⭐️ New Unpacked: Single-Page App with Vue.js and Rails Tutorial - Special Launch Price thru Jan 18!


A Single-Page App
with Vue.js and Rails

a design and code exploration

Built with Vue 2.5 and Rails 5.2

What does it take to put together a modern single-page web app using Vue.js on the frontend and Rails as the backend API?

And how would you design it in a pragmatic, straightforward way?

Find out as we unpack a full-stack app layer by layer, in less than 90 minutes!

“I love seeing the dissection of a full architecture that works.” Magnus Rembold
“It's a great course and a far more efficient approach for diving into a new topic.” Frank Betorina
“I love the Unpacked format with focus on design decisions and implementation details over pure code-writing. You provide the most useful technical training that I've seen on the web!” Wayne Hiner

Start With a Completed App and Break It Down

Become familiar with the modern landscape of single-page web app development.

Rails may not be in the news as much as in years past, but it's everywhere! So even if you're using the hottest JavaScript framework, at some point you'll likely need to talk to a Rails app.

This tutorial unpacks what it takes to combine a Vue.js frontend with a backend Rails API. Along the way we address many common design decisions, including:

  • How is the code of the two applications organized and structured?
  • How do JavaScript frontends asynchronously communicate with backend APIs?
  • What does a JSON API design look like?
  • When and where are single-file Vue components used? And how is data shared between them?
  • What role does a router play in a single-page app?
  • When should Vuex be used to manage client-side state?
  • How does authentication work and remain secure between two applications?

We start with the completed app and unpack it layer by layer, answering these questions and much more. You'll come away understanding how everything works together in harmony.

No need to piece together solutions yourself. Use this full-stack application as a springboard for creating your own apps!

The Application We Unpack

How It's Designed

14 Concise, Tightly-Edited Videos

Just the way you like 'em: easy to digest, straight to the point, paced just right.

Introduction and Setup

Welcome! Before diving into our Vue.js + Rails app let's make sure you have your development environment set up so you can follow along as we explore the code and design.

App Overview

The web application we unpack (Fishub) lets anglers track which fishing baits are in their tackle box along with catches made on those baits. We start with a quick walk-through of the app's various features.

Design Overview

Before cracking open the code, we get a lay of the land. Fishub is designed as two distinct applications: the frontend is a single-page Vue.js app and the backend API is a Rails app. How they work together is what this video series is all about!

Vue App Overview

Now that we have the big picture, we open the lid on the Vue.js app to see how the various components, router, and Vuex store are all knitted together when the application mounts.

Rails App Overview

Looking inside the backend Rails app we see the familiar structure of models, views, and controllers as well as the API endpoints that serve up JSON.

End-to-End Feature: Fetch Baits

By taking an end-to-end walkthrough of how the Baits page gets rendered, we get an introduction to how the Vue app makes a request to the API and then consumes the returned JSON.

Client-Side State Management (Vuex)

Multiple components in our Vue app need to share state, and at times, update that state. To do this efficiently, we call upon Vuex to keep everything in sync. How does the Vuex store do that? And when does it make sense to use Vuex? Find out.

End-to-End Feature: Fetch Tackle Box Items

With a Vuex store, multiple Vue components, and the Rails API firmly in place, how does everything work together? We dive deep into the code with an end-to-end exploration of how tackle box items are requested, received, and rendered.

End-to-End Feature: Add a Tackle Box Item

With Vue, Vuex, and the Rails API knitted together for making GET requests, we now turn our attention to a POST request. An empty tackle box catches no fish, so we dispatch a Vuex action to add a bait to the tackle box. We explore that feature from the frontend to the backend.

Render The Tackle Box

With our lucky lures now in our tackle box, it's time to look at the second “page” of our application: the tackle box page. By way of various components, this page renders the items in the angler's tackle box and, more interestingly, the catches made on those baits.

End-to-End Feature: Create A Catch

Next up we log a catch, which leads to a question: How does a child Vue component communicate with its parent component? By tracing the code end-to-end we learn how to use custom Vue events.


Deciding how to handle authentication for Fishub was a major design decision. How would the Vue app track who's signed in and then communicate that to the API when making authenticated requests? And how could we address Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks and Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)? It turns out that relying on tried-and-true Rails session cookies proved to be great approach!

End-to-End Feature: Sign In

Now that we understand conceptually how Vue, Vuex, and Rails will interact in terms of authentication, it's time to dig deep into the code. Starting with the SignIn component, we breakdown the sign in progression piece by piece. We also look at using JavaScript Promises to handle varying concerns at different levels within the app.

End-to-End Feature: Authenticated Requests

We're in the thick of it now! The Vue app knows who's signed in and is ready to make authenticated requests. And that's where two cookies come into play. We also want to enable Cross-Original Resource Sharing (CORS) so our frontend can access resources on our backend.

What Does Unpacked Mean?

You're beyond a step-by-step intro course.

Step-by-step introductory courses are great for learning syntax, vocabulary, and basic concepts. But once you've got the fundamentals down, as an experienced developer your time is better spent:

  • dissecting a full-stack application layer by layer without the tedious typing of all the code

  • focusing on the design, architecture, and actual implementation of a solid application

  • diving deep into the interesting parts of a complete, feature-rich application

In other words, we unpack apps in our Studio so you can put them together in yours!

High-Quality Videos
Streamable and downloadable, DRM-free videos on any device. English subtitles on each video.
Notes and Resources
Installation instructions, supplemental footnotes, alternate design techniques, and handy tips and tricks.
Source Code
Of course, you also get all the source code for the completed app.
Instant, Never-Expiring Access
No monthly subscription or time limit. Start when you want and repeat as often as you like!

Unpacked: Single-Page App

⭐️ Special Launch Price thru Jan 18!

Unpacked: Single-Page App Team License: For up to 10 team members

Up to 10 team members

For Experienced Developers

This tutorial assumes you're already comfortable with Vue.js and Rails and you've fetched data from an API before. If you're new to Vue.js, we recommend reading through the Essentials and Components In-Depth sections of the official Vue Guide. This beginner-friendly guide covers all the aspects of Vue.js we use in the videos. If you're new to Rails, we recommend starting with our popular introductory Rails courses where you'll learn all the fundamentals by building a full-featured application from the ground up.

Created by Mike and Nicole

Hi, we're real people just trying to share our passion for creating stuff!

You may be familiar with our step-by-step courses on Ruby, Rails, Elixir, and Elm. But what happens when you smash (pragmatically, of course) different languages, technologies, and frameworks together? Well, working at the system level gives you the power to create some very cool applications! We're excited to unpack these kinds of applications with you in the Studio. Find out more about us…

What developers like you are saying about this course:

“I really like how they go back and forth between the code, browser view, and Vue devtools. It makes the material much more clear for me and helps me to see how the different pieces play together.” Anne Richardson
“I like that there is a working app throughout the course. Vue and Rails are hot topics for me now and I love seeing the dissection of a full architecture that works.” Magnus Rembold
“The explanations and graphics for session cookies, CSRF tokens, and CORS were excellent. Those complex topics were explained very clearly.Wilfrid Landry
I really liked the walkthrough and clearly seeing how the two apps, frontend Vue and backend API Rails, were stuck together. It's a great course and a far more efficient approach for diving into a new topic. I did some React courses before, but had never tried Vue. In taking this course, I found out I like Vue.” Frank Betorina
“I love the Unpacked format with focus on design decisions and implementation details over pure code-writing. It's perfect for intermediate and above developers who want to understand the architecture and implementation without the tedium of watching instructors type out all the code. It's an excellent way to learn to do it yourself with great examples of how to go about it. You provide the most useful technical training that I've seen on the web!” Wayne Hiner