Store Schema

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StoreSchema, for Rails/ActiveRecord 4.0.0+, enhances ActiveRecord::Base.store_accessor with data conversion capabilities.

This library was developed for- and extracted from HireFire.

The documentation can be found on RubyDoc.


  • Rails/ActiveRecord 4.0.0+
  • Ruby (MRI) 2.0+


Add the gem to your Gemfile and run bundle.

gem "store_schema"


This example assumes you have a websites table with a column named config of type text.

Define a model and use store_schema.

class Website < ActiveRecord::Base

  # Tell ActiveRecord that we want to serialize the :config attribute
  # and store the serialized data as text in the config column.
  # By default, `store` serializes your data as YAML. You can swap this out for
  # any other coder you want. For example JSON or Oj (high performance JSON).
  # If you're using PostgreSQL's hstore or json column-type instead of the
  # text column-type, you should'nt define `store :config`.
  store :config, coder: JSON

  # Define a schema for the store. This syntax is similar to
  # ActiveRecord::Migration.
  store_schema :config do |s|
    s.string :name
    s.integer :visitors
    s.float :apdex
    s.boolean :ssl
    s.datetime :published_at

Now you can get and set attributes on the websites.config column using the generated accessors.

website = Website.create(
  name: "Example Website",
  visitors: 1337,
  apdex: 1.0,
  ssl: true,

p # => "Example Website" (String)
p website.visitors # => 1337 (Fixnum)
p website.apdex # => 1.0 (Float)
p website.ssl # => true (TrueClass)
p website.published_at # => "Thu, 18 Sep 2014 23:18:11 +0000" (DateTime)

p website.config
# =>
# {
#   "name" => "Example Website",
#   "visitors" => "1337",
#   "apdex" => "1.0",
#   "ssl" => "t",
#   "published_at" => "2014-09-18 23:18:11.583168000"
# }

That's it. This is similar to just using store_accessor, except that store_schema is more strict as to what data types are stored. It attempts to stay consistent with ActiveRecord's column conventions such as storing booleans (0, "0", 1, "1", "t", "T", "f", "F", true, "true", "TRUE", false, "false", "FALSE", "on", "ON", "off", "OFF") as "t" and "f", storing Time, Date as DateTime, ensuring Time is UTC prior to being stored, and more.

When accessing stored data, it properly converts them to their data types. For example, "t" is converted to a TrueClass, and "2014-09-18 23:18:11.583168000" is converted back to a DateTime. See above example.

If you need to be able to query these serialized attributes, consider using PostgreSQL's HStore Extension. If you do not need to be able to query the serialized data, you can simply use a text-type column and use the store <column>[, coder: JSON] method in your model which works with any SQL database.


Contributions are welcome, but please conform to these requirements:

  • Ruby (MRI) 2.0+
  • ActiveRecord 4.0.0+
  • 100% Spec Coverage
    • Generated by when running the test suite
  • 100% Passing Specs
    • Run test suite with $ rspec spec
  • 4.0 Code Climate Score
    • Run $ rubycritic lib to generate the score locally and receive tips
    • No code smells
    • No duplication

To start contributing, fork the project, clone it, and install the development dependencies:

git clone
cd store_schema

Ensure that everything works:

rspec spec
rubycritic lib

To run the local documentation server:

yard server --reload

Create a new branch and start hacking:

git checkout -b my-contributions

Submit a pull request.

Author / License

Released under the MIT License by Michael van Rooijen.