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Demola Malomo for Hackmamba

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Robust media upload with Golang and Cloudinary - Gin-gonic Version

The demand for mobile and web applications to support file uploads ranging from images and videos to documents like excel, CSV, and PDF has increased tremendously over the years. It is paramount that we have the required knowledge to integrate file upload support into our applications.

This post will discuss adding media upload support to a REST API using Golang’s Gin-gonic framework and Cloudinary. At the end of this tutorial, we will learn how to structure a Gin-gonic application, integrate Cloudinary with Golang and upload media files to Cloudinary using remote URLs and local file storage.

Gin-gonic, popularly known as Gin, is an HTTP web framework written in Golang with performance and productivity support. Gin uses a custom version of HttpRouter, a lightweight, high-performance HTTP request router that navigates through API routes faster than most frameworks out there.

Cloudinary offers a robust visual media platform to upload, store, manage, transform, and deliver images and videos for websites and applications. The platform also offers a vast collection of software development kits (SDKs) for frameworks and libraries.

You can find the complete source code in this repository.

Prerequisites

The following steps in this post require Golang experience. Experience with Cloudinary isn’t a requirement, but it’s nice to have.

We will also be needing the following:

Let’s code

Getting Started

To get started, we need to navigate to the desired directory and run the command below in our terminal:

mkdir gin-cloudinary-api && cd gin-cloudinary-api
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This command creates a gin-cloudinary-api folder and navigates into the project directory.

Next, we need to initialize a Go module to manage project dependencies by running the command below:

go mod init gin-cloudinary-api
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This command will create a go.mod file for tracking project dependencies.

We proceed to install the required dependencies with:

go get -u github.com/gin-gonic/gin github.com/cloudinary/cloudinary-go github.com/joho/godotenv github.com/go-playground/validator/v10
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github.com/gin-gonic/gin is a framework for building web application.

github.com/cloudinary/cloudinary-go is a library for integrating Cloudinary.

github.com/joho/godotenv is a library for managing environment variable.

github.com/go-playground/validator/v10 is a library for validating structs and fields.

Application Entry Point

With the project dependencies installed, we need to create main.go file in the root directory and add the snippet below:

package main

import "github.com/gin-gonic/gin"

func main() {
    router := gin.Default()

    router.GET("/", func(c *gin.Context) {
        c.JSON(200, gin.H{"data": "Hello from Cloudinary"})
    })

    router.Run("localhost:6000")
}
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The snippet above does the following:

  • Import the required dependencies.
  • Initialize a Gin router using the Default configuration. The Default function configures Gin router with default middlewares (logger and recovery).
  • Use the Get function to route to / path and a handler function that returns a JSON of Hello from Cloudinary.
  • Use the Run function to attach the router to an http.Server and starts listening and serving HTTP requests on localhost:6000.

Next, we can test our application by starting the development server by running the command below in our terminal.

go run main.go
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Testing the app

Modularization in Golang

It is essential to have a good folder structure for our project. Good project structure simplifies how we work with dependencies in our application and makes it easier for us and others to read our codebase.
To do this, we need to create configs, services, controllers, helper, models, and dtos folder in our project directory.

Updated project folder structure

PS: The go.sum file contains all the dependency checksums, and is managed by the go tools. We don’t have to worry about it.

configs is for modularizing project configuration files

services is for modularizing application logic. It helps keep the controller clean.

controllers is for modularizing application incoming requests and returning responses.

helper is for modularizing files used for performing computation of another file.

models is for modularizing data and database logics.

dtos is for modularizing files describing the response we want our API to give. This will become clearer later on.
Data Transfer Object (DTO) is simply an object that transfers data from one point to another.

Setting up Cloudinary

With that done, we need to log in or sign up into our Cloudinary account to get our Cloud Name, API Key, and API Secret.

Cloudinary details

Next, we need to create a folder to store our media uploads. To do this, navigate to the Media Library tab, click on the Add Folder Icon, input go-cloudinary as the folder name and Save.

Create folder

Create folder

Setup Environment Variable
Next, we need to include the parameters from our dashboard into an environment variable. To do this, first, we need to create a .env file in the root directory, and in this file, add the snippet below:

CLOUDINARY_CLOUD_NAME=<YOUR CLOUD NAME HERE>
CLOUDINARY_API_KEY=<YOUR API KEY HERE>
CLOUDINARY_API_SECRET=<YOUR API SECRET HERE>
CLOUDINARY_UPLOAD_FOLDER=go-cloudinary
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Load Environment Variable
With that done, we need to create helper functions to load the environment variables using the github.com/joho/godotenv library we installed earlier. To do this, we need to navigate to the configs folder and in this folder, create an env.go file and add the snippet below:

    package config

    import (
        "log"
        "os"
        "github.com/joho/godotenv"
    )

    func EnvCloudName() string {
        err := godotenv.Load()
        if err != nil {
            log.Fatal("Error loading .env file")
        }
        return os.Getenv("CLOUDINARY_CLOUD_NAME")
    }

    func EnvCloudAPIKey() string {
        err := godotenv.Load()
        if err != nil {
            log.Fatal("Error loading .env file")
        }
        return os.Getenv("CLOUDINARY_API_KEY")
    }

    func EnvCloudAPISecret() string {
        err := godotenv.Load()
        if err != nil {
            log.Fatal("Error loading .env file")
        }
        return os.Getenv("CLOUDINARY_API_SECRET")
    }

    func EnvCloudUploadFolder() string {
        err := godotenv.Load()
        if err != nil {
            log.Fatal("Error loading .env file")
        }
        return os.Getenv("CLOUDINARY_UPLOAD_FOLDER")
    }
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The snippet above does the following:

  • Import the required dependencies.
  • Create an EnvCloudName, EnvCloudAPIKey, EnvCloudAPISecret, EnvCloudUploadFolder functions that check if the environment variable is correctly loaded and returns the environment variable.

Cloudinary helper function
To facilitate both remote and local upload from our application, we need to navigate to the helper folder and in this folder, create a media_helper.go file and add the snippet below:

    package helper

    import (
        "context"
        config "gin-cloudinary-api/configs"
        "time"
        "github.com/cloudinary/cloudinary-go"
        "github.com/cloudinary/cloudinary-go/api/uploader"
    )

    func ImageUploadHelper(input interface{}) (string, error) {
        ctx, cancel := context.WithTimeout(context.Background(), 10*time.Second)
        defer cancel()

        //create cloudinary instance
        cld, err := cloudinary.NewFromParams(config.EnvCloudName(), config.EnvCloudAPIKey(), config.EnvCloudAPISecret())
        if err != nil {
            return "", err
        }

        //upload file
        uploadParam, err := cld.Upload.Upload(ctx, input, uploader.UploadParams{Folder: config.EnvCloudUploadFolder()})
        if err != nil {
            return "", err
        }
        return uploadParam.SecureURL, nil
    }
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The snippet above does the following:

  • Import the required dependencies.
  • Create an ImageUploadHelper function that first takes an interface as a parameter and returns the remote URLs or error if there is any. The interface makes our code reusable by accepting both remote URL and a form file. The function also does the following:
    • Defined a timeout of 10 seconds when connecting to Cloudinary.
    • Initialize a new Cloudinary instance by passing in the Cloud Name, API Key, and API Secret as parameters and checking for error if there is any.
    • Upload the media using the Upload function and specify the folder to store the media using the EnvCloudUploadFolder function. Get both the upload result and error if there is any.
    • Returns the media secure URL and nil when there is no error.

Setup Models and Response Type

Models
Next, we need a model to represent our application data. To do this, we need to navigate to the models folder, and in this folder, create a media_model.go file and add the snippet below:

package models

import "mime/multipart"

type File struct {
    File multipart.File `json:"file,omitempty" validate:"required"`
}

type Url struct {
    Url string `json:"url,omitempty" validate:"required"`
}
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The snippet above does the following:

  • Import the required dependency.
  • Create a File and Url struct with the required property for local file upload and remote URL upload.

Response Type
Next, we need to create a reusable struct to describe our API’s response. To do this, navigate to the dtos folder and in this folder, create a media_dto.go file and add the snippet below:

package dtos

type MediaDto struct {
    StatusCode int                    `json:"statusCode"`
    Message    string                 `json:"message"`
    Data       map[string]interface{} `json:"data"`
}
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The snippet above creates a MediaDto struct with StatusCode, Message, and Data property to represent the API response type.

Finally, Creating REST API’s

With that done, we need to create a service to host all the media upload application logics. To do this, navigate to the services folder and in this folder, create a media_service.go file and add the snippet below:

package services

import (
    "gin-cloudinary-api/helper"
    "gin-cloudinary-api/models"
    "github.com/go-playground/validator/v10"
)

var (
    validate = validator.New()
)

type mediaUpload interface {
    FileUpload(file models.File) (string, error)
    RemoteUpload(url models.Url) (string, error)
}

type media struct {}

func NewMediaUpload() mediaUpload {
    return &media{}
}

func (*media) FileUpload(file models.File) (string, error) {
    //validate
    err := validate.Struct(file)
    if err != nil {
        return "", err
    }

    //upload
    uploadUrl, err := helper.ImageUploadHelper(file.File)
    if err != nil {
        return "", err
    }
    return uploadUrl, nil
}

func (*media) RemoteUpload(url models.Url) (string, error) {
    //validate
    err := validate.Struct(url)
    if err != nil {
        return "", err
    }

    //upload
    uploadUrl, errUrl := helper.ImageUploadHelper(url.Url)
    if errUrl != nil {
        return "", err
    }
    return uploadUrl, nil
}
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The snippet above does the following:

  • Import the required dependencies.
  • Create a validate variable to validate models using the github.com/go-playground/validator/v10 library we installed earlier.
  • Create a mediaUpload interface with methods describing the type of upload we want to do.
  • Create a media struct that will implement the mediaUpload interface.
  • Create a NewMediaUpload constructor function that ties the media struct and the mediaUpload interface it implements.
  • Create the required methods FileUpload and RemoteUpload with a media pointer receiver and returns the URL or error if there is any. The required method also validates inputs from the user and uses the ImageUploadHelper function we created earlier to upload media to Cloudinary.

File Upload Endpoint
With the service setup, we can now create a function to upload media from local file storage. To do this, we need to navigate to the controllers folder, and in this folder, create a media_controller.go file and add the snippet below:

package controllers

import (
    "gin-cloudinary-api/dtos"
    "gin-cloudinary-api/models"
    "gin-cloudinary-api/services"
    "net/http"
    "github.com/gin-gonic/gin"
)

func FileUpload() gin.HandlerFunc {
    return func(c *gin.Context) {
        //upload
        formfile, _, err := c.Request.FormFile("file")
        if err != nil {
            c.JSON(
                http.StatusInternalServerError,
                dtos.MediaDto{
                    StatusCode: http.StatusInternalServerError,
                    Message:    "error",
                    Data:       map[string]interface{}{"data": "Select a file to upload"},
                })
            return
        }

        uploadUrl, err := services.NewMediaUpload().FileUpload(models.File{File: formfile})
        if err != nil {
            c.JSON(
                http.StatusInternalServerError,
                dtos.MediaDto{
                    StatusCode: http.StatusInternalServerError,
                    Message:    "error",
                    Data:       map[string]interface{}{"data": "Error uploading file"},
                })
            return
        }

        c.JSON(
            http.StatusOK,
            dtos.MediaDto{
                StatusCode: http.StatusOK,
                Message:    "success",
                Data:       map[string]interface{}{"data": uploadUrl},
            })
    }
}
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The snippet above does the following:

  • Import the required dependencies.
  • Create a FileUpload function that returns a Gin-gonic handler. Inside the returned handler, we first used the Request.FormFile function to retrieve the formFile object from the request body. We returned the appropriate message and status code using the MediaDto struct we created earlier. Secondly, we used the NewMediaUpload constructor to access the FileUpload service by passing the formFile as an argument. The service also returns a URL of the uploaded media or an error if there is any. Finally, we returned the correct response if the media upload was successful.

Remote URL Upload Endpoint
To upload an image from a remote URL, we need to modify media_controller.go as shown below:

package controllers

import (
    //all import goes here
)

func FileUpload() gin.HandlerFunc {
    return func(c *gin.Context) {
        //fileuplod code goes here
    }
}

func RemoteUpload() gin.HandlerFunc {
    return func(c *gin.Context) {
        var url models.Url

        //validate the request body
        if err := c.BindJSON(&url); err != nil {
            c.JSON(
                http.StatusBadRequest,
                dtos.MediaDto{
                    StatusCode: http.StatusBadRequest,
                    Message:    "error",
                    Data:       map[string]interface{}{"data": err.Error()},
                })
            return
        }

        uploadUrl, err := services.NewMediaUpload().RemoteUpload(url)
        if err != nil {
            c.JSON(
                http.StatusInternalServerError,
                dtos.MediaDto{
                    StatusCode: http.StatusInternalServerError,
                    Message:    "error",
                    Data:       map[string]interface{}{"data": "Error uploading file"},
                })
            return
        }

        c.JSON(
            http.StatusOK,
            dtos.MediaDto{
                StatusCode: http.StatusOK,
                Message:    "success",
                Data:       map[string]interface{}{"data": uploadUrl},
            })
    }
}
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The RemoteUpload function does the same thing as the FileUpload function. However, we created url variable and validate it using the Gin-gonic’s BindJSON method. We also passed the variable to the RemoteUpload service as an argument and returned the appropriate response.

Complete media_controller.go

package controllers

import (
    "gin-cloudinary-api/dtos"
    "gin-cloudinary-api/models"
    "gin-cloudinary-api/services"
    "net/http"
    "github.com/gin-gonic/gin"
)

func FileUpload() gin.HandlerFunc {
    return func(c *gin.Context) {
        //upload
        formFile, _, err := c.Request.FormFile("file")
        if err != nil {
            c.JSON(
                http.StatusInternalServerError,
                dtos.MediaDto{
                    StatusCode: http.StatusInternalServerError,
                    Message:    "error",
                    Data:       map[string]interface{}{"data": "Select a file to upload"},
                })
            return
        }

        uploadUrl, err := services.NewMediaUpload().FileUpload(models.File{File: formFile})
        if err != nil {
            c.JSON(
                http.StatusInternalServerError,
                dtos.MediaDto{
                    StatusCode: http.StatusInternalServerError,
                    Message:    "error",
                    Data:       map[string]interface{}{"data": "Error uploading file"},
                })
            return
        }

        c.JSON(
            http.StatusOK,
            dtos.MediaDto{
                StatusCode: http.StatusOK,
                Message:    "success",
                Data:       map[string]interface{}{"data": uploadUrl},
            })
    }
}

func RemoteUpload() gin.HandlerFunc {
    return func(c *gin.Context) {
        var url models.Url

        //validate the request body
        if err := c.BindJSON(&url); err != nil {
            c.JSON(
                http.StatusBadRequest,
                dtos.MediaDto{
                    StatusCode: http.StatusBadRequest,
                    Message:    "error",
                    Data:       map[string]interface{}{"data": err.Error()},
                })
            return
        }

        uploadUrl, err := services.NewMediaUpload().RemoteUpload(url)
        if err != nil {
            c.JSON(
                http.StatusInternalServerError,
                dtos.MediaDto{
                    StatusCode: http.StatusInternalServerError,
                    Message:    "error",
                    Data:       map[string]interface{}{"data": "Error uploading file"},
                })
            return
        }

        c.JSON(
            http.StatusOK,
            dtos.MediaDto{
                StatusCode: http.StatusOK,
                Message:    "success",
                Data:       map[string]interface{}{"data": uploadUrl},
            })
    }
}
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Putting it all together
With that done, we need to create a route for our endpoints to upload media from local file storage and remote URL. To do this, we need to modify main.go with our controller and specify the relative path as shown below:

package main

import (
    "gin-cloudinary-api/controllers" //add this
    "github.com/gin-gonic/gin"
)

func main() {
    router := gin.Default()

    //add
    router.POST("/file", controllers.FileUpload())
    router.POST("/remote", controllers.RemoteUpload())

    router.Run("localhost:6000")
}
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With that done, we can test our application by starting the development server by running the command below in our terminal.

go run main.go
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file upload

remote url upload

After the uploads, we can check the go-cloudinary folder on Cloudinary to see uploaded media files.

Uploaded media on cloudinary

Conclusion

This post discussed how to structure a Gin-gonic application, integrate Cloudinary with Golang and upload media files to Cloudinary using remote URLs and local file storage.

You may find these resources helpful:

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