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Mixing ActiveRecord and other ORMs like Mongoid? Need relationships between those data layers? Really hate either implementing a bunch of accessors or copy-pasting the same metaprogramming over and over again?

Use Consort! Built around a simple modification to standard ActiveRecord association syntax, Consort allows you to more easily retrieve data from cross-ORM single-to-single and single-to-many associations without writing or recycling code.

Once More, With 50% Less Jargon

If you have a Rails app using both ActiveRecord and Mongoid, you've probably discovered you can't create associations between the two.

Consort allows you to define has_one, has_many, and belongs_to associations between ActiveRecord and Mongoid object classes. (And it can be extended to support nearly any combination of ORM and ODM adapters, but ActiveRecord <-> Mongoid is what's written today.)


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'consort'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install consort


Ruby 1.9.3 or 2.0.0. Alternate VMs compatible with these versions should also work.

Ruby 1.8 is not supported. Let the dead rest in peace!

Rails Compatibility

Consort currently targets Rails 3.2 (or, more accurately, ActiveSupport and ActiveRecord 3.2). Mongoid and several other ORM/ODM layers have not yet been updated for Rails 4, and most new and existing projects are continuing to use Rails 3.2 for now.

Rails 4 support is planned.

Continuous Integration

Automated CI testing is performed against Ruby 1.9.3 and 2.0.0 using ActiveRecord and ActiveSupport 3.1, 3.2, and 4.0.


Consort allows basic relationships to be defined between ActiveRecord and other ORM layers. Simply add _[ORM_TYPE] to what you'd normally use. active_record and mongoid are currently supported.

The relationship macros are designed to read cleanly:

  • Airframe has one ActiveRecord powerplant
  • Airframe has many Mongoid variants

On an ActiveRecord model, you can define relationships with Mongoid:

class Airframe < ActiveRecord::Base
  belongs_to_mongoid  :manufacturer
  has_one_mongoid     :powerplant
  has_many_mongoid    :variants

On a Mongoid model, you can define relationships with ActiveRecord:

class Airframe
  include Mongoid::Document
  belongs_to_active_record  :manufacturer
  has_one_active_record     :powerplant
  has_many_active_record    :variants
  # Consort expects a foreign key field
  field :manufacturer_id,   type: Integer

Unimplemented Features

There are several things Consort doesn't (currently) do, either because I haven't seen them used when mixing object mappers, or because they may have horrible unintended consequences.

This doesn't mean Consort shouldn't do them; if you have a use case for a missing feature, feel free to implement it and send a pull request, or create an issue with a feature request.

Many-to-Many Relationships

Consort doesn't support many-to-many relationships. I've rarely run into a situation where they make sense in cross-ORM applications, and implementing them would require making decisions like "where do we store them?".


Also low on the list of use cases.


This falls into the potential horrible unintended consequences group.

Consort does not currently implement automatic callbacks (e.g. destroying a Mongoid object automatically when its parent ActiveRecord object is destroyed). If creating/altering/deleting an object from one object mapper should create/alter/delete an associated object from a different object mapper, you currently need to take care of this yourself.


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. No, seriously, create a branch. Please. Call it ravenous-monkey for all I care, but create a branch.
  4. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  5. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  6. Create new Pull Request

Make sure you include tests! Tests are good. Tests are required. All hail tests.

Consort tests are built with Minitest; beyond that, I'm flexible. Minitest::Unit and Minitest::Spec are both fine.


Colin Mattson