Easy integration of Kiss Metrics javascript into your Rails project
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This plugin simplifies the use of KISSmetrics with Rails.

KISSmetrics really works best with Javascript. The problem is that in Rails the best place to decide whether to fire off an event is inside a Controller.

Using a flash mechanism this plugin provides a series of helper functions to allow your Controller to inject the correct Javascript into any page.


  1. Install the gem by adding it to your Gemfile
  2. Add an initializer in config/initializers/kiss_metrics.rb like:
Lascivious.setup do |config|
  config.api_key = "0000000000000000000000000000000000000000"
  1. Replace the zeroes with your API key from https://www.kissmetrics.com/settings
  2. Add kiss_metrics_tag to whichever layouts you want to use KISSmetrics with, usually all of them, e.g. here's what our header partial looks like:
<title><%= title %></title>
<%= csrf_meta_tag %>
<link rel="image_src" href="/images/facebook-icon.png"/>
<%= kiss_metrics_tag %>
  1. Now all you have to do is add KISSmetricss tags in controllers or views wherever you need something. For instance:
class SomeController < ApplicationController
  def index
    kiss_record "SomeController loaded"

Currently the following commands are provided:

  • kiss_set <message> - adds a 'set' event, e.g. 'country: uk'
  • kiss_identify <user_id> - adds an 'identity' event, associating the given user ID with the KISSmetrics identifier.
  • kiss_alias <value> - adds an 'alias' event (weak identifier), e.g. user_id from a tracking cookie that may or may not be on a shared machine
  • kiss_record <message> - adds a 'record' event with a message of 'message'
  • kiss_metric <event_type> <message> - adds an event of type 'event_type' with a message of 'message'

How to Integrate with your app

Our service is built on Rails 3 with Devise and Inherited Resources. This is how we integrated KISSmetricss into our app.


In all cases add this to the HEAD of your layouts:

<%= kiss_metrics_tag %>

And define your keys via an initializer in app/config/initializers/kiss_metrics.rb like this:

Lascivious.setup do |config|
  if Rails.env == 'production'
    config.api_key = ENV['KISS_METRICS_API_KEY']
    # Development/testing/staging account key...
    config.api_key = "1111111111111111111111111111111111111111"

Sign In

We use a Controller override in Devise as we want to handle a failed login very specifically. So we have in app/controllers/users/sessions_controller.rb:

class Users::SessionsController < Devise::SessionsController
  def create
    warden_opts = { :scope => resource_name, :recall => "#{controller_path}#new" }
    resource = warden.authenticate(warden_opts)
      kind = :invalid
      resource = build_resource
      resource.errors[:base] = I18n.t("#{resource_name}.#{kind}", {
        scope: "devise.failure",
        default: [kind],
        resource_name: resource_name
      kiss_identify resource.email
      kiss_record "Signed In"
      set_flash_message(:notice, :signed_in) if is_navigational_format?
      sign_in(resource_name, resource)
    respond_with resource, :location => redirect_location(resource_name, resource)

A much simpler version would be an after_sign_in_path_for override in app/controllers/application_controller.rb:


def after_sign_in_path_for(resource_or_scope)
  kiss_identify resource_or_scope.email unless resource_or_scope.email.nil?
  kiss_record "Signed In"
  scope = Devise::Mapping.find_scope!(resource_or_scope)
  home_path = "#{scope}_root_path"
  respond_to?(home_path, true) ? send(home_path) : root_path

Sign Out

We added this to app/controllers/application_controller.rb:


### Record a sign out
def after_sign_out_path_for(resource_or_scope)
  kiss_record "Signed Out"

The new_user_session_path is important: if you redirect to root_path you will be redirected to the login page (as your user will now fail authorization) and in the process your flash will be wiped clear.

Email Open

Our Mailers typically look like this:

def send_mail(user, recipient, bill_period, subject)
  @recipient ||= user
  @user = user
  @bill_period = bill_period
  @data = collate(@user, @bill_period)

    to: formatted_address(@user, @recipient),
    subject: subject

The @recipient variable is important to us, it allows us to send an email even if we don't have a user setup.

Now inside the email partial we do:

... our email ERB template ...
  <%= kiss_metrics_email_beacon @recipient.email, "Summary" %>

Points to note here:

  • This only works inside HTML emails and even then not all the time. If this doesn't make sense to you go Google 'email pixels' or 'email beacons'
  • Change "Summary" to be whichever email variant you have, it could be 'Welcome Email' or 'Bill Reminder', etc.
  • We've put the kiss_metrics_email_beacon at the bottom of the email, right before the closing body tag. This reduces the chance the pixel kills your layout and means the open is only triggered if the email is properly downloaded and parsed.

General Activity

You get this for free on every page where you have included the kiss_metrics_tag included in your layout.


See the kiss_identify tag above. We use the email address but you could use a hash of this or the user record ID if you don't want to put the email address inside a page. We prefer the email address (it's easier to understand what's happening on a user by user basis) but some folks don't like to put an email address inside a web page.

Activation & Sign Up

This gets a bit awkward. We have an Invite model that is a bit unusual. Without going into the details this is what the controller looks like:

class InvitesController < InheritedResources::Base
  respond_to :html
  actions :new, :create

  def new
    new! do
      kiss_record "Activated"

  def create
    create! do |success, failure|
      success.html do
        kiss_record "Signed Up"
        kiss_identify current_user.email
        redirect_to first_page_in_your_post_sign_up_path

Beyond this you're on your own here, sorry.

Development vs Production

If you don't setup two sites - one for prod and the other for dev - your Prod site will get polluted with your dev work. Or you can simply disable it. See the example above for a template.

Other Stuff

You can add other events to your app by simply stating:

kiss_record "Some Other Event"

You might want to record for instance the first time someone returns to your site after they have purchased your product. You can work these events into KISSmetricss really easily, with no setup required on the KM side.

See the API section for more details on what tools you have for doing this.

Contributing to Lascivious

  • Check out the latest master to make sure the feature hasn't been implemented or the bug hasn't been fixed yet.
  • Check out the issue tracker to make sure someone already hasn't requested it and/or contributed it.
  • Fork the project.
  • Start a feature/bugfix branch.
  • Commit and push until you are happy with your contribution.
  • Make sure to add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Please try not to mess with the Rakefile, version, or history. If you want to have your own version, or is otherwise necessary, that is fine, but please isolate to its own commit so I can cherry-pick around it.


Copyright (c) 2011-2012 Cloudability Inc.

See LICENSE for further details.