Ruby API client for Preact
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Installing Preact for the first time?

You probably should start with the Quickstart. It's the fastest way to get up and running step-by-step.

The current implementation record is 14m33s to logging local development events and 45m to production. If you beat that, tell us about it!.

Preact Logging API Ruby Client Documentation

Allow your Ruby app to easily submit server-side messages and events to Preact.


In your Gemfile:

gem 'preact', '~> 1.0.1'

Then do a bundle install to get the gem.


In version 0.8.1 we added a rails generator to make it really easy to add the initializer and get you up and running.

First, obtain your Preact Project Code and API Secret from the API settings page. Then, in your application directory, run the generator:

rails g preact your-code-1234 api-secret-xyzw

That will generate an initializer and a preact.yml config that looks something like this:

Preact Logging Configs
production: &defaults

  # your Preact API credentials
  code: "your-code-1234"
  secret: "api-secret-xyzw"

  # automatically log controller actions for authed users
  # disable this if you want to only log manual events
  autolog: true

  # specify controller#action items that you want to ignore and not log to Preact.
  # default is to not log sessions#create beacuse if you're using Devise, we get that already
    - "sessions#create"
    - "devise/sessions#create"

  # specify how to retrieve the current user and account from within the application controller
  # you may use either an instance variable (prefixed with @) or a method name
  #current_user_getter: "current_user"
  #current_account_getter: "@current_account"

  <<: *defaults

  # we usually suggest that you use a different project for development, to keep
  # those events separate from production events
  #code: "DEV_CODE"
  #secret: "DEV_SECRET"

  # you may also completely disable event logging in development
  #disabled: false

  <<: *defaults

  # if you want to log staging events separately as well
  #code: "STAGING_CODE"
  #secret: "STAGING_SECRET"

  # you may also completely disable event logging in staging
  #disabled: false

Now when you launch your app and do something as an authenticated user, you should see the activity in Preact.


New in version 0.8.1 is the ability to automatically log all controller-based actions that your authenticated users are performing.

In many cases, you won't need to do anything other than put the gem in your Gemfile, bundle, and run the generator.

This works by creating an method on the ActiveController::Base class and setting it as an after_filter for all controllers. We assume that you're using Devise/Warden, because everyone does, and can directly access that to identify who the current_user is. With Autolog enabled, what you will see is rails routes-style events in Preact for each user.

We turn Autolog on by default when you use the generator to build the preact.rb initializer, but if you're upgrading from an existing preact-ruby install you will need to manually update your config.

You can configure controllers and routes to ignore by adding them in the initializer as well. If you want to ignore a specific action, you can include it like so:

config.autolog_ignored_actions = [
    "documents#new", # ignores the new action on the documents_controller
    "people#new", # ignores the new action on the people_controller
    "secret_pages#*" # ignores ALL actions on the secret_pages_controller

Background Sending

By default, Preact uses SuckerPunch to make sure nothing gets blocked while logging events to Preact in the background.

Rails Controller Helper

Since version 0.8.1, we include a helper method on the base controller called preact_log to make it convenient for you to log events directly.

The helper is aware of the current_user and so only requires you to pass the event information as things occur. So for instance, you may log a simple event from one of your controllers like so:

class DocumentsController < ApplicationController
  def show

  def search
      name: "searched-documents",
      note: @search_term,
      extras: {
        term: @search_term,
        result_count: @results.count

B2B Event Logging

If you are logging Accounts in a B2B context, you may find it useful to override the preact_log helper at the ApplicationController level.

Typically, you'll have a variable or method which provides the current context that the @current_user is acting under. For us, it's called @current_project.

Adding this override will make sure that everywhere you call preact_log, it will automatically include the account context when logging events.

class ApplicationController

  def preact_log(event, account=nil)
    account ||= @current_project
    super(event, account)


Note: If you make this change in your ApplicationControler, make sure you add it to any other base controllers you have that don't inherit from ApplicationController (e.g. your API base controller, etc)


The Preact.log_event method takes two required parameters and an optional third parameter.

You must pass both a person and an event.

The person parameter may be either a Hash or an ActiveRecord model (see below).

The event parameter may be either a String if you just are passing the event name, or it may be a Hash of the event object including other properties like revenue, note and a nested extras hash.

person = {
  name: 'Christopher Gooley',
  email: '',
  uid: 'gooley',
  properties: {
    created_at: 1347060566,
    twitter: 'gooley'

##common event examples:
Preact.log_event(person, 'logged-in')
Preact.log_event(person, 'upgraded')
Preact.log_event(person, { name: 'processed:payment', revenue: 900 }) # revenue specified in cents
Preact.log_event(person, { name: 'uploaded:file', note: 'awesome_resume.pdf' })

Preact.log_event(person, {
    name: 'purchased:item',
    note: 'black shoes', 
    revenue: 2500, 
    extras: {
      category: 'shoes',
      size: '13',
      color: 'blue'

If you are a Preact B2B user, you should also log the account that this event occurred within. You can do that by passing a third parameter to Preact.log_event to specify the account information. The preferred method for account is to use the ActiveRecord integration outlined below.

          { email: '', name: 'Bob Smith' }, # person
          { name: 'uploaded:file', note: 'awesome_resume.pdf' }, # event
          { id: 1234, name: 'Honda'} # account

ActiveRecord Integration

In your User model, you can define a to_preact method returning a Hash. Preact will detect and use this method on users passed to its logging events.

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  def to_preact
      created_at: self.created_at.to_i

For a list of available built-in person fields, see the API Docs Person Object section.

Preact.log_event(@current_user, 'restored_answer_data') 
Preact.log_event(@current_user, { name: 'updated-profile', extras: {twitter: '@gooley'} })

B2B Account mapping method

Likewise, if you are a Preact B2B user, you can define the to_preact method on the model that defines your Account grouping. For instance, if you attach your Users into "Projects" you would add the to_preact method into your Project model.

class Project < ActiveRecord::Base
  def to_preact
      license_status: self.account_status

For a list of available built-in account fields, see the API Docs Account Object section.

Then, you just pass that model to the log_event method and we will associate the user's action with that account.

Preact.log_event(@current_user, 'restored_answer_data', @current_project) 
Preact.log_event(@current_user, { name: 'updated-profile', extras: {twitter: '@gooley'} }, @current_project)

Sidekiq Integration

Using Sidekiq for background processing?

All you need to do is add require 'preact/sidekiq' at the top of your preact.rb initializer and we'll take it from there. Jobs will be placed on the :default queue.

Devise / Warden Integration

If you are using Warden, Preact will automatically log your login/logout events. If when Preact loads, it notices that a ::Warden class is defined, it will require the preact/warden module which adds the appropriate hooks into Warden.


Copyright (c) 2011-2013 Christopher Gooley, Preact / Less Neglect, Inc. See LICENSE.txt for further details.

Thanks to Zach Millman for many contributions.