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Here in this article, I going to tell you the best way to implement “delayed job” in rails

“delayed_job” is a ruby gem used to execute tasks as a background process in Rails environment, increasing page rendering speed.

Delayed::Job (or DJ) allows you to move jobs into the background for asynchronous processing.

Why you need a background process and is it really that important!

Let’s consider a scenario where a mailing application needs to send emails to a huge list of recipients. In such cases it is obvious that the processing time is too long, annoying the users.

Here are some of key points to consider:

  • Incredibly quick & easy to get rolling
  • No addition to your “stack”, runs just fine with ActiveRecord
  • Good choice for beginners while migrating code from foreground to the background

Hence, it’s only wise to move the long running tasks as a background process by using “delayed_job” gem.

Detailed steps to integrate delayed job in a Rails application

Step# 1

  • Add gem to the Gemfile
  • “delayed_job” supports multiple back-ends for storing the job queue
  • To use “delayed_job” with Active Record, use gem ‘delayed_job_active_record’
  • To use “delayed_job” with Mongoid, use gem ‘delayed_job_mongoid’



  • gem ‘delayed_job_active_record’, ‘4.0.3’
  • Run “bundle install” to install the “delayed_job” gem

Step# 2

  • Generate the related file for the Job run
  • Generate related files required to run the background job by running the following command
    • rails g delayed_job:active_record

It adds following files to the application

  • A Script named “delayed_job” inside “/bin” folder to run the jobs which are in queue.
  • Migration file to create a table to store the job with other information such as priority, attempts, handler, last_error, run_at, locked_at, failed_at, locked_by, queue.

Run the migration file by using the following command

  • rails db:migrate

Set the queue_adapter in config/application.rb

  • config.active_job.queue_adapter = :delayed_job

If you are using the protected_attributes gem, it must appear before delayed_job in your gemfile. If your jobs are failing with:

  • Setup Delayed::Job config in an initializer (config/initializers/delayed_job_config.rb)
    • Delayed::Worker.destroy_failed_jobs = false
    • Delayed::Worker.sleep_delay = 60
    • Delayed::Worker.max_attempts = 3
    • Delayed::Worker.max_run_time = 5.minutes
    • Delayed::Worker.read_ahead = 10
    • Delayed::Worker.default_queue_name = ‘default’
    • Delayed::Worker.delay_jobs = !Rails.env.test?
    • Delayed::Worker.raise_signal_exceptions = :term
    • Delayed::Worker.logger = Logger.new(File.join(Rails.root, ‘log’, ‘delayed_job.log’))

Step# 3

  • Replace script/delayed_job with bin/delayed_job
  • Start up the jobs process

There are two ways to do this.

  • If application is in development mode, we would use the below rake task instead.
    • rake jobs:work
  • If application is in production mode, then it is preferred to use the “delayed_job” script. This demonizes the job process and allows multiple background processes to be spawned.

To use this, pursue the following steps

  • Add gem “daemons” to your Gemfile
  • Run bundle install
  • Make sure you’ve run rails generate delayed_job
  • If you want to just run all available jobs and exit you can use rake jobs:workoff
  • Work off queues by setting the QUEUE or QUEUES environment variable.
    • QUEUE=tracking rake jobs:work
    • QUEUES=mailers,tasks rake jobs:work

Step# 4

  • Add task to run in background
  • In Controller just call .delay.method(params) on any object and it will be processed in the background.


UsersController before adding to background job

class UsersController < ApplicationController
   def send_email
     User.find_each(is_subscribed: true) do |user|
       flash[:notice] = "Mail delivered"
       redirect_to root_path

UsersController after adding to background job

class UsersController < ApplicationController
  def send_email
  User.find_each(is_subscribed: true) do |user|
    # add .delay method to add it to background process. In case of     mail sending remove the .deliver method to make it work.
    flash[:notice] = "Mail delivered"
    redirect_to root_path

Advantages of implementing above steps:

  • No more waiting for a response, after clicking a link to do a big stuff.
  • Just call .delay.method(params) on any object and it processes in the background.
  • Job objects are serialized to yaml and stored in the delayed_jobs table, so they can be restored by the job runner later.
  • It automatically retries on failure. If a method throws an exception it’s caught and the method reruns later. The method retries up to 25 times at increasingly longer intervals until it passes.
  • “delayed_job” gem maintains log by creating a log file “/log/delayed_job.log”

I am sure this article will give you a clear idea about the way to implement “delayed job” in rails. You can share your thoughts with comments if I have missed anything or if you want to know more.

Do you work on or use Ruby on Rails? Let’s Discuss!