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Agile Web Development with Rails (3rd edition)


Cover image for Agile Web Development with Rails

Agile Web Development with Rails (3rd edition)


This book is obsolete.

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This edition covers Rails 2.x

The edition covering Rails 3.2 is available here: Rails 3.2

The newest edition covers Rails 4.x, and is available here: Rails 4.x


About this Title

Pages: 792
Published: 2009-03-01
Release: P7.0 (2010-09-14)
ISBN: 978-1-93435-616-6

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This edition covers Rails 2.×.

For Rails 3.2, please see the Rails 3.2

For Rails 4.0, please go here Rails 4.0


Rails swept to world-wide attention in the Spring of 2005. Since then, it has become a serious and popular alternative to traditional web development environments such as Java and .NET. Why? Because Rails has the best of both worlds.

You want to write professional-grade applications: Rails is a full-stack, open-source web framework, with integrated support for unit, functional, and integration testing. It enforces good design principles, consistency of code across your team (and across your organization), and proper release management.

But Rails is more than a set of best practices. Rails also makes it both fun and easy to turn out very cool web applications. Need Ajax support, so your web applications are highly interactive? Rails has it built in. Want an application that sends and receives e-mail? produces and consumes web services? supports meaningful URLs? Want to write applications with a REST-based interface (so they can interact with other RESTful applications with almost no effort on your part)? All built-in.

With this book, you’ll learn how to use ActiveRecord to connect business objects and database tables. No more painful object-relational mapping. Just create your business objects and let Rails do the rest. Need to create and modify your schema? Migrations make it painless (and they’re versioned, so you can roll changes backward and forward). You’ll learn how to use the Action Pack framework to route incoming requests and render pages using easy-to-write templates and components. See how to exploit the Rails service frameworks to send emails, implement web services, and create dynamic, user-centric web-pages using built-in Javascript and Ajax support. There are extensive chapters on testing, deployment, and scaling.

As with the previous editions of the book, we start with an extended tutorial that builds parts of an online store. And, of course, the application has been rewritten to show the best of Rails 2.

Contents & Extracts

  • Getting Started
    • The Architecture of Rails Applications
    • Installing Rails
    • Instant Gratification
  • Building an Application
    • The Depot Application
    • Task A: Product Maintenance
    • Task B: Catalog Display excerpt
    • Task C: Cart Creation
    • Task D: Add a Dash of Ajax
    • Task E: Check Out!
    • Task F: Administration
    • Task G: One Last Wafer-Thin Change
    • Task I: Internationalization
    • Task T: Testing
  • Working with the Rails Framework
    • Rails in Depth
    • Active Support
    • Migrations
    • Active Record Part I:The Basics
    • Active Record Part II:Relationships Between Tables
    • Active Record Part III:Object Life Cycle
    • Action Controller: Routing and URLs excerpt
    • Action Controller and Rails
    • Action View
    • The Web, v2.0
    • Action Mailer
    • Active Resources
  • Securing and Deploying Your Application
    • Securing Your Rails Application
    • Deployment and Production
  • Appendixes
    • Introduction to Ruby
    • Configuration Parameters
    • Source Code
    • Resources


Sam Ruby is a prominent software developer who has made significant contributions to many of the Apache Software Foundation’s open source software projects, and to the standardization of web feeds via his involvement with the Atom web feed standard and the popular Feed Validator web service.
He currently holds a Senior Technical Staff Member position in the Emerging Technologies Group of IBM. As one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto, Dave Thomas understands agility. As the author of Programming Ruby, he understands Ruby and how to describe writing Ruby applications. David Heinemeier Hansson is the creator of the Rails framework.