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Plugin which allows to export model data to Google Spreadsheets or Excel through Apache POI
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README.rdoc

ExportToSpreadsheet

This plugin allows to add some export functionalities to a Rails Application. The supported output formats are Microsoft Excel and Google Spreadsheets.

Dependencies

This gem has been tested on the following versions of ruby and rails

  • v0.1.2 - ruby 1.8.7 and rails 2.3.8

  • v0.2.0 - ruby 1.8.7 and rails 3.0.20/3.1.12

  • v0.3.0 - ruby 1.9.3 and rails 3.1.12 (tests are passing with rails 4.0.0)

It requires both JAVA (JDK and JRE) and the following gems :

  • portablecontacts

  • google-spreadsheet-ruby

  • RJB

  • oauth

  • oauth-plugin

  • restful-authentication

  • highline

Apache POI is also necessary but provided with this plugin.

Depending on the target plateform (Linux, Mac or Windows), RJB could require some path configuration, see rjb.rubyforge.org/

For the documentation generation the yard gem is required : github.com/lsegal/yard

An optionnal rake task to clean the generated files was created : rake cron:tidy_exported_tmp_files

General installation remark

You need to set the JAVA_HOME environment variable either directly in your system or in a ruby file contained in config/initializers/ where you would write for example :

ENV['JAVA_HOME'] = "/opt/SDK/jdk"

In some OS (seen in Windows), you might also have to set the CLASS_PATH adding the POI jar files :

ENV['CLASS_PATH'] = .;D:\PATH_TO_APACHE_POI\lib\apache-poi-3.7\poi-3.7-beta2-20100630.jar;D:\PATH_TO_APACHE_POI\lib\apache-poi-3.7\poi-contrib-3.7-beta2-20100630.jar;D:\PATH_TO_APACHE_POI\lib\apache-poi-3.7\poi-ooxml-3.7-beta2-20100630.jar;D:\PATH_TO_APACHE_POI\lib\apache-poi-3.7\poi-ooxml-schemas-3.7-beta2-20100630.jar;D:\PATH_TO_APACHE_POI\lib\apache-poi-3.7\poi-scratchpad-3.7-beta2-20100630.jar;C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\lib\ext\QTJava.zip

After installing the oauth-plugin (for Google Spreadsheet support), you need to generate a consumer : (check oauth -plugin documentation for full details)

RAILS_ROOT/script/generate oauth_consumer
rake db:migrate

Installation on a production server with Apache and Passenger

Passenger has to be launched with the same user as the application files' owner to be able to write files into RAILS_ROOT/tmp

To customize this, add the following line in /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/passenger.conf :

PassengerDefaultUser app_user

Tests

The tests of this plugin requires a Google account.

Getting started

A full sample that uses the plugin is available here: github.com/nimbleapps/export_to_spreadsheet_sample_app/

The tutorial below allows you to re-build this sample step by step.

Note that the sample above and the tutorial below work with Rails 2.x. They haven't been adapted to Rails 3 yet.

Simple Excel export

Once the plugin is installed (see Installation section for that), you can do the following to get a valid Excel export in 10 steps :

1/ Create your Rails app :

rails my_application

2/ Add the reference to the gem in your config/environment.rb :

config.gem “export_to_spreadsheet”

3/ Generate a scaffold (for instance a User one) :

ruby script/generate scaffold User first_name:string last_name:string

4/ Perform the migration to create the SQL table :

rake db:migrate

5/ Launch your server, go to your app URL (localhost:3000/users)

6/ Use the interface to add some users.

7/ Add a class in your models to perform the export, this class has to include the plugin :

class UserExporter
  include ExportToSpreadsheet
  # Actually building the output file whatever the format
  def compose_export
    @doc.write do |d|
      d.title_1("Sample Title User Export").title_2("We are going to export the users")
      d.title_3("Date : " + Date.today.to_s)
      d.newline.newline.freezepane
      keys_array =  ["First Name", "Last Name"]
      values     =  []
      User.all.each_with_index do |user,i|
        values     <<  [user.first_name, user.last_name]
      end
      d.h_table(values, keys_array, {:border_bottom => true})
      d.newline.newline
    end
    @doc.save
  end
end

8/ In the User controller, add a method for the export and the download of the document :

def export
  # Option which is handled by default by the plugin
  options = {:filename => "Users Export Example"}
  u_e    = UserExporter.new
  export = u_e.to_excel(options)
  download export.path
end
private
def download(server_file_path)
  send_file server_file_path
  rescue => e
    raise Exception, "File not found. Please ensure that your file was saved. Error was: #{e}"
end

9/ Modify the routes.rb file to map this new action :

map.resources :users, :collection => { :export => :get }

10/ Congratulations ! You can now export all the users in an Excel Spreadsheet using the link : localhost:3000/users/export

Advanced Spreadsheet export capabilities

Your first export worked. Now, what if you want to add a parameter to your export such as the number of users to export.

Let's do this :

1/ Modify your export export action in the users controller :

def export
  export_format         = params[:export_format]
  records_nb_to_export  = params[:records_nb_to_export]
  # first option which is handled by default by the plugin
  options = {:filename => "Users Export Example"}
  # adding an option which is personalized in lib/personalized_export_properties
  options.merge!({:records_nb_to_export => records_nb_to_export})
  u_e    = UserExporter.new
  if export_format == "excel"
    export = u_e.to_excel(options)
    download export.path
  end
end

2/ Modify the routes to handle these new parameters

map.resources :users
map.connect 'users/export/:export_format/:records_nb_to_export', :controller => 'users', :action => 'export'

3/ Add a plugin customization to handle this records_nb_to_export parameter. To do so, add a file before_prepare_export.rb in your lib folder and add the following code :

module ExportToSpreadsheet
  # Configures export before generating a document
  def before_prepare_export_first(target, options = {})
    @records_nb_to_export   = (options && ! options.empty?) ? options.delete(:records_nb_to_export)   : nil
    return options
  end
end

4/ Change the ExportUser class where the variable @records_nb_to_export is now available :

class UserExporter
  include ExportToSpreadsheet
  # Actually building the output file whatever the format
  def compose_export
    @doc.write do |d|
      d.title_1("Sample Title User Export").title_2("We are going to export the first #{@records_nb_to_export} users")
      d.title_3("Date : " + Date.today.to_s)
      d.newline.newline.freezepane
      keys_array =  ["First Name", "Last Name"]
      values     =  []
      User.all.each_with_index do |user,i|
        if i < @records_nb_to_export.to_i
          values     <<  [user.first_name, user.last_name]
        else
          break
        end
      end
      d.h_table(values, keys_array, {:border_bottom => true})
      d.newline.newline
    end
    @doc.save
  end
end

5/ Congratulations ! You can now export some data based on any users input parameter following this example. To check the example, visit localhost:3000/users/export/excel/3 which will export the three first users.

Google Spreadsheet export

To perform the Google Spreadsheet export, you need to follow the bellow :

1/ Ensure the oauth_consumer script run properly. (See General installation remark)

2/ Follow the documentation of oauth and oauth-plugin gems to manage the oauth permission process. Among the required steps, don't forget to add your application credentials (the credentials it uses to connect to Google Apps) in the file config/initializers/oauth_consumers.rb :

OAUTH_CREDENTIALS = {
  :google => {
    :key     => 'your_key',
    :secret  => 'your_secret',
    :scope   => 'https://docs.google.com/feeds/ https://spreadsheets.google.com/feeds/ https://www.google.com/m8/feeds/ https://www.google.com/calendar/feeds/',
    :options => {
      :site               => 'https://www.google.com',
      :request_token_path => '/accounts/OAuthGetRequestToken',
      :access_token_path  => '/accounts/OAuthGetAccessToken',
      :authorize_path     => '/accounts/OAuthAuthorizeToken',
      :signature_method   => 'HMAC-SHA1'
    }
  }
}

3/ Modify the export action of the user controller :

def export
  export_format         = params[:export_format]
  records_nb_to_export  = params[:records_nb_to_export]
  # first option which is handled by default by the plugin
  options = {:filename => "Users Export Example"}
  # adding an option which is personalized in lib/personalized_export_properties
  options.merge!({:records_nb_to_export => records_nb_to_export})
  u_e    = UserExporter.new
  if export_format == "google"
    # assuming the user's token is the first one in the table
    google_token_client = GoogleToken.first.client
    export              = u_e.to_google_spreadsheets({:access_token => google_token_client}.merge options)
    render :text => "Generation Complete. Check your Google Apps account."
  elsif export_format == "excel"
    export = u_e.to_excel(options)
    download export.path
  end
end

4/ Congratulations ! You can now export also spreadsheet in a Google account. To check the example, visit localhost:3000/users/export/google/3 which will export the three first users in a Google Spreadsheet.

Disclaimer

This plugin was originaly written by Michel Pigassou and published by Nimble Apps Limited. www.salesclic.com

At the time of the publication, the core features of the plugin are fully functional. Yet, Nimble Apps does not consider it as complete. We are sure that many enhancements can be made to the plugin and hope you will contribute to it.

Licence

MIT license

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