Imperator is a small gem to help with command objects. The command pattern is a design pattern used to encapsulate all of the information needed to execute a method or process at a point in time. In a web application, commands are typically used to delay execution of a method from the request cycle to a background processor.
Why use commands?
The problem with controllers in Rails is that they're a part of the web domain—their job is to respond to requests, and ONLY to respond to requests. Anything that happens between the receipt of a request and sending a response is Somebody Else's Job™. Commands are that Somebody Else™. Commands are also very commonly utilized to put work into the background.
Why are commands an appropriate place to handle that logic? Commands give you the opportunity to encapsulate all of the logic required for an interaction in one spot. Sometimes that interaction is as simple as a method call—more often there are several method calls involved, not all of which deal with domain logic (and thus, are inappropriate for inclusion on the models). Commands give you a place to bring all of these together in one spot without increasing coupling in your controllers or models.
Commands can also be regarded as the contexts from DCI.
Commands also give you an appropriate place to handle interaction validation. Validation is most often regarded as a responsibility of the data model. This is a poor fit, because the idea of what's valid for data is very temporally tied to the understanding of the business domain at the time the data was created. Data that's valid today may well be invalid tomorrow, and when that happens you're going to run into a situation where your ActiveRecord models will refuse to work with old data that is no longer valid. Commands don't absolve you of the need to migrate your data when business requirements change, but they do let you move validation to the interaction where it belongs.
Imperator::Command's are ActiveModel objects, which gives you a lot of flexibility both in and out of Rails projects. Validations are included, as is serialization support. Imperator intends to support all major queueing systems in the Rails ecosystem out of the box, including DelayedJob and Resque. The standard validations for ActiveModel are included, though not the ones that ActiveRecord provides such as
Commands can also be used on forms in place of ActiveRecord models.
- test coverage—Imperator was extracted out of some other work, and coverage was a part of those test suites.
- Ensure compatibility with DJ, Resque and Sidekiq
- ActiveSupport 3.0 or higher
In your Gemfile:
Creating the command:
class DoSomethingCommand < Imperator::Command attribute :some_object_id attribute :some_value validates_presence_of :some_object_id action do obj = SomeObject.find(self.some_object_id) obj.do_something(self.some_value) end end end
Using a command on a form builder
<%= form_for(@command, :as => :do_something, :url => some_resource_path(@command.some_object_id), :method => :put) do |f| %> ... <% end %>
Using a command
class SomeController < ApplicationController def update command = DoSomethingCommand.new(params[:do_something]) if command.valid? command.perform redirect_to root_url else render edit_some_resource_path(command.some_object_id) end end end
Using a command in the background (Delayed::Job)
Many thanks to the following contributors for bugfixes, testing, and additional functionality
- Jason Staten (@statianzo)
- Jay Adkisson (@jayferd)
- Nick Maloney (@nmaloney)