Ruby/ RoR for Windows app + Web

Again, I find that I’m stumped trying to concisely attach a subject to
my query… Sorry about that :-S
Also, I apologize if the query is a bit off-topic, but I hope that it is
relevant!

Anyway, the recent thread about the “Ruby CronJob” got me thinking. We
have an application that requires to read data from a device connected
to the serial port of a Windows machine. The data collected from the
device needs to be validated and dumped into a database with most of the
remaining visualization being done over the web for which I plan to use
RoR.

The program that reads from the serial port also needs to access the
database to find information from other tables to build the
relationships between the data it captures and the “owner” of the data.
Other than connecting to the serial port of the Windows machine, the
whole project seems like a good idea for Rails.

The best way that I can summarise this in 2 questions is as follows:

  1. Any suggestions on what may be a good way to do the local Windows
    program using Ruby/ Rails so that I can benefit from the Rails framework
    for accessing and managing the database?
  2. On the Windows application side, is it easy (I know it’s possible) to
    use Ruby with C/C++ programs that can access and fetch the data from the
    serial port?

Has anyone done something like this and would care to share some of the
experience/ thought process? Thanks!
Cheers
Mohit.

On 6/27/06, Mohit S. [email protected] wrote:

  1. On the Windows application side, is it easy (I know it’s possible) to
    use Ruby with C/C++ programs that can access and fetch the data from the
    serial port?

Has anyone done something like this and would care to share some of the
experience/ thought process? Thanks!
Cheers
Mohit.

You can search the ruby-talk mailing list for some examples of talking
to serial ports directly from Ruby.
You really don’t want your HTTP requests waiting for some serial
request to finish. You’ll quickly bring your server to an unhappy
place.

I would write a standalone process that used the ActiveRecord gem to
talk to the db. That way you preserve the performance of your Rails
server, and have more flexible deployment options. You could run the
Rails app itself on a Linux server, and do the serial work wherever
you need to, etc.

If there is more logic involved than you’re comfortable putting in a
standalone app, you could also skip ActiveRecord entirely, and just
have the script POST the data to your Rails app.

Just some ideas. Should be fairly straightforward.

Wilson B. wrote:

talk to the db. That way you preserve the performance of your Rails
server, and have more flexible deployment options. You could run the
Rails app itself on a Linux server, and do the serial work wherever
you need to, etc.

If there is more logic involved than you’re comfortable putting in a
standalone app, you could also skip ActiveRecord entirely, and just
have the script POST the data to your Rails app.

Just some ideas. Should be fairly straightforward.

Hi Wilson,

Thanks for the heads up! I now have the confidence to start looking
around at things like accessing the serial from Ruby. I think it does
give me a starting point…

Cheers
Mohit.

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