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Handling recurring events in rails.


Put the following into your Gemfile and run bundle install

gem 'ice_cube'
gem 'schedulable'

Install schedule migration and model

rails g schedulable:install

Basic Usage

Create an event model

rails g scaffold Event name:string

Don't forget to migrate your database at this point in order to reflect the changes: rake db:migrate

Open app/models/event.rb and add the following to configure your model to be schedulable:

# app/models/event.rb
class Event < ActiveRecord::Base
  acts_as_schedulable :schedule

This will add an association to the model named 'schedule' which holds the schedule information.

Schedule Model

The schedule-object respects the following attributes.

ruleStringOne of 'singular', 'daily', 'weekly', 'monthly'
dateDateThe date-attribute is used for singular events and also as startdate of the schedule
timeTimeThe time-attribute is used for singular events and also as starttime of the schedule
dayArrayDay of week. An array of weekday-names, i.e. ['monday', 'wednesday']
day_of_weekHashDay of nth week. A hash of weekday-names, containing arrays with indices, i.e. {:monday => [1, -1]} ('every first and last monday in month')
intervalIntegerSpecifies the interval of the recurring rule, i.e. every two weeks
untilDateSpecifies the enddate of the schedule. Required for terminating events.
countIntegerSpecifies the total number of occurrences. Required for terminating events.


Use schedulable's built-in helpers to setup your form.


Schedulable extends FormBuilder with a 'schedule_select'-helper and should therefore seamlessly integrate it with your existing views:

<%# app/views/events/_form.html.erb %>
<%= form_for(@event) do |f| %>

  <div class="field">
    <%= f.label :name %><br>
    <%= f.text_field :name %>
  <div class="field">
    <%= f.label :schedule %><br>
    <%= f.schedule_select :schedule %>
  <div class="actions">
    <%= f.submit %>
<% end %>

Customize markup

You can customize the generated markup by providing a hash of html-attributes as style-option. For wrappers, also provide a tag-attribute.

  • field_html
  • input_html
  • input_wrapper
  • label_html
  • label_wrapper
  • number_field_html
  • number_field_wrapper
  • date_select_html
  • date_select_wrapper
  • collection_select_html
  • collection_select_wrapper
  • collection_check_boxes_item_html
  • collection_check_boxes_item_wrapper

Integrate with Bootstrap

The schedulable-formhelper has built-in-support for Bootstrap. Simply point the style-option of schedule_input to bootstrap or set it as default in config.

<%= f.schedule_select :schedule, style: :bootstrap %>

Custom inputs

Customize datetime-controls by passing FormBuilder-methods as a hash to the input_types-option. See below example for integrating date_picker with schedulable:

<%# app/views/events/_form.html.erb %>
<div class="field form-group">
  <%= f.label :schedule %><br>
  <%= f.schedule_select :schedule, style: :bootstrap, until: true, input_types: {date: :date_picker, time: :time_picker, datetime: :datetime_picker} %>


countBooleanSpecifies whether to show 'count'-field
input_typesHashSpecify a hash containing custom form builder methods. Defaults to `{date: :date_select, time: :time_select, datetime: :datetime_select}`. The interface of the custom form builder method must either match `date_select` or `date_field`-methods
intervalBooleanSpecifies whether to show 'interval'-field
styleHashSpecifies a hash of options to customize markup. By providing a string, you can point to a prefined set of options. Built-in styles are :bootstrap and :default.
untilBooleanSpecifies whether to show 'until'-field


Also provided with the plugin is a custom input for simple_form. Make sure, you installed SimpleForm and executed rails generate simple_form:install.

rails g schedulable:simple_form
<%# app/views/events/_form.html.erb %>
<%= simple_form_for(@event) do |f| %>
  <div class="field">
    <%= f.label :name %><br>
    <%= f.text_field :name %>
  <div class="field">
    <%= f.label :schedule %><br>
    <%= f.input :schedule, as: :schedule %>

  <div class="actions">
    <%= f.submit %>
<% end %>

Integrate with Bootstrap

Simple Form has built-in support for Bootstrap as of version 3.0.0. At time of writing it requires some a little extra portion of configuration to make it look as expected:

# config/initializers/simple_form_bootstrap.rb

# Inline date_select-wrapper for Bootstrap
config.wrappers :horizontal_select_date, tag: 'div', class: 'form-group', error_class: 'has-error' do |b|
  b.use :html5
  b.optional :readonly
  b.use :label, class: 'control-label'
  b.wrapper tag: 'div', class: 'form-inline' do |ba|
    ba.use :input, class: 'form-control'
    ba.use :error, wrap_with: { tag: 'span', class: 'help-block' }
    ba.use :hint,  wrap_with: { tag: 'p', class: 'help-block' }

# Include date_select-wrapper in mappings
config.wrapper_mappings = {
  datetime: :horizontal_select_date,
  date: :horizontal_select_date,
  time: :horizontal_select_date

Custom inputs

You can customize datetime-controls by passing simple_form-inputs as a hash to the input_types-option. See form helper for similar example

For integrating date_picker with schedulable and simple_form, you can also run date_picker's simple_form-generator to create a default date_time-input:

rails g date_picker:simple_form date_time


countBooleanSpecifies whether to show 'count'-field
input_typesHashSpecify a hash containing custom simple form inputs. Defaults to `{date: :date_time, time: :date_time, datetime: :date_time}`.
intervalBooleanSpecifies whether to show 'interval'-field
untilBooleanSpecifies whether to show 'until'-field

Sanitize parameters

Add schedule-attributes to the list of strong parameters in your controller:

# app/controllers/event_controller.rb
def event_params
  params.require(:event).permit(:name, schedule_attributes: Schedulable::ScheduleSupport.param_names)

Note: If you don't use schedule as attribute name, you need to rename schedule_attributes accordingly.

Accessing IceCube

You can access ice_cube-methods directly via the schedule association:

<%# app/views/events/show.html.erb %>
  <%# Prints out a human-friendly description of the schedule, such as %> 
  <%= @event.schedule %>
# Prints all occurrences of the event until one year from now
puts @event.schedule.occurrences( + 1.year)
# Export to ical
puts @event.schedule.to_ical

See IceCube for more information.


Schedulable is bundled with translations in english and german which will be automatically initialized with your app. You can customize these messages by running the locale generator and edit the created yml-files:

rails g schedulable:locale de

Date- and Time-Messages

Appropriate datetime translations should be included. Basic setup for many languages can be found here:


An internationalization-branch of ice_cube can be found here:

gem 'ice_cube', git: 'git://', branch: 'international' 

Persist Occurrences

Schedulable allows for persisting occurrences and associate them with your event model. The Occurrence Model model must include an attribute of type 'datetime' with name 'date' as well as a polymorphic association to the schedulable event model. Simply use the occurrence generator for setting up the appropriate model:

rails g schedulable:occurrence EventOccurrence

On the other side, pass the association to your schedulable event model by using the occurrences-option of the acts_as_schedulable-method:

# app/models/event.rb
class Event < ActiveRecord::Base
  acts_as_schedulable :schedule, occurrences: :event_occurrences

This will create the corresponding has_many-association and also add remaining_event_occurrences and previous_event_occurrences-methods.

Instances of remaining occurrences are persisted when the parent-model is saved. Occurrences records will be reused if their datetime matches the saved schedule. Past occurrences stay untouched.

Terminating and non-terminating events

An event is terminating if an until- or count-attribute has been specified. Since non-terminating events have infinite occurrences, we cannot build all occurrences at once ;-) So we need to limit the number of occurrences in the database. By default this will be one year from now. This can be configured via the 'build_max_count' and 'build_max_period'-options. See notes on configuration.

Automate build of occurrences

Since we cannot build an infinite amount of occurrences, we will need a task that adds occurrences as time goes by. Schedulable comes with a rake-task that performs an update on all scheduled occurrences.

rake schedulable:build_occurrences

You may add this task to crontab.

Use 'whenever' to schedule the generation of occurrences

With the 'whenever' gem this can be easily achieved.

gem 'whenever', :require => false

Generate the 'whenever'-configuration file:

wheneverize .

Open up the file 'config/schedule.rb' and add the job:

# config/schedule.rb
set :environment, "development"
set :output, {:error => "log/cron_error_log.log", :standard => "log/cron_log.log"}

every do
  rake "schedulable:build_occurrences"

Write to crontab:

whenever -w


Generate the configuration file

rails g schedulable:config

Open 'config/initializers/schedulable.rb' and edit options as needed:

Schedulable.configure do |config|
  # Build occurrences
  config.max_build_count = 0
  config.max_build_period = 1.year
  # SimpleForm
  config.simple_form = {
    input_types: {
   	  date: :date_time,
   	  time: :date_time,
   	  datetime: :date_time
  # Generic Form helper
  config.form_helper = {
    style: :default


See the Changelog for recent enhancements, bugfixes and deprecations.