ActiveRecord and Transactions!

If you ever have to do multiple actions with activerecord, you should group it into a transaction like so:

Post.transaction do
  posts.each do |post|
    post =>'Whatever')!

This will rollback too if the save fails.

Bulk update using ActiveRecord without SQL!

Here is a cool way you can update columns in a table without writing any SQL using ActiveRecord. Suppose you have a form with checkboxes that are for deleting posts for the ones that are checked:

<input name="posts[]" type="checkbox" value="<%= %>" />

Now you can update this in the method of your controller that this form posts to:

Post.update_all({:removed=>true}, {:id=>params[:posts]})

ActiveRecord will take of the fact that you want to update 1 record or multiple!

ActiveRecord counting with associations

The other day I had to display the number of children items an object had so I decided to do the following:

# Controller
@customers = Customer.find(:all, :include=>[:receive_payments])

<%= customer.receive_payments.count %>

While this worked for what I needed, it executed the following sql every iteration:

SELECT count(*) AS count_all FROM "receive_payments" WHERE ("receive_payments".customer_ref_list_id = E'850000-1071531366')

I thought this wasn’t right considering I used an association, however when you use count, it forces the use of count(*) on the database. This is where size comes in!!!!

<%= customer.receive_payments.size %>

Now we get the same results without the extra database counts!

Easy Hash to XML and back conversion in Ruby

Instead of spending hours trying to write something custom to convert your hash into xml or vice versa, you can do it in one line. If you are already in a Rails environment, you are good to go, but if using ruby, include the ActiveSupport gem:

require 'rubygems'
require 'active_support'

Now that you have, we can convert a xml to a hash:

hash = Hash.from_xml(xml_stream)

And a hash to xml is stupid simple:

xml = hash.to_xml

There you have it, simple xml to hash and hash to xml!