bundling
remote: In Gemfile:
remote: sqlite3
remote: !
remote: ! Failed to install gems via Bundler.

Click here for the fix.

Migrate and seed your database

In your command line run the following commands.

  • heroku run rake db:migrate
  • heroku run rake db:seed

Test your API using Postman

To get the address, just go back to the Heroku dashboard and click on “Open app” to get the link to your online api

Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 12.56.13 PM

If you made it this far, your API should be deployed and now test it as you did locally (you did test locally didn’t you???).

The reason you need postman is if you setup your Rails API correctly when you query your site via browser you should get an error

This appname-api.herokuapp.com page can’t be found

but if you connect to it via postman you should get back the appropriate response




Converting Rails from sqlite3 to PostgreSQL

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Your mod 3 and 4 projects were probably done using sqlite3. If you did your mod5 project in sqlite3, tsk tsk!

  • edit your Gemfile
  • comment out sqlite and add gem pg
  • Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 11.51.49 AM
  • run “bundle install”
  • edit config/database.yml
  • Change your databases names, as below.
  • Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 12.01.58 PM
  • run rake db:create
  • run rake db:migrate
  • run rake db:seed(if you have a seed file)
  • Now test your app, and you are now using Postgres!

How do I know that it worked?

  • Go to the little Postgres elephant, and click him
  • Press stop
  • Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 12.11.01 PM
  • If your site does not work, then you migrated successfully. Refresh your browser if needed
  • Now start up Postgres so you can continue developing!

uninitialized constant AuthorizeApiRequest::JsonWebToken

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Was a weird error.I build fully functioning apps locally before deployment. Locally when running rails server, this error never came up.
When I deployed the app to heroku, I then started receiving that error.
I thought adding “require ‘jwt'” might help, but it didn’t.

This comment by MikaOY pointed me in the right direction:
“Turns out it isn’t a problem with the AuthO implementation, just that libs/ is not included by auto-loaded by default in some versions of Rails.”

Well, I looked in application.rb and I was already autoloading lib. But it pushed me in the right direction.

I specifically had to require_relative the rb file that contained JsonWebToken. Still looking into why that is so, especially since I have a working instance locally. It could just be something with heroku. But hope this helped someone.

Bypass authentication for signup page in Rails API

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I added authentication on my rails api.

Works great, only authenticated users can now call on the api.

Now my problem was that I am unable to signup, since it requires authentication. Catch-22.

how to bypass?

Authentication is being inherited from application_controller.rb

for the signup controller, I just inherited directly from ActionController::API



This was helpful if you need to setup the api and you need assistance.

Rails: stop ActiveRecord::RecordNotFound from breaking app

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Was building a rails api backend, but when I would search for a record that was not found, the app would show the error. That is great for testing, but I wanted to handle the error without a 404 since this is an api and wanted to send a specific json message.

Found the solution as such:

class YourController < ActionController::Base

  rescue_from ActiveRecord::RecordNotFound, with: :dude_wheres_my_record

  def show
    # your original code without the begin and rescue

  def dude_where_my_record
    # special handling here

Found on stack overflow thanks to noodl



Render files and images for Rails 5 api only

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I had built a rails 5 api only app. By installing the app only version of rails, I lost the view layer of rails. No app/assets, or public files.

This is of course the intended design for an api application but my projects also needed to reference locally stored images. How to overcome?

Example: I need to fetch http://mysite/images/image5.jpg


#config/routes.rb . #add a route

get ‘images/:id’, :to => ‘images#show’

#app/controllers/images_controller.rb #create this file, make class ImagesController,

#add method below

def show
id = params[:id]  #this will get the filename
send_file Rails.root.join(“public”, “#{id}.jpg”), type: “image/gif”, disposition: “inline” .          #send the file requested, files stored in public


This is a word around and there could (probably is) a better way, but it worked to get the project going. During refactor, we can change this and look for a better solution of need be. This was better than having to start a new rails5 app from scratch.

Uncaught (in promise) SyntaxError: Unexpected end of JSON input

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getting this error when using fetch to connect to my rails api



in the browser I was able to get to the page




rails action was rendering basic text not json, so I had to change fetch


def description
if product
if product.description
render plain: product.description
render plain: “No description”
end end end


.then(res=>res.text()) //<————————————-