Adds group and membership functionality to Rails models. Defines a polymorphic relationship between a Group model and any member model. Don't need a Group model? Use named groups instead to add members to named groups such as :admin or "Team Rocketpants".
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Based on the "Authorization" category
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Adds group and membership functionality to Rails models. Defines a polymorphic
relationship between a Group model and any member model. Don't need a Group
model? Use named groups instead to add members to named groups such as
The following ORMs are supported:
- ActiveRecord 4.x, 5.x
- Mongoid 4.x, 5.x, 6.x
The following Rubies are supported:
- MRI Ruby 2.2, 2.3, 2.4
- JRuby 9000
The following databases are supported:
Add this line to your application's Gemfile:
And then execute:
Or install it yourself as:
$ gem install groupify
$ rails generate groupify:active_record:install
This will generate an initializer,
GroupMembership model, and migrations.
Modify the models and migrations as needed, then run the migration:
$ rake db:migrate
Set up your member models:
class User < ActiveRecord::Base groupify :group_member groupify :named_group_member end class Assignment < ActiveRecord::Base groupify :group_member end
$ rails generate groupify:mongoid:install
Set up your member models:
class User include Mongoid::Document groupify :group_member groupify :named_group_member end
Groupify Model Names
The default model names for groups and group memberships are configurable. Add the following
config/initializers/groupify.rb to change the model names for all classes:
Groupify.configure do |config| config.group_class_name = 'MyCustomGroup' # ActiveRecord only config.group_membership_class_name = 'MyCustomGroupMembership' end
The group name can also be set on a model-by-model basis for each group member by passing
class Member < ActiveRecord::Base groupify :group_member, group_class_name: 'MyOtherCustomGroup' end
Note that each member model can only belong to a single type of group (or child classes of that group).
Member Associations on Group
Your group class can be configured to create associations for each expected member type.
For example, let's say that your group class will have users and assignments as members.
The following configuration adds
assignments associations on the group model:
class Group < ActiveRecord::Base groupify :group, members: [:users, :assignments], default_members: :users end
default_members option sets the model type when accessing the
In the example above,
group.members would return the users who are members of this group.
If you are using single table inheritance, child classes inherit the member associations
of the parent. If your child class needs to add more members, use the
class Organization < Group has_members :offices, :equipment end
Mongoid works the same way by creating Mongoid relations.
Create groups and add members
group = Group.new user = User.new user.groups << group # or group.add user user.in_group?(group) # => true # Add multiple members at once group.add(user, widget, task)
Remove from groups
users.groups.destroy(group) # Destroys this user's group membership for this group group.users.delete(user) # Deletes this group's group membership for this user
user.named_groups << :admin user.in_named_group?(:admin) # => true user.named_groups.destroy(:admin)
Check if two members share any of the same groups:
user1.shares_any_group?(user2) # Returns true if user1 and user2 are in any of the same groups user2.shares_any_named_group?(user1) # Also works for named groups
Query for groups & members:
User.in_group(group) # Find all users in this group User.in_named_group(:admin) # Find all users in this named group Group.with_member(user) # Find all groups with this user User.shares_any_group(user) # Find all users that share any groups with this user User.shares_any_named_group(user) # Find all users that share any named groups with this user
Check if member belongs to any/all groups
User.in_any_group(group1, group2) # Find users that belong to any of these groups User.in_all_groups(group1, group2) # Find users that belong to all of these groups Widget.in_only_groups(group2, group3) # Find widgets that belong to only these groups widget.in_any_named_group?(:foo, :bar) # Check if widget belongs to any of these named groups user.in_all_named_groups?(:manager, :poster) # Check if user belongs to all of these named groups user.in_only_named_groups?(:employee, :worker) # Check if user belongs to only these named groups
Merge one group into another:
# Moves the members of source into destination, and destroys source destination_group.merge!(source_group)
Membership types allow a member to belong to a group in a more specific way. For example, you can add a user to a group with membership type of "manager" to specify that this user has the "manager role" on that group.
This can be used to implement role-based authorization combined with group authorization, which could be used to mass-assign roles to groups of resources.
It could also be used to add users and resources to the same "sub-group" or "project" within a larger group (say, an organization).
# Add user to group as a specific membership type group.add(user, as: 'manager') # Works with named groups too user.named_groups.add 'Company', as: 'manager' # Query for the groups that a user belongs to with a certain role user.groups.as(:manager) user.named_groups.as('manager') Group.with_member(user).as('manager') # Remove a member's membership type from a group group.users.delete(user, as: 'manager') # Deletes this group's 'manager' group membership for this user user.groups.destroy(group, as: 'employee') # Destroys this user's 'employee' group membership for this group user.groups.destroy(group) # Destroys any membership types this user had in this group # Find all members that have a certain membership type in a group User.in_group(group).as(:manager) # Find all members of a certain membership type regardless of group User.as(:manager) # Find users that are managers, we don't care what group # Check if a member belongs to any/all groups with a certain membership type user.in_all_groups?(group1, group2, as: 'manager') # Find all members that share the same group with the same membership type Widget.shares_any_group(user).as("Moon Launch Project") # Check is one member belongs to the same group as another member with a certain membership type user.shares_any_group?(widget, as: 'employee')
Note that adding a member to a group with a specific membership type will automatically
add them to that group without a specific membership type. This way you can still query
groups and find the member in that group. If you then remove that specific membership
type, they still remain in the group without a specific membership type.
Removing a member from a group will bulk remove any specific membership types as well.
group.add(manager, as: 'manager') manager.groups.include?(group) # => true manager.groups.delete(group, as: 'manager') manager.groups.include?(group) # => true group.add(employee, as: 'employee') employee.groups.delete(group) employee.in_group?(group) # => false employee.in_group?(group, as: 'employee') # => false
Using for Authorization
Groupify was originally created to help implement user authorization, although it can be used generically for much more than that. Here are some examples of how to do it.
class Ability include CanCan::Ability def initialize(user) # Implements group-based authorization # Users can only manage assignment which belong to the same group. can [:manage], Assignment, Assignment.shares_any_group(user) do |assignment| assignment.shares_any_group?(user) end end end
# Whatever class represents a logged-in user in your app class User groupify :named_group_member include Authority::UserAbilities end class Widget groupify :named_group_member include Authority::Abilities end class WidgetAuthorizer < ApplicationAuthorizer # Implements group-based authorization using named groups. # Users can only see widgets which belong to the same named group. def readable_by?(user) user.shares_any_named_group?(resource) end # Implements combined role-based and group-based authorization. # Widgets can only be updated by users that are employees of the same named group. def updateable_by?(user) user.shares_any_named_group?(resource, as: :employee) end # Widgets can only be deleted by users that are managers of the same named group. def deletable_by?(user) user.shares_any_named_group?(resource, as: :manager) end end user = User.create! user.named_groups.add(:team1, as: :employee) widget = Widget.create! widget.named_groups << :team1 widget.readable_by?(user) # => true user.can_update?(widget) # => true user.can_delete?(widget) # => false
class PostPolicy < Struct.new(:user, :post) # User can only update a published post if they are admin of the same group. def update? user.shares_any_group?(post, as: :admin) || !post.published? end class Scope < Struct.new(:user, :scope) def resolve if user.admin? # An admin can see all the posts in the group(s) they are admin for scope.shares_any_group(user).as(:admin) else # Normal users can only see published posts in the same group(s). scope.shares_any_group(user).where(published: true) end end end end
0.9+ - Dropped support for Rails 3.2 and Ruby 1.9 - 2.1
Groupify 0.9 added support for Rails 5.1, and dropped support for EOL'ed versions of Ruby, Rails, ActiveRecord, and Mongoid.
ActiveRecord 5.1 no longer supports passing arguments to collection
associations. Because of this, the undocumented syntax
is no longer supported.
0.8+ - Name Change for
group_memberships Associations (ActiveRecord only)
Groupify 0.8 changed the ActiveRecord adapter to support configuring the same
model as both a group and a group member. To accomplish this, the internal
association was renamed to be different for groups and members. If you were
using it, please be aware that you will need to change your code. This
association is considered to be an internal implementation details and not part
of the public API, so please don't rely on it if you can avoid it.
0.7+ - Polymorphic Groups (ActiveRecord only)
Groupify < 0.7 required a single
Group model used for all group memberships.
Groupify 0.7+ supports using multiple models as groups by implementing polymorphic associations.
Upgrading requires adding a new
group_type column to the
group_memberships table and
populating that column with the class name of the group. Create the migration by executing:
$ rails generate groupify:active_record:upgrade
And then run the migration:
$ rake db:migrate
Please note that this migration may block writes in MySQL if your
table is large.
- Fork it
- Create your feature branch (
git checkout -b my-new-feature)
- Commit your changes (
git commit -am 'Added some feature')
- Push to the branch (
git push origin my-new-feature)
- Create new Pull Request
See a list of contributors here.