Skip to content
Transparently makes case-insensitive queries against case-sensitive databases like Oracle
Ruby
Find file
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.
lib
test
.document
.gitignore
Gemfile
Gemfile.lock
LICENSE.txt
README.rdoc
Rakefile
VERSION
case_insensitive_arel.gemspec

README.rdoc

GEM END OF LIFE

This gem was primarily created for use with Oracle. Since it's so trivial to include the following in your database.yml:

development:
  # Make Oracle case-insensitive
  nls_comp: ANSI
  nls_sort: BINARY_CI

it doesn't make a lot of sense to continue maintaining this gem especially when changes to Arel are so frequent and profound enough to completely break how case_insensitive_arel works.

I hope this doesn't cause anyone too much inconvenience.

case_insensitive_arel

If you're using Oracle or another DBMS that uses case-sensitive collation sequences, and don't want to litter your code with snippets of proprietary case-conversion SQL, this may be the solution you're looking for.

How It Works

This gem is pretty simple in its operation. Working at the Arel level, it takes String, Arel_Attributes_Attribute, and Arel_Attributes_String values, and executes a proc that is responsible for converting them into a common format for comparison e.g. uppercase or lowercase. This proc can be overridden to do whatever you want. For example, you might prefer to convert the values to lowercase, or use another conversion method. No problem! You can also enable and disable the case-insensitive comparison behaviour by setting a flag, see below for details.

It's important to note that any custom SQL you create will not be modified by this gem. Everything that is generated by Arel however should be handled as you'd expect. If you find something that doesn't work the way you think it should, please let me know.

Examples

Here are some examples of what case_insensitive_arel will do:

users.where(users[:name].eq('Steve')).to_sql

=> SELECT  FROM "USERS" WHERE UPPER("USERS"."NAME") = UPPER('Steve')

users.where(users[:name].matches('Steve%')).to_sql

=> SELECT  FROM "USERS" WHERE UPPER("USERS"."NAME") LIKE UPPER('Steve%')

users.where(users[:name].in(%w(Steve Barb))).to_sql

=> SELECT  FROM "USERS" WHERE UPPER("USERS"."NAME") IN (UPPER('Steve'), UPPER('Barb')')

users.group(users[:name]).to_sql

=> SELECT  FROM "USERS" GROUP BY UPPER("USERS"."NAME")

users.join(photos).on(users[:name].eq(photos[:name])).to_sql

=> SELECT  FROM "USERS" INNER JOIN "PHOTOS" ON UPPER("USERS"."NAME") = UPPER("PHOTOS"."USER_NAME")

users.project(users[:name]).where(users[:name].eq('Steve'))

=> SELECT "USERS"."NAME" FROM "USERS" WHERE UPPER("USERS"."NAME") = UPPER('Steve')

Customization

The following default settings can be overridden in your code as required:

Arel::CaseInsensitive.case_insensitive = false
Arel::CaseInsensitive.conversion_proc = Proc.new { |val| "UPPER(#{val})" }

These settings, which were used for the above examples, work for Oracle. You can customize the convert_attribute setting to specify an alternative conversion function for your DBMS in your application. The convert_string setting is used to convert a string literal into a form that can be compared in a case-insensitive fasion to the result of what's returned by convert_attribute as the query is processed by the DBMS. Finally, the case_insensitive setting can be used to disable case-insensitive behaviour if need be.

As an example, you could add this code to your app if you wanted to use lowercase for conversions:

Arel::CaseInsensitive.conversion_proc = Proc.new { |val| "LOWER(#{val})" }

Known Issues

Performance/Query Optimization

Due to the wrapping of column names with function calls, certain DBMS' optimizers may ignore indexes on those columns that might otherwise be used for a query. If supported by your DBMS, you may be able to create a special index on these columns to help out wih your query. As an example, Oracle supports function-based indexes.

For more information, please refer to your DBMS's documentation.

Single Connection Only

Because this implementation applies across all adapters, there may be issues with applications that use multiple database adapters.

Custom SQL

Rather than risk madness, I didn't even bother trying to make this work with custom SQL. Stick with Arel and there won't be any issues.

Converting Numeric Values?

If Arel encounters a string value, it will convert it using the conversion_proc even if it contains a numeric value being compared to a numeric column. In the typical case of looking up Rails' values that originate from the params hash (e.g. params[:id] ) this could result in SQL like:

select * from "table" where "table"."id" = UPPER(3)

Since most DBMSes will implicitly convert the result of the function to a numeric, there should be no impact on the query optimizer. If you absolutely must inhibit this function call from being generated, convert the string to a numeric value before Arel sees it. e.g.:

Something.find(params[:id].to_i)

Contributing

  • Check out the latest master to make sure the feature hasn't been implemented or the bug hasn't been fixed yet

  • Check out the issue tracker to make sure someone already hasn't requested it and/or contributed it

  • Fork the project

  • Start a feature/bugfix branch

  • Commit and push until you are happy with your contribution

  • Make sure to add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.

  • Please try not to mess with the Rakefile, version, or history. If you want to have your own version, or is otherwise necessary, that is fine, but please isolate to its own commit so I can cherry-pick around it.

Copyright

Copyright © 2011 Steve Lamotte. See LICENSE.txt for further details.

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.