Migrating from Protected Attributes to Strong Parameters

In Rails3, we use attr_accessible or attr_protected(Protected Attributes) to white-list attributes of a model for mass assignment.
In Rails4, Protected Attributes was moved out as a Gem and similar feature was implemented at the controller level, which is now known as Strong Parameters.

We were migrating one of our project from Rails3 to Rails4 and decided to use Rails' Strong Parameter instead of using the Protected Attributes Gem. While migrating from Protected Attributes to Strong Parameters we found ourself in a situation where we were repeating the same code. To elaborate, in Rails3 when we used Protected Attribute, all our white-listed attributes were at one place i.e. in the model itself. But when we used Strong Parameters, all these attributes of model came into the controllers, so if we had more than one controller dealing with same model, we were repeating the code for white-listing attributes in each controller.Read more

Vinsol Introduces ShopSpree: First iOS App for Spree Commerce

We understand the preferences of shoppers have changed globally. Today, consumers prefer shopping in the most convenient ways: anywhere, anytime and on the move. This changing landscape has given birth to the world of mobile and applications. The statistics prove the increase in mobile internet usage is on the rise, now standing at 65% globally.


Around 32% of all online purchases have been done through mobile. Mobile commerce is looking promising, and expects the spending to be $200 billion USD by the end of 2014, reaching an approximate 50% growth from 2013. Predictions indicate that by 2020, smartphones and tablets will account for more than 75% of global online commercial transactions, and more than 50% of spend.

The e-commerce market, which is now enhanced by mobile, is comprised primarily of e-commerce companies that have long held a web presence, but have gained even more with the transition from web to mobile.
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Custom model callbacks in RubyOnRails

RubyOnRails provides us with many model callbacks around the object's lifecycle when object is being created, updated or destroyed. For example: before_create, after_create, before_update, after_destroy etc. We use them to write & run our code around the object's lifecycle by defining a method and associating them as one of the callbacks.

But then how can we make a piece of code execute as a callback for any another defined method except create, update, save and destroy? For example, let's say we have a model Article and we want to execute something just before and after an article is being published without hooking into model's before_save and after_save callbacks?

RubyOnRails or more precisely ActiveRecord provides us with a module ActiveModel::Callbacks, which allows us to define and register custom callbacks using define_model_callbacks method. Lets have a look at the snippet below for the above scenario:
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Exporting large data to CSV using mysql outfile in multi-host Rails env.

In one of our current project we had a requirement where we needed to allow the site admin to download raw DB data as CSV file for some offline analysis. So, according to the requirement, we allowed the admin to select a database table and a date range to download the generated CSV data.

Our initial approach was to send the CSV file asynchronously using delayed job. It worked like this:
Admin submits the request, system queues it and sends admin an email with the attached CSV file. The reason we did this asynchronously was to avoid timeout during CSV generation.

While testing & benchmarking this approach, we ecountered two issues when we had a large data to export.

  • Too much memory was used by the ruby process when generating the CSV
  • CSV size could be larger than the supported attachment size by the email service provider, hence could result in an undelivered email

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Full-Calendar Rails Engine

A couple of years ago we integrated jQuery FullCalendar plugin with a rails backend. The plugin became reasonably popular and was being used in many Rails apps.

Recently we upgraded it to include an efficient full-sized, drag & drop calendar functionality within a Rails Engine and release it as a gem. With Rails 4 deprecating Rails::Plugin(commit) this would come really handy.

It easily blends within a rails application. Provides a great UI experience with the use of AJAX to fetch events on-the-fly for each month and hooks for user-triggered events (like clicking or dragging an event) for an easy event editing functionality. The view can be easily customized using the configurations provided.

A demo version of this engine implementation can be viewed at http://vinsol.com/fullcalendar-demo

Work in progress : Optimizing Recurring Event functionality.

Source code is hosted on github. Feel free to fork and send a pull request etc.