It's very easy to create a Scout plugin

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in HowTo Bullet_white Comments 1 comment

How easy? Really easy. There are just two things you need to know to get started:

1. Starting the Agent in test mode

The agent sports a nifty autotest-like mode to help you quickly iterate new plugin code. To start:

scout_agent test my_new_plugin.rb

With that, the agent is watching my_new_plugin.rb, just waiting for you to hit save so it can come to life. Whenever you modify the target file, the Agent will immediately log to console the results of your plugin-in-progress.

2. The basic format of a plugin

Keeping this very simple—a plugin looks like this:

class ExampleReport < Scout::Plugin
  def build_report

Yeah, that’s a simple case all right. It just reports the minute every time it runs, so it will generate a single data series with a value between 0 and 59.

If you haven’t created a plugin before, I encourage you to try this very simple example. It will take you approximately two minutes, and you’ll see how easy the Agent’s test mode makes it to iterate.

Go a little deeper

There’s more: generating alerts, reading from option files, etc. When you’re ready, check out the developer documentation at


Learn about the Scout Agent, API, and more at OK.rb

By Derek Bullet_white Comments Comments

James will be speaking at Thursday’s (June 11th) Ok.rb meetup in Edmond, Oklahoma, giving a tour of the Scout Agent and the API.

See the Ok.rb website for more details.


Now with deep Rails Instrumentation, triggers, a more robust agent, and more

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments 2 comments

Scout is nearing 1/2 billon recorded metrics, but bragging about metrics is like bragging about the number of lines of code you’ve written. Metrics, like code, are a means to an end. It’s the quality, not the volume, that matters.

We took a big step in going beyond numbers today with the release of the Rails instrumentation plugin for Scout. It’s the first plugin to leverage Scout’s new features, and at just $7/server, we think it’s at a price that makes sense whether you have a small VPS or a cloud of servers.

A quick tour of Scout’s new features:

Deep Rails Instrumentation Plugin

Using the new Rails instrumentation plugin, you’ll get alerted of trends. Scout wants to help you correct and issue before it becomes a problem:


When things go wrong, Scout tries to lend a helping hand, giving optimization suggestions:


..and highlights the variables that changed the most:


Sometimes you just want an overview of your Rails application as well:


The Rails Instrumentation plugin is open source, like the rest of our plugins. View the source of the Rails plugin and its companion Scout plugin on GitHub.


Leverage the same alerting functionality used by the Deep Rails instrumentation plugin in your own plugins with triggers. For example, let Scout notify you if user signups dramatically increase compared to the previous 7 days. Just pick a metric and set the thresholds!

The new Scout Agent

The old cron-based Scout client has been replaced by the Scout Agent, a daemon. The Scout Agent is an easier install and enables the more powerful and flexible metric-collecting goodness used by the Rails instrumentation plugin.

View the Scout Agent source at GitHub.

An easier API

It’s even easier to get your data into Scout with the new Ruby API:

ScoutAgent::API.queue_report({:metric_name => value, :plugin_id => PLUGIN_ID})

Or just use JSON from the command line:

scout_agent q report <<< ‘{“new_users”: 12}’

View our Developer Resources for more information on integrating with Scout.

Just $7/server

You can get started today with a free 30 day trial.


Scout at RailConf

By Andre Bullet_white Comments Comments

It’s been a big year for Scout at conferences. We sponsored GoGaRuCo here in San Francisco last month, and we had a booth on the floor at RailsConf last week.

A few highlights from the conference:

  • We came to the conference armed with all kinds of “selling points” for Scout 2.0. When all is said and done, the number one point people love about Scout is the open-source plugin model. Thanks for everyone’s feedback and support!
  • It was really cool talking to people in all stages of involvement with Ruby and Rails. Including those who were building a Rails app for the first time. It’s good to get that perspective after working with Rails for the last 3+ years.
  • Charles Quinn and I had the opportunity to treat Hongli Lai & Ninh Bui to Sushi and say thanks for one of our favorite pieces of software.
  • One cool interaction—Josh Goebel of Pastie came by and asked us about the new Scout API. Then, he tracked us down the next day to show us the Scout plugin he had created for vmstat! Great to see folks using Scout’s extensibility like that.
  • I didn’t hear one mention of “what happens in Vegas”—Rails community +1; tired cliches -1.

Interview on

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

Fabio Akita tracked down our own Matt Todd to talk about Scout.

Listen to the interview:

Download (13:43)


I'm not a ShamWow salesman and other lessons from our first conference

By Derek Bullet_white Comments 1 comment

I despise sales pitches, but you wouldn’t know it if you were the first person to visit our Scout exhibit booth. After introducing myself, I delved into a 5 minute whirl-wind tour of Scout 2.0, trying to show every possible feature that might help him monitor his Rails stack.

He watched, mostly quiet.

As he walked away, I felt a little dirty, a little QVC-like. I hoped my career wasn’t heading down the path of another famous pitchman.

We exhibited Scout at our first conference, Golden Gate Ruby Conference, run with Scandinavian precision and held, not ironically, at the Swedish American Hall. I started a little awkward telling the Scout story, but things really smoothed out quickly. 8 lessons from our first conference:

Read More →


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