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Rectify

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Rectify is a gem that provides some lightweight classes that will make it easier to build Rails applications in a more maintainable way. It's built on top of several other gems and adds improved APIs to make things easier.

Rectify is an extraction from a number of projects that use these techniques and proved to be successful.

Video

In June 2016, I spoke at RubyC about Rectify and how it can be used to improve areas of your application. The full video and slides can be found here:

Building maintainable Rails apps - RubyC 2016

Installation

To install, add it to your Gemfile:

gem "rectify"

Then use Bundler to install it:

bundle install

Overview

Currently, Rectify consists of the following concepts:

You can use these separately or together to improve the structure of your Rails applications.

The main problem that Rectify tries to solve is where your logic should go. Commonly, business logic is either placed in the controller or the model and the views are filled with too much logic. The opinion of Rectify is that these places are incorrect and that your models in particular are doing too much.

Rectify's opinion is that controllers should just be concerned with HTTP related things and models should just be concerned with data relationships. The problem then becomes, how and where do you place validations, queries and other business logic?

Using Rectify, Form Objects contain validations and represent the data input of your system. Commands then take a Form Object (as well as other data) and perform a single action which is invoked by a controller. Query objects encapsulate a single database query (and any logic it needs). Presenters contain the presentation logic in a way that is easily testable and keeps your views as clean as possible.

Rectify is designed to be very lightweight and allows you to use some or all of it's components. We also advise to use these components where they make sense not just blindly everywhere. More on that later.

Here's an example controller that shows details about a user and also allows a user to register an account. This creates a user, sends some emails, does some special auditing and integrates with a third party system:

class UserController < ApplicationController
  include Rectify::ControllerHelpers

  def show
    present UserDetailsPresenter.new(:user => current_user)
  end

  def new
    @form = RegistrationForm.new
  end

  def create
    @form = RegistrationForm.from_params(params)

    RegisterAccount.call(@form) do
      on(:ok)      { redirect_to dashboard_path }
      on(:invalid) { render :new }
      on(:already_registered) { redirect_to login_path }
    end
  end
end

The RegistrationForm Form Object encapsulates the relevant data that is required for the action and the RegisterAccount Command encapsulates the business logic of registering a new account. The controller is clean and business logic now has a natural home:

HTTP             => Controller   (redirecting, rendering, etc)
Data Input       => Form Object  (validation, acceptable input)
Business Logic   => Command      (logic for a specific use case)
Data Persistence => Model        (relationships between models)
Data Access      => Query Object (database queries)
View Logic       => Presenter    (formatting data)

The next sections will give further details about using Form Objects, Commands and Presenters.

Form Objects

The role of the Form Object is to manage the input data for a given action. It validates data and only allows whitelisted attributes (replacing the need for Strong Parameters). This is a departure from "The Rails Way" where the model contains the validations. Form Objects help to reduce the weight of your models for one, but also, in an app of reasonable complexity even simple things like validations become harder because context is important.

For example, you can add validation for a User model but there are different context where the validations change. When a user registers themselves you might have one set of validations, when an admin edits that user you might have another set, maybe even when a user edits themselves you may have a third. In "The Rails Way" you would have to have conditional validation in your model. With Rectify you can have a different Form Object per context and keep things easier to manage.

Form objects in Rectify are based on Virtus and make them compatible with Rails form builders, add ActiveModel validations and all allow you to specify a model to mimic.

Here is how you define a form object:

class UserForm < Rectify::Form
  attribute :first_name, String
  attribute :last_name,  String

  validates :first_name, :last_name, :presence => true
end

You can then set that up in your controller instead of a normal ActiveRecord model:

class UsersController < ApplicationController
  def new
    @form = UserForm.new
  end

  def create
    @form = UserForm.from_params(params)

    if @form.valid?
      # Do something interesting
    end
  end
end

You can use the form object with form builders such as simple_form like this:

= simple_form_for @form do |f|
  = f.input :first_name
  = f.input :last_name
  = f.submit

Mimicking models

When the form is generated it uses the name of the form class to infer what "model" it should mimic. In the example above, it will mimic the User model as it removes the Form suffix from the form class name by default.

The model being mimicked affects two things about the form:

  1. The route path helpers to use as the url to post to, for example: users_path.
  2. The parent key in the params hash that the controller receives, for example user in this case:
params = {
  "id" => "1",
  "user" => {
    "first_name" => "Andy",
    "last_name"  => "Pike"
  }
}

You might want to mimic something different and use a form object that is not named in a way where the correct model can be mimicked. For example:

class UserForm < Rectify::Form
  mimic :teacher

  attribute :first_name,  String
  attribute :last_name,   String

  validates :first_name, :last_name, :presence => true
end

In this example we are using the same UserForm class but am mimicking a Teacher model. The above form will then use the route path helpers teachers_path and the params key will be teacher rather than users_path and user respectively.

Attributes

You define your attributes for your form object just like you do in Virtus.

By default, Rectify forms include an id attribute for you so you don't need to add that. We use this id attribute to fulfill some of the requirements of ActiveModel so your forms will work with form builders. For example, your form object has a #persisted? method. Your form object is never persisted so technically this should always return false.

However, you are normally representing something that is persistable. So we use the value of id to workout if what this should return. If id is a number greater than zero then we assume it is persisted otherwise we assume it isn't. This is important as it affects where your form is posted (to the #create or #update action in your controller).

Populating attributes

There are a number of ways to populate attributes of a form object.

Constructor

You can use the constructor and pass it a hash of values:

form = UserForm.new(:first_name => "Andy", :last_name => "Pike")

Params hash

You can use the params hash that a Rails controller provides that contains all the data in the request:

form = UserForm.from_params(params)

When populating from params we will populate the built in id attribute from the root of the params hash and populate the rest of the form attributes from within the parent key. For example:

params = {
  "id" => "1",
  "user" => {
    "first_name" => "Andy",
    "last_name"  => "Pike"
  }
}

form = UserForm.from_params(params)

form.id         # => 1
form.first_name # => "Andy"
form.last_name  # => "Pike"

The other thing to notice is that (thanks to Virtus), attribute values are cast to the correct type. The params hash is actually all string based but when you get values from the form, they are returned as the correct type (see id above).

In addition to the params hash, you may want to add additional contextual data. This can be done by supplying a second hash to the .from_params method. Elements from this hash will be available to populate form attributes as if they were under the params key:

form = UserForm.from_params(params, :ip_address => "1.2.3.4")

form.id         # => 1
form.first_name # => "Andy"
form.last_name  # => "Pike"
form.ip_address # => "1.2.3.4"

Model

You can pass a Ruby object instance (which is normally an ActiveModel but can be any PORO) to the form to populate it's attribute values. This is useful when editing a model:

user = User.create(:first_name => "Andy", :last_name => "Pike")

form = UserForm.from_model(user)

form.id         # => 1
form.first_name # => "Andy"
form.last_name  # => "Pike"

This works by trying to match (deeply) the attributes of the form object with the passed in object. If there is matching attribute or method in the model, then whatever it returns will be assigned to the form attribute.

This works great for most cases, but sometimes you need more control and need the ability to do custom mapping from the model to the form. When this is required, you just need to implement the #map_model method in your form object:

class UserForm < Rectify::Form
  attribute :full_name, String

  def map_model(model)
    self.full_name = "#{model.first_name} #{model.last_name}"
  end
end

The #map_model method is called as part of .from_model after all the automatic attribute assignment is complete.

One important thing that is different about Rectify forms is that they are not bound to a model. You can use a model to populate the form's attributes but that is all it will do. It does not keep a reference to the model or interact with it.

Rectify forms are designed to be lightweight representations of the data you want to collect or show in your forms, not something that is linked to a model. This allows you to create any form that you like which doesn't need to match the representation of the data in the database.

JSON

You can also populate a form object from a JSON string. Just pass it in to the .from_json class method and the form will be created with the attributes populated by matching names:

json = <<-JSON
  {
    "first_name": "Andy",
    "age": 38
  }
JSON

form = UserForm.from_json(json)

form.first_name # => "Andy"
form.age        # => 38

Populating the form from JSON can be useful when dealing with API requests into your system. Which allows you to easily access data and perform validation if required.

Validations

Rectify includes ActiveModel::Validations for you so you can use all of the Rails validations that you are used to within your models.

Your Form Object has a #valid? method that will validate the attributes of your form as well as any (deeply) nested form objects and array attributes that contain form objects. There is also an #invalid? method that returns the opposite of #valid?.

The #valid? and #invalid? methods also take a set of options. These options allow you to not validate nested form objects or array attributes that contain form objects. For example:

class UserForm < Rectify::Form
  attribute :name,     String
  attribute :address,  AddressForm
  attribute :contacts, Array[ContactForm]

  validates :name, :presence => true
end

class AddressForm < Rectify::Form
  attribute :street,    String
  attribute :town,      String
  attribute :city,      String
  attribute :post_code, String

  validates :street, :post_code, :presence => true
end

class ContactForm < Rectify::Form
  attribute :name,   String
  attribute :number, String

  validates :name, :presence => true
end

form = UserForm.from_params(params)

form.valid?(:exclude_nested => true, :exclude_arrays => true)

In this case, the UserForm attributes will be validated (name in the example above) but the address and contacts will not be validated.

Deep Context

It's sometimes useful to have some context within your form objects when performing validations or some other type of data manipulation of the input. For example, you might want to check that the current user owns a particular resource as part of your validations. You could add the current user as an additional contextual option as the example shows above. However, sometimes you need this context to be available at all levels within your form not just at the root form object. You might have nested forms or arrays of form objects and they all might need access to this context. As there is no link up the chain from child to parent forms, we need a way to supply some context and make it available to all child forms.

You can do that using the #with_context method.

form = UserForm.from_params(params).with_context(:user => current_user)

This allows us to access #context in any form, and use the information within it when we perform validations or other work:

class PostForm < Rectify::Form
  attribute :blog_id, Integer
  attribute :title,   String
  attribute :body,    String
  attribute :tags,    Array[TagForm]

  validate :check_blog_ownership

  def check_blog_ownership
    return if context.user.blogs.exists?(:id => blog_id)

    errors.add(:blog_id, "not owned by this user")
  end
end

class TagForm < Rectify::Form
  attribute :name,        String
  attribute :category_id, Integer

  validate :check_category

  def check_category
    return if context.user.categories.exists?(:id => category_id)

    errors.add(:category_id, "not a category for this user")
  end
end

The context is passed to all nested forms within a form object to make it easy to perform all the validations and data conversions you might need from within the form object without having to do this as part of the command.

Strong Parameters

Did you notice in the example above that there was no mention of Strong Parameters. That's because with Form Objects you do not need strong parameters. You only specify attributes in your form that are allowed to be accepted. All other data in your params hash is ignored.

Take a look at Virtus for more information about how to build a form object.

Commands

Commands (also known as Service Objects) are the home of your business logic. They allow you to simplify your models and controllers and allow them to focus on what they are responsible for. A Command should encapsulate a single user task such as registering for a new account or placing an order. You of course don't need to put all code for this task within the Command, you can (and should) create other classes that your Command uses to perform it's work.

With regard to naming, Rectify suggests using verbs rather than nouns for Command class names, for example RegisterAccount, PlaceOrder or GenerateEndOfYearReport. Notice that we don't suffix commands with Command or Service or similar.

Commands in Rectify are based on Wisper which allows classes to broadcast events for publish/subscribe capabilities. Rectify::Command is a lightweight class that gives an alternate API and adds some helper methods to improve Command logic.

The reason for using the pub/sub model rather than returning a result means that we can reduce the number of conditionals in our code as the outcome of a Command might be more complex than just success or failure.

Here is an example Command with the structure Rectify suggests (as seen in the overview above):

class RegisterAccount < Rectify::Command
  def initialize(form)
    @form = form
  end

  def call
    return broadcast(:invalid) if form.invalid?

    transaction do
      create_user
      notify_admins
      audit_event
      send_user_details_to_crm
    end

    broadcast(:ok)
  end

  private

  attr_reader :form

  def create_user
    # ...
  end

  def notify_admins
    # ...
  end

  def audit_event
    # ...
  end

  def send_user_details_to_crm
    # ...
  end
end

To invoke this Command, you would do the following:

def create
  @form = RegistrationForm.from_params(params)

  RegisterAccount.call(@form) do
    on(:ok)      { redirect_to dashboard_path }
    on(:invalid) { render :new }
    on(:already_registered) { redirect_to login_path }
  end
end

What happens inside a Command?

When you call the .call class method, Rectify will instantiate a new instance of the command and will pass the parameters to it's constructor, it will then call the instance method #call on the newly created command object. The .call method also allows you to supply a block where you can handle the events that may have been broadcast from the command.

The events that your Command broadcasts can be anything, Rectify suggests :ok for success and :invalid if the form data is not valid, but it's totally up to you.

From here you can choose to implement your Command how you see fit. A Rectify::Command only has to have the instance method #call.

Writing Commands

As your application grows and Commands get more complex we recommend using the structure above. Within the #call method you first check that the input data is valid. If it is you then perform the various tasks that need to be completed. We recommend using private methods for each step that are well named which makes it very easy for anyone reading the code to workout what it does.

Feel free to use other classes and objects where appropriate to keep your code well organized and maintainable.

Events

Just as in Wisper, you fire events using the broadcast method. You can use any event name you like. You can also pass parameters to the handling block:

# within the command:

class RegisterAccount < Rectify::Command
  def call
    # ...
    broadcast(:ok, user)
  end
end

# within the controller:

def create
  RegisterAccount.call(@form) do
    on(:ok) { |user| logger.info("#{user.first_name} created") }
  end
end

When an event is handled, the appropriate block is called in the context of the controller. Basically, any method call within the block is delegated back to the controller.

As well as capturing events in a block, the command will also return a hash of the broadcast events together with any parameters that were passed. For example:

events = RegisterAccount.call(form)

events  # => { :ok => user }

There will be a key for each event broadcast and its value will be the parameters passed. If there is a single parameter it will be the value. If there are no parameters or many, the hash value for the event key will be an array of the parameters:

events = RegisterAccount.call(form)

events  # => {
        #      :ok       => user,
        #      :messages => ["User registered", "Email sent", "Account ready"],
        #      :next     => []
        #    }

You may occasionally want to expose a value within a handler block to the view. You do this via the expose method within the handler block. If you want to use expose then you must include the Rectify::ControllerHelpers module in your controller. You pass a hash of the variables you wish to expose to the view and they will then be available. If you have set a Presenter for the view then expose will try to set an attribute on that presenter. If there is no Presenter or the Presenter doesn't have a matching attribute then expose will set an instance variable of the same name. See below for more details about Presenters.

# within the controller:

include Rectify::ControllerHelpers

def create
  present HomePresenter.new(:name => "Guest")

  RegisterAccount.call(@form) do
    on(:ok) { |user| expose(:name => user.name, :greeting => "Hello") }
  end
end
<!-- within the view: -->

<p><%= @greeting %> <%= presenter.name %></p>
# => <p>Hello Andy</p>

Take a look at Wisper for more information around how to do publish/subscribe.

Presenters

A Presenter is a class that contains the presentational logic for your views. These are also known as an "exhibit", "view model", "view object" or just a "view" (Rails views are actually templates, but anyway). To avoid confusion Rectify calls these classes Presenters.

It's often the case that you need some logic that is just for the UI. The same question comes up, where should this logic go? You could put it directly in the view, add it to the model or create a helper. Rectify's opinion is that all of these are incorrect. Instead, create a Presenter for the view (or component of the view) and place your logic here. These classes are easily testable and provide a more object oriented approach to the problem.

To create a Presenter just derive off of Rectify::Presenter, add attributes as you do for Form Objects using Virtus attribute declaration. Inside a Presenter you have access to all view helper methods so it's easy to move the presentation logic here:

class UserDetailsPresenter < Rectify::Presenter
  attribute :user, User

  def edit_link
    return "" unless user.admin?

    link_to "Edit #{user.name}", edit_user_path(user)
  end
end

Once you have a Presenter, you typically create it in your controller and make it accessible to your views. There are two ways to do that. The first way is to just treat it as a normal class:

class UsersController < ApplicationController
  def show
    user = User.find(params[:id])

    @presenter = UserDetailsPresenter.new(:user => user).attach_controller(self)
  end
end

You need to call #attach_controller and pass it a controller instance which will allow it access to the view helpers. You can then use the Presenter in your views as you would expect:

<p><%= @presenter.edit_link %></p>

The second way is a little cleaner as we have supplied a few helper methods to clean up remove some of the boilerplate. You need to include the Rectify::ControllerHelpers module and then use the present helper:

class UsersController < ApplicationController
  include Rectify::ControllerHelpers

  def show
    user = User.find(params[:id])

    present UserDetailsPresenter.new(:user => user)
  end
end

In your view, you can access this presenter using the presenter helper method:

<p><%= presenter.edit_link %></p>

We recommend having a single Presenter per view but you may want to have more than one presenter. You can use a Presenter to to hold the presentation logic of your layout or for a component view. To do this, you can either use the first method above or use the present method and add a for option with any key:

class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base
  include Rectify::ControllerHelpers

  before_action { present LayoutPresenter.new(:user => user), :for => :layout }
end

To access this Presenter in the view, just pass the Presenter key to the presenter method like so:

<p><%= presenter(:layout).login_link %></p>

Updating values of a Presenter

After a presenter has been instantiated you can update it's values by just setting their attributes:

class UsersController < ApplicationController
  include Rectify::ControllerHelpers

  def show
    user = User.find(params[:id])

    present UserDetailsPresenter.new(:user => user)
    presenter.user = User.first
  end

  # or...

  def other_action
    user = User.find(params[:id])

    @presenter = UserDetailsPresenter.new(:user => user).attach_controller(self)
    @presenter.user = User.first
  end
end

As mentioned above in the Commands section, you can use the expose method (if you include Rectify::ControllerHelpers). You can use this anywhere in the controller action including the Command handler block. If you have set a Presenter for the view then expose will try to set an attribute on that presenter. If there is no Presenter or the Presenter doesn't have a matching attribute then expose will set an instance variable of the same name:

class UsersController < ApplicationController
  include Rectify::ControllerHelpers

  def show
    user = User.find(params[:id])

    present UserDetailsPresenter.new(:user => user)

    expose(:user => User.first, :message => "Hello there!")

    # presenter.user == User.first
    # @message == "Hello there!"
  end
end

Decorators

Another option for containing your UI logic is to use a Decorator. Rectify doesn't ship with a built in way to create a decorator but we recommend either using Draper or you can roll your own using SimpleDelegator:

class UserDecorator < SimpleDelegator
  def full_name
    "#{first_name} #{last_name}"
  end
end

user = User.new(:first_name => "Andy", :last_name => "Pike")
decorator = UserDecorator.new(user)
decorator.full_name # => "Andy Pike"

If you want to decorate a collection of objects you can do that by adding the for_collection method:

class UserDecorator < SimpleDelegator
  # ...

  def self.for_collection(users)
    users.map { |u| new(u) }
  end
end

users = UserDecorator.for_collection(User.all)
user.each do |u|
  u.full_name # => Works for each user :o)
end

Query Objects

The final main component to Rectify is the Query Object. It's role is to encapsulate a single database query and any logic that it query needs to operate. It still uses ActiveRecord but adds some very light sugar on the top to make this style of architecture easier. This helps to keep your model classes lean and gives a natural home to this code.

To create a query object, you create a new class and derive off of Rectify::Query. The only thing you need to do is to implement the #query method and return an ActiveRecord::Relation object from it:

class ActiveUsers < Rectify::Query
  def query
    User.where(:active => true)
  end
end

To use this object, you just instantiate it and then use one of the following methods to make use of it:

ActiveUsers.new.count   # => Returns the number of records
ActiveUsers.new.first   # => Returns the first record
ActiveUsers.new.exists? # => Returns true if there are any records, else false
ActiveUsers.new.none?   # => Returns true if there are no records, else false
ActiveUsers.new.to_a    # => Execute the query and returns the resulting objects
ActiveUsers.new.each do |user| # => Iterates over each result
  puts user.name
end
ActiveUsers.new.map(&:age) # => All Enumerable methods

Passing data to query objects

Passing data that your queries need to operate is best done via the constructor:

class UsersOlderThan < Rectify::Query
  def initialize(age)
    @age = age
  end

  def query
    User.where("age > ?", @age)
  end
end

UsersOlderThan.new(25).count # => Returns the number of users over 25 years old

Sometimes your queries will need to do a little work with the provided data before they can use it. Having your query encapsulated in an object makes this easy and maintainable (here's a trivial example):

class UsersWithBlacklistedEmail < Rectify::Query
  def initialize(blacklist)
    @blacklist = blacklist
  end

  def query
    User.where(:email => blacklisted_emails)
  end

  private

  def blacklisted_emails
    @blacklist.map { |b| b.email.strip.downcase }
  end
end

Composition

One of this great features of ActiveRecord is the ability to easily compose queries together in a simple way which helps reusability. Rectify Query Objects can also be combined to created composed queries using the | operator as we use in Ruby for Set Union. Here's how it looks:

active_users_over_20 = ActiveUsers.new | UsersOlderThan.new(20)

active_users_over_20.count # => Returns number of active users over 20 years old

You can union many queries in this manner which will result in another Rectify::Query object that you can use just like any other. This results in a single database query.

As an alternative you can also use the #merge method which is simply an alias of the | operator:

active_users_over_20 = ActiveUsers.new.merge(UsersOlderThan.new(20))

active_users_over_20.count # => Returns number of active users over 20 years old

The .merge class method of Rectify::Query accepts multiple Rectify::Query objects to union together. This is the same as using the | operator on multiple Rectify::Query objects.

active_users_over_20 = Rectify::Query.merge(
  ActiveUsers.new,
  UsersOlderThan.new(20)
)

active_users_over_20.count # => Returns number of active users over 20 years old

You can also pass a Rectify::Query object into the constructor of another Rectify::Query object to set it as the base scope.

class UsersOlderThan < Rectify::Query
  def initialize(age, scope = AllUsers.new)
    @age   = age
    @scope = scope
  end

  def query
    @scope.query.where("age > ?", @age)
  end
end

UsersOlderThan.new(20, ActiveUsers.new).count

Leveraging your database

Using ActiveRecord::Relation is a great way to construct your database queries but sometimes you need to to use features of your database that aren't supported by ActiveRecord directly. These are usually database specific and can greatly improve your query efficiency. When that happens, you will need to write some raw SQL. Rectify Query Objects allow for this. In addition to your #query method returning an ActiveRecord::Relation you can also return an array of objects. This means you can run raw SQL using ActiveRecord::Querying#find_by_sql:

class UsersOverUsingSql < Rectify::Query
  def initialize(age)
    @age = age
  end

  def query
    User.find_by_sql([
      "SELECT * FROM users WHERE age > :age ORDER BY age ASC", { :age => @age }
    ])
  end
end

When you do this, the normal Rectify::Query methods are available but they operate on the returned array rather than on the ActiveRecord::Relation. This includes composition using the | operator but you can't compose an ActiveRecord::Relation query object with one that returns an array of objects from its #query method. You can compose two queries where both return arrays but be aware that this will query the database for each query object and then perform a Ruby array set union on the results. This might not be the most efficient way to get the results so only use this when you are sure it's the right thing to do.

The above example is fine for short SQL statements but if you are using raw SQL, they will probably be much longer than a single line. Rectify provides a small module that you can include to makes your query objects cleaner:

class UsersOverUsingSql < Rectify::Query
  include Rectify::SqlQuery

  def initialize(age)
    @age = age
  end

  def model
    User
  end

  def sql
    <<-SQL.strip_heredoc
      SELECT *
      FROM users
      WHERE age > :age
      ORDER BY age ASC
    SQL
  end

  def params
    { :age => @age }
  end
end

Just include Rectify::SqlQuery in your query object and then supply the a model method that returns the model of the returned objects. A params method that returns a hash containing named parameters that the SQL statement requires. Lastly, you must supply a sql method that returns the raw SQL. We recommend using a heredoc which makes the SQL much cleaner and easier to read. Parameters use the ActiveRecord standard symbol notation as shown above with the :age parameter.

Stubbing Query Objects in tests

Now that you have your queries nicely encapsulated, it's now easier with a clear division of responsibility to improve how you use the database within your tests. You should unit test your Query Objects to ensure they return the correct data from a know database state.

What you can now do it stub out these database calls when you use them in other classes. This improves your test code in a couple of ways:

  1. You need less database setup code within your tests. Normally you might use something like factory_girl to create records in your database and then when your tests run they query this set of data. Stubbing the queries within your tests can reduce this complexity.
  2. Fewer database queries running and less factory usage means that your tests
  3. are doing less work and therefore will run a bit faster.

In Rectify, we provide the RSpec helper method stub_query that will make stubbing Query Objects easy:

# inside spec/rails_helper.rb

require "rectify/rspec"

RSpec.configure do |config|
  # snip ...

  config.include Rectify::RSpec::Helpers
end

# within a spec:

it "returns the number of users" do
  stub_query(UsersOlderThan, :results => [User.new, User.new])

  expect(subject.awesome_method).to eq(2)
end

As a convenience :results accepts either an array of objects or a single instance:

stub_query(UsersOlderThan, :results => [User.new, User.new])
stub_query(UsersOlderThan, :results => User.new)

Where do I put my files?

The next inevitable question is "Where do I put my Forms, Commands, Queries and Presenters?". You could create forms, commands, queries and presenters folders and follow the Rails Way. Rectify suggests grouping your classes by feature rather than by pattern. For example, create a folder called core (this can be anything) and within that, create a folder for each broad feature of your application. Something like the following:

.
└── app
    ├── controllers
    ├── core
    │   ├── billing
    │   ├── fulfillment
    │   ├── ordering
    │   ├── reporting
    │   └── security
    ├── models
    └── views

Then you would place your classes in the appropriate feature folder. If you follow this pattern remember to namespace your classes with a matching module which will allow Rails to load them:

# in app/core/billing/send_invoice.rb

module Billing
  class SendInvoice < Rectify::Command
    # ...
  end
end

You don't need to alter your load path as everything in the app folder is loaded automatically.

As stated above, if you prefer not to use this method of organizing your code then that is totally fine. Just create folders under app for the things in Rectify that you use:

.
└── app
    ├── commands
    ├── controllers
    ├── forms
    ├── models
    ├── presenters
    ├── queries
    └── views

You don't need to make any configuration changes for your preferred folder structure, just use whichever you feel most comfortable with.

Trade offs

This style of Rails architecture is not a silver bullet for all projects. If your app is pretty much just basic CRUD then you are unlikely to get much benefit from this. However, if your app is more than just CRUD then you should see an improvement in code structure and maintainability.

The downside to this approach is that there will be many more classes and files to deal with. This can be tricky as the application gets bigger to hold the whole system in your head. Personally I would prefer that as maintaining it will be easier as all code around a specific user task is on one place.

Before you use these methods in your project, consider the trade off and use these strategies where they make sense for you and your project. It maybe most pragmatic to use a mixture of the classic Rails Way and the Rectify approach depending on the complexity of different areas of your application.

Developing Rectify

Some tests (specifically for Query objects) we need access to a database that ActiveRecord can connect to. We use SQLite for this at present. When you run the specs with bundle exec rspec, the database will be created for you.

There are some Rake tasks to help with the management of this test database using normal(ish) commands from Rails:

rake db:migrate   # => Migrates the test database
rake db:schema    # => Dumps database schema
rake g:migration  # => Create a new migration file (use snake_case name)

Releasing a new version

Bump the version in lib/rectify/version.rb then do the following:

bundle
gem build rectify.gemspec
gem push rectify-0.0.0.gem