Integrating Flowdock Push API Into Rails

Jan 4th, 2015
2 min read

Integrating the Flowdock Push API is a lot easier than I thought it would be. I decided to document how to get it set up.

Step 1 - Add Gems

Add these gems to your Gemfile:

gem 'flowdock'  
gem 'dotenv-rails', :groups => [:development, :test]

Then run bundle.

Step 2 - Find Specific Flow Token

Next we need to configure our .env file to have the correct token for the Flow we are trying to send messages to. To find a specific Flow’s token you:

  • Go to flowdock and find the correct flow.
  • Click on the gear next to the Flow’s name
  • Click on ‘Flow Settings’
  • Go to ‘Inbox Sources’
  • There will be a Flow Email and Flow API token. Copy the Flow API token so it can be put in your .env file.

If you havn’t already, create a .env file in the main directory of your Rails app. IMPORTANT: make sure to put .env in your .gitignore file so you don’t leak API tokens onto your github.

Copy the flow token into your .env file:

# .env file
FLOW_TOKEN=<paste your flow token here>

Step 3- Set Up Routes

Restart the server so the token will be available to you. Now we need to set up a route that will handle the POST request for sending the message to the flow.

The form for sending a message is in the Dashboard of my app so this is the route I created:

# config/routes.rb
post '/dashboard/send_flow' => "dashboards#send_flow"

It is configured to hit my DashboardsController and execute the #send_flow action.

Step 4 - Set Up Controller

Here is what the #send_flow action looks like:

def send_flow
  flow = => ENV['FLOW_TOKEN'],
      :source => "LaunchPairs", :from => {:name => current_user.first_name, :address =>})

  flow.push_to_chat(:content => params[:flow][:question], :external_user_name => current_user.first_name.gsub!(/\s/, ""))

  flash[:success] = "Your question was sent! Check the flow for any answers"
  redirect_to dashboard_path

First we are creating a new flow using the proper Flow Token which we set up earlier in the .env file. The dotenv-rails gem loads that environment variable so it’s available to call in the action.

Next we call the push_to_chat method on the flow and provide the content for the message. The params[:flow][:question] is coming from my form that hit’s this action. The final step, is to set up the form to hit this route.

Step 5 - Build Form For Sending Questions

How you build the form is up to you as long as it hits the correct controller and action. Here is what mine looks like:

<%= form_for 'flow', url: { controller: :dashboards, action: :send_flow } do |f|  %>
  <%= f.text_area  :question %>
  <%= f.submit "Ask Your Question", class: "button alert" %>
<% end -%>

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