Acts as Approvable Build Status

This plugin provides a workflow for approving new records and changes to existing records.


Rails 3

Add the gem to your Gemfile:

gem 'acts-as-approvable'

Then run the generator:

rails g acts_as_approvable

Rails 2

Add the gem to config/environment.rb

config.gem 'acts-as-approvable'

Then run rake gems:install. After the gem is installed, run the generator:

$ script/generate acts_as_approvable

Generator Options

These options are also available by passing --help as an option to the generator.

--base BASE     Base class for ApprovableController.
--haml*         Generate HAML views instead of ERB.
--owner [User]  Enable and, optionally, set the model for approval ownerships.
--scripts       Copy javascripts for ApprovalsController and its views.

* This option is not available in Rails 3. You should configure your template engine in config/application.rb

API Documentation

API Documentation is available online.


The generator creates an initializor at config/initializers/acts_as_approvable.rb. A sample initializer might look like this:

ActsAsApprovable.view_language = 'haml'

The Ownership functionality expects a User model in your project by default, but by providing an :owner option you can change the expected model to whatever you wish. .configure also accepts a block which it applies to the Approval model, allowing you to override methods as you see fit.

For example, to only allow Users with the "admin" role to 'own' an Approval, change your initializer to something like this:

ActsAsApprovable.view_language = 'haml'
ActsAsApprovable::Ownership.configure do
  def self.available_owners
    owner_class.all(:conditions => ['role', 'admin'])


Require approval for new Users, but not modifications...

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  acts_as_approvable :on => :create, :state_field => :state

  # Let the user know they've been approved
  def after_approve(approval)

  # Let the user know they were rejected
  def after_reject(approval)
    ApprovalMailer.deliver_user_rejected(, approval.reason)

Require approval when a Game's title or description is changed, but not when view or installation count is changed...

class Game < ActiveRecord::Base
    acts_as_approvable :on => :update, :ignore => [:views, :installs]

Require approval for all changes, except the standard ignored fields (created_at, updated_at and :state_field)...

class Advertisement < ActiveRecord::Base
    acts_as_approvable :state_field => :state


The following options may be used to configure the workflow on a per-model basis:

  • :on The type of events (:create or :update) to require approval on.
  • :ignore A list of fields to ignore for :update approvals.
  • :only A list of fields that should be approved. All other fields are ignored. If set, the :ignore option is... ignored.
  • :state_field A local model field to save the :create approvals state. Useful for selecting approved models without joining the approvals table.

The fields :created_at, :updated_at and whatever is set for the :state_field are automatically ignored.