Rails as asset pipeline

I like to have Rails doing all javascript assets so I choose angular-rails-templates to cache all templates and bower-rails gem to install all scripts under vendor folder (nice tutorial). When angular requests templates, it needs url of that file. Since rails uses asset pipeline we need to use erb templateUrl: '<%= asset_path 'template' %>' (when we store assets on CDN, than we need to allow CORS since angular is loaded on our domain). Other solution is angular-rails-templates gem which create angular cache for all templates that found in app/assets/javascript/templates (if you want to place templates outside of that folder watch this issue). Keep in mind that you need latest gem version (1.4 does not work).

Since rails use minification, we need to write angular dependency inject arguments inside ‘’ like '$scope' so they survive minification that happens to javascript. Those arguments are all except last one which is a function in app.controller("MyController",['$scope',...,myController])

It is easier to follow callstack if we don’t use anonymous function. On other hand it’s difficult to keep sync injection params with actual definition params, so I use ng-annotate.


There is a angular factory for resource angularjs-rails-resource.

bower install angularjs-rails-resource --save
# resolve with latest angular, it works find with 1.5.3

You can start from EXAMPLES and search applications for it’s usage saveIndicatorInterceptor

Here is simple example for ionic

# www/js/app.js
angular.module 'starter', ['ionic', 'rails']

# www/index.html
    <!-- Rails Resource
    https://github.com/FineLinePrototyping/angularjs-rails-resource -->
    <script src="lib/angularjs-rails-resource/angularjs-rails-resource.min.js"></script>

# www/js/resources/locationTiken.resource.coffee
angular.module 'starter'
  .factory 'LocationTicket', (railsResourceFactory, CONSTANT) ->
      url: CONSTANT.SERVER_URL + '/location_tickets'
      name: 'location_ticket'

# www/js/locationTicke/locationTicket.controller.coffee

Note that resource-url could be a function that will be evaluated at runtime (usefull if you need to change api url depending on which user is logged in). You can set context with

Item.query({category: 'Software'}, {storeId: 123}) // would generate a GET to /stores/123/items?category=Software
Item.get({storeId: 123, id: 1}) // would generate a GET to /stores/123/items/1

I use that context to change url for my custom methods.

# some controller
LocationTicket.query({}, info: true).then (info) ->
  vm.info = info

# www/js/resources/locationTicket.resource.coffee
angular.module 'starter'
  .factory 'LocationTicket', (railsResourceFactory, CustomerAuth) ->
      url: (context) ->
        if context && context.id
          CustomerAuth.locationServerUrl + '/api/v1/location_tickets/' +
        else if context.info
          CustomerAuth.locationServerUrl + '/api/v1/location_tickets/info'
          CustomerAuth.locationServerUrl + '/api/v1/location_tickets'
      name: 'location_ticket'

I use interceptor for loader. Also show toast if flag is set like cart.showToastOnError = true; cart.delete(). For some resource I show toast for all errors by adding interceptors: [notifyInterceptor]

# src/app/resource/myResourceFactory.interceptor.coffee
angular.module 'myapp.resources'
  # https://github.com/FineLinePrototyping/angularjs-rails-resource/blob/master/vendor/assets/javascripts/angularjs/rails/resource/resource.js#L860
  .factory 'myResourceFactory', (RailsResource, saveIndicatorInterceptor) ->
    (config) ->
      Resource = () ->
        Resource.__super__.constructor.apply(this, arguments)
      RailsResource.extendTo Resource
      config["interceptors"] ||= []
      config["interceptors"].push saveIndicatorInterceptor
      Resource.configure config
  .factory 'saveIndicatorInterceptor', ($rootScope, $q, toastr) ->
    beforeRequest: (httpConfig, resourceConstructor, context) ->
      $rootScope.isLoading = true
    afterResponse: (result, resourceConstructor, context) ->
      $rootScope.isLoading = false
    afterResponseError: (rejection, resourceConstructor, context) ->
      $rootScope.isLoading = false
      if context.showToastOnError
        if rejection.data.error
          message = rejection.data.error
          message = JSON.stringify rejection.data
        toastr.error message
      $q.reject rejection
  # https://github.com/FineLinePrototyping/angularjs-rails-resource#example-interceptor
  .factory 'notifyInterceptor', (toastr, $q) ->
    afterResponseError: (rejection, resourceConstructor, context) ->
      message = JSON.stringify rejection.data
      toastr.error message
      $q.reject rejection

So I use myResourceFactory as base for all my resources.

angular.module 'myapp.resources'
  .factory 'Restaurant', (myResourceFactory, railsSerializer, CONFIG) ->
      url: (context) ->
        # https://github.com/FineLinePrototyping/angularjs-rails-resource/issues/141
        # https://github.com/FineLinePrototyping/angularjs-rails-resource#resource-urls
        if context && context.id
          CONFIG.API_URL + '/restaurants/'+context.id
        else if context && context.userId
          CONFIG.API_URL + '/users/'+context.userId+'/restaurants'
        else if context && context.link
          CONFIG.API_URL + '/restaurants/'+context.link+'/by-link'
          CONFIG.API_URL + '/restaurants'
      name: 'restaurant'
      serializer: railsSerializer( ->
        this.resource 'menuSections', 'MenuSection'
      interceptors: [notifyInterceptor]

If you need to add property to resorce object (to have custom url) you should use finally to clean up that resource for later .save()

    vm.signInAs = (user) ->
      user.signInAs = true
      user.save().then (resp) ->
        toastr.info "Authenticated as #{user.firstName}. Please refresh"
      .finally ->
        user.signInAs = false

Adding custom methods

Example apps for Angular Rails:

Tutorial videos (first are free) egghead

Angular inside rails asset pipeline

echo '
# js package manager
gem "bower-rails"
# cache all templates
gem "angular-rails-templates"
' >> Gemfile
rails g bower_rails:initialize
git add . && git commit -m "rails g bower_rails:initialize"

echo '
Rails.application.config.assets.paths << Rails.root.join("vendor","assets","bower_components")
Rails.application.config.assets.paths << Rails.root.join("vendor","assets","bower_components","bootstrap-sass-official","assets","fonts")
Rails.application.config.assets.precompile << %r(.*.(?:eot|svg|ttf|woff|woff2)$)
' >> config/initializers/bower_rails.rb

echo '
asset "angular"
asset "bootstrap-sass-official"
# vim: ft-ruby
' >> Bowerfile

rake bower:install

git rm app/assets/stylesheets/application.css
echo '
@import "bootstrap-sass-official/assets/stylesheets/bootstrap-sprockets";
@import "bootstrap-sass-official/assets/stylesheets/bootstrap";
' >> app/assets/stylesheets/application.scss

sed -i '/jquery_ujs/a \
//= require angular/angular' app/assets/javascripts/application.js

git add . && git commit -am "rake bower:install angular & boostrap"

Angular and Rails totally separated using gulp

Asset pipeline using gulp. Good reference is railsAngularTutorial

# first create rails server side
rails new --database=postgresql air
cd air
git init && git add . && git commit -m "rails new air  --database=postgresql"

rails g scaffold articles title:string body:text
rake db:migrate
git add . && git commit -m "rails g scaffold articles title:string body:text"
echo "Article.create(title: 'Test Article', body: 'A test article. Cool')" >> db/seeds.rb
rake db:seed
mkdir app/controllers/v1
git mv app/controllers/articles_controller.rb app/controllers/v1/articles_controller.rb
sed -i "/articles/c \\\n\
  scope '/api' do\n\
    namespace :v1, defaults: { format: :json } do\n\
      resources :articles, except: [:new, :edit]\n\
" config/routes.rb
sed -i '/class ArticlesController/c class V1::ArticlesController < ApplicationController' app/controllers/v1/articles_controller.rb
mkdir app/views/v1
git mv app/views/articles/ app/views/v1/
sed -i '/article_url/c \  json.url v1_article_url(article, format: :json)' app/views/v1/articles/index.json.jbuilder
git add . && git commit -m "Move Articles to api/v1 namespace"

echo "gem 'rails_12factor', group: :production" >> Gemfile
bundle install
git add . && git commit -m "Heroku uses 12 factor"
heroku create
heroku addons:create heroku-postgresql:hobby-dev
git push heroku master --set-upstream
heroku run rake db:migrate db:seed
heroku open api/v1/articles

Yeoman yo gulp-angular is great since it provides some initial tools. I use $log for logging objects, for example $log.debug loginController: 'submitLogin then', resp: resp

# than creating angular client side
npm install -g yo generator-gulp-angular
mkdir client && cd $_
yo gulp-angular myappAngular # don't --default
# choose coffe cript and Angular material
git add . && git commit -m "yo gulp-angular with coffeescript and Material"
# config proxy for /api and /omniauth, add params -p and -o
sed -i gulp/server.js -f - <<HERE_DOC
/function browserSyncInit(baseDir, browser) {/c \
function browserSyncInit(baseDir, browser, port, open, livereload) {\n\
  port = port === undefined ? '3000' : port;\n\
  open = open === undefined ? false : open;\n\
  var snippetOptions = livereload === true ? {} : { rule: { match: /xxx/ } };

/routes: routes/i \    middleware: [\n\
      proxyMiddleware(["/api","/omniauth"], { target: "http://localhost:"+port }),\n\
/browserSync.instance/a \\
    port: 9000,\n\
    ui: {\n\
      port: 8080,\n\
    open: open,\n\
    snippetOptions: snippetOptions,
cat >> gulp/server.js <<'HERE_DOC'
gulp.task('serve', ['watch'], function () {
  // http://stackoverflow.com/questions/28538918/pass-parameter-to-gulp-task
  var port, open, livereload, i;
  i = process.argv.indexOf("-p");
  if (i>-1) {
    port = process.argv[i+1];
    console.log("Find parameter -p " + port);
  i = process.argv.indexOf("-o");
  if (i>-1) {
    open = true;
    console.log("Find parameter -o");
  i = process.argv.indexOf("-l");
  if (i>-1) {
    livereload = true;
    console.log("Find parameter -l");
  browserSyncInit([path.join(conf.paths.tmp, '/serve'), conf.paths.src], undefined, port, open, livereload);
git add . && git commit -m "Config middleware to 3000 or -p param"

# better formating
sed -i src/app/index.module.coffee \
  -e 's/, /,\n  /g' \
  -e 's/  \[/\[\n  /g' \
  -e 's/\]/,\n\]/'

# use latest angular material
sed -i bower.json -e '/angular-material/c\
    "angular-material": "*",'
bower update angular-material --save

Example articles factory:

mkdir src/app/components/articles
cat > src/app/components/articles/article.factory.js << \EOF
'use strict';

  .factory('Article', function ($resource) {
    return $resource('api/v1/articles/:articleId', {
      articleId: '@id'
    }, {
      update: {
        method: 'PUT'

echo note that this works for javascript not for coffeescript
sed -i '/vm.showToastr/a \
    Article.query(function (res) {\
      vm.articles = res;\
    });' src/app/main/main.controller.js
sed -i '/function MainController/c \  function MainController($timeout, webDevTec, toastr, Article) {' src/app/main/main.controller.js
sed -i '/Allo/c \
    <div ng-repeat="article in main.articles">\
      <h2>{{ article.title }}</h2>\
      <p>{{ article.body }}</p>\
' src/app/main/main.html
cd .. # back to root
git add . && git commit -m "Adding angular Article resource and show on main page"

To run on linux/windows, install git (Use Git from the Windows Command Prompt) and nodejs. Run in windows command line cmd: npm install -g gulp and npm install and gulp serve

If you want to completely split front end code, than use some Gulp tasks

Angular httpProvider can’t send json patch request

Can’t set 'Content-Type': 'application/json' for angular $http(method: 'PATCH'). I tried with both inline header and config $httpProvider.defaults.headers.patch = 'Content-Type': 'application/json'but not luck. It is always http request.

UPDATE: it can send, but url needs to be .json Do not use patch because old browsers (if you use ionic, that means old phones).