Conduct operations in a standardized, testable way
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README.md

Subroutine

A gem that provides an interface for creating feature-driven operations. You've probably heard at least one of these terms: "service objects", "form objects", or maybe even "commands". Subroutine calls these "ops" and really it's just about enabling clear, concise, testable, and meaningful code.

Examples

So you need to sign up a user? or maybe update one's account? or change a password? or maybe you need to sign up a business along with a user, associate them, send an email, and queue a worker in a single request? Not a problem, create an op for any of these use cases. Here's the signup example.

class SignupOp < ::Subroutine::Op

  field :name
  field :email
  field :password

  validates :name, presence: true
  validates :email, presence: true
  validates :password, presence: true

  outputs :signed_up_user

  protected

  def perform
    u = create_user!
    deliver_welcome_email!(u)

    output :signed_up_user, u
  end

  def create_user
    User.new(params)
  end

  def deliver_welcome_email!(u)
    UserMailer.welcome(u.id).deliver_later
  end
end

So why is this needed?

  1. No insane cluttering of controllers with strong parameters, etc.
  2. No insane cluttering of models with validations, callbacks, and random methods that don't relate to integrity or access of model data.
  3. Insanely testable.
  4. Insanely easy to read and maintain.
  5. Multi-model operations become insanely easy.
  6. Your sanity.

Connecting it all

app/
  |
  |- controllers/
  |  |- users_controller.rb
  |
  |- models/
  |  |- user.rb
  |
  |- ops/
     |- signup_op.rb

Route

  resources :users, only: [] do
    collection do
      post :signup
    end
  end

Model

When ops are around, the point of the model is to ensure data validity. That's essentially it. So most of your models are a series of validations, common accessors, queries, etc.

class User
  validates :name,   presence: true
  validates :email,     email: true

  has_secure_password
end

Controller(s)

I've found that a great way to handle errors with ops is to allow you top level controller to appropriately render errors in a consisent way. This is exceptionally easy for api-driven apps.

class Api::Controller < ApplicationController
  rescue_from ::Subroutine::Failure, with: :render_op_failure

  def render_op_failure(e)
    # however you want to do this, `e` will be similar to an ActiveRecord::RecordInvalid error
    # e.record.errors, etc
  end
end

With ops, your controllers are essentially just connections between routes, operations, and whatever you use to build responses.

class UsersController < ::Api::Controller
  def sign_up

    # If the op fails, a ::Subroutine::Failure will be raised.
    op = SignupOp.submit!(params)

    # If the op succeeds, it will be returned so you can access it's information.
    render json: op.signed_up_user
  end
end

Op Implementation

Ops have some fluff, but not much. The Subroutine::Op class' entire purpose in life is to validate user input and execute a series of operations. To enable this we filter input params, type cast params (if desired), and execute validations. Only after these things are complete will the Op perform it's operation.

Input Declaration

Inputs are declared via the field method and have just a couple of options:

class MyOp < ::Subroutine::Op
  field :first_name
  field :age, type: :integer
  field :subscribed, type: :boolean, default: false
  # ...
end
  • type - declares the type which the input should be cast to. Available types are declared in Subroutine::TypeCaster::TYPES
  • default - the default value of the input if not otherwise provided. If the provided default responds to call (ie. proc, lambda) the result of that call will be used at runtime.
  • aka - an alias (or aliases) that is checked when errors are inherited from other objects.

Since we like a clean & simple dsl, you can also declare inputs via the values of Subroutine::TypeCaster::TYPES. When declared this way, the :type option is assumed.

class MyOp < ::Subroutine::Op
  string :first_name
  date :dob
  boolean :tos, :default => false
end

Since ops can use other ops, sometimes it's nice to explicitly state the inputs are valid. To "inherit" all the inputs from another op, simply use inputs_from.

class MyOp < ::Subroutine::Op
  string :token
  inputs_from MyOtherOp

  protected

  def perform
    verify_token!
    MyOtherOp.submit! params.except(:token)
  end

end

Validations

Since Ops include ActiveModel::Model, validations can be used just like any other ActiveModel object.

class MyOp < ::Subroutine::Op
  field :first_name

  validates :first_name, presence: true
end

Input Usage

Inputs are accessible within the op via public accessors. You can see if an input was provided via the field_provided? method.

class MyOp < ::Subroutine::Op

  field :first_name
  validate :validate_first_name_is_not_bob

  protected

  def perform
   # whatever this op does
   true
  end

  def validate_first_name_is_not_bob
    if field_provided?(:first_name) && first_name.downcase == 'bob'
      errors.add(:first_name, 'should not be bob')
    end
  end
end

All provided params are accessible via the params accessor. All default values are accessible via the defaults accessor. The combination of the two is available via params_with_defaults.

class MyOp < ::Subroutine::Op
  string :name
  string :status, default: "browsing"

  def perform
    puts params.inspect
    puts defaults.inspect
    puts params_with_defaults.inspect
  end
end

MyOp.submit(name: "foobar", status: nil)
# => { name: "foobar" }
# => { status: "browsing" }
# => { name: "foobar", status: nil }

MyOp.submit(name: "foobar")
# => { name: "foobar" }
# => { status: "browsing" }
# => { name: "foobar", status: "browsing" }

Execution

Every op must implement a perform method. This is the method which will be executed if all validations pass. When the the perform method is complete, the Op determins success based on whether errors is empty.

class MyFailingOp < ::Subroutine::Op
  field :first_name
  validates :first_name, presence: true

  protected

  def perform
    errors.add(:base, "This will never succeed")
  end

end

Notice we do not declare perform as a public method. This is to ensure the "public" api of the op remains as submit or submit!.

Errors

Reporting errors is very important in Subroutine Ops since these can be used as form objects. Errors can be reported a couple different ways:

  1. errors.add(:key, :error) That is, the way you add errors to an ActiveModel object.
  2. inherit_errors(error_object_or_activemodel_object) Same as errors.add, but it iterates an existing error hash and inherits the errors. As part of this iteration, it checks whether the key in the provided error_object matches a field (or alias of a field) in our op. If there is a match, the error will be placed on that field, but if there is not, the error will be placed on :base.
class MyOp < ::Subroutine::Op

  string :first_name, aka: :firstname
  string :last_name, aka: [:lastname, :surname]

  protected

  def perform

    if first_name == 'bill'
      errors.add(:first_name, 'cannot be bill')
      return
    end

    if first_name == 'john'
      errors.add(:first_name, 'cannot be john')
      return
    end

    unless _user.valid?

      # if there are :first_name or :firstname errors on _user, they will be added to our :first_name
      # if there are :last_name, :lastname, or :surname errors on _user, they will be added to our :last_name
      inherit_errors(_user)
    end
  end

  def _user
    @_user ||= User.new(params)
  end
end

Usage

The Subroutine::Op class' submit and submit! methods have identical signatures to the class' constructor, enabling a few different ways to utilize an op:

Via the class' submit method

op = MyOp.submit({foo: 'bar'})
# if the op succeeds it will be returned, otherwise false will be returned.

Via the class' submit! method

op = MyOp.submit!({foo: 'bar'})
# if the op succeeds it will be returned, otherwise a ::Subroutine::Failure will be raised.

Via the instance's submit method

op = MyOp.new({foo: 'bar'})
val = op.submit
# if the op succeeds, val will be true, otherwise false

Via the instance's submit! method

op = MyOp.new({foo: 'bar'})
op.submit!
# if the op succeeds nothing will be raised, otherwise a ::Subroutine::Failure will be raised.

Built-in Extensions

Subroutine::Association

The Subroutine::Association module provides an interface for loading ActiveRecord instances easily.

class UserUpdateOp < ::Subroutine::Op
  include ::Subroutine::Association

  association :user

  string :first_name, :last_name

  protected

  def perform
    user.update_attributes(
      first_name: first_name,
      last_name: last_name
    )
  end
end
class RecordTouchOp < ::Subroutine::Op
  include ::Subroutine::Association

  association :record, polymorphic: true

  protected

  def perform
    record.touch
  end
end

Subroutine::Auth

The Subroutine::Auth module provides basic bindings for application authorization. It assumes that, optionally, a User will be provided as the first argument to an Op. It forces authorization to be declared on each class it's included in.

class SayHiOp < ::Subroutine::Op
  include ::Subroutine::Auth

  require_user!

  string :say_what, default: "hi"

  protected

  def perform
    puts "#{current_user.name} says: #{say_what}"
  end
end
user = User.find("john")
SayHiOp.submit!(user)
# => John says: hi

SayHiOp.submit!(user, say_what: "hello")
# => John says: hello


SayHiOp.submit!
# => raises Subroutine::Auth::NotAuthorizedError

There are a handful of authorization configurations:

  1. require_user! - ensures that a user is provided
  2. require_no_user! - ensures that a user is not present
  3. no_user_requirements! - explicitly doesn't matter

In addition to these top-level authorization declarations you can provide custom authorizations like so:

class AccountSetSecretOp < ::Subroutine::Op
  include ::Subroutine::Auth

  require_user!
  authorize :authorize_first_name_is_john
  
  # If you use a policy-based authorization framework like pundit:
  # `policy` is a shortcut for the following:
  # authorize -> { unauthorized! unless policy.can_set_secret? }
  
  policy :can_set_secret?

  string :secret
  belongs_to :account

  protected

  def perform
    account.secret = secret
    current_user.save!
  end

  def authorize_first_name_is_john
    unless current_user.first_name == "john"
      unauthorized!
    end
  end

  def policy
    ::UserPolicy.new(current_user, current_user)
  end

end

Subroutine::Factory

There is a separate gem subroutine-factory which enables you to easily utilize factories and operations to produce test data. It's a great replacement to FactoryGirl, as it ensures the data entering your DB is getting there via a real world operation.

# support/factories/signups.rb
Subroutine::Factory.define :signup do
  op ::SignupOp

  inputs :email, sequence{|n| "foo{n}@example.com" }
  inputs :password, "password123"

  # by default, the op will be returned when the factory is used.
  # this `output` returns the value of the `user` output on the resulting op
  output :user
end

# signup_test.rb
user = Subroutine::Factory.create :signup
user = Subroutine::Factory.create :signup, email: "foo@bar.com"