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A Progstr Filer demo web site mimicking the Dropbox UI
Ruby JavaScript CoffeeScript
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Progstr Filer - Filerbox demo application

Progstr Filer is a developer-friendly file hosting platform built specifically for web apps. It lets you easily associate file attachments with your ActiveRecord models and removes the hassle of actually hosting the files yourself.

Filerbox is a demo web app built with Ruby on Rails mimicking the Dropbox web UI. It lets you upload files to a cloud folder and keeps track of them displaying those in a list. You can see the info on any of the files, view it by clicking its name and delete it when you decide you no longer need it. It uses the Progstr Filer service as a storage backend.


We need the progstr-filer gem in our Gemfile. We might also need to edit our environment's configuration file as described in the documentation.


We need a model of our file objects - we picked the name Boxfile. We need to associate it with an uploader instance. To do that, we define an uploader class in uploaders/file_uploader.rb and mark our model class with a has_uploader statement. Finally we need to set up our database storage. Since most data comes from the Progstr Filer web service, we only need a column to store the file associations (their ID's really). That's a simple string column.


We define a single BoxfilesController class that handles file uploads. It doesn't do much - it initializes a Boxfile object and saves it to the database. Note that a save might fail - we have defined a validation rule on our model that marks the file object as required.


The most important view is the boxfiles/index.html.erb one it loops over all the files and renders the file list. To do that it uses the with_infos view helper which takes a block that takes a Boxfile and a file info object and executes it for every file.

Migrating Existing Files

Many applicaitons already have a bunch of existing files lying around on the filesystem that need to be uploaded to Progstr Filer. The easiest way to do that is with a custom Rake task. The lib/tasks/mass_upload.rake sample task demonstrates how to get all files in a given folder, associate them with a model, and upload them to Progstr Filer.

Improvement Ideas

Being a sample application, Filerbox isn't a complete solution. Here are some parts that may need more work in a real production deployment:

  • Add an error display box that shows the error messages to the user.
  • Ask for confirmation when deleting a file.
  • Cache file info data either in memory or in the dataase (probably as Boxfile model attributes), so that we don't hit the info API on every page render.

Help and support

If you get stuck, contact us via the support section on the Progstr Filer web site.

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