What is a Rails Engine?Engine are miniature Rails applications that you embed into your main application. You can share an Engine across different applications. Since Rails 3.0, every Rails application is nothing more than an Engine, allowing you to share it very easily.
In Rails 3.1 and higher version provides the ability to create a plugin as engine using a single command.
1. Creating engine
rails plugin new billing --mountable
It creates a billing folder in the main app.
I will move this folder into lib folder or you can keep it there only.
2. Gem file
This billing module will function as gem in application. In order to function as gem we need to define this gem in gem file as
Write this code in gem file in path option specify the path while this gem is stored in your application.
gem 'billing', :path => 'lib/billing'
After writing this run bundle install command
3. Mounting engine
Next important thing is billing/config/routes.rb file:
Billing::Engine.routes.draw do end
Since engine is now a rack app, you can simply mount it in your application’s routes:
Rails.application.routes.draw do mount Billing::Engine => "/billing" end
4. Isolated Engine
Normally when you create controllers, helpers and models inside an engine, they are treated as if they were created inside the application itself. This means that all helpers and named routes from the application will be available to your engine’s controllers as well.
However, sometimes you want to isolate your engine from the application, especially if your engine has its own router. To do that, you simply need to call
isolate_namespace. This method requires you to pass a module where all your controllers, helpers and models should be nested to:
module Billing class Engine < Rails::Engine isolate_namespace Billing end endWith such an engine, everything that is inside the
MyEnginemodule will be isolated from the application.
Write this code inside billing/lib/billing/engine.rb file
Using isolated engines the behavior of routes changes. Normally, when you namespace your controllers, you also need to do namespace all your routes. With an isolated engine, the namespace is applied by default, so you can ignore it in routes:
Billing::Engine.routes.draw do resources :invoices endThe routes above will automatically point Biliing::InvoicesController. Furthermore, you don’t need to use longer url helpers like
billing_invoices_path. Instead, you should simply use
invoices_pathas you would do with your application.
Engines can have their own migrations. The default path for migrations is exactly the same as in application:
To create a migration for engine you have go to that path where engine is located
eg:- cd /lib/billing
Now generate the migration for invoices.
Notice that migration for that is called
create_invoices. Also almost all of the files are places in
billing/subdirectory. When you open
app/models/billing/invoice.rb, you will see:
module Billing class Invoice < ActiveRecord::Base end end
When you run rake db:migrate this migration will not be created. In order to create this migration you have to copy this migration into main app using command
rake db:migrate6. Cross application routes
In order to use engines routes in main app
billing.invoices_pathIn order to use application routes in engine
I have created a simple app related to engine. You can check it here https://github.com/BeenaShetty/Engine