Christmas is a time of sharing here at Ortus HQ.  That's why we're sharing this 12 Tips of (CommandBox) Christmas with you.  You may also want to share your hard work with others as well such as co-workers, far away clients, or your mom.  Luckily for you, there's a community Ngrok module that allows you to do just that-- instantly demo a local CommandBox site to anyone in the world via a private URL.  

Ngrok Server Shares

If you haven't heard of Ngrok, it's a service that allows you to create a temporary network proxy between your local computer and a private URL you can send to anyone else on the Internet.  Eric Peterson has done the hard work of wrapping up the Ngrok functionality in a CommandBox module that installs quickly and easily and will allow you to share any local CommandBox server with a single command.  


Installation of Ngrok is a one-time action and is as easy as this command. 

CommandBox> install box-ngrok


The Ngrok module won't share anything without you asking to.  When you want to start a share, you just need to run this command from the web root of the server.

CommandBox> server share

That's it!  Here's what the module will do:

  1. Start the CommandBox server if it is not already running
  2. Start Ngrok using the embedded binaries for your platform
  3. Stop any currently open Ngrok tunnels (since the free version only allows one at a time)
  4. Create the new Ngrok tunnel
  5. Display the share url to the screen
  6. Open the share URL in the browser

Anyone who hits that URL in their browser will view the site directly off your local CommandBox server.  Use this to demo features to a client who wants to actually use the new site or to expose web hook for quick testing.  When you're done, you can shut down the server or just stop the share.

CommandBox> server share stop