Making EMS Helper - Setting up

Github Repo

Creating a Rails 6 app

rails new ems_helper --database=postgresql

This will generate the initial project structure. I will be using postgresql as my database.

Adding .env files

I added the .env file as well the dotenv-rails gem to allow the use of the .env files to allow for easy local development for things that requires logins or API keys.

My gemfile

# Gemfile

# ...
# Make sure it is the first gem added. This way gems that require privileges
# can inherit from dotenv-rails
gem 'dotenv-rails', groups: %i[development test]
# ...


First things first, setup a Dockerfile in the root directory.

Adding Dockerfile

My Dockerfile

Basically, pull in Ruby 2.6.3, add nodejs, and add all packages is what this Dockerfile does.

Setting up docker-compose

docker-compose is a utility provided by Docker to pull in various components.

IE: Redis, Memcache, caching layer, PostgresQL, MySQL, MonogoDB databases, and various other web components.

Here is a link to my docker-compose.yml file which pulls in PostgresQL.

I pulled most of this config off the Docker official documentation .

Docker-compose commands

Before we get into building the project, let’s take a look at some basic commands:

docker-compose down to bring down the container docker-compose up --build rebuilds the container if you make changes. docker-compose run web <command> will run the commands from inside the container.

If for some reason the items listed below do not work, try resetting the container.

Also, if you add something to the Gemfile, to update the container you must do the following:

docker-compose run web bundle install
docker-compose down

# You must rebuild the container because the Gemfile.lock has been updated as well
docker-compose up --build

Setting up Rails with docker-compose

Alright time to start everything up.

Run a docker-compose up --build. Then run the following inside a seperate terminal once that has all finished

docker-compose run --rm web rails db:setup

You will most likely run into an issue with postgres. To fix this, navigate to ./config/database.yml

default: &default
  adapter: postgresql
  encoding: unicode
  host: <%= ENV['PG_HOST'] %>
  username: <%= ENV['PG_USER'] %>
  password: <%= ENV['PG_PASSWORD'] %>
  pool: 5

  <<: *default
  database: myapp_development

  <<: *default
  database: myapp_test

Now here’s where it gets a little tricky.
In the root directory, create a file called .env

# .env


# Docker does not use a password on the container for local development

# Change this to '' if not using docker. I have also set this manually inside of
# the docker-compose.yml file.

Docker documentation says to use ‘db’ as the host in the database.yml file.
You will run into an error if you do not do this. I spent over 2 hours debugging this. Not a fun time.

Now, you should be able to create the database!

# equivalent to rails db:create && rails db:migrate && rails db:seed
docker-compose run --rm web rails db:setup

Finally, in your browser navigate to localhost:3000

The “Hello, Welcome to Rails” page should appear!

Permissions Errors

If on Linux, for me there are some permissions issues with Docker.
Ensure to chown -R . from the root directory after using Docker if you run into permissions issues

Adding TailwindCSS

I really enjoy using TailwindCSS so I added it into the application.

There’s a few steps to this.

  1. yarn add tailwindcss - add the tailwindcss node module

  2. Then, create a tailwind stylesheet called ./app/javascript/stylesheets/tailwind.scss Add the base classes.

// app/javascript/stylesheets/tailwind.css
@import "tailwindcss/base";
@import "tailwindcss/components";
@import "tailwindcss/utilities";

  1. Inside ./app/javascript/packs/application.js add the following require statement.
// app/javascript/packs/application.js

// ...
// ...

  1. Finally, inside of ./app/views/layouts/application.html.erb

Add a stylesheet pack tag inside the head of the view

<%# app/views/layouts/application.html.erb %>

# ...
<%= stylesheet_pack_tag 'application', media: 'all', 'data-turbolinks-track': 'reload' %>
# ...

  1. Unfortunately, you can’t really test that everything is working yet. So, let’s make it work!
docker-compose run --rm web rails generate controller static_pages index

Navigate to config/routes.rb and add the following

Rails.application.routes.draw do
  # For details on the DSL available within this file, see
  root 'static_pages#index'

  1. Bringing it all together, to ensure everything works as correctly, add a Tailwind class to an html element.
<%# app/views/static_pages/index.html.erb %>

<%# ... %>
  <div class="text-red-500">
    Hello there!
<%# ... %>

And thats it! You’re now fully setup with Rails 6, webpack, TailwindCSS, Docker / docker-compose From here, its time to start parsing the API content. That will be the next installment I will write!

Special thanks to Chris @ gorails for his free content. He helped me with the tailwind setup. Tailwind Setup Video

Docker documentation is fantastic check it out. Docker Docs

Check out the Rails docs obviously Rails Docs

Finally, feel free to follow along with my repo. Most of the development will take place on the development branch.

Github Repo


I create a Rails 6 skeleton for tailwind css HERE