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Rails project with a delayed job that sends JSON to a webhook when a new RSS feed item arrives.
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rss2webhook - Send RSS feed articles to any webhook

rss2webhook is a barebones Rails app made to fetch new articles from an arbitrary RSS feed and POST (or GET) them to user-specified webhooks. It easily handles both plain and authenticated RSS feeds over http/https.

The vast majority of the app's functionality can be configured through one YAML configuration file: config.yml. RSS feeds are set up here with a URL and authentication options. The webhook can be configured to either POST or GET a custom JSON object. The JSON data to be sent is configurable to be any tree structure you like. |pipes| are used to inject RSS item attributes into the JSON. See the examples below for details.

rss2webhook was made to be deployed easily on Heroku. You can however, tweak it to deploy on any server with a SQL-DB backing and MongoDB support.

Deploying rss2webhook

Below are instructions for deploying rss2webhook on Heroku.

Step 1: Clone this repo

git clone git://

Step 2: Bundle the gems

bundle install

Step 3: Configure the Postgres database

All database configuration is in config/database.yml. Change it to suit your environment.

Step 4: Create and Migrate database

rake db:create
rake db:migrate

Step 5: Configure MongoMapper

rss2webhook uses MongoMapper as an adapter for MongoDB. If you are testing the app out in your local environment and you already have MongoDB running, the first condition in config/initializers/mongo.rb should have you covered. If you don't have MongoDB installed, download the appropriate distro here.

If you are deploying to Heroku, you'll need to sign up for either a MongoLab or MongoHQ account after deploying. (I personally use MongoLab as their free plan comes with a generous 240MB of space.) In mongo.rb, uncomment one of the 2 configuration lines to work with your MongoDB provider.

MongoMapper.config = { Rails.env => {'uri' => ENV['MONGOLAB_URI']} }

or for MongoHQ:

MongoMapper.config = { Rails.env => {'uri' => ENV['MONGOHQ_URL']} }

Step 6: Configure your RSS feeds and webhooks

Open up config/config.yml, the central YAML file for configuring rss2webhook.

You'll need to start by adding sections for development: and production:. For each section, define a set of global settings. Below is an example of one section for production. Be sure to do something similar for development so you can test locally.

    type: post  # either post or get
    process_on_start: false  # whether to send all the articles on first fetch of the feed
    check_interval: 10  # check for feed updates every x seconds

After that, you need to configure at least one RSS feed and its corresponding webhook. Here is an example for an unauthenticated RSS sample feed from SilverOrange sending data to a HipChat room webhook (message API).

      webhook:  # any web url
      type: get  # can be get or post
        auth_token: 37b6805ad9ef28b523268053d5953c
        room_id: 48856
        from: |author|  # equivalent to rss_article['author']
        message: |title| at |link|  # interpolated values of rss_article
        format: json

See the configuration examples below for info on dealing with basic authentication, SSL, and different output formats.

Step 7: Test it out locally

rss2webhook provides you with a few rake scripts to start, stop, and restart the RSS feed processing. Under the hood, they insert and delete delayed jobs.

Assumbing your Mongo and DJ configuration is correct, you can insert the DJ for processing feeds with:

rake start_processing

Next, use Foreman to spin up a worker:

foreman start worker

Assuming things are working, you should see the DJ fire once every few seconds for each one of the configured feeds.

Step 8: Deploy on Heroku

You are now ready to deploy on Heroku. Due to rss2webhook's reliance on a Procfile and Rails 3.1, it is recommended you use the Cedar stack.

First, commit your changes:

git commit -am "Changed configuration for deployment"

In the project directory, type:

heroku create --stack cedar

Push your repo to Heroku:

git push heroku master

You'll need an instance of a MongoDB running. I recommend MongoLab. Their starter plan is free:

heroku addons:add mongolab:starter

Next, migrate the database:

heroku run rake db:migrate

Make sure you scale down the web worker (there is no frontend) and scale up the background worker:

heroku scale web=0
heroku scale worker=1

Lastly, to kick everything off, run the rake task:

heroku run rake start_processing

Tail the logs just to make sure things are going as expected:

heroku logs --tail

That's it! You should now have an instance of rss2webhook sending RSS articles to webhooks.

Configuration Examples

Below are a few typical configurations.

RSS over no-auth HTTP, simple POST to webhook

    webhook:  # POSTs article => { link => ... }

RSS over basic-auth HTTP, simple POST to webhook

      ssl: false  # for HTTPs, just set this to true
      resource: /feeds/daily
        username: basicauth_user
        password: my_password

Custom webhook data

    output:  # POSTs message => { summary => ..., content => ... }
        summary: |title|
        content: Full content - |description|

Send data to webhook with GET request

    type: get

Advanced Usage

All the logic for rss2webhook can be found in the delayed job lib/delayed_jobs/process_new_articles_job.rb. The perform method downloads the entire RSS feed and parses articles using the RSS::Parser lib. It then checks for new RSS items depending whether any of the newly fetched articles have urls which match articles already stored in MongoDB. If not, call_webhook is invoked for each of the new articles. If you have a need to use a different article field not officially specified in the RSS 2.0 standard (i.e. pubDate), perform is the place to change it.

rss2webhook performs very basic interpolation of RSS article fields in the output sent to webhooks. If for some reason the | pipe symbol is not working well for your content, the place to change it is in interpolate_output_with_values. Simply change the regex specified to be what you need.

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