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Active Record Autosave Association

AutosaveAssociation is a module that takes care of automatically saving associated records when their parent is saved. In addition to saving, it also destroys any associated records that were marked for destruction. (See mark_for_destruction and marked_for_destruction?).

Saving of the parent, its associations, and the destruction of marked associations, all happen inside a transaction. This should never leave the database in an inconsistent state.

If validations for any of the associations fail, their error messages will be applied to the parent.

Note that it also means that associations marked for destruction won't be destroyed directly. They will however still be marked for destruction.

Note that autosave: false is not same as not declaring :autosave. When the :autosave option is not present then new association records are saved but the updated association records are not saved.

Validation

Children records are validated unless :validate is false.

Callbacks

Association with autosave option defines several callbacks on your model (before_save, after_create, after_update). Please note that callbacks are executed in the order they were defined in model. You should avoid modifying the association content, before autosave callbacks are executed. Placing your callbacks after associations is usually a good practice.

One-to-one Example

class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_one :author, autosave: true
end

Saving changes to the parent and its associated model can now be performed automatically and atomically:

post = Post.find(1)
post.title       # => "The current global position of migrating ducks"
post.author.name # => "alloy"

post.title = "On the migration of ducks"
post.author.name = "Eloy Duran"

post.save
post.reload
post.title       # => "On the migration of ducks"
post.author.name # => "Eloy Duran"

Destroying an associated model, as part of the parent's save action, is as simple as marking it for destruction:

post.author.mark_for_destruction
post.author.marked_for_destruction? # => true

Note that the model is not yet removed from the database:

id = post.author.id
Author.find_by(id: id).nil? # => false

post.save
post.reload.author # => nil

Now it is removed from the database:

Author.find_by(id: id).nil? # => true

One-to-many Example

When :autosave is not declared new children are saved when their parent is saved:

class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_many :comments # :autosave option is not declared
end

post = Post.new(title: 'ruby rocks')
post.comments.build(body: 'hello world')
post.save # => saves both post and comment

post = Post.create(title: 'ruby rocks')
post.comments.build(body: 'hello world')
post.save # => saves both post and comment

post = Post.create(title: 'ruby rocks')
post.comments.create(body: 'hello world')
post.save # => saves both post and comment

When :autosave is true all children are saved, no matter whether they are new records or not:

class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_many :comments, autosave: true
end

post = Post.create(title: 'ruby rocks')
post.comments.create(body: 'hello world')
post.comments[0].body = 'hi everyone'
post.comments.build(body: "good morning.")
post.title += "!"
post.save # => saves both post and comments.

Destroying one of the associated models as part of the parent's save action is as simple as marking it for destruction:

post.comments # => [#<Comment id: 1, ...>, #<Comment id: 2, ...]>
post.comments[1].mark_for_destruction
post.comments[1].marked_for_destruction? # => true
post.comments.length # => 2

Note that the model is not yet removed from the database:

id = post.comments.last.id
Comment.find_by(id: id).nil? # => false

post.save
post.reload.comments.length # => 1

Now it is removed from the database:

Comment.find_by(id: id).nil? # => true
Namespace
Methods
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R
Instance Public methods
changed_for_autosave?()

Returns whether or not this record has been changed in any way (including whether any of its nested autosave associations are likewise changed)

# File activerecord/lib/active_record/autosave_association.rb, line 254
def changed_for_autosave?
  new_record? || changed? || marked_for_destruction? || nested_records_changed_for_autosave?
end
destroyed_by_association()

Returns the association for the parent being destroyed.

Used to avoid updating the counter cache unnecessarily.

# File activerecord/lib/active_record/autosave_association.rb, line 248
def destroyed_by_association
  @destroyed_by_association
end
destroyed_by_association=(reflection)

Records the association that is being destroyed and destroying this record in the process.

# File activerecord/lib/active_record/autosave_association.rb, line 241
def destroyed_by_association=(reflection)
  @destroyed_by_association = reflection
end
mark_for_destruction()

Marks this record to be destroyed as part of the parents save transaction. This does not actually destroy the record instantly, rather child record will be destroyed when parent.save is called.

Only useful if the :autosave option on the parent is enabled for this associated model.

# File activerecord/lib/active_record/autosave_association.rb, line 228
def mark_for_destruction
  @marked_for_destruction = true
end
marked_for_destruction?()

Returns whether or not this record will be destroyed as part of the parents save transaction.

Only useful if the :autosave option on the parent is enabled for this associated model.

# File activerecord/lib/active_record/autosave_association.rb, line 235
def marked_for_destruction?
  @marked_for_destruction
end
reload(options = nil)

Reloads the attributes of the object as usual and clears marked_for_destruction flag.

# File activerecord/lib/active_record/autosave_association.rb, line 217
def reload(options = nil)
  @marked_for_destruction = false
  @destroyed_by_association = nil
  super
end