This document provides some insight into the inner-workings of Nexmo Developer as platform and where various resources can be found.



Icons are turned into fonts using a tool called Icomoon.

We use a mixture of custom icons and ones made available by the packs, a backup file should be maintained so that icons can be added, removed and edited by anybody. You can find the most recent backup file at /app/assets/fonts/nexmo-developer.json.

The navigation is generated from the file structure of the /_documentation folder. The documents get their titles from the front-matter within the Markdown files themselves for example the file at /_documentation/messaging/sms/building-blocks/ has the following front-matter:

title: Send an SMS
navigation_weight: 1

The title is used for both the meta <title> and also the navigation text.

The navigation_weight is used to force the order of the page within the navigation in relation to its siblings. By default pages are ordered Alphabetically by giving pages weights this default can be overridden.

Folders however don't have any document that could provide front-matter so these care configured by a configuration YAML documents:

Document Description
/config/locales/en.yml This file translates the directory name into the display name. For example in-app-messaging to In-app Messaging.
/config/navigation.yml This file provides the navigation_weight for directories so that products or content types can be placed in a defined order.

NOTE: Complex ordering or navigation items that share a display name.

The ordering is a flat lookup of the name. This can cause issues if two different orderings are required relating to two or more menu items with the same name. An example of this is that at the time of writing this Concepts sits as the very first and top-most element. If a product was to need a concepts section this would be forced to the top the product tree since they would both share a common name.

Although this specific issue hasn't been addressed some work has been made towards having a tree based overrides, this could allow an individual item to be overridden by specifying it's location within the document hirearchy. You can see the start of this work under navigation_overrides within the /config/navigation.yml file.

Pages and content

Documentation pages can be created by creating a new Markdown file for the content within the /_documentation directory hierarchy. For existing products adding the file is sufficient enough to create new content. To create documentation for new products however requires a small update to the DocumentationConstraint.

You can find this at /app/constraints/documentation_constraint.rb. The product and product_with_parent methods supply a hash of constraints back to the router so that context can be inferred by the application. Any new products should be added to this list.

Open API Pages

API pages use a custom Open API parser and renderer. The parser belongs to a separate dependency you can find at The rendering is provided by views that can be found at /app/views/open_api/.

Each of the Open API pages consumes an Open API Specification 3 definition for that API. These are held in a separate repo and are brought into NDP as a git submodule.

The parser has been built in such a way that it has tested against several OAS definitions however full compatibility with the specification shouldn't be assumed and development work may be required to support new features as they are authored within our definitions.


Our Admin panel uses a framework called Active Admin. It is used to manage:

You should refer to the Active Admin Docs for any information regarding customisation.

Our search is powered by Algolia. There are indices for development, staging (including review apps) and production.

The indices are automatically refreshed on each deployment by the refresh Rake task. There are three Rake tasks available for performing search actions:

rake search_terms:algolia:clear         # Clear the index in Algolia
rake search_terms:algolia:generate      # Publish search terms to Algolia
rake search_terms:algolia:refresh       # Refresh the Algolia index

Searching is performed directly from the client to Algolia. Protected resources such as restricting the indices or filtering items from the knowlegebase are handled by using Algolia's Secured API Keys functionality.

The configuration object that configures the secured API key can be found in the ALGOLIA_CONFIG environment variable or for easier local development the /config/algolia.yml.example file can be renamed to /config/algolia.yml.

Non-Markdown pages

Some pages including the landing, tools and community pages are not Markdown pages since they usually have more complicated layouts or database concerns.

Many of these are handled by the StaticController, however you can find out which controller and action is handling a particular page by running:

$ rails routes

Team listing

The team page lists members that are defined in the /config/team.yml file. Avatars are pulled from Gravatar giving individuals an easy way to choose their image. Lastly, the role defaults to Developer Advocate unless provided within the configuration.

Tip: Getting new hires to add themselves onto the team page is a great way to get them setup with the basics of Nexmo Developer, process and to become familiar with deployments.

Markdown Pipeline

Nexmo Developer has a powerful Markdown pipeline that adds additional support to Markdown providing some tools that support technical writing.

Here is a video to help explain this concept starts at 6 minutes, 58 seconds:


Here is a quick explanation of all of the filters:

Filter Current User Context Type Description
Frontmatter No Implicit Strips frontmatter from documents
PHPInliner No Implicit Fixes a quirk with our code parser that requires PHP code to have <?php at the start. This filter adds an option onto PHP code examples that makes this not required.
InlineEscape No Extended Allows for escaping of inline code where normally the internals would be processes by the markdown. For example this isn't turned into a [label] when surrounded by two backticks.
BlockEscape No Extended Allows for escaping of code fences where normally the internals would be processes by the markdown.
Screenshot No Plugin Allows for screenshots be put into documentation that are captured by a headless browser so they can be easily refreshed.
Anchor No Extended Useful for when a title changes, an explicit anchor can be added and renders a non-visible anchor link to the same content.
Audio No Extended Used to embed audio examples using the <audio> element.
Tooltip No Extended Allows for Toolips  to be added with a markdown-style syntax.
Collapsible No Extended Allows for collapsible and expandable content to be added with a markdown-style syntax.
TabbedExamplesFilter Yes Plugin Pulls in code examples into multiple tabs.
TabbedContentFilter Yes Plugin Renders markdown files into multiple tabs.
Code No Plugin Allows for code to be pulled in as a partial.
Indent No Extended Adds an indentation to text with a markdown-style syntax.
Modal No Extended Adds a link that launches a modal loaded from another markdown file by using a markdown-style syntax.
JsSequenceDiagram No Extended Adds JS Sequence Diagrams rendering in Markdown.
Partial No Plugin Pull in another markdown file. Good for content reuse.
Techio No Extended Pull in a playground widget into the document.
Tutorials No Plugin Pull in cars linking to tutorials into the markdown document.
Language No Extended Wraps content into a span with a lang attribute by using a markdown-style syntax.
Columns No Extended Allows for basic column layout by using a markdown-style syntax.
Markdown No - Converts markdown to HTML
UserPersonalizationFilter Yes Implicit Replaces specific keywords with a logged in users values. Can be used to inject credentials into code examples
Heading No Implicit Automatically adds parameterized id to heading items avoiding conflicts.
Label No Extended Adds support for labels by using square brackets as such [labels].
Break No Extended Allows for breaks to be added using the § symbol. Great for
where it would normally be difficult in markdown such as in tables.
Unfreeze No Implicit Supports several other filters that Base64 their output to prevent manipulation by other filters especially the MarkdownFilter from changing any further.
Icon No Implicit Changes emoji into nice icons.
ExternalLink No Implicit Automatically adds an icon and target="blank" to links that go off-site such as Google.


We use Webpacker to handle JavaScript in webpack with Ruby on Rails. We use the React integration with this tool.

The JavaScript file that is loaded can be found at /app/javascript/packs/application.js.

Any further information on how to consume or configure this can be found in Webpacker Usage Guide


Nexmo Developer is hosted on Heroku which auto-deploys any changes to the master branch on the public repo.

The EA site automatically deploys from the private/ea branch on the private repo.

Review apps can be created from the Heroku Dashboard, auto-deployment should not be enabled since it could cause a security concern if an outside authors code that dumps ENV variables to HTML or externally.


When a documentation page is not found the Redirector service is invoked to see if a redirection can be found. If it can it issues a redirection to the client otherwise the 404 Not Found page is rendered.


Notices can be added site-wide or on specific routes. Here are examples of implementing this:

Site wide

  content: |-
    <h4>Welcome to Nexmo Developer</h4>
    <p>We are improving our Documentation, API references, learning resources & tooling to help you more effectively use our services. We want to help you find everything you need to integrate Nexmo APIs into your code.</p>
    <p>As we start this transition, we’d love to hear from you with thoughts & suggestions. If you’ve got something, positive or negative, to tell us, please tell us using the feedback tool at the bottom of each guide or <a href="">file an issue</a> on GitHub. - Nexmo</p>

Section Specific (non-dismissible)

  dismissible: false
  path: '^\/(api\/)?new-product'
  content: |-
    <h4>Welcome to the Developer Preview for New Product</h4>
    <p>If you are interested in participating, have any questions, or feedback you can email us at <a href=""></a>.</p>

Code Examples

Code examples are often pulled in from quickstart repos, you can find out more about this process in the Readme - Pulling in code from other repos.