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The StoreModel Ruby gem allows you to wrap JSON-backed database columns with ActiveModel-like classes.

  • Powered with Attributes API. You can use a number of familiar types or write your own.
  • Works like ActiveModel. Validations, enums and nested attributes work very similar to APIs provided by Rails.
  • Follows single responsibility principle. Keeps the logic around the data stored in a JSON column separated from the model.
  • Born in production.
class Configuration
  include StoreModel::Model

  attribute :model, :string
  enum :status, %i[active archived], default: :active

  validates :model, :status, presence: true

class Product < ApplicationRecord
  attribute :configuration, Configuration.to_type

Why should I wrap my JSON columns?

Imagine that you have a model Product with a jsonb column called configuration. This is how you likely gonna work with this column:

product = Product.find(params[:id])
if product.configuration["model"] == "spaceship"
  product.configuration["color"] = "red"

This approach works fine when you don’t have a lot of keys with logic around them and just read the data. However, when you start working with that data more intensively—you may find the code a bit verbose and error-prone.

For instance, try to find a way to validate :model value to be required. Despite of the fact, that you’ll have to write this validation by hand, it violates single-repsponsibility principle: why parent model (Product) should know about the logic related to a child (Configuration)?

Read more about the motivation:


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