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Jackpot is the easiest way to get paid using ruby. It abstracts all the nasty details about subscription management that every Saas app have to deal with. It uses Active Merchant internally, so Jackpot will suport the gateways (that support credit card storage) provided by Active Merchant, making it easier to extend to your own needs. It is built using Rails Engines so it is easy to mount Jackpot in our rails 3.1 or 3.2 app and start using it to do your subscription management.

It started out as my may 2011 session @ Mendicant University project and now its going through a major overhaul to get ready to hit its primetime.

I warn you also that Jackpot is currently under heavy development and in a very alpha state and should be treated accordingly.


  1. Add jackpot to your Gemfile as you normally would do with any bundler powered gem. You might also have to add jquery-rails as it is used extensively at jackpot.

    gem 'jackpot'
    gem 'jquery-rails'
  2. Create an initializer to configure your gateway information. Heres an example of how to do it with braintree

    Jackpot.configure do |c|
      if Rails.env.production?
        c.gateway_type      :braintree
        c.     ENV['JACKPOT_LOGIN']
        c.gateway_password  ENV['JACKPOT_PASSWORD']
        c.gateway_mode      :production
        c.gateway_type      :braintree
        c.     'demo'
        c.gateway_password  'password'
        c.gateway_mode      :test
      c.default_from      'dont-reply@mycompany.com'
  3. You should copy jackpot migrations to your project by issuing the following command

    bundle exec rake jackpot:install:migrations
  4. Mount jackpot engine at your config/routes

    mount Jackpot::Engine => "/billing"

After these steps, everything should be working. Don't forget to run your migrations so your database its updated

How it works

Recurring Payments

Even though some gateways will provide you a recurring payment option, normally it isn't a fire and forget process as you'ld normally imagine. Also, its needed to have information about when this payments actually did happen so you can send invoices accordingly. That being said, in Jackpot we opt to use Gateways that support credit card storage, instead of relying on Gateway Recurring payments.

The main goal of this project is to provide subscription management to rails apps via a rails-engine.

List of supported gateways

Currently, only a small set of gateways is supported, however, it should be fairly simple to integrate any Active Merchant powered gateway that supports card storage

Cron job for Nightly billing

You might also want to setup a cron job for running your billing periodically task. There is a example jackpot:cron rake task provided. Edit your cron or similar to run that rake task as much as you want to.

This task will bill automatically every customer that is currently overdue using his/hers saved credit card token information.


Jackpot also generate PDFs receipts from your payments, so you can use them to mail your customers. There is a basic layout provided, but you might want to customize it to add your own branding or styling.

To do, simply create a file Rails.root/app/views/jackpot/receipts/show.pdf.erb in your project structure. This will override the view provided by the engine and use your custom pdf template instead.

Here is how the default pdf is being generated. https://github.com/pellegrino/jackpot/blob/master/app/views/jackpot/receipts/show.pdf.erb. It uses wicked_pdf internally, so you might want to check its docs to see what is possible in terms of pdf generation.


Jackpot uses devise internally to protect its controllers.

You need to setup default url options for each environment you use. Heres an example for development environment.

  # in config/environments/development.rb
  config.action_mailer.default_url_options = { :host => 'localhost:3000' }


This project uses YARD and the current can always be found at http://rubydoc.info/github/pellegrino/jackpot


There is a small rails 3.2 application to demonstrate how to use jackpot within a rails app. http://github.com/pellegrino/jackpot-demo. Make sure to check this out to see how things are wired under the covers.

Future roadmap

Contributing to jackpot

How to run jackpot locally

This application uses bundler and rvm for dependencies management, so its recommended to create a gemset to test it.

Run the following commands at the directory where you've checked out jackpot.

rvm use 1.9.3@jackpot --create
gem install bundler
bundle install

Migrations and RSpec

Since this project is basically a Rails Engine, some additional steps are required to run the spec suite locally. Its a pretty straightfoward process, don't worry much about it.

Before running the specs for the first time, or after adding a new migration, make sure to run the following command

bundle exec rake -f spec/dummy/Rakefile db:drop jackpot:install:migrations db:create db:migrate db:test:prepare

That will create and initialize the database for you. The dataase.yml file used is the one located at spec/dummy/config/database.yml. If you changed something that did require a migration to be created, make sure you've copied that one to spec/dummy/db/migrate folder.

bundle exec rake -f spec/dummy/Rakefile jackpot:install:migrations

The command above will copy every migration you created at Jackpot to the dummy app folder. Also, make sure to run the database initializer command above or your changes won't be reflected.

Rails development Server

If you ran the migrations correctly, you can start the dummy app as you normally would start a regular Rails 3.x app.

bundle exec rails server

Get in contact!

There is a #jackpot channel @ freenode for this project. Feel free to stop by to ask questions and interact with other users. My IRC username is pellegrino and i'm happy to help.


Copyright (c) 2013 Vitor Pellegrino. See MIT-LICENSE.txt for further details.

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