PermanentRecords (Rails 3.1+)

This gem prevents any of your ActiveRecord data from being destroyed. Any model that you've given a "deleted_at" datetime column will have that column set rather than let the record be deleted.

What methods does it give me?

User.find(3).destroy          # Sets the 'deleted_at' attribute to
                              # and returns a frozen record.

User.find(3).destroy(:force)  # Executes the real destroy method, the record
                              # will be removed from the database.

User.destroy_all              # Soft-deletes all User records.

User.delete_all               # bye bye everything (no soft-deleting here)

There are also two scopes provided for easily searching deleted and not deleted records:

User.deleted.find(...)        # Only returns deleted records.

User.not_deleted.find(...)    # Only returns non-deleted records.

Note: Your normal finds will, by default, include deleted records. You'll have to manually use the not_deleted scope to avoid this:

User.find(1)                  # Will find record number 1, even if it's deleted.

User.not_deleted.find(1)      # This is probably what you want, it doesn't find deleted records.

Can I easily undelete records?

Yes. All you need to do is call the 'revive' method.

User.find(3).destroy         # The user is now deleted.

User.find(3).revive          # The user is back to it's original state.

And if you had dependent records that were set to be destroyed along with the parent record:

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_many :comments, :dependent => :destroy

User.find(3).destroy         # All the comments are destroyed as well.

User.find(3).revive          # All the comments that were just destroyed
                             # are now back in pristine condition.

Forcing deletion works the same way: if you hard delete a record, its dependent records will also be hard deleted.

Can I use default scopes?

default_scope where(:deleted_at => nil)

If you use such a default scope, you will need to simulate the deleted scope with a method

def self.deleted
  self.unscoped.where('deleted_at IS NOT NULL')

Is Everything Automated?

Yes. You don't have to change ANY of your code to get permanent archiving of all your data with this gem. When you call destroy on any record (or destroy_all on a class or association) your records will all have a deleted_at timestamp set on them.


If you operate a system where destroying or reviving a record takes more than about 3 seconds then you'll want to customize PermanentRecords.dependent_record_window = 10.seconds or some other value that works for you.

Patches welcome, forks celebrated.

Copyright 2015 Jack Danger Canty @ released under the MIT license