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HackIllinois API

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This repository contains the code which runs the backend services supporting HackIllinois.

  1. Developer Environment Setup
  2. Building, Testing, and Running the API
  3. Release Deployment
  4. Contributing
  5. Documentation

Developer Environment Setup

In order to work on the API there are a few setups neccessary in order to setup your developer environemnt.

Installing Dependencies

We highly reccommend that you use Ubuntu 18.04 when working on API development. The API is written and Go and makes use of MongoDB for storing data. You will have to install both of these before working on the API. You will also need a few common development tools including make and git.

Installing Development Tools

Both make and git can be installed from the default ubuntu package repositories. Run the following commands to install both tools. You may need to run the commands under sudo.

apt-get update
apt-get install build-essential git

Installing Go

Follow the Go Installation Instructions for installing Go. Run go version to ensure that Go has been properly installed.

Installing MongoDB

Follow the MongoDB Installation Instructions for installing MongoDB. Once MongoDB is installed ensure mongod is running. If it is not running then start the service.

Downloading the API source and dependencies

Run the following command to retrieve the API and all it's dependencies. The API source will be cloned to a folder called api in your current directory.

git clone

First time API setup

After downloading the API source code you will want to build the entire repository and generate an Admin token for testing endpoints. This can be done by moving into the API folder and running:

make setup

You should see your Admin token near the bottom of the output.

Useful tools for development

There are a couple other useful but not necessary tools for working on the API. The first is a GUI tool for viewing and modifying the database. There are many options including MongoDB Compass and Robo 3T. You will also want to install Postman for making requests to the API when testing.

Building, Testing, and Running the API

In order to simply API development make is used for building, testing, and running the API. All make commands can be run from the root of the repository and they will properly find and operate on all of the services.

Building the API

Run the following command from the root of the repository. The gateway and all services will be built into bin.

make all

Testing the API

Run the following command from the root of the repository. The gateway and all services will have their tests run and any errors will be reported.

make test

Running the API

Run the following command from the root of the repository. Note that this command will not rebuild the API so you must first build the API to ensure your binaries are up to date.

make run

API Container

There are also make targets provided for building a containerized version of the API for usage in production deployments.

Building the API Container

Building a container requires that docker and go have already been installed. The following command should be run from the root of the api repository.

make container

Running the API Container

You can obtain all released versions and the latest version of the container from DockerHub. The API container takes the name of the service to run as it's command arguement in the following docker run command. Ensure that the correct environment variables are set to load the configuration file and overwrite any secret configuration variables.

docker run -d --env-file env.config hackillinois/api:latest <servicename>


For contributing guidelines see the file in the repository root.


We use MkDocs for our documentation, and host at HackIllinois Docs.