Preload reusable records for factory_girl
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FactoryGirl Seeds

Don't like factory_girl because it is slow? Do you know that creating records in DB through factory_girl can take up to 50% of total spec run time? And even more!

This tiny gem helps fix that problem by reusing data preloaded before running test suite.


Without seeds:

Finished in 4 minutes 38.7 seconds
1402 examples, 0 failures, 0 pending

With seeds:

Finished in 2 minutes 40.6 seconds
1402 examples, 0 failures, 0 pending
>> (2.minutes + 40.6.seconds) / (4.minutes + 38.7.seconds)
=> 0.5762468604233943

So it is just about 58% of time before seeds optimization :)


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

group :test do
  gem 'factory_girl-seeds'


1. Create records before test suite

FactoryGirl::SeedGenerator.create(:user, name: "Carlos Castaneda")

For example if you are using rspec then add this to config.before(:suite).

2. Use in factory definitions

This is the most important step because most of time factory_girl spends on creating associations which in turn also create associations and so on recursively.

FactoryGirl.define do
  factory :post do
    title "Demo"
    user { seed(:user) }

3. Use in it blocks.

Also if you need standard factory without overriding attributes then do not create records. Just use one from preloaded seeds.

it "should do something" do
  user = FactoryGirl.seed(:user)

  # your code here

Short DSL also available:

user = seed(:user)

4. Using Factory Girl traits

You can create models via factories and traits (like create(:user, admin)), but you can not obtain it with the seed(:user, :admin). To be able to obtain a record it is recommended to define specific factories with a set of traits and unique names just like in the example in Getting stated guide:

factory :user do
  name "Friendly User"
  login { name }

  trait :male do
    name   "John Doe"
    gender "Male"

  trait :female do
    name   "Jane Doe"
    gender "Female"

  trait :admin do
    admin true

  factory :male_admin,   traits: [:male, :admin]
  factory :female_admin, traits: [:admin, :female]

When factories declared in this manner, you can obtain a record with seed(:male_admin)

How it works?

FactoryGirl::SeedGenerator.create method creates record in DB before transaction begins. Then it block starts transaction so when you update record returned by FactoryGirl.seed it is wrapped in transaction. This guarantees that every it block works with clean record.


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request