Now that we have our ember application working, let’s add in a data persistance layer so that not only when we refresh the browser we don’t lose any data, but you will also still have all your Todo items if you were to visit this page from another computer. To add this data persistance layer we are going to use Ruby on Rails.

Our current directory structure for our Ember app should look something like this: ~/code/todos, but want to put our Rails and Ember app in separate directories, but under the same parent directory. So, let’s work on that now by renaming the current ember application directory, creating a new project directory, moving our ember directory into the project directory, and then creating our rails project:

    cd ~/code/
    mv todos ember
    mkdir todos
    mv ember todos/
    cd todos
    rails new todos
    mv todos rails
    cd rails

Now our directory structure should like like: ~/code/todos/ember and ~/code/todos/rails.

Working on our Rails API

Now that we are inside of our Rails directory lets edit the Gemfile and get rid of some Javascript dependencies and add some tools that we will need for our API. The new Gemfile should look like this:

source ''

gem 'rails', '4.1.1'
gem 'sdoc', '~> 0.4.0',          group: :doc
gem 'spring',        group: :development
gem 'active_model_serializers'
gem 'rack-cors', :require => 'rack/cors'

group :development, :test do
  gem 'sqlite3'

group :production do
  gem 'pg'

Now run bundle install.

Now let’s edit our config/application.rb file. We are going to comment out the line with sprockets in it and add some stuff to take care of CORS. Your new file should like like the following:

require File.expand_path('../boot', __FILE__)

# Pick the frameworks you want:
require "active_model/railtie"
require "active_record/railtie"
require "action_controller/railtie"
require "action_mailer/railtie"
require "action_view/railtie"
# require "sprockets/railtie"
require "rails/test_unit/railtie"

# Require the gems listed in Gemfile, including any gems
# you've limited to :test, :development, or :production.

module Todoemberrails
  class Application < Rails::Application
    config.assets.enabled = false

    config.middleware.use Rack::Cors do
      allow do
        origins '*'
        resource '*', headers: :any, methods: [:get, :post, :put, :delete, :options]

Creating our Todos Model

We need to setup our database to store our todo items and their completed status. To do this type in this command:

rails generate model todo title:string is_completed:boolean

This will create a migration file for you inside of db/migrate/ with the current timestamp called create_todos.rb. To run this migration file type:

rake db:migrate

Creating our Serializer

The next thing that we need to do is create a serializer. Create a new directory inside of the app directory called: serializer:

mkdir app/serializer

And then create a new file inside of that folder called: todo_serializer.rb:

touch app/serializer/todo_serializer.rb

Inside of this file type:

    class TodoSerializer < ActiveModel::Serializer
      attributes :id, :title, :is_completed

Creating our Controller

We are going to place our controller inside of an api folder so before we create our controller file lets make that directory:

mkdir app/controllers/api

Now let’s make our todos controller file:

touch app/controllers/api/todos_controller.rb

Now edit this file to look like the following:

class Api::TodosController < ApplicationController
  skip_before_action :verify_authenticity_token
  def index
    render json: Todo.all

  def show
    render json: Todo.find(params[:id])

  def create
    todo =

      render json: todo, status: :created
      render json: todo.errors, status: :unprocessable_entity

  def update
    todo = Todo.find(params[:id])

    if todo.update_attributes(todo_params)
      render json: todo
      render json: todo.errors, status: :unprocessable_entity

  def destroy
    todo = Todo.find(params[:id])
    head :no_content


  def todo_params
    params.require(:todo).permit(:title, :is_completed)

Creating our Routes

Now we need to do setup our config/routes.rb file to talk to our controller. It should like like:

Rails.application.routes.draw do
  namespace :api do
    resources :todos

Starting our Server

Now that we have everything configured let’s start our Rails Server with the rails s command. It should start on http://localhost:3000. We then need to configure this as the host inside of our ember app.

Configuring Ember to talk to our Rails API

Now inside of our ember directory open up app/adapters/application.js. And edit the file to look like the following:

import DS from 'ember-data';

export default DS.ActiveModelAdapter.extend({
  host: 'http://localhost:3000/api'

This tells are Ember app where it can reach our Rails API.

Starting our Ember Server

From inside of a different terminal windows let’s start our ember server with ember s. Which should start running at http://localhost:4200. There shouldn’t be any todos yet in our list since our database is empty. So go ahead and create some, and then refresh the page to see that they are no longer being cleared out like they were before we setup our Rails API for data persistance.