Automated operations on a database

I don't know if there's a more Rails or Ruby way to do this, but the
best I've done is write a ruby script that bootstraps Rails, get my
work done through ActiveRecord (so I don't by pass any of my business
logic), and then tell cron to run this script every so often.

The following code works for me in bootstrapping Rails:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby

# Ensure the environment was specified
if ARGV.length != 1
  puts "usage: ruby dummy_records.rb <rails_env>"
  exit 1
end

$LOAD_PATH << File.expand_path(File.dirname(__FILE__))

ENV['RAILS_ENV'] = ARGV.first || ENV['RAILS_ENV']

require 'rubygems'
require File.dirname(__FILE__) + '/../config/boot'
require "#{RAILS_ROOT}/config/environment"

def connect(environment)
  conf = YAML::load(File.open(File.dirname(__FILE__) + '/../config/
database.yml'))
  ActiveRecord::Base.establish_connection(conf[environment])
end

# Open ActiveRecord connection
connect(ARGV.first)

# Enter code here to interact with your models.

Warm regards,

David Richards