How to connect to and use ActiveRecord outside of Rails?
Let’s say you have a Ruby script and you would like to use
ActiveRecord library inside it. Is it possible without Rails? Is it hard? It’s possible and not hard at all.
Make sure your pure Ruby script starts by requiring
Connecting to database
I like to use connection strings instead of YAML/Hash with separate key-values to describe the connection.
ENV['DATABASE_URL'] ||= "postgres://localhost/my_db_name?pool=5"
I prefer to use environment variables to set them because if I want to run the script on a different database, I can change it easily by setting an environment variable outside of the script. So this works nicely for me.
Connect to database using the connection string
That’s it. This one-liner does the job.
You can now normally use the models in your script.
class Event < ActiveRecord::Base
There is no
ApplicationRecord so you can’t inherit from it (unless you define that as well, yourself).
If the database does not already have the tables you are planning on using, you can create them with Active Record migrations. If you always want to have a clean state when you run the script, pass
force: true to drop a table before creating it.
self.verbose = true # or false
create_table(:events, force: true) do |t|
t.string :title, null: false
t.text :description, null: false
t.datetime :created_at, null: false
false if you don’t want to see the output of SQL statements creating those tables.
If you want to see the SQL queries and commands executed by your script, don’t forget to set a logger.
ActiveRecord::Base.logger = Logger.new(STDOUT)
STDOUT instead of a file, to output directly on the screen.
Running the script
If you want to use different DB than the default:
DATABASE_URL=mysql2://root:@127.0.0.1/db_name?pool=5 ruby my_script.rb
If you want to always use specific
activerecord version you need to create the
gem 'activerecord', '~> 5.1.3'
Execute the script with bundler:
bundle exec ruby my_script.rb
Would you like to continue learning more?
If you enjoyed the article, subscribe to our newsletter so that you are always the first one to get the knowledge that you might find useful in your everyday Rails programmer job.
Content is mostly focused on (but not limited to) Ruby, Rails, Web-development and refactoring big, complex Rails applications.