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Generating a RhoConnect Application

You can generate a RhoConnect app with RhoStudio or with the rhoconnect utility command line tool.

Generating a RhoConnect App with RhoStudio

In RhoStudio, select File->New->Project…

The New Project window opens. Select the RhoConnect application wizard and click the Next button.

Enter the name for your RhoConnect application in Project name. You may specify a specific folder for your destination where your project is stored, by default, the destination is your RhoStudio workspace folder. Then press the Finish button.

Generating a RhoConnect App from the Command Line

The rhoconnect utility is a command line tool for generating RhoConnect applications and source adapters.

The app name is passed as a parameter. The rhoconnect utility will generate a directory for your application with all the necessary files to get started. We will start with running rhoconnect help app to see the usage:

    rhoconnect app NAME

Generates a new rhoconnect application.

For example:

$ rhoconnect app storeserver
Generating with app generator:
         [ADDED]  storeserver/config.ru
         [ADDED]  storeserver/settings/settings.yml
         [ADDED]  storeserver/settings/license.key
         [ADDED]  storeserver/application.rb
         [ADDED]  storeserver/Rakefile
         [ADDED]  storeserver/Gemfile
         [ADDED]  storeserver/spec/spec_helper.rb

Here’s a basic rundown of each of the files that were just generated:

  • config.ru - This is a rackup file which will load your application. RhoConnect uses the excellent sinatra web framework to run the application.
  • settings/settings.yml - This contains settings such as your redis connection, which source adapters exist and their parameters. You can also put custom settings here.
  • settings/license.key - The RhoConnect license associated with your application. The default license allows up to 10 devices to synchronize with the application.
  • application.rb - The RhoConnect application class where you can implement authentication. You can also add other custom methods here to use in your application. This class is a singleton, so all methods should be added to the class << self block.
  • Rakefile - This contains tasks that can be run from the terminal.
  • Gemfile - This file specifies application’s dependencies using bundler.
  • spec/spec_helper.rb - A helper file which loads the environment for running specs.

After generating the application, you might be asked to change directories to your application directory and run bundle install. For example, you would run these commands:

$ cd storeserver
$ bundle install

Rhoconnect Command Line Interface

In rhoconnect versions 3.2 and higher, a ruby utility called thor routes all rake-like tasks through a custom command-line interface. All tasks are used via the rhoconnect gem’s command line interface.

To issue commands this way, type rhoconnect followed by the task you wish to perform. To see a list of all the tasks you can issue with rhoconnect, type rhoconnect or rhoconnect help.

$ rhoconnect help
  rhoconnect app NAME               # Generate a new rhoconnect application
  rhoconnect attach                 # Attach to rhoconnect console
  rhoconnect console [environment]  # Run rhoconnect console
  rhoconnect dtach-about            # About dtach
  rhoconnect dtach-install          # Install dtach program from sources
  rhoconnect flushdb                # Flush data store - WARNING: THIS REMOVES ALL DATA IN RHOCONNECT
  rhoconnect get-token              # Fetch current api token from rhoconnect
  rhoconnect help [TASK]            # Describe available tasks or one specific task
  rhoconnect redis-about            # About redis
  rhoconnect redis-attach           # Attach to redis dtach socket
  rhoconnect redis-download         # Download redis release 2.4.10
  rhoconnect redis-install          # Install the latest verison of Redis from Github (requires git, duh)
  rhoconnect redis-restart          # Restart redis on localhost:6379
  rhoconnect redis-start            # Start redis on localhost:6379
  rhoconnect redis-stop             # Stop redis running on localhost:6379
  rhoconnect restart [options]      # Alias for `rhoconnect stop; rhoconnect start`
  rhoconnect secret                 # Generate a cryptographically secure secret session key
  rhoconnect set-admin-password     # Set the admin password
  rhoconnect source NAME            # Generate a new source adapter
  rhoconnect start [options]        # Start rhoconnect server
  rhoconnect stop                   # Stop rhoconnect server
  rhoconnect update                 # Update an existing application to the latest rhoconnect release
  rhoconnect version                # Display rhoconnect version
  rhoconnect web                    # Launch the web console in a browser

The rhoconnect war command is available only if you switch to jruby, such as using the command rvm use jruby.

rhoconnect start and rhoconnect restart have the following options.

-p, [--port=N]                   # Use port (default: 9292)
-r, [--redis=REDIS]              # Redis server settings: (default: localhost:6379)
-P, [--push-server=PUSH_SERVER]  # Push server settings (default: http://someappname@localhost:8675/)
-t, [--api-token=API_TOKEN]      # API token  (default: my-rhoconnect-token)
-f, [--config=CONFIG]            # /path/to/rhoconnect/settings.yml file
-l, [--licenseflie=LICENSEFLIE]  # /path/to/license.key file

Installing DTach (Mac OS / Linux only)

If you’re using MacOS / Linux, install dtach on your path before running any of the rhoconnect tasks. DTach is a simple utility which runs processes in a detached state so you can re-attach your console later.

$ cd storeserver
$ rhoconnect dtach-install

Setup Redis

Next, you will need to setup and start a redis server:

$ rhoconnect redis-install
$ rhoconnect redis-start

The server will show that it is running on the console.

Start the Application

Open a new console window (since the redis server is running in the previous console window). Then change directories to your rhoconnect application and start the application.

$ cd storeserver
$ rhoconnect start

Starting RhoConnect without a Source Adapter Application

You can also start RhoConnect in a directory that does not contain a RhoConnect source adapter application. This is useful for RhoConnect plugin developers, who do not write a RhoConnect source adapter application: they can start a RhoConnect server from an empty directory.

$ cd (an empty directory)
$ rhoconnect start

When you start RhoConnect in a directory that does not contain a rhoconnect source adapter application, a hidden settings file, .rhoconnect.yml, is created in your user home directory. Here is a partial sample listing.

:development: &70196107903780
  :syncserver: http://localhost:9393
  :redis: localhost:6379
  :push_server: http://someappname@localhost:8675/
  :api_token: my-rhoconnect-token
  :secret: !binary |-
:test: *70196107903780
:production: *70196107903780

Once .rhoconnect.yml has been created in your user home directory, you can manually modify it for the next time you start RhoConnect. For example, you could change the port upon which the syncserver runs.

Running RhoConnect this way uses the default license key in the RhoConnect gem. You can use other license keys by using the -l option in the rhoconnect start command.

Opening the Web Console

If everything went well when you started RhoConnect, you should see the following in your console:

[05:47:10 PM 2011-04-19] Rhoconnect Server v3.0.0 started...

To open the web console, navigate to http://localhost:9292/ in your browser or run:

$ rhoconnect web

Creating executable WAR containers (JRuby environment only)

It is possible to create Java WAR containers for your Rhoconnect application that can be deployed into the Java App Servers (for example, JBoss). To create the executable WAR container, execute the following command in your app’s root directory:

$ cd storeserver
$ rhoconnect war

This will build the WAR file named .war that can be deployed into the Java App Server.

Common Tasks

RhoConnect applications come with many useful rhoconnect tasks for administrative and development workflows. Some common ones are:

  • rhoconnect dtach-install - (Mac OS / Linux only) This will install dtach to /usr/local/bin.

  • rhoconnect redis-install - This will install to the system. On Mac OS / Linux, it will attempt to install in ‘/usr/local/bin’ (on windows, C:\redis-), unless you have specified a REDIS_HOME to use instead. If you cannot install redis on Linux due to insufficient user permissions, then follows these instructions.

  • rhoconnect set-admin-password - Set the RhoConnect administrator password. The default password is blank ‘’.

  • rhoconnect get-token - Get a RhoConnect API token to use for calling the RhoConnect REST API.

On Mac OS / Linux, you need to install dtach (i.e. by running rhoconnect dtach-install) to run the following tasks:

  • rhoconnect redis-start - This will launch a redis server in a new console.

  • rhoconnect redis-stop - Stop the currently-running redis server.

  • rhoconnect redis:attach - (Mac OS / Linux only) Attach to a currently-running redis server.

  • rhoconnect start - Start the RhoConnect application in a new console. This requires a running redis server.

  • rhoconnect stop - Stop the currently-running RhoConnect application.

  • rhoconnect attach - (Mac OS / Linux only) Attach to a currently-running RhoConnect application.

Some other useful development tasks:

  • rhoconnect spec - Run all source adapter specs in spec/sources/.

  • rhoconnect web - Open the RhoConnect web console in a browser.

Generate Source

Connecting to a backend service with RhoConnect requires that you write a small amount of code for the query, create, update and delete operations of your particular enterprise backend. The collection of the code for these operations is called a source. You can create source for your RhoConnect application two ways:

  • RhoConnect source adapter: generate a Ruby code source adapter from RhoStudio or from the command line, similar to how you generate a RhoConnect app. This source adapter contains code for the query, create, update and delete operations.

  • RhoConnect plugin: write the source code (the query, create, update and delete operations) into your backend application, and plug a RhoConnect plugin in the application. The plugin is written in the language that matchs your backend application, such as Java or .NET.

Rake Tasks (Rhoconnect v.3.1 and lower)

As of version 4.0 of rhoconnect, rake tasks will be deprecated!!

Each RhoConnect (v.3.1 and lower) application uses rake to manage development tasks such as starting/stopping the app, starting resque workers, and running specs.

To run a RhoConnect rake task, simply type rake the-task-to-run in your RhoConnect application’s root directory.

Here is a complete list of the rake tasks available in a RhoConnect v.3.1 and lower application:

$ cd storeserver
$ rake -T
(in ~/storeserver)
rake dtach:about                    # About dtach
rake dtach:install                  # Install dtach 0.8 from source
rake redis:about                    # About redis
rake redis:attach                   # Attach to redis dtach socket
rake redis:download                 # Download package
rake redis:install                  # Install the latest version of Redis from Github (requires git, duh)
rake redis:restart                  # Restart redis
rake redis:start                    # Start redis
rake redis:stop                     # Stop redis
rake resque:work                    # Start a Resque worker
rake resque:workers                 # Start multiple Resque workers.
rake rhoconnect:attach              # Attach to rhoconnect console
rake rhoconnect:clean_start         # Clean rhoconnect, get token, and create new user
rake rhoconnect:create_user         # Creates and subscribes user for application in rhoconnect
rake rhoconnect:delete_device       # Deletes a device from rhoconnect
rake rhoconnect:delete_user         # Deletes a user from rhoconnect
rake rhoconnect:flushdb             # Flush data store - WARNING: THIS REMOVES ALL DATA IN RHOCONNECT
rake rhoconnect:get_token           # Fetches current api token from rhoconnect
rake rhoconnect:reset               # Reset the rhoconnect database (you will need to run rhoconnect:get_token afterwards)
rake rhoconnect:reset_refresh       # Reset source refresh time
rake rhoconnect:restart             # Alias for `rake rhoconnect:stop; rake rhoconnect:start`
rake rhoconnect:set_admin_password  # Sets the admin password
rake rhoconnect:spec                # Run source adapter specs
rake rhoconnect:start               # Start rhoconnect server
rake rhoconnect:stop                # Stop rhoconnect server
rake rhoconnect:war                 # Build executable WAR file to be used in Java App Servers
rake rhoconnect:web                 # Launch the web console in a browser - uses :syncserver: in settings.yml

Below is provided a list of rake tasks and their corresponding RhoConnect v.3.2+ command.

rake Command rhoconnect command
rake -T rhoconnect help
rake rhoconnect:attach rhoconnect attach
rake rhoconnect:clean_start rhoconnect clean-start (not available for v.4.0 or above)
rake rhoconnect:clean_user rhoconnect clean-user (not available for v.4.0 or above)
rake rhoconnect:delete_device rhoconnect delete-device (not available for v.4.0 or above)
rake rhoconnect:delete_user rhoconnect delete-user (not available for v.4.0 or above)
rake rhoconnect:flushdb rhoconnect flushdb
rake rhoconnect:get_token rhoconnect get-token
rake rhoconnect:reset rhoconnect reset (not available for v.4.0 or above)
rake rhoconnect:reset_refresh rhoconnect reset-refresh (not available for v.4.0 or above)
rake rhoconnect:restart rhoconnect restart
rake rhoconnect:set_admin_password rhoconnect set-admin-password
rake rhoconnect:spec rhoconnect spec
rake rhoconnect:start rhoconnect start
rake rhoconnect:stop rhoconnect stop
rake rhoconnect:war rhoconnect war
rake rhoconnect:web rhoconnect web
rake dtach:about rhoconnect dtach-about
rake dtach:install rhoconnect dtach-install
rake redis:about rhoconnect redis-about
rake redis:attach rhoconnect redis-attach
rake redis:download rhoconnect redis-download
rake redis:install rhoconnect redis-install
rake redis:restart rhoconnect redis-restart
rake redis:start rhoconnect redis-start
rake redis:stop rhoconnect redis-stop
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