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Allows for reverse indexing selected ActiveRecord models. Handles searching and return of objects
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Gem Version

ARIndexer provides basic indexing and text search for ActiveRecord models. You choose which fields to index per model, and the index is automatically generated/updated on create/edit.


Add ARIndexer to your Gemfile

gem 'ar_indexer'

Write a migration to add a reverse_indices table to the database (Rails migration generator coming soon). Due to an exception encountered in Rails 4.2 (DangerousAttributes exception), the model_name column has been renamed to model_constant.

class CreateReverseIndices < ActiveRecord::Migration
  def change
    create_table :reverse_indices do |t|
      t.string :model_constant
      t.string :field_name
      t.string :word
      t.text :id_list
    add_index :reverse_indices, [:model_constant, :field_name, :word], :unique => true

Run rake db:migrate



Have an ActiveRecord model? Want to index some text for searching? Just add the has_reverse_index function to your model. Call the function with no parameters and ARIndexer will index all string and text fields. You can pass an optional hash of configuration values to customize which fields and associations are indexed, and how often each type of "field" are indexed. The default hash is below, and will be merged with the hash you pass in.

ari_configuration = {
  fields: [],
  associations: {},
  index_on_create: [],
  index_on_update: []

To expand on the above configuration:

  • fields: If empty, will index all String and Text fields of the AR model. Pass an array of Symbol field names to only index the whitelisted fields
  • associations: If empty, will not index any associations. For each association to be indexed, add a Symbol key as the name of the association, pointing to a lambda which takes the object being indexed, and returns a string value.
  • index_on_create: If empty, will index both fields and associations as an after_create function. Add :fields and/or :associations to the array to control which are automatically indexed.
  • index_on_update: If empty, will index both fields and associations as an after_update function. Add :fields and/or :associations to the array to control which are automatically indexed.

Below is an example configuration hash passed for an example Article model, which has a collection of Tag objects. In this example, we've chosen to only automatically index the fields, sometimes necessary when an AR object needs to have reload called on it to make sure associations are up to date. Include as many or as few options as you need.

  fields: [:title, :subtitle, :content],
  associations: {
    tags: lambda {|object| object.tags.collect{|tag|}.join(', ')}
  index_on_create: [:fields],
  index_on_update: [:fields]

Now let's see some examples in the models:

class Post < ActiveRecord::Base

class Article < ActiveRecord::Base
    fields: [:title, :content]

class Article < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_many :article_tags
  has_many :tags, :through => :article_tags
    fields: [:title, :content],
    associations: {
      tags: lambda {|object| object.tags.collect{|tag|}.join(', ')}

At this point, ARIndexer will build and maintain a reverse index for each record under these models. If you need to reindex the object at any time, the instance methods index_object, index_fields, and index_associations are added to all ActiveRecord objects with has_reverse_index declared.


ARIndexer also provides a simple search class for finding records by text search. To initialize an instance of this class, just pass it an array of ActiveRecord models it needs to search.

foo =[Article])
# Or search multiple models
# foo =[Article, List])

You can also pass an options hash to specify what fields should be searched, how the results should be sorted, a message for displaying if there are no results, etc. The default options hash is displayed below:

@options = {
  :fields => [],
  # If left as an empty array, will search all fields for the given model

  :match => :any,
  # :any will expand your search string and find results that match any keyword
  # :all will only return results that have as many keyword matches as words in the search string

  :sort => :relevance,
  # :relevance will sort by number of keyword matches
  # :field allows you to specify a field to sort by

  :sort_method => nil,
  # Allows for a lambda by which to access a sortable value.
  # Pass a proc that takes the AR object to access a sortable value
  # Pass the symbol of the field name you want to access to just pull the field value

  :sort_direction => :desc,
  # Sort order, default is DESC so that the most relevant results will be returned first

  :stopwords => [],
  # An array of words that should not be used in the search.
  # ar_indexer has an internal array of basic stopwords, and these will be added to it

  :no_results_message => 'No results were returned for the given search term.'
  # A stored message that can be returned if there are no results returned

foo =[Article],
    :fields => [:title],
    :match => :all,
    :sort => :field,
    :sort_direction => :asc,
    :no_results_message => "Hey man, there's nothing there."

And now you're ready to search against the index that's been built.'some search string') will return an array of ActiveRecord objects ordered by the number of matched terms within your search string. If no objects matched your search string, an emtpy array is returned. If no results are returned, you can request the :no_results_message

results = foo.run_search('some search string')
unless results.empty?
  # Do stuff with your results
  puts foo.no_results_message    #=> Hey man, there's nothing there.
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