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# Saving Records to the Database

Unlike other frameworks that use the model to save to the database, Lucky uses separate class objects called SaveOperations. These classes handle: validations, ensuring parameter safety, and other complex business logic you may need to implement.

SaveOperations go in your src/operations/ directory and should be named according to the action they are performing (e.g. Saving a post would be SavePost).

If you look in that directory now you will see the SignUpUser class in src/operations/ Open this file to take a look at the structure.

# SaveOperation breakdown

In this file, we see a few items. Here’s what each part means:

  • param_key :user - Values from form fields passed in to this class must be prefixed with the user key.
  • include PasswordValidations - SaveOperations are plain Crystal classes which allows you to include modules when you need.
  • permit_columns email - Only permit email to be passed from params to the database (
  • attribute password : String - A virtual attribute that can be passed in, but not related to a database column.
  • before_save - A callback to run a block of code before we save this record.
  • validate_uniqueness_of email - A built-in validation to check uniqueness of the email column.
  • Authentic.copy_and_encrypt password, to: encrypted_password - Used to turn a plain “password” in to an encrypted string.

# Playing with SaveOperation

We can get a quick feel for these by using the exec CLI task in our terminal:

lucky exec

You should now have a code editor open which may still show code from the last time we ran this. Comment out any existing code and add this:

SignUpUser.create(email: "", password: "notsecret", password_confirmation: "not_secret") do |operation, saved_user|
  pp operation.errors
  pp saved_user

Note that the password and password_confirmation are intentionally different.

Once done, save and exit the file. It will compile and print out an errors object of type Hash(String, Array(String)), and nil for saved_user because this failed to save. Our SaveOperation has a create method which takes named args of what the operation requires from us. It also takes a block that will pass the operation instance and the saved user (if one exists). The operation has an errors method allowing us to inspect what errors we get back and why we don’t have a saved_user object.

Since we’re not using a form here we can save without params.

Now hit enter to go back and edit the code. Fix the password_confirmation so they match, save & exit. This time we see an empty hash {}, and our new User instance.

For more information on saving records read the Saving and Updating Records guide.

# Creating Sample Data

During development, we may need our database to be a little more filled with data to really interact with it. For this case, we can create some sample data. Lucky gives you two different “seed” tasks. One used for filling your database with required data db.seed.required_data, and one used for filling your database with some sample data db.seed.sample_data. You can find these two tasks in your tasks/db/seed/ directory.

When creating sample data, we can use the Avram::Factory. This is an object generally used in testing, but it’s also great for sample data. We can supply minimal, or in some cases, no additional data to create a ton of objects for us. These factory objects live in your spec/support/factories/ directory. If you look in there now, you should see a UserFactory.

# Factory breakdown

Every Factory is directly tied to a SaveOperation which means that all columns in the Model are available in the Factory. The column methods in the Factory take an argument to set their value. (e.g. email("")) You can also use the sequence() method to generate a new number each time you generate a new Factory record to keep things a bit more dynamic.

# Create a New Factory

We will create a new Factory for our Fortune model. Create a new file in spec/support/factories/ Add in this code:

# spec/support/factories/
class FortuneFactory < Avram::Factory
  def initialize
    text "Have a Lucky day! #{rand(100)} #{rand(100)} #{rand(100)}"

    # Default assign to user 1 for now
    # We will show how to override this further down
    user_id 1

We must add a value for every required column. The auto-generated columns id, created_at, and updated_at are automatically assigned a value.

It’s important that the name of this class matches the name of the model (Fortune), and then ends in Factory (i.e. FortuneFactory). See more on the Factories guide

# Adding sample data

Now that we have our factories created, we can use these to create a bunch of sample data. Lucky has a task file for adding sample data in your tasks/db/seed/ file. Open that file, and we will update the call method with this code:

# tasks/db/seed/
def call

  10.times do
    user = UserFactory.create

    10.times do
      # override the default user_id

  puts "Done adding sample data"

With that file updated we can now run our db.seed.sample_data CLI task to execute this code:

lucky db.seed.sample_data

You will see “Done adding sample data” when it’s complete. In the next steps we will go over writing queries to view these new records.

For more information on creating sample data read the Creating Test Data guide.

# Your Turn

Now that you know how to create records with both SaveOperation and Avram::Factory, take a moment to play with each to get used to them. Being comfortable with their interfaces will be very helpful later.

Try this…

  • Try overriding the UserFactory email with your own custom dynamic value in the sample_data task.
  • Try changing the FortuneFactory text to mention the user’s email.
  • Use lucky exec to manually create new User and Fortune records.
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