Example code for writing a Rapportive Raplet in Ruby (using Sinatra and DataMapper)
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Raplet Template

A Raplet is a tiny web application that is displayed next to an email, and allows you to implement email-based workflows and provide contextual information about the sender. The Raplet API is provided by Rapportive.

This repository contains example code for a Raplet written in Ruby. It works right out of the box (although it doesn't do anything useful -- it just echoes the information that it was given). You can use it to experiment with the API, and you can make it the starting point for your own Raplet. Just clone the repository and start hacking :)


  • Show arbitrary content (HTML, CSS & JS) in Gmail next to an email conversation. Rapportive requests the Raplet for every contact looked up by the user, passing the contact's email address, full name and Twitter username to the Raplet.
  • Support for the metadata protocol for description text and images.
  • Support for the Raplet configuration protocol (an OAuth2 implementation), enabling you to securely authenticate the user, ask them whether to authorize access to your application, and set any necessary account configuration or user preferences.
  • Friendly error handling
  • Run the Raplet on your local machine, or on any Ruby hosting platform of your choice (it works out of the box on Heroku).

Development setup

This template uses Sinatra to serve incoming requests, and DataMapper to persist Raplet user information to a database. (Don't worry if you've not used those libraries before -- the way we use them is pretty straightforward. You could use others instead, e.g. Rails and ActiveRecord, but we think Sinatra and DataMapper make the code simpler and clearer for something like a Raplet.)

We use Bundler for managing gem dependencies. To get all the dependencies set up on your machine:

$ git clone git://github.com/rapportive-oss/raplet-template.git && cd raplet-template
$ gem install bundler
$ bundle install

When you have the dependencies installed, you can start the Raplet application just by typing:

$ bundle exec rackup -s thin

in the raplet-template directory. This will start a web server on localhost:9292. If you visit that URL in your browser, you should be taken to a page on rapportive.com prompting you to install your new Raplet. (For this to work, you need to be logged in to Rapportive in Gmail in the same browser.)

Unless you have an environment variable called DATABASE_URL defined, the Raplet will use a SQLite database (in a file called raplet.sqlite3) by default. The database is automatically created when you start the Raplet.

Now jump in and start playing with the code. Please note that if you change any files outside of the views directory, you need to restart the rackup process for your change to take effect.


This template is set up to work out of the box on Heroku. If you have the heroku command-line tool installed, deploying is simple:

$ heroku create my-raplet
$ git push heroku master

Now your Raplet is publicly available at my-raplet.heroku.com. It is automatically configured to use the Heroku Postgres database.

Deploying on other platforms should be straightforward too, provided that you have access to a database supported by DataMapper (we use Postgres). Be sure to set the DATABASE_URL environment variable (or change the code which initializes the database connections), otherwise you'll end up using SQLite.


Everything in this repository is available under the terms of the MIT license. See LICENSE for details.

Feedback, bug reports, patches and pull requests are welcome.