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An example Rails 3.2 app with Devise and RSpec and Cucumber.

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Rails Application for Devise with RSpec and Cucumber Rails App for Devise with RSpec and Cucumber

Rails 3.2 example application shows how to use Devise with RSpec and Cucumber.

  • Devise gives you ready-made authentication and user management.
  • RSpec is a popular alternative to the Test::Unit testing framework.
  • Cucumber is used for Behaviour Driven Development.

Best of all, there’s a detailed tutorial to show how it’s built.

You can build this application in only a few minutes using the Rails Composer tool.

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Follow the project on Twitter: @rails_apps. Please tweet some praise if you like what you’ve found.

Tutorial

A complete tutorial is available:

View the Tutorial

The tutorial documents each step to follow to create the application. Every step is documented concisely, so a complete beginner can create this application without any additional knowledge. However, no explanation is offered for any of the steps, so if you are a beginner, you’re advised to look for an introduction to Rails elsewhere. See a list of recommended resources for Rails.

What Is Implemented — and What Is Not

This is a demonstration application that allows you to visit a home page and see a list of users. With the default user’s email and password (supplied below), you can log in and view details for each user. Devise provides user management so a visitor can register with an email address and password and create an account. Devise provides authentication so access to the site can be limited to users who are registered and logged in.

The rake db:seed command sets up a database with two example users. The first user is designated as an administrator and can view a administrative page when logged in. The second user is restricted from accessing the administrative page.

Similar Examples and Tutorials

This is one in a series of Rails example apps and tutorials from the RailsApps Project. See a list of additional Rails examples, tutorials, and starter apps.

This example application uses ActiveRecord and a SQLite database. You can use the Mongoid ORM with the MongoDB datastore instead, for faster development without schemas or migrations. The rails3-mongoid-devise example app and tutorial shows how to set up Devise and Mongoid with RSpec and Cucumber.

For an extended version of this example that adds CanCan for authorization (controlling access to administrative pages) and Twitter Bootstrap (for CSS styling) see the rails3-bootstrap-devise-cancan example application.

The rails-prelaunch-signup example and tutorial from the RailsApps project is also based on this example application.

Dependencies

Before generating your application, you will need:

  • The Ruby language (version 1.9.3)
  • Rails 3.2

See the article Installing Rails for advice about updating Rails and your development environment.

Getting the Application

You have several options for getting the code.

Fork

If you’d like to add features (or bug fixes) to improve the example application, you can fork the GitHub repo and make pull requests. Your code contributions are welcome!

Clone

If you want to copy and customize the app with changes that are only useful for your own project, you can clone the GitHub repo. You’ll need to search-and-replace the project name throughout the application. You probably should generate the app instead (see below). To clone:

$ git clone git://github.com/RailsApps/rails3-devise-rspec-cucumber.git

You’ll need git on your machine. See Rails and Git.

Generate

If you want to use the project as a starter app, use the Rails Composer tool to generate a new version of the example app. You’ll be able to give it your own project name when you generate the app. Generating the application gives you many additional options.

To build the example application, run the command:

$ rails new myapp -m https://raw.github.com/RailsApps/rails-composer/master/composer.rb -T

Use the -T flag to skip Test::Unit files.

The $ character indicates a shell prompt; don’t include it when you run the command.

This creates a new Rails app (with the name “myapp”) on your computer.

Edit the README

If you’re storing the app in a GitHub repository, please edit the README files to add a description of the app and your contact info. If you don’t change the README, people will think I am the author of your version of the application.

Getting Started

Install the Required Gems

Check the Gemfile to see which gems are used by this application.

If you used the Rails Composer tool to generate the example app, the application template script has already run the bundle install command.

If not, you should run the bundle install command to install the required gems on your computer:

$ bundle install

You can check which gems are installed on your computer with:

$ gem list

Keep in mind that you have installed these gems locally. When you deploy the app to another server, the same gems (and versions) must be available.

I recommend using rvm, the Ruby Version Manager, to create a project-specific gemset for the application. See the article Installing Rails.

Configure Email

You must configure the app for your email account if you want your application to send email messages.

Use a Gmail account

You’ll need to modify two files to include your Gmail username and password:

  • config/environments/development.rb
  • config/environments/production.rb
config.action_mailer.smtp_settings = {
  address: "smtp.gmail.com",
  port: 587,
  domain: "example.com",
  authentication: "plain",
  enable_starttls_auto: true,
  user_name: ENV["GMAIL_USERNAME"],
  password: ENV["GMAIL_PASSWORD"]
}

You can replace ENV["GMAIL_USERNAME"] and ENV["GMAIL_PASSWORD"] with your Gmail username and password. However, committing the file to a public GitHub repository will expose your secret password.

If you’re familiar with setting Unix environment variables, it’s advisable to leave config.action_mailer.smtp_settings unchanged and set your environment variables in the file that is read when starting an interactive shell (the ~/.bashrc file for the bash shell). This will keep the password out of your repository.

Are you using a bash shell? Use echo $SHELL to find out. For a bash shell, edit the ~/.bashrc file and add:

export GMAIL_USERNAME="myname@gmail.com"
export GMAIL_PASSWORD="secret*"

Open a new shell or restart your terminal application to continue.

Configure ActionMailer

The example application is set to deliver email in production only. It will raise delivery errors in development but not production.

In development, config.action_mailer.default_url_options is set for a host at localhost:3000 which will enable links in Devise confirmation email messages to work properly. You’ll need to change the config.action_mailer.default_url_options host option from example.com to your own domain for the production environment.

You can change these values as needed in these two files:

  • config/environments/development.rb
  • config/environments/production.rb

Configure Devise for Email

Complete your email configuration by modifying

  • config/initializers/devise.rb

and setting the config.mailer_sender option for the return email address for messages that Devise sends from the application.

Configure Devise

You can modify the configuration file for Devise if you want to use something other than the defaults:

  • config/initializers/devise.rb

Create a Default User

Set Up a Database Seed File

You’ll want to set up a default user so you can easily log in to test the app. You can modify the file db/seeds.rb for your own name, email and password:

puts 'SETTING UP DEFAULT USER LOGIN'
user = User.create! :name => 'First User', :email => 'user@example.com', :password => 'please', :password_confirmation => 'please'
puts 'New user created: ' << user.name
user2 = User.create! :name => 'Second User', :email => 'user2@example.com', :password => 'please', :password_confirmation => 'please'
puts 'New user created: ' << user2.name
user.add_role :admin

Use the defaults or change the values for name, email, and password as you wish.

Set the Database

Prepare the database and add the default user to the database by running the commands:

$ rake db:migrate
$ rake db:seed

Set the database for running tests:

$ rake db:test:prepare

If you’re not using rvm, the Ruby Version Manager, you should preface each rake command with bundle exec. You don’t need to use bundle exec if you are using rvm version 1.11.0 or newer.

Test the App

You can check that your app runs properly by entering the command

$ rails server

To see your application in action, open a browser window and navigate to http://localhost:3000/. You should see the default user listed on the home page. When you click on the user’s name, you should be required to log in before seeing the user’s detail page.

To sign in as the default user, (unless you’ve changed it) use

  • email: user@example.com
  • password: please

You should delete or change the pre-configured logins before you deploy your application.

If you test the app by starting the web server and then leave the server running while you install new gems, you’ll have to restart the server to see any changes. The same is true for changes to configuration files in the config folder. This can be confusing to new Rails developers because you can change files in the app folders without restarting the server. Stop the server each time after testing and you will avoid this issue.

Deploy to Heroku

For your convenience, here is a Tutorial for Rails on Heroku. Heroku provides low cost, easily configured Rails application hosting.

Customizing

Devise provides a variety of features for implementing authentication. See the Devise documentation for options.

This application provides no useful functionality apart from demonstrating Devise with RSpec and Cucumber working together on Rails 3. Add any models, controllers, and views that you need.

Testing

The example application contains a suite of RSpec unit tests and Cucumber scenarios and step definitions.

After installing the application, run rake -T to check that rake tasks for RSpec and Cucumber are available.

Run rake spec to run all RSpec tests.

Run rake cucumber (or more simply, cucumber) to run all Cucumber scenarios.

Please send the author a message, create an issue, or submit a pull request if you can contribute improved RSpec or Cucumber files.

Troubleshooting

Problems? Check the issues.

Problems with “Certificate Verify Failed”

Are you getting an error “OpenSSL certificate verify failed” when you try to generate a new Rails app from an application template? See suggestions to resolve the error Certificate Verify Failed.

Documentation and Support

The tutorial provides additional documentation.

For a Devise introduction, Ryan Bates offers a Railscast on Devise. You can find documentation for Devise at http://github.com/plataformatec/devise. There is an active Devise mailing list and you can submit Devise issues at GitHub.

Issues

Please create a GitHub issue if you identify any problems or have suggestions for improvements.

Where to Get Help

Your best source for help with problems is Stack Overflow. Your issue may have been encountered and addressed by others.

You can also try Rails Hotline, a free telephone hotline for Rails help staffed by volunteers.

Contributing

If you make improvements to this application, please share with others.

Send the author a message, create an issue, or fork the project and submit a pull request.

If you add functionality to this application, create an alternative implementation, or build an application that is similar, please contact me and I’ll add a note to the README so that others can find your work.

Credits

Daniel Kehoe implemented the application and wrote the tutorial.

Is the app useful to you? Follow the project on Twitter: @rails_apps
and tweet some praise. I’d love to know you were helped out by what I’ve put together.

MIT License

MIT License

Copyright © 2012 Daniel Kehoe

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