11 November 2011

Action Mailer for Rails 3

Action Mailer allows you to send email from your application using a mailer model and views.

This tutorial is about how to send an email using gmail free service in Ruby on Rails 3 and above

Creating Demo project

 rails new mail_demo –d mysql

Creating a User model

rails g scaffold User name:string email:string content:string

Creating a Mailer model

rails g mailer user_mailer


Setting up the development.rb for configuring application settings to access mail smtp server

In development.rb

  config.action_mailer.delivery_method = :smtp
# Defaults to:
 config.action_mailer.smtp_settings =  {
  :enable_starttls_auto => true,
  :address        => 'smtp.gmail.com',
  :port           => 587,
  :domain         => 'your.domain.com',
  :authentication => :login,
  :content_type   => "text/html",
  :user_name      => 'username',
  :password       => 'password'

config.action_mailer.perform_deliveries = true
config.action_mailer.raise_delivery_errors = true

Remember these are the basic settings needed to send mails from gmail ,other server may have different settings .


Creating the mailer

Now we will write the method in user_mailer model to send the mail .Remember in the mailer model

def send_email(user)
   recipients  user.email
   from        "webmaster@example.com"
   subject     "Thank you for Registering"
   part :content_type => "text/html",
    :body => render_message("registration_confirmation", :user => user)

The from field can be your own or your domains email address. Please check if the from for field has invalid email the user will not be able to reply .

Creating Email Template

Now we will create a view which would form a the email template .It is named as same as the method in the model user_mailer ie. Send_email.html.erb

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"

<html lang="en">
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
    <style type="text/css" media="screen">
      h3 { color: #f00; }
      ul { list-style: none; }
      <h2 id = "banner">Your account signup details are below</h2>

    <ul><br /><br />
      <li><h2>Name: <b><%= @user.name %></b> </h2></li>

      <li>Login: <%= @user.email %></li><br /><br />

      <li>Image: <%= image_tag 'rails.png' %></li><br /><br />

      <li>Content: <%= @user.content %></li>

In the end add a line to the create method of the Users_controller


The method is referred to as deliver_send_email because rails appends it to a mailer method.

Now run the server and try creating a new user . The email is sent to the address the user enters for the new record.


  1. is it necesary to get a domain for sending email in ruby ????

  2. Domain name is needed incase the SENDTO email you are using belongs to your website.

    Eg. www.xyz.com and the email you are sending from this site are sent as 123@xyz.com

    Then you should use a domain name.


Any inputs are welcomed : ashish.cse2010@gmail.com