An invitation strategy for devise
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It adds support to devise for send invitations by email (it requires to be authenticated) and accept the invitation setting the password.

DeviseInvitable currently only support rails 3, if you want to use it with rails 2.3 you must install version 0.2.3

Installation for Rails ~> 3.0.0 and Devise ~> 1.1.2

Install devise_invitable gem, it should install dependencies (such as devise and warden):

sudo gem install devise_invitable

Configure devise_invitable in your Gemfile (and devise if you weren't using them):

gem 'devise'
gem 'devise_invitable'

Automatic installation

After you install DeviseInvitable and add it to your Gemfile, you need to run the generator:

rails generate devise_invitable:install

The generator will inject DeviseInvitable’s configuration options and you should take a look at it. When you are done, you are ready to add DeviseInvitable to any of your Devise models using the generator:

rails generate devise_invitable MODEL

Replace MODEL by the class name you want to add DeviseInvitable, like User, Admin, etc. This will add the :invitable flag to your model's Devise modules. The generator will also create a migration file (if your ORM support them). Continue reading this file to understand exactly what the generator produces and how to use it.

Manual installation

Follow the walkthrough for Devise and after it's done, follow this walkthrough.

Add :invitable to the Devise line in your model (we’re assuming here you already have a User model with some Devise modules):

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  devise :database_authenticatable, :confirmable, :invitable

Add t.invitable to your Devise model migration:

create_table :users do
add_index :users, :invitation_token

or for a model that is already created, define a migration to add DeviseInvitable to your model:

change_table :users do |t|
  t.string   :invitation_token, :limit => 20
  t.datetime :invitation_sent_at
  t.index    :invitation_token

# Allow null encrypted_password and password_salt
change_column :users, :encrypted_password, :string, :null => true
change_column :users, :password_salt,      :string, :null => true

DeviseInvitable doesn't use attr_accessible or attr_protected, so be sure to define attributes as accessible or protected in your model.

Model configuration

DeviseInvitable adds a new configuration option:

* invite_for         => The validity duration for an invitation. Default is 0, which means invitations doesn't expire.

You can set those configuration options in the Devise initializer as follow:

# ==> Configuration for :invitable
# Time interval where the invitation token is valid.
# If invite_for is 0 or nil, the invitation will never expire.
# Default: 0
# config.invite_for = 2.weeks

or directly as parameters to the devise method inside your Devise models:

devise :database_authenticatable, :confirmable, :invitable, :invite_for => 2.weeks

For details, see config/initializer/devise.rb (after you invoked the “devise_invitable:install” generator described above).

Configuring views

All the views are packaged inside the gem. If you'd like to customize the views, invoke the following generator and it will copy all the views to your application:

rails generate devise_invitable:views

You can also use the generator to generate scoped views:

rails generate devise_invitable:views users

Please refer to Devise’s README for more information about views.


Send an invitation

To send an invitation to a user, use the invite! class method. You must set email in the parameters hash: You can also include other attributes in the hash. The record will not be validated.

User.invite(:email => "", :name => "John Doe")
# => an invitation email will be sent to

Accept an invitation

To accept an invitation with a token use the accept_invitation class method. You must set invitation_token in the parameters hash. You can include other attributes in the hash (as in the update_attributes method for example).

User.accept_invitation(:invitation_token => params[:invitation_token], :password => "ad97nwj3o2", :name => "John Doe")

Integration in a Rails application

Since the invitations controller take care of all the invite/accept invitation process, in most cases you wouldn't call the invite and accept_invitation methods directly. Instead, in your views, put a link to new_user_invitation_path or new_invitation_path(:user) or even /users/invitation/new to prepare and send an invitation. This email includes a link to accept the invitation like /users/invitation/accept?invitation_token=abcd123.

Controller filter

InvitationsController uses authenticate_inviter! filter to restrict who can send invitations. You can override this method in your ApplicationController.

Default behavior requires authentication of the same resource. For example, if your model User is :invitable, it will allow all authenticated users to send invitations to other users.

You would have a User model which is configured as invitable and an Admin model which is not. If you would like to allow only admins to send invitations, simply overwrite the authenticate_inviter! method as follow:

class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base
  def authenticate_inviter!


DeviseInvitable uses flash messages with I18n with the flash keys :send_instructions and :updated. To customize your app, you can modify the generated locale file:

      send_instructions: 'An email with instructions about how to set the password has been sent.'
      updated: 'Your password was set successfully. You are now signed in.'

You can also create distinct messages based on the resource you've configured using the singular name given in routes:

        send_instructions: 'A new user invitation has been sent.'
        updated: 'Welcome on board! You are now signed in.'

The DeviseInvitable mailer uses the Devise pattern to create subject messages:

        subject: 'You got an invitation!'
        user_subject: 'You got an user invitation!'

Take a look at the generated locale file (in config/locales/devise_invitable.en.yml) to check all available messages.

Other ORMs

DeviseInvitable supports ActiveRecord and Mongoid, like Devise.


Check them all at:

Special thanks to rymai for rails3 support, his fork was a great help.

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.

  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.

  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.

  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)

  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.


Copyright © 2009 Sergio Cambra. See LICENSE for details.