Upgraded ShoutSMS from Rails 2.3.8 to Rails 3 in five minutes

Today I wanted to try how easy it would be to upgrade our existing ShoutSMS (pretty small) rails application from 2.3.8 to latest Rails 3 release candidate (currently rc3). Without taking our test suite into consideration it took around five minutes with help from the official rails_upgrade[1] plugin. This is fast, yes, but considering the size of this app and possible pitfalls I am not looking forward to upgrade our larger projects.

These are the basic steps to perform

  • Install rails_upgrade in my 2.3.8 project using “./script/plugin install http://github.com/rails/rails_upgrade”
  • Run rake tasks installed with plugin to check what steps are required with “rake rails:upgrade:check”
  • Run “rake rails:upgrade:backup” to backup some files which will be override shortly
  • Run “rake rails:upgrade:configuration >> upgrade_configuration”
  • Run “rake rails:upgrade:gems >> upgrade_gems”
  • Run “rake rails:upgrade:routes >> upgrade_routes”
  • Create new Rails 3 app above your existing one with “rails n .”
  • Check each of your files before overriding – not all are backed up with the backup task
  • Copy back in your changes and refer to the three “upgrade_*” files for updated configuration, gems and routes syntax

This did most of the work for me. I needed to patch a bit in my new “application.rb” file (e.g. replace RAILS_ROOT with Rails.root, RAILS_ENV with Rails.env, etc).

Notice, the rails_upgrade plugin might suggest to change “<% @object.each do |p| %>” blocks to “<%= @object.each do |p| %>” but I don’t see this should be done.

I needed to upgrade ActiveMerchant but it was a simple

$ gem update activemerchant

and then patch my Gemfile with correct version

gem 'activemerchant', '1.7.1', :require => 'active_merchant'

It was also needed to go through each ERb and update block helpers. Rake task “rake rails:upgrade:check” can be used multiple times to check if you’re near the end.

I had a couple of “f.error_messages” warnings as well. It’s suggested to install “rails plugin install git://github.com/rails/dynamic_form.git” but I made a partial instead to have complete control over my displayed error messages.

For more general upgrade tips & tricks you might consider viewing part 1, part 2 and part 3 of the “Upgrading to Rails 3” Railscasts series.

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