Installing and Configuring the Exchange

This Exchange can be deployed by any organization that wishes to curate their own list of digital public goods. All of the code is publicly available at the following repositories:

Please note that these instructions are for users who have a technical background and are familiar with Rails, Javascript/React/Next.js, Postgres databases, and Docker deployments

To configure and run an instance of the Exchange, perform the following steps:

  • Clone the back-end and front-end repositories into separate directories on your server or development environment.
  • Configure environment variables for the application. The application requires several variables to be set in your environment.

Back End

The following environment variables are required for the Exchange Back end. We have provided a sample shell script that will set the appropriate variables for development, test, or production environments. The variables are as follows:

  • SECRET_KEY_BASE - set a unique secret or password. This is used for user authentication verification
  • DATABASE_NAME, DATABASE_USER, DATABASE_PASSWORD - connecting data for the Postgres database. Ensure that these values match the settings in the docker-compose.yml file for the database instance (described below)
  • TEST_DATABASE_NAME, TEST_DATABASE_USER, TEST_DATABASE_PASSWORD - to run the unit or integration tests, these values need to be set and point to a test database instance
  • ESRI_CLIENT_ID, ESRI_CLIENT_SECRET - the application uses ESRI for geographic data. You can sign up for an account and access token.
  • GOOGLE_TRACKER - insert a tracking id to use Google analytics
  • JENKINS_URL, JENKINS_USER, JENKINS_PASSWORD - in order to use the product launcher functionality, the application must connect to a running Jenkins instance.
  • MAILGUN_API_KEY, MAILGUN_DOMAIN - the application uses mailgun to send email notifications to users. Use mailgun account data here to enable this functionality
  • CAPTCHA_SITE_KEY, CAPTCHA_SECRET_KEY - the main signup page uses Captcha. Enter your captcha credentials to use this functionality
  • GITHUB_USERNAME, GITHUB_PERSONAL_TOKEN - the appication will automatically read data from any GitHub repositories that are connected to products. In order to do that, enter a Github username and API Token.

Front End

The following environment variables are required for the Exchange Front End. These should be stored in a file called .env.production

  • NEXT_PUBLIC_GRAPHQL_SERVER - URL for the Back End Server
  • NEXT_PUBLIC_AUTH_SERVER - URL for authentication (this will be the same as the Back End server)
  • NEXTAUTH_URL - This is the callback endpoint for authentication - this should be the URL for the Exchange Front end
  • SECRET - Unique secret key for Next.js front end
  • NEXT_PUBLIC_DISCOURSE_PROD_URL - For integrating Discourse forums for products, provide the URL for the Product category in Discourse
  • NEXT_PUBLIC_DISCOURSE_PROD_KEY - For integrating Discourse forums for products, link to Discourse API key
  • NEXT_PUBLIC_DISCOURSE_BB_URL - For integrating Discourse forums for Building Blocks, provide the URL for the BB category in Discourse
  • NEXT_PUBLIC_DISCOURSE_BB_KEY - For integrating Discourse forums for Building Blocks, link to Discourse API key
  • NEXT_PUBLIC_API_URL - Set to the URL for the Exchange Front End
  • NEXT_PUBLIC_RAILS_SERVER - URL for Back End Server
  • NEXT_PUBLIC_GOOGLE_ANALYTIC_ID - Add a GA key for tracking analytics
  • NEXT_PUBLIC_CAPTCHA_SITE_KEY - Add a key to enable Captcha on user sign ups

Running the application

  • Edit the docker-compose.yml file in the Exchange back end to set the database username and password.
  • Build and run the application using the following docker-compose commands from the root directory of the application:
  • docker-compose build
  • docker-compose up -d
  • Alternatively, to run the app outside of docker-compose, you can use the following commands:

Back End

  • rails db:run_if_no_db && rails db:create_db_with_public_data
  • rails db:migrate
  • rails assets:precompile RAILS_ENV=production
  • rails server -e production

Front End

  • yarn install
  • yarn build
  • yarn start
  • Once the application is built and started, it will be available on port 3002. The back end/API will be available on port 3000. Please note that the docker-compose file also uses nginx and certbot to serve the application using SSL/Port 443. Please remove these entries if not needed.
  • The application expects a Redis server to be running. The Redis server is automatically started as part of the docker-compose. If starting the Exchange manually, Redis must be running on your server.
  • A default user account with administrator privileges is created automatically. The credentials are
  • The application also allows a default domain name to be set. Only users that have email addresses associated with that domain will be able to be administrators of the site. To set this:
  • Create an organization entry for your organization. Note the slug that is created for this organization
  • Navigate to the settings page (<online Exchange URL>/settings)
  • Create a new setting called ‘Default Organization’. The value for this setting will be the slug for your organization.