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Ruby 101 and Data Collection with Iron.io and Treasure Data

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Written by John Hammink, Chief Evangelist for Treasure Data.

Here at Treasure Data, we aim to give you all the tools you need to need to ramp up with data collection – starting with the basics, using a programming language or environment of your choice – as well as the Treasure Data Service itself, and integration with any number of third-party tools. (If there’s a technology or topic you’d like us to cover, please leave a note in the comments below.)

This post covers the basics of data collection in Ruby, and how to collect data from multipleIron.io IronWorker tasks running in parallel.

Previously, we discussed how to collect data from a single application, running Python, as well as create visualizations with that data.

Iron.io’s IronWorker makes it possible to run multiple tasks in parallel or at scheduled times. In this exercise, we’ll look at what it takes to build a simple logging application, this time in Ruby, set it up as an Iron.io worker, run multiple tasks in parallel, log the output to Treasure Data, and begin performing queries.

This article isn’t intended to be a complete solution, merely to show you what’s possible when you combine Iron.io and Treasure Data, as well as the easiest possible steps to do this.

We assume you know the basics of Ruby programming to get started on this. If not, don’t worry! (For the basics of setting up a Ruby environment go here; to learn about managing multiple Ruby environments, go here; and finally, to get started on Treasure Data console, go here or check our previous post). This article assumes a ‘nix environment, so some of the steps in Windows environments could be slightly different.

Coding up Your Ruby Task

Create a directory called /SendLog and open a text editor. You can get your API KEY from here. Type in the following, and save it as SendLog.rb

require 'td'
                 :apikey=> <your_treasure_data_write_API_key>,
                 :auto_create_table=> true)
# Example:  login event
TD.event.post('login', {uid:'123'})

# Example 2:  follow event
TD.event.post('follow', {uid:'123', from: 'TreasureData', to: 'Rijksband'})

#Example 3: pay event
TD.event.post('pay', {uid: '123', item_name: 'Myth of Sisyphus', category: 'myth', price: '18', count: 3})

This script, when run, will do exactly four things:

  1. Create a database on Treasure Data called iron_1;
  2. Create a table called login and add a single record to it. Note that there are always two values added to any user-defined values by default: v, which is a map of key value pairs containing the timestamp and any user-defined values; and time, which is the timestamp. The user-defined value in this case is uid.
  3. Create a table called follow and add a single record to it, this time with three user-defined values: uid, from and to.
  4. Finally, create a table called pay with one record, and add five user-defined values to it: uid, item_name, category, price, and count.

Running your Ruby Task Locally

If you haven’t installed ruby gems, you should do so. Also, you will want to install bundler.

Open up a text editor in your current /SendLog directory and create a file called Gemfile:

source 'https://rubygems.org'
gem 'td', "~> 0.11.1"
gem 'iron_worker_ng'

Next, run the following command (also in the same directory):
$ bundle install

Now, run your Ruby script once:
$ ruby SendLog.rb

Finally, log into Treasure Data console and, after connecting to iron_1 database, issue and run each of the following queries:

  • SELECT uid FROM login
  • SELECT * FROM login ORDER BY time
  • SELECT * FROM follow
  • SELECT time from (SELECT * from follow) as sub ORDER BY time
  • SELECT uid, category, price, count, item_name FROM pay
  • SELECT count(1) from pay

For each query you ran, did you get the expected result? What did you see? Did you encounter any errors? (Note that Treasure Data console limits output to 100 records.)

You may run into errors. Sometimes, an easy way to discover any errors or bugs you may have made in your own code and/or console commands is to reread your code and examples backwards.

Since you have run the script only once, you should have only one record in each table.

Configuring your Iron.io Worker

Now you’ve run your task once, but you want to see how it goes when running it in multiple instances in the cloud. Enter Iron.io!

You will need to take a few preliminary steps to get an Iron.io instance up and running.

  1. Go to Iron.io. Register for an account and log in.
  2. Navigate to https://hud.iron.io/dashboard and click “New Project”. Name it “SendLog”.
  3. Click the Worker button next to SendLog project.
  4. You should be looking at the “Get Started” tab. Do step 1 (download Iron.json to your /SendLog directory and run $ sudo gem install iron_worker_ng).
  5. In the same /SendLog directory where your Gemfile, Iron.json, and SendLog.rb now exist, create a fourth file: SendLog.worker. Open up a text editor and enter the following:
    runtime "ruby"
    gem 'td', "~> 0.11.1"
    exec "SendLog.rb"

Uploading, Queuing and Running a Single Instance of Your Worker

This next step is what is required to run your Ruby script – your packaged worker – in the cloud.

    1. Run the following from the command line:
      $ iron_worker upload SendLog; iron_worker queue SendLog – -priority 2 – -wait

(note: omit the space between dashes)

  1. Once the process is complete, you should see the following output from the console:

——> Creating client
Project ‘SendLog’ with id=’554a8f2475e6cc00060000b6′
——> Creating code package
Found workerfile with path=’SendLog.worker’
Adding ruby gem dependency with name=’td’ and version=’~> 0.11.1′
Detected exec with path=’SendLog.rb’ and args='{}’
Code package name is ‘SendLog’
——> Uploading and building code package ‘SendLog’
Remote building worker
Code package uploaded with id=’554a910d0f9128000700a686′ and revision=’13’
Check ‘https://hud.iron.io/tq/projects/554a8f2475e6cc00060000b6/code/554a910d0f9128000700a686′ for more info
——> Creating client
Project ‘SendLog’ with id=’554a8f2475e6cc00060000b6′
——> Queueing task
Code package ‘SendLog’ queued with id=’554a9d6d6b3a88000b00f4c1′
Check ‘https://hud.iron.io/tq/projects/554a8f2475e6cc00060000b6/jobs/554a9d6d6b3a88000b00f4c1′ for more info
——> Getting log for task with id=’554a9d6d6b3a88000b00f4c1′
I, [2015-05-06T23:02:11.705509 #18] INFO — : Creating table iron_1.login on Treasure Data
I, [2015-05-06T23:02:12.364480 #18] INFO — : Creating table iron_1.follow on Treasure Data
I, [2015-05-06T23:02:12.714396 #18] INFO — : Creating table iron_1.pay on Treasure Data

Did it run correctly? Did you get any errors? If you check your tables in Treasure Data console, you should see that each one now contains two records.

Running Multiple Instances of Your Worker

Now that your job is up on Iron.io, it’s easy to schedule multiple instances of the worker.

    1. In the “Scheduled tasks” tab, click the calendar icon to the top right of the task list.
      Note: Your task list may be empty.
    2. In the “Add New Scheduled Task” dialog that appears, select your “SendLog” job in the drop down, along with Stop parameters, Run parameters, Priority (p2 jobs are generally run immediately), and the cluster. Mem3 will be a more dedicated cluster. (Don’t worry about payload at this point.) Once you’re ready, click “Schedule Task”.


  1. To run many tasks in parallel, schedule multiple tasks with overlapping run times.

While this is going on — and once it’s complete — try running some of the same queries from the section “Running your Ruby Task Locally.” You should now see the databases populated with many records, with more adding as additional tasks get run.

This is only a taste of what’s possible to do with Iron.io and, by no means a complete example. There are many instances where logging messages from an Iron.io worker could be useful: For instance, perhaps you want to send a diagnostic message if something goes wrong on a job (and some error code is executed), or you want to log the timestamp when a job is complete.

What are some scenarios or use cases you’d like to see? Hit us up in the comments. 



John Hammink is Chief Evangelist for Treasure Data. An 18-year veteran of the technology and startup scene, he enjoys travel to unusual places, as well as creating digital art and world music.

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ruby ,bigdata ,tips and tricks ,treasure data ,data collecting with ruby ,ruby 101 ,iron.io

Published at DZone with permission of Kiyoto Tamura, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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