Create and install SSL certificates with ease – a Capistrano recipe

by Torsten Bühl

How to generate the Private Key, what's the correct chaining order, or how to create a PEM Certificate? We all know it and we hate it: Installing or renewing the SSL certificates for our application.

And after you finally figured it out, you'll unlearn the progress till you need it again. So I wrote a small Capistrano recipe to help you with this annoying job.

(Find the revised Capistrano 3 version here.)

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Exceptiontrap error tracking add-on on Heroku

by Torsten Bühl

After some time in beta, the Exceptiontrap add-on is now general available at Heroku – the leading PaaS provider. Add powerful error tracking and exception monitoring with just one click to your applications in the cloud. Just visit the Exceptiontrap add-on page.

Error Tracking on Heroku

For PHP users it might be interesting that Heroku launched PHP support on their platform a few weeks ago.

Certainly you can also use a normal Exceptiontrap account to add error tracking to your cloud-powered apps.

Exceptiontrap add-on is now in beta on Engine Yard

by Torsten Bühl

Here we go with the next implementation and I'm glad to say that it's one of the leading PaaS providers in business: Engine Yard.

Engine Yard Logo

Every Rails developer knows them for their excellent product and open source contributions. Engine Yard also provides a PHP stack since 2011, so this is a great fit. The add-on will be moved to GA in a bit.

Engine Yard + Exceptiontrap is now just one click away.

Any feedback? Just ping me at @tbuehl

Run a remote Rails production console with Capistrano

by Torsten Bühl

We all love to enter the Rails console to try out some stuff. It's just a rails c away in development. But what if you want to view or fetch some specific data on your remote production server (and you're not on Heroku)? If you already deploy your app with Capistrano, why not use it for this task?

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Create a simple Jekyll-like blog in your Rails 4+ app

by Torsten Bühl

As I wrote in my first blog post, I had a hard time deciding how to add a blog to my app. Should I use Jekyll, another Rails blog engine, or just build a simple blog functionality myself? I already use Jekyll for my private developer blog, and I like it. But in this case I decided to write my own – and I'll show you why and how.

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cloudControl add-on now in beta

by Torsten Bühl

Exceptiontrap is now also available as an add-on on the German PaaS cloudControl. If you're already on cloudControl, just visit the add-on page and install Exceptiontrap to your app with one click. The add-on will be moved to GA in a bit.

cloudControl Logo

In a Ruby environment, the api-key is automatically set as an environment variable. You just need to install the Exceptiontrap Gem and generate the config file with cloudcontrol as the api-key string. If you run a PHP app, using the api-key as environment variable is also possible. Check out the documentation on the add-on page for further information.

Since cloudControl uses Heroku's "kensa API", the integration was done in no time. I can write a more detailed post about the implementation if that helps somebody.

PS: Thanks to Henning for being so helpful during the whole integration process.

Heroku add-on now in beta

by Torsten Bühl

I'm glad to announce that Exceptiontrap can now be added to your Heroku applications as an add-on with one click. If you are on Heroku, check out the add-on page. I'll switch the add-on to GA (General Availability) within the next few weeks.

Heroku Logo

Because of the way Heroku handles applications and accounts, there was a bit of work involved to make it happen. In an ideal world you would know which user just booked the add-on. But Heroku only sends the ID of the application in their provisioning request and you have to fetch the data of the application owner asynchronously. So there is always a new account created – even if the user already has an Exceptiontrap account. To make it still a good experience for users with multiple Heroku apps, I decided to switch from an "a user has one account" to an "a user can have multiple accounts" model. And to make it easy to switch between your accounts in the dashboard. Just hover over your account name there and you can see all your accounts and switch to them with one click.

But you certainly don't have to use the add-on if you're on Heroku. You can also just add new apps to your existing account and enter the api-key in your config. Then advantage is that you have one account with multiple apps – instead of multiple accounts with one app each.

Despite the fact above, I have to say that Herokus API and the kensa tool are great. The integration was a smooth ride and the documentation is awesome, too.

Company blog online

by Torsten Bühl

Exceptiontrap is online for about six months now, and I decided a company blog would be useful. While the front page and the backend are localized (German & English), the articles will be written in English only. I think it not worth the additional work to write each article twice, because I'm sure all German developers are able to read English.

Why a blog? Well, I always look for a company blog when I'm interested in a product – to see if it's still in active development. I think it's also interesting for people to get insights in a company or product. So you'll find articles about new features, partnerships, and development decisions here.

I decided against Jekyll, and wrote my own blog system within the Rails application. Why? I'll write about the reasons and the actual implementation in another post.

Cheers, Torsten