Articles on Upgrades

Gradually Migrate from Paperclip to Active Storage

In case you are not familiar with us, FastRuby.io specializes in Ruby and Rails upgrades. Over these past 10 years we have had the opportunity to perform dozens of upgrades for our clients, which has given us all sorts of experiences. A common scenario that we experience is when the upgrade isn’t straightforward and we can’t just upgrade the Ruby or the Rails version directly.

We often find ourselves in a situation where we need to upgrade one or more dependencies before we can actually upgrade Ruby or Rails itself. For instance, if your want to upgrade your app from Rails 5.x to 6.x and the application still uses Paperclip to manage your file attachments, first you’ll need to replace that gem because Paperclip was deprecated in favor of Active Storage after Rails 5.2 was released.

This was the case for one of our clients that has been doing upgrades with us for a few years now. In this article I’m going to share the mishaps found by the team and the strategy that we adopted to migrate their huge volume of attachments over to Active Storage while still keeping Paperclip active until the migration was finished.

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Upgrade Ruby from 2.7 to 3.0

Ruby 3.0 was released on December 25th 2020. We can now enjoy the great new features of this version, such as performance boost (we talked about that in this recent article), ractors for concurrency, fiber schedulers, and type checking.

If you already have an application running in production and want to be able to use such benefits you’ll need to upgrade your Ruby version.

This article will cover the most important aspects that you’ll need to know to get your Ruby application from version 2.7 to 3.0

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The Complete Guide to Rails Shims

When upgrading a Rails application, you might find that sometimes functionality is extracted from Rails and moved into a new gem. These gems are called shims, and they will basically allow you to keep using an old functionality, once the core API takes that out. You can also find shims in form of monkey patches. In this case it’s functionality that you develop to make your migration easier.

In this article I will list some of the functionality of past versions of Rails that was extracted into gems.

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How to check if your test suite is ready for a Rails Upgrade

Having a clear idea of how much test coverage your Rails application has is really important. Especially if you are planning to upgrade to a newer version of Rails. A good test suite will tell you if your application is working as it did before the upgrade.

At FastRuby.io, we recommend having at least 80% of your application covered before attempting to upgrade. A number lower than that would require you to make a lot more manual testing to ensure that the application is properly working after the upgrade. If your application doesn’t meet that number, we suggest to first spend some time improving the test suite before starting the upgrade.

In this article, I’ll show you how you can measure your test coverage using SimpleCov.

A quick note before starting: SimpleCov doesn’t work in projects with Ruby 1.8.7 or lower. If that’s your case, you can try rcov.

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Upgrading a Large Rails Application from Rails 5.0 to 5.1

We recently collaborated with Procore on a Rails upgrade for their Rails application which allows teams in the construction industry to connect their entire business process.

We spoke with Andy Maltun, Procore’s VP of Software Engineering, about the work performed to help them upgrade their app to version 5.1. According to Maltun, Procore’s R&D department is large and complex. While Procore previously had handled their Rails upgrades internally, with so many teams working on the application, it caused a lot of disruption as each team would handle only part of the upgrade. Therefore, Maltun “wanted to take a different approach this time in an effort to centralize the update and minimize the project management overhead and disruption of teams.”

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Two Commonly Used Rails Upgrade Strategies

Rails upgrades can be done in many different ways. Depending on the application that you want to upgrade, some ways make more sense than others. There are factors that determine which Rails upgrade strategy is the best for your case, like how big your application is, or how frequently changes are pushed to the master branch. In this article I’ll be covering two common Rails Upgrade strategies so you can decide which one is the best for your application.

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How to Migrate from Capybara Webkit to Webdrivers

We all know testing is important. We have our unit tests and integration tests to make sure everything is working as expected. At OmbuLabs, we use Capybara for our integration tests so that we can interact with the app as a real user would.

This is the process we used to replace the capybara-webkit gem in a legacy project with a more modern approach that uses the webdrivers gem and a headless browser.

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The Complete Guide for Deprecation Warnings in Rails

Deprecation warnings are a common thing in our industry. They are warnings that notify us that a specific feature (e.g. a method) will be removed soon (usually in the next minor or major version) and should be replaced with something else. Features are deprecated rather than immediately removed, in order to provide backward compatibility (a solution that works in both the current and the future version), and to give programmers time to implement the code in a way that follows the new standard.

In this guide we’ll show you what the workflow is that we use at FastRuby.io to address deprecation warnings when we upgrade Rails applications.

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Our Rails Upgrade Process: How to bundle update rails

We know that there are many challenges involved in a Rails upgrade project. Depending on how big your application is, how old your Rails version is and how well structured your code is, it can be difficult to perform that job and keep your sanity. If you don’t find a reliable and trustable process to guide you from version X to version Y, you can end-up in a nightmare.

The good news is that here at OmbuLabs, we have been upgrading Rails applications for over 10 years now and this gave us a know-how to define a process that has proven to be very effective. And today I want to share Our Rails Upgrade Process with you.

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Why Is It Important to Upgrade Your Rails Application?

Technology evolves quickly. When you first created your Rails application, it’s likely you did it using the latest version of Rails. As time passes, however, new Rails versions come out and your application becomes more and more out of touch with the latest version. But why is this important? Why does it matter?

There are several different reasons to upgrade your Rails application. In this article, I’ll list what we consider to be the most important ones.

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Merging Multiple SimpleCov Coverage Results

As part of our Roadmap service at FastRuby.io, we have to analyze the test suite of the application we are upgrading to give a proper estimate on how long it will take us to upgrade. We use SimpleCov for this.

Most of our clients use parallelization in their continuous integration tools. SimpleCov generates multiple .resultset.json files for the same codebase. Our goal was to have a single result for the whole application, so in this blog post we are going to show you how we solved that problem.

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How to Stay Up to Date with Your Rails Application

An outdated Rails application doesn’t happen overnight. In FastRuby.io we work with a lot of clients who have outdated Rails applications and we help them upgrade to a newer Rails version. In this article I share some things that you could start doing to avoid falling out of date.

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How to Upgrade Any Rails Application Using Docker

Every time we start a new Rails upgrade project, we need to setup a whole new environment in our local machines. Sometimes that leads us down the rabbit hole which ends up breaking our environment for other client projects.

After years upgrading Rails applications, we learned that the best way to isolate our client projects’ environments is using Docker.

That’s why we decided to use Docker and docker-compose for all of our client projects. This year I had the opportunity to share our process in a series of workshops: Upgrade Rails 101: The Roadmap to Smooth Upgrades

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Cleaning up: ActiveRecord::Dirty 5.2 API Changes

With the release of Rails 5.2 just around the corner (Rails 5.2 RC1 is already available!), we will be taking a look at some of the upcoming changes to the ActiveRecord::Dirty module. If you’re running Rails 5.1, you may have already seen some of the deprecation warnings related to the API changes contained in it. Most of them are behavior changes, and there are some new additions as well.

To better understand these modifications, we’ll take a look at sample projects in Rails 5.1 and Rails 5.2.

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Upgrade Rails from 3.2 to 4.0

This article is part of our Upgrade Rails series. To see more of them, click here.

A previous post covered some general tips to take into account for this migration. This article will try to go a bit more in depth. We will first go from 3.2 to 4.0, then to 4.1 and finally to 4.2. Depending on the complexity of your app, a Rails upgrade can take anywhere from one week for a single developer, to a few months for two developers.

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