Development Guide

prestd is written in the go language and we use the best practices recommended by the language itself to simplify its contribution. If you are not familiar with the language, read the Effective Go.

Development usage

As mentioned before prest is written in go, as it is in the document topic of using prest in development mode it is important to know the go language path structure, if you don't know it read the page How to Write Go Code (with GOPATH).

Assuming you do not have the repository cloned locally, we are assuming you are reading this page for the first time

Download all of pREST's dependencies

git clone && cd prest
go mod download

We recommend using go run for development environment, remember that it is necessary environment variables for pREST to connect to PostgreSQL - we will explain in the next steps how to do it

go run cmd/prestd/main.go

Building a local version (we will not use flags for production environment)

go build -o prestd cmd/prestd/main.go

Executing the prestd after generating binary or using go run


to use go run replace ./prestd with go run

or use 'prest.toml' file as a preset configuration, insert a user to see the changes

Dev Container

A devcontainer is used by the VS Code Remote Containers extension and works by creating a Docker container to do your development in.

Usually preparing the development environment is not a simple job, especially when we are talking about software that depends on other software for its operation, this is where devcontainer come in.

As the development environment is within Docker, you supply the Dockerfile and VS Code will take care of building the image and starting the container for you. Then since you control the Dockerfile you can have it install any software you need for your project, set the right version of Node, install global packages, etc.

This is just a plain old Dockerfile, you can run it without VS Code using the standard Docker tools and mount a volume in, but the power comes when you combine it with the devcontainers.json file, which gives VS Code instructions on how to configure itself.

Using golang + prettier? Tell the devcontainer to install those extensions so the user has them already installed. Want some VS Code settings enabled by default, specify them so users donโ€™t have to know about it.

GitHub Codespaces

A codespace is a development environment that's hosted in the cloud. You can customize your project for Codespaces by committing configuration files to your repository (often known as Configuration-as-Code), which creates a repeatable codespace configuration for all users of your project.

Codespaces run on a variety of VM-based compute options hosted by, which you can configure from 2 core machines up to 32 core machines. You can connect to your codespaces from the browser or locally using Visual Studio Code.

How to use the prestd in Codespaces

  1. Access the address to create prestd codespace here

  2. Select the branch (we recommend using main) and click create codespace

  3. wait for the setup... it may take a few minutes

Done (#congrats), you have a development environment for prestd with PostgreSQL (configured and integrated with prestd), vscode plugins (for golang), database viewer, etc.

Database viewer:

Next step in development

If you have come this far I assume that your development environment is working, right?

if not, go back to the previous topics

To get the environment working with "all the right stuff" we recommend setting up (and activating) the API authentication system. To do this, follow the steps below:

we are writing the example using go code (not binario or docker, if you want to run the commands via docker see here)

# Run data migration to create user structure for access (JWT)
go run cmd/prestd/main.go migrate up auth

# Create user and password for API access (via JWT)
## user: prest
## pass: prest
psql -d prest -U prest -h localhost -c "INSERT INTO prest_users (name, username, password) VALUES ('pREST Full Name', 'prest', MD5('prest'))"
# Check if the user was created successfully (by doing a select on the table)
psql -d prest -U prest -h localhost -c "select * from prest_users"

Now the fun begins:

# Run prestd server
go run cmd/prestd/main.go
# Generate JWT Token with user and password created
curl -i -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{"username": "prest", "password": "prest"}'
# Access endpoint using JWT Token
curl -i -X GET -H "Accept: application/json" -H "Authorization: Bearer {TOKEN}"

Or you can run the following steps easy with postman tools:

Samples to getting started with API calls


First api calls and test automation sample.


Import on Postman and execute the following steps:

  • Bearer Authentication

  • List Databases

This is the manual process to see how things is going.

So, we have the automated way:

npm i --location=global newman

After the installation run the following command:

newman run samples/prest_first_look.postman_collection.json

That's it, you have a way to validate the project running locally, and to test on the environments you need to edit and go forward with your own version of this sample.

Execute unit tests locally (integration/e2e)

pREST's unit tests depend on a working Postgres database for SQL query execution, to simplify the preparation of the local environment we use docker (and docker-compose) to upload the environment with Postgres.

all tests:

docker-compose -f testdata/docker-compose.yml up --abort-on-container-exit

package-specific testing: in the example below the config package will be tested

docker-compose -f testdata/docker-compose.yml run --rm prest-test sh ./testdata/ ./config

specific function test: in the example below will run the test TestGetDefaultPrestConf from the config package, don't forget to call the TestMain function before your function

docker-compose -f testdata/docker-compose.yml run prest-test sh ./testdata/ ./config -run TestMain,TestGetDefaultPrestConf

Version - Patterns

prestd has the main branch as a tip branch and has version branches such as v1.1. v1.1 is a release branch and we will tag v1.1.0 for binary download. If v1.1.0 has bugs, we will accept pull requests on the v1.1 branch and publish a v1.1.1 tag, after bringing the bug fix also to the main branch.

Since the main branch is a tip version, if you wish to use pREST in production, please download the latest release tag version. All the branches will be protected via GitHub, all the PRs to every branch must be reviewed by two maintainers and must pass the automatic tests.