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by Codementor


Ruby Firebase REST API client built on top of rest-core.


  • Concurrent requests
  • Streaming requests




  • gem json or yajl-ruby, or multi_json


gem install rest-firebase

Or if you want development version, put this in Gemfile:

gem 'rest-firebase', :git => 'git://',
                     :submodules => true


Check out Firebase's REST API documentation for a complete reference.

require 'rest-firebase'

f = :site => '',
                     :secret => 'secret',
                     :d => {:auth_data => 'something'},
                     :log_method => method(:puts),
                     # `timeout` in seconds
                     :timeout => 10,
                     # `max_retries` upon failures. Default is: `0`
                     :max_retries => 3,
                     # `retry_exceptions` for which exceptions should retry
                     # Default is: `[IOError, SystemCallError]`
                     :retry_exceptions =>
                       [IOError, SystemCallError, Timeout::Error],
                     # `error_callback` would get called each time there's
                     # an exception. Useful for monitoring and logging.
                     :error_callback => method(:p),
                     # `auth_ttl` describes when we should refresh the auth
                     # token. Set it to `false` to disable auto-refreshing.
                     # The default is 23 hours.
                     :auth_ttl => 82800,
                     # `auth` is the auth token from Firebase. Leave it alone
                     # to auto-generate. Set it to `false` to disable it.
                     :auth => false # Ignore auth for this example!

@reconnect = true

# Streaming over 'users/tom'
es = f.event_source('users/tom')
es.onopen   { |sock| p sock } # Called when connected
es.onmessage{ |event, data, sock| p event, data } # Called for each message
es.onerror  { |error, sock| p error } # Called whenever there's an error
# Extra: If we return true in onreconnect callback, it would automatically
#        reconnect the node for us if disconnected.
es.onreconnect{ |error, sock| p error; @reconnect }

# Start making the request

# Try to close the connection and see it reconnects automatically

# Update users/tom.json
p f.put('users/tom', :some => 'data')
p'users/tom', :some => 'other')
p f.get('users/tom')
p f.delete('users/tom')

# With Firebase queries (it would encode query in JSON for you)
p f.get('users/tom', :orderBy => '$key', :limitToFirst => 1)

# Need to tell onreconnect stops reconnecting, or even if we close
# the connection manually, it would still try to reconnect again.
@reconnect = false

# Close the connection to gracefully shut it down.

# Refresh the auth by resetting it
f.auth = nil

Concurrent HTTP Requests:

Inherited from rest-core, you can do concurrent requests quite easily. Here's a very quick example of making two API calls at the same time.

require 'rest-firebase'
firebase = => method(:puts))
puts "httpclient with threads doing concurrent requests"
a = [firebase.get('users/tom'), firebase.get('users/mom')]
puts "It's not blocking... but doing concurrent requests underneath"
p{ |r| r['name'] } # here we want the values, so it blocks here
puts "DONE"

If you prefer callback based solution, this would also work:

require 'rest-firebase'
firebase = => method(:puts))
puts "callback also works"
firebase.get('users/tom') do |r|
  p r['name']
puts "It's not blocking... but doing concurrent requests underneath"
firebase.wait # we block here to wait for the request done
puts "DONE"

For a detailed explanation, see: Advanced Concurrent HTTP Requests -- Embrace the Future

Thread Pool / Connection Pool

Underneath, rest-core would spawn a thread for each request, freeing you from blocking. However, occasionally we would not want this behaviour, giving that we might have limited resource and cannot maximize performance.

For example, maybe we could not afford so many threads running concurrently, or the target server cannot accept so many concurrent connections. In those cases, we would want to have limited concurrent threads or connections.

RestFirebase.pool_size = 10
RestFirebase.pool_idle_time = 60

This could set the thread pool size to 10, having a maximum of 10 threads running together, growing from requests. Each threads idled more than 60 seconds would be shut down automatically.

Note that pool_size should at least be larger than 4, or it might be very likely to have deadlock if you're using nested callbacks and having a large number of concurrent calls.

Also, setting pool_size to -1 would mean we want to make blocking requests, without spawning any threads. This might be useful for debugging.

Gracefully shutdown

To shutdown gracefully, consider shutdown the thread pool (if we're using it), and wait for all requests for a given client. For example:


We could put them in at_exit callback like this:

at_exit do

If you're using unicorn, you probably want to put that in the config.

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  • Lin Jen-Shin (@godfat)


Apache License 2.0

Copyright (c) 2014-2015, Codementor

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.