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Adds migration methods to manage constraints in PostgreSQL.

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README.rdoc

Sexy PG Constraints

If you're on PostgreSQL and see the importance of data-layer constraints - this gem/plugin is for you. It integrates constraints into PostgreSQL adapter so you can add/remove them in your migrations. You get two simple methods for adding/removing constraints, as well as a pack of pre-made constraints.

Install

As a gem

gem install maxim-sexy_pg_constraints --source http://gems.github.com

or as a plugin

script/plugin install git://github.com/maxim/sexy_pg_constraints.git

One more thing. Make sure that in your environment.rb file you have the following line uncommented.

config.active_record.schema_format = :sql

Otherwise your test database will not have these constraints replicated.

Usage

Single-column constraints

Say you have a table “books” and you want your Postgres DB to ensure that their title is not-blank, alphanumeric, and its length is between 3 and 50 chars. You also want to make sure that their isbn is unique. In addition you want to blacklist a few isbn numbers from ever being in your database. You can tell all that to your Postgres in no time. Generate a migration and write the following.

class AddConstraintsToBooks < ActiveRecord::Migration
  def self.up
    constrain :books do |t|
      t.title :not_blank => true, :alphanumeric => true, :length_within => 3..50
      t.isbn :unique => true, :blacklist => %w(badbook1 badbook2)
    end
  end

  def self.down
    deconstrain :books do |t|
      t.title :not_blank, :alphanumeric, :length_within
      t.isbn :unique, :blacklist
    end
  end
end

This will add all the necessary constraints to the database on the next migration, and remove them on rollback.

There's also a syntax for when you don't need to work with multiple columns at once.

constrain :books, :title, :not_blank => true, :length_within => 3..50

The above line works exactly the same as this block

constrain :books do |t|
  t.title :not_blank => true, :length_within => 3..50
end

Same applies to deconstrain.

Multi-column constraints

Say you have the same table “books” only now you want to tell your Postgres to make sure that you should never have the same title + author_id combination. It means that you want to apply uniqueness to two columns, not just one. There is a special syntax for working with multicolumn constraints.

class AddConstraintsToBooks < ActiveRecord::Migration
  def self.up
    constrain :books do |t|
      t[:title, :author_id].all :unique => true # Notice how multiple columns are listed in brackets.
    end
  end

  def self.down
    deconstrain :books do |t|
      t[:title, :author_id].all :unique
    end
  end
end

It's important to note that you shouldn't mix multicolumn constraints with regular ones in one line. This may cause unexpected behavior.

Foreign key constrants

In our table “books” we have column “author_id” which should reference the “id” column in the “authors” table. Here's the very simple syntax for setting up foreign key constraint that will tell Postgres to enforce this relationship.

class AddConstraintsToBooks < ActiveRecord::Migration
  def self.up
    constrain :books do |t|
      t.author_id :reference => {:authors => :id, :on_delete => :cascade} # :on_delete is optional
    end
  end

  def self.down
    deconstrain :books do |t|
      t.author_id :reference
    end
  end
end

In this example we're telling Postgres to enforce the connection of author_id to the column “id” in table “authors”. However, we're also telling it to cascade on delete. This means that when an author is deleted - every book that referred to that author will be deleted as well.

Available constraints

Below is the list of constraints available and tested so far.

  • whitelist

  • blacklist

  • not_blank

  • within

  • length_within

  • email

  • alphanumeric

  • positive

  • unique

  • exact_length

  • reference

  • even

  • odd

  • format

  • lowercase

  • xor

Extensibility

All constraints are located in the lib/constraints.rb. Extending this module with more methods will automatically make constraints available in migrations. All methods in the Constraints module are under module_function directive. Each method is supposed to return a piece of SQL that is inserted “alter table foo add constraint bar #{RIGHT HERE};.”

TODO

  • Add support for Rails schema.rb

  • Create better API for adding constraints

Contributors

  • Empact (Big thanks for lots of work. Better flexibility, more tests, organizing code, bug fixes.)

  • look (Extra constraints: lowercase and xor.)

License

Copyright © 2010 Maxim Chernyak

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

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