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Mandrill::Rails

The primary goal of Mandrill::Rails is to make supporting Mandrill web hooks as easy and Rails-native as possible. As other opportunities for better Rails integration of the Mandrill API are discovered, these may be rolled in too.

Mandrill::Rails currently does not need or require any direct Mandrill API integration (such as provided by various Mandrill and MailChimp gems). If you need direct API integration in addition to Mandrill::Rails features, you can choose to add whichever best meets your needs.

FYI, Mandrill is the transactional email service by the same folks who do MailChimp.

Requirements and Known Limitations

  • Tested with MRI 1.9.3, 2.0.0, Rubinius (1.9 mode), JRuby (1.9 mode).

  • MRI 1.8.7, 1.9.2, JRuby 1.8 mode and Rubinius 1.8 mode do work but you must force activesupport < 4.

  • Requires Rails >= 3.0.3 (including 3.1, 3.2 and 4).

Food for thought (upcoming features maybe)..

  • some generators may be handy to avoid the manual coding to wire up web hooks

  • I thought about implementing this as an engine, but the overhead did not seem appropriate. Maybe that view will change..

The Mandrill::Rails Cookbook

How do I install it for normal use?

Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'mandrill-rails'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install mandrill-rails

How do I install it for gem development?

If you want to work on enhancements or fix bugs in Mandrill::Rails, fork and clone the github repository. If you are using bundler (recommended), run bundle to install development dependencies.

Run tests using rake or rake spec, and note that guard is also included with the development dependencies so you can kick-off continuous testing of changed files by running bundle exec guard.

See the section below on 'Contributing to Mandrill::Rails' for more information.

How do I configure my app for incoming Mandrill WebHooks?

Say we have configured Mandrill to send requests to /inbox at our site (see the next recipes for how you do that).

Once we have Mandrill::Rails in our project, we just need to do two things. There's no generator to help you do this at the moment, but it is pretty simple:

First, configure a resource route:

resource :inbox, :controller => 'inbox', :only => [:show,:create]

Next, create the corresponding controller:

class InboxController < ApplicationController
  include Mandrill::Rails::WebHookProcessor
end

That's all for the basic do-nothing endpoint setup. Note that we need both the GET and POST routes (Mandrill sends data to the POST route, but it uses GET to test the availability of the endpoint).

You can setup as many of these controllers as you need, if you wish different types of events to be handled by different routes.

How do I configure Mandrill to send inbound email to my app?

See Mandrill Inbound Domains

  • enter the mail route you want to match on e.g. *@app.mydomain.com

  • set the WebHook enpoint to match e.g. mydomain.com/inbox

How do I configure Mandrill to send WebHook requests to my app?

See Mandrill WebHooks

  • select the events you want to trigger on

  • set the “Post to URL” to point to your controller e.g. mydomain.com/inbox

How do I handle specific Mandrill event payloads in my app?

Once we have configured Mandrill and setup our routes and controllers, our app will successfully receive WebHook event notifications from Mandrill. But we are not doing anything with the payload yet.

To handle specific Mandrill event payloads, we just need to implement a handler for each event type we are interested in.

The list of available event types includes: inbound, send, hard_bounce, soft_bounce, open, click, spam, unsub, and reject.

In our controller, we simply write a method called handle_<event-type> and it will be called for each event payload received. The event payload will be passed to this method as a Mandrill::WebHook::EventDecorator - basically a Hash with some additional methods to help extract payload-specific elements.

For example, to handle inbound email:

class InboxController < ApplicationController
  include Mandrill::Rails::WebHookProcessor

  def handle_inbound(event_payload)
    Item.save_inbound_mail(event_payload)
  end

end

If the handling of the payload may be time-consuming, you could throw it onto a background queue at this point instead.

Note that Mandrill may send multiple event payloads in a single request, but you don't need to worry about that. Each event payload will be unpacked from the request and dispatched to your handler individually.

And if you don't care to handle a specific payload type - then just don't implement the associated handler.

How can I authenticate Mandrill Webhooks?

Mandrill now supports webhook authentication which can help prevent unauthorised posting to your webhook handlers. You can lookup and reset your API keys on the Mandrill WebHook settings page.

If you do not configure your webhook API key, then the handlers will continue to work fine - they just won't be authenticated.

To enable authentication, use the authenticate_with_mandrill_keys! method to set your API key. It is recommended you pull your API keys from environment settings, or use some other means to avoid committing the API keys in your source code.

For example, to handle inbound email:

class InboxController < ApplicationController
  include Mandrill::Rails::WebHookProcessor
  authenticate_with_mandrill_keys! 'YOUR_MANDRILL_WEBHOOK_KEY'

  def handle_inbound(event_payload)
    # .. handler methods will only be called if authentication has succeeded.
  end

end

How can I authenticate multiple Mandrill Webhooks in the same controller?

Sometimes you may have more than one WebHook sending requests to a single controller, for example if you have one handling 'click' events, and another sending inbound email. Mandrill assigns separate API keys to each of these.

In this case, just add all the valid API keys you will allow with authenticate_with_mandrill_keys!, for example:

class InboxController < ApplicationController
  include Mandrill::Rails::WebHookProcessor
  authenticate_with_mandrill_keys! 'MANDRILL_CLICK_WEBHOOK_KEY', 'MANDRILL_INBOUND_WEBHOOK_KEY', 'ANOTHER_WEBHOOK_KEY'

  def handle_inbound(event_payload)
  end

  def handle_click(event_payload)
  end

end

How do I pull apart the event_payload?

The event_payload object passed to our handler represents a single event and is packaged as an Mandrill::WebHook::EventDecorator - basically a Hash with some additional methods to help extract payload-specific elements.

You can use it as a Hash (with String keys) to access all of the native elements of the specific event, for example:

event_payload['event']
=> "click"
event_payload['ts']
=> 1350377135
event_payload['msg']
=> {...}

If you would like examples of the actual data structures sent by Mandrill for different event types, some are included in the project source under spec/fixtures/webhook_examples.

What additional methods does event_payload provide to help extract payload-specific elements?

In addition to prividing full Hash-like access to the raw message, the event_payload object (a Mandrill::WebHook::EventDecorator) provides a range of helper methods for some of the more obvious things you might need to do with the payload. Here are some examples (see Mandrill::WebHook::EventDecorator class documentation for full details)

event_payload.message_id
# Returns the message_id.
# Inbound events: references 'Message-Id' header.
# Send/Open/Click events: references '_id' message attribute.

event_payload.user_email
# Returns the subject user email address.
# Inbound messages: references 'email' message attribute (represents the sender).
# Send/Open/Click messages: references 'email' message attribute (represents the recipient).

event_payload.references
# Returns an array of reference IDs.
# Applicable events: inbound

event_payload.recipients
# Returns an array of all unique recipients (to/cc)
#   [ [email,name], [email,name], .. ]
# Applicable events: inbound

event_payload.recipient_emails
# Returns an array of all unique recipient emails (to/cc)
#   [ email, email, .. ]
# Applicable events: inbound

How to extend Mandrill::WebHook::EventDecorator for application-specific payload handling?

It's likely you may benefit from adding more application-specific intelligence to the event_payload object.

There are many ways to do this, but it is quite legitimate to reopen the EventDecorator class and add your own methods if you wish.

For example event_payload.user_email returns the subject user email address, but perhaps I will commonly want to match that with a user record in my system. Or I similarly want to resolve event_payload.recipient_emails to user records. In this case, I could extend EventDecorator in my app like this:

# Extends Mandrill::WebHook::EventDecorator with app-specific event payload transformation
class Mandrill::WebHook::EventDecorator

  # Returns the user record for the subject user (if available)
  def user
    User.where(email: user_email).first
  end

  # Returns user records for all to/cc recipients
  def recipient_users
    User.where(email: recipient_emails)
  end

end

How do I extract attachments from an inbound email?

The EventDecorator class provides an attachments method to access an array of attachments (if any). Each attachment is encapsulated in a class that describes the name, mime type, raw and decoded content.

For example:

def handle_inbound(event_payload)
  if attachments = event_payload.attachments.presence
    # yes, we have at least 1 attachment. Lets look at the first:
    a1 = attachments.first

    a1.name
    # => e.g. 'sample.pdf'
    a1.type
    # => e.g. 'application/pdf'
    a1.content
    # => this is the raw content provided by Mandrill, and will be base64-encoded if not plain text
    # e.g. 'JVBERi0xLjMKJcTl8uXrp/Og0MTGCjQgMCBvY ... (etc)'
    a1.decoded_content
    # => this is the content decoded by Mandrill::Rails, ready to be written as a File or whatever
    # e.g. '%PDF-1.3\n%\xC4\xE5 ... (etc)'

  end
end

How do I use Mandrill API features with Mandrill::Rails?

Mandrill::Rails currently does not need or require any direct Mandrill API integration (such as provided by various Mandrill and MailChimp gems). If you need direct API integration in addition to Mandrill::Rails features, you can choose to add whichever best meets your needs and use as normal.

Contributing to Mandrill::Rails

  • 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 gemspec, 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

Copyright © 2012 Paul Gallagher. See LICENSE for further details.

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