The Errbit app is an open source Rails 3 app that is API-compatible with Thoughtbot's Hoptoad Notifier and thus allows you to roll your own exception tracking service for free on Heroku. Let's see how to set this up.
You may have various reasons to roll your own exception tracker. Be it the need for customization (either visual or functional), security concerns or simply the price-tag of commercial exception trackers.
For me, it's mostly the security concerns. Hoptoad only offers SSL for plans starting at $15/month, and thus plenty of people send their application errors across the world in plain text - including environment configuration like S3- and mail credentials.
Of course, relying on your own error service gives you adminstrative overhead which you might not want. It's up to you to decide what suits you better - this article is only here to explain how you can set up the great Errbit app on Heroku with SSL enabled for free in a matter of minutes.
If you're curious what this might look like, check out the screenshots in the Errbit announcement post here.
Let's start out with cloning the Errbit repo and copying over the two required config files:
git clone https://github.com/jdpace/errbit.git cd errbit cp config/config.example.yml config/config.yml cp config/mongoid.example.yml config/mongoid.yml
Now, open up
config/config.yml, set the host for your app to your (supposed) Heroku url and
specify a from-email address:
host: YOUR_APP_NAME.heroku.com email_from: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accordingly, open up
config/mongoid.yml to set up the database connection in production to use
MONGOHQ_URL environment variable set by Heroku after adding the MongoHQ addon:
production: uri: <%= ENV['MONGOHQ_URL'] %>
Finally, let's add those files to git and commit the new configuration:
git add -f config/config.yml config/mongoid.yml git commit -m "Heroku configs"
Of course, you should have the
heroku gem installed and set up
for this to work.
Still inside your local errbit clone, create the app and add the MongoHQ and Sendgrid addons to get the required MongoDB and mail delivery capabilities, then, deploy Errbit and seed the database:
heroku create YOUR_APP_NAME heroku addons:add mongohq:free heroku addons:add sendgrid:free git push heroku master heroku rake db:seed
After seeding the database, you should see a notification holding your initial credentials. You should visit your fresh Errbit install to verify everything works fine and to change the credentials and your user name right away.
As I said before, I'm no fan of exception data delivered over the net unencrypted. Luckily, Heroku offers free SSL on subdomain apps (foo.heroku.com) using their heroku.com wildcard certificate. Enable it by running:
heroku addons:add ssl:piggyback
Now, let's enforce the usage of SSL even when users arrive at the app via plain HTTP instead of HTTPS by installing the middleware Rack SSL Enforcer gem into Errbit.
Open up the
Gemfile and add:
gem 'rack-ssl-enforcer', :group => :production
Then, open up
config/application.rb and tell Rails to use the middleware:
config.middleware.use Rack::SslEnforcer, :except => /^\/deploys/
The except clause for the deploy API is neccessary since obviously Hoptoad does not report deployments via SSL even when secure connections are configured in the Notifier. You can remove this if you can do without Deployment tracking.
As a final step, update your Bundle, commit and push:
bundle git commit -am "Rack SSL Enforcer" git push heroku
Finally, it's time to wire up your (supposedly ;) existing Rails app with your custom exception tracker.
Go back to the Errbit web interface and add an app. It will give you instructions on how to set things up. Basically,
for a Rails 3 application, you need to add
gem 'hoptoad_notifier' to your
Gemfile, then create
The configuration suggested by Errbit does not reflect our desired usage of secure SSL connections properly, though,
so you'll have to add the
config.secure = true option to make things work, as shown below. The port config can be omitted,
it will default to 443 when using secure connections.
HoptoadNotifier.configure do |config| config.api_key = 'ABCDEF' config.host = 'YOUR_APP_NAME.heroku.com' config.secure = true end
After a final
bundle, you should be able to track exceptions using
Errbit. Test-fire it with:
You can also track deployments via rake, for example from a git hook - check to the documentation of Hoptoad Notifier for further information.
Test fire a deployment notification with:
rake hoptoad:deploy TO=production REVISION=1234 REPOSITORY=origin USER=colszowka
And that's all I can say.blog comments powered by Disqus