Further Reading on Swagger and Apivore

If you watched my RubyTapas guest episode introducing Documentation-Driven Development with Swagger and Apivore, you just saw a brief introduction and probably want more information on setup and best practices.


For starters, it’s worth learning more about the OpenAPI/Swagger Specification and the tooling offered by Swagger. To get a better sense of the capabilities of Swagger in a user-facing sense, I’d recommend looking at the Swagger Petstore.

There are a number of Ruby-specific tools for generating Swagger docs, but I’ve found it easiest to remove the abstraction and deal directly with the YAML using the official Swagger editor.


To learn about Apivore, I’d recommend first looking over the documentation on the official GitHub repo. It has enough to get started, but I’d recommend first looking at a few other things.

First of all, I wrote a blog post describing some practices I’ve found effective for getting up and running and creating a concise, maintainable test suite. Among other things, you’ll find useful code snippets for your own apps.

I also gave a talk at RailsConf 2018 elaborating more on the how and why of Documentation-Driven Development with Swagger and Apivore, which goes into much more detail than we could fit into a single RubyTapas episode.

Finally, if you’re a devoted MiniTest user, you’ll want to try out mini-apivore, which is a port of Apivore that works with MiniTest.

Caveats, Criticisms, and Alternatives

While Documentation-Driven Development as an idea carries a strong value proposition, the specific implementation I’ve advocated sometimes leave what to be desired.

Apivore has a number of issues, including the fact that it’s rarely updated, it doesn’t support the latest version of Swagger (3.0), and it doesn’t test inputs. For some more subjective criticism, I’d recommend a post on the topic by Phil Sturgeon, an author and speaker in the field of API design. He advocated for a different preferred solution, Dredd, which is worth investigating as an alternative to pair with Swagger.

I responded with some of my own thoughts as a long-time user of Apivore, which you may find useful as well.

Finally, it’s always worth looking at the official list of Swagger open source tools for Ruby for the most up-to-date information on the growing toolkit available to Swagger users.

Happy hacking!