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This extends ActiveAdmin to allow for better editing of associations.

branch: master
README.md

ActiveAdmin Associations

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This extends ActiveAdmin to allow for better editing of associations.

Setup

Install the gem

Add this to your Gemfile:

gem 'activeadmin_associations'

Then run bundle install.

Includes styles we'll need

Add @import "active_admin_associations"; to the top of your app/assets/stylesheets/active_admin.css.scss

These styles are used by both the autocomplete functionality and the association tables at the bottom of form pages.

Autocomplete

On many applications you end up with large datasets, trying to select an element from those data sets via a select input (Formtastic's default) is less then ideal for a couple reasons. One, it's hard to navigate a large select list. Two, loading all those records into memory to populate the select list can be time consuming and cause the page to load slowly.

So I've packaged jquery-tokeninput, an autocomplete results controller, and an ActiveRecord macro together to help improve this.

If you aren't interested in using any of this just add this to your application.rb config:

config.activeadmin_associations.autocomplete = false

If you do want it here's how you set it up:

Setting up autocomplete

First, we'll need to make sure the JS and CSS is setup for the admin part of the site.

  • Add //= require active_admin_associations to the top of your app/assets/javascripts/active_admin.js file.
  • Add autocomplete statements to models you want to be able to autocomplete in the admin.
    • This first parameter it takes is a column/attribute name like :title.
    • The second parameter is an options hash which for now only uses 1 value :format_label Format Label isn't needed for jquery.tokeninput.js but it is useful when using jQueryUI's autocomplete in other parts of your site. It can allow you to custom format the display label for the autocomplete results displayed by jQueryUI. The :format_label option should be either a symbol that is a name of a method on an instance of the model, or a proc (or anything that responds to call) that takes 1 parameter which will be the record. Example:
          autocomplete :name, :format_label => proc {|speaker|
            label =  "#{speaker.name} ("
            label << "#{speaker.position}, " unless speaker.position.blank?
            label << "#{speaker.talk_count} talk#{'s' unless speaker.talk_count == 1})"
            label
          }
        
  • Set values for config.activeadmin_associations.autocomplete_models in your config/application.rb. This should be a list of the models that you have added autocomplete statements to:

    config.activeadmin_associations.autocomplete_models = %w(post user tag)

If you plan to use other autocomplete JS libraries there are 2 other configs you may want to look at:

Different libraries send different param names for the query to the autocomplete endpoint you give it. For instance, jquery.tokeninput uses the q parameter while jQueryUI uses the term parameter. If no setting is given we will just use the q parameter. To configure this you need a statement like this in your config/application.rb:

config.activeadmin_associations.autocomplete_query_term_param_names = [:q, :term]

It might happen that the hash the autocomplete ActiveRecord macro provides for individual results won't play nice with the JS autocomplete plugin you're using. In this case we provide a way to format individual results yourself. Just assign an object that responds to call (like a proc) to config.activeadmin_associations.autocomplete_result_formatter in your config/application.rb like so:

config.activeadmin_associations.autocomplete_result_formatter = proc { |record, autocomplete_attribute, autocomplete_options|
  {:name => record.send(autocomplete_attribute), :id => record.id,
    :another_value => record.send(autocomplete_options[:other_value_method])}
}

Other Configuration

We add functionality so that when you do a destroy action you are redirected back to the Referer or the ActiveAdmin Dashboard. If you'd like to remove this functionality you can just put this in your config/application.rb:

config.activeadmin_associations.destroy_redirect = false

Setup your admin resource definitions

The main thing this Rails Engine provides is a way to easily configure simple forms that handle has_many relationships better then how ActiveAdmin does out of the box. Since we don't override any core ActiveAdmin functionality you can include this in resources you want to use it on and not on others.

Here's how you get started:

Add association_actions somewhere inside your ActiveAdmin resource definition block:

ActiveAdmin.register Post do
  association_actions
  # ...
end

You then also need to tell it you want to use the form template bundled with this Engine:

ActiveAdmin.register Post do
  association_actions

  form :partial => "admin/shared/form"
  # ...
end

Now you need to define the columns and the has_many relationships:

ActiveAdmin.register Post do
  association_actions

  form :partial => "admin/shared/form"

  form_columns :title, :body, :slug, :author, :published_at, :featured

  form_associations do
    association :tags, [:name, :post_count]
    association :revisions do
      fields :version_number, :created_at, :update_at
    end
  end
end

Defining the columns you want to edit in your form:

Pass to the form_columns method a list of column that there should be inputs for on the form.

Defining associations to manage at the bottom of edit pages:

The form_associations is used to define the associations you want to manage at the bottom of the edit pages. This method takes a block that is used to define these associations and the columns to display.

If you use the associations method inside the block then you can define multiple associations at once:

form_associations do
  association :tags, :revisions
end

In this case all the content_columns for the models will be used as the columns in the association tables. This is probably good for getting started quickly but you'll probably find you quickly outgrow it.

You can use individual association method calls and pass the list of attributes/methods to use as columns in the table:

form_associations do
  association :tags, [:name, :post_count]
end

You can also define the columns inside a block passed to the association method with a call to the fields method:

form_associations do
  association :revisions do
    fields :version_number, :created_at, :update_at
  end
end

Or if you prefer you can use multiple calls to the field method:

form_associations do
  association :revisions do
    field :version_number
    field :created_at
    field :update_at
  end
end

You are also free to mix and match:

form_associations do
  association :revisions, [:version_number] do
    fields :created_at, :another_column
    field :update_at
  end
end

Fine grained control over the form:

If you want more control over the main part of the form you can define a active_association_form which takes a block with 1 parameter (which is the form object):

ActiveAdmin.register Post do
  association_actions

  form :partial => "admin/shared/form"

  active_association_form do |f|
    f.inputs do
      f.input :title
      f.input :body
      f.input :slug, :label => "This is the value that will be used in the URL bar for the post."
    end
    f.inputs do
      f.input :author, :as => :select
      f.input :published_at
    end
  end

  form_associations do
    association :tags, [:name, :post_count]
    association :revisions do
      fields :version_number, :created_at, :update_at
    end
  end
end

Overriding the templates

If this still doesn't give you the power you're looking for you can override any of the partial templates this engine uses.

  • admin/shared/_form.html.erb – you probably don't want to override this one instead you probably want to use your own _form.html.erb template in your app/views/admin/RESOURCE_NAME directory and have this in your AA resource config: form :partial => 'form'. But if you really want to change how all the activeadmin_associations forms look you can.
  • admin/shared/_collection_tabe.html.erb – this is how we generate the tables for the has_many relationships below the form. Once again not something I'd recommend editing.
  • admin/shared/_association_collection_table_actions.html.erb – this defines the actions that you can do on each related record. The default is "edit" and "unrelate". You may want to override this for instance to define different actions for different models.
  • admin/shared/_add_to_association.html.erb – This is the form to relate existing records to the parent record.

Contributing to ActiveAdmin Associations

  • 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 (c) 2012 Brian Landau (Viget). See MIT_LICENSE.txt for further details.

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