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A statesmanlike state machine library.
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README.md

Statesman

A statesmanlike state machine library for Ruby 1.9.3 and up.

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Statesman is an opinionated state machine library designed to provide a robust audit trail and data integrity. It decouples the state machine logic from the underlying model and allows for easy composition with one or more model classes.

As such, the design of statesman is a little different from other state machine libraries:

  • State behaviour is defined in a separate, "state machine" class, rather than added directly onto a model. State machines are then instantiated with the model to which they should apply.
  • State transitions are also modelled as a class, which can optionally be persisted to the database for a full audit history. This audit history can include JSON metadata set during a transition.
  • Database indicies are used to offer database-level transaction duplication protection.

TL;DR Usage

#######################
# State Machine Class #
#######################
class OrderStateMachine
  include Statesman::Machine

  state :pending, initial: true
  state :checking_out
  state :purchased
  state :shipped
  state :cancelled
  state :failed
  state :refunded

  transition from: :pending,      to: [:checking_out, :cancelled]
  transition from: :checking_out, to: [:purchased, :cancelled]
  transition from: :purchased,    to: [:shipped, :failed]
  transition from: :shipped,      to: :refunded

  guard_transition(to: :checking_out) do |order|
    order.products_in_stock?
  end

  before_transition(from: :checking_out, to: :cancelled) do |order, transition|
    order.reallocate_stock
  end

  before_transition(to: :purchased) do |order, transition|
    PaymentService.new(order).submit
  end

  after_transition(to: :purchased) do |order, transition|
    MailerService.order_confirmation(order).deliver
  end
end

##############
# Your Model #
##############
class Order < ActiveRecord::Base
  include Statesman::Adapters::ActiveRecordQueries

  has_many :order_transitions

  def state_machine
    @state_machine ||= OrderStateMachine.new(self, transition_class: OrderTransition)
  end

  private

  def self.transition_class
    OrderTransition
  end

  def self.initial_state
    :pending
  end
end

####################
# Transition Model #
####################
class OrderTransition < ActiveRecord::Base
  include Statesman::Adapters::ActiveRecordTransition

  belongs_to :order, inverse_of: :order_transitions
end

########################
# Example method calls #
########################
Order.first.state_machine.current_state # => "pending"
Order.first.state_machine.allowed_transitions # => ["checking_out", "cancelled"]
Order.first.state_machine.can_transition_to?(:cancelled) # => true/false
Order.first.state_machine.transition_to(:cancelled, optional: :metadata) # => true/false
Order.first.state_machine.transition_to!(:cancelled) # => true/exception

Order.in_state(:cancelled) # => [#<Order id: "123">]
Order.not_in_state(:checking_out) # => [#<Order id: "123">]

Persistence

By default Statesman stores transition history in memory only. It can be persisted by configuring Statesman to use a different adapter. For example, ActiveRecord within Rails:

config/initializers/statesman.rb:

Statesman.configure do
  storage_adapter(Statesman::Adapters::ActiveRecord)
end

Generate the transition model:

$ rails g statesman:active_record_transition Order OrderTransition

And add an association from the parent model:

app/models/order.rb:

class Order < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_many :transitions, class_name: "OrderTransition"

  # Initialize the state machine
  def state_machine
    @state_machine ||= OrderStateMachine.new(self, transition_class: OrderTransition,
                                                   association_name: :transitions)
  end

  # Optionally delegate some methods
  delegate :can_transition_to?, :transition_to!, :transition_to, :current_state,
           to: :state_machine
end

Using PostgreSQL JSON column

By default, Statesman uses serialize to store the metadata in JSON format. It is also possible to use the PostgreSQL JSON column if you are using Rails 4. To do that

  • Change metadata column type in the transition model migration to json

    # Before
    t.text :metadata, default: "{}"
    # After
    t.json :metadata, default: "{}"
  • Remove include Statesman::Adapters::ActiveRecordTransition statement from your transition model

Configuration

storage_adapter

Statesman.configure do
  storage_adapter(Statesman::Adapters::ActiveRecord)
  # ...or
  storage_adapter(Statesman::Adapters::Mongoid)
end

Statesman defaults to storing transitions in memory. If you're using rails, you can instead configure it to persist transitions to the database by using the ActiveRecord or Mongoid adapter.

Statesman will fallback to memory unless you specify a transition_class when instantiating your state machine. This allows you to only persist transitions on certain state machines in your app.

Class methods

Machine.state

Machine.state(:some_state, initial: true)
Machine.state(:another_state)

Define a new state and optionally mark as the initial state.

Machine.transition

Machine.transition(from: :some_state, to: :another_state)

Define a transition rule. Both method parameters are required, to can also be an array of states (.transition(from: :some_state, to: [:another_state, :some_other_state])).

Machine.guard_transition

Machine.guard_transition(from: :some_state, to: :another_state) do |object|
  object.some_boolean?
end

Define a guard. to and from parameters are optional, a nil parameter means guard all transitions. The passed block should evaluate to a boolean and must be idempotent as it could be called many times.

Machine.before_transition

Machine.before_transition(from: :some_state, to: :another_state) do |object|
  object.side_effect
end

Define a callback to run before a transition. to and from parameters are optional, a nil parameter means run before all transitions. This callback can have side-effects as it will only be run once immediately before the transition.

Machine.after_transition

Machine.after_transition(from: :some_state, to: :another_state) do |object, transition|
  object.side_effect
end

Define a callback to run after a successful transition. to and from parameters are optional, a nil parameter means run after all transitions. The model object and transition object are passed as arguments to the callback. This callback can have side-effects as it will only be run once immediately after the transition.

If you specify after_commit: true, the callback will be executed once the transition has been committed to the database.

Machine.new

my_machine = Machine.new(my_model, transition_class: MyTransitionModel)

Initialize a new state machine instance. my_model is required. If using the ActiveRecord adapter my_model should have a has_many association with MyTransitionModel.

Machine.retry_conflicts

Machine.retry_conflicts { instance.transition_to(:new_state) }

Automatically retry the given block if a TransitionConflictError is raised. If you know you want to retry a transition if it fails due to a race condition call it from within this block. Takes an (optional) argument for the maximum number of retry attempts (defaults to 1).

Instance methods

Machine#current_state

Returns the current state based on existing transition objects.

Machine#history

Returns a sorted array of all transition objects.

Machine#last_transition

Returns the most recent transition object.

Machine#allowed_transitions

Returns an array of states you can transition_to from current state.

Machine#can_transition_to?(:state)

Returns true if the current state can transition to the passed state and all applicable guards pass.

Machine#transition_to!(:state)

Transition to the passed state, returning true on success. Raises Statesman::GuardFailedError or Statesman::TransitionFailedError on failure.

Machine#transition_to(:state)

Transition to the passed state, returning true on success. Swallows all Statesman exceptions and returns false on failure. (NB. if your guard or callback code throws an exception, it will not be caught.)

Model scopes

A mixin is provided for the ActiveRecord adapter which adds scopes to easily find all models currently in (or not in) a given state. Include it into your model and define transition_class and initial_state class methods:

class Order < ActiveRecord::Base
  include Statesman::Adapters::ActiveRecordQueries

  private

  def self.transition_class
    OrderTransition
  end

  def self.initial_state
    OrderStateMachine.initial_state
  end
end

If the transition class-name differs from the association name, you will also need to define a corresponding transition_name class method:

class Order < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_many :transitions, class_name: "OrderTransition"

  private

  def self.transition_name
    :transitions
  end

  def self.transition_class
    OrderTransition
  end

  def self.initial_state
    OrderStateMachine.initial_state
  end
end

Model.in_state(:state_1, :state_2, etc)

Returns all models currently in any of the supplied states.

Model.not_in_state(:state_1, :state_2, etc)

Returns all models not currently in any of the supplied states.

Frequently Asked Questions

Storing the state on the model object

If you wish to store the model state on the model directly, you can keep it up to date using an after_transition hook:

after_transition do |model, transition|
  model.state = transition.to_state
  model.save!
end

You could also use a calculated column or view in your database.

Accessing metadata from the last transition

Given a field foo that was stored in the metadata, you can access it like so:

model_instance.last_transition.metadata["foo"]

Upgrading from 1.1 to 1.2

Statesman 1.2.0 introduced a new most_recent column on the transition model, which is used to speed up queries.

The change is entirely backwards compatible, but if you'd like the performance improvements just follow this guide to add a most_recent column to an existing model.

Testing Statesman Implementations

This answer was abstracted from this issue.

At GoCardless we focus on testing that:

  • guards correctly prevent / allow transitions
  • callbacks execute when expected and perform the expected actions

Testing Guards

Guards can be tested by asserting that transition_to! does or does not raise a Statesman::GuardFailedError:

describe "guards" do
  it "cannot transition from state foo to state bar" do
    expect { some_model.transition_to!(:bar) }.to raise_error(Statesman::GuardFailedError)
  end

  it "can transition from state foo to state baz" do
    expect { some_model.transition_to!(:baz).to_not raise_error
  end
end

Testing Callbacks

Callbacks are tested by asserting that the action they perform occurs:

describe "some callback" do
  it "adds one to the count property on the model" do
    expect { some_model.transition_to!(:some_state) }.
      to change { some_model.reload.count }.
      by(1)
  end
end

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