OmgValidator: Rails 3 ActiveModel Validations

I used to turn to CodeIgniter for quickly building CRUD-based web apps. These days I usually do that in Rails. I haven't worked with CodeIgniter in a couple of years. I do miss it a bit though. Mostly, I miss the data validations.

Almost every web app needs email address, phone number, and other common format-based data validations. The folks behind code igniter were thoughtful enough to bake these right into their framework.

When I made the transition to Rails, I was thrilled with ActiveModel validations. I especially liked that they were handled at the model level instead of in form helpers like most other frameworks. However, I was disappointed that ActiveModel validations did not include many of the common validations included in CodeIgniter. Every time I created a Rails project, I had to figure out how I was going to validate common data formats, like email addresses and postal codes.

A co-worker and I created a Ruby Gem that solves this issue. It brings many of the great format-based validations from CodeIgniter, as well as other useful validations, to Rails. It duck-types ActiveModel::Validations to so that classes that inherit from ActiveModel can validate the following data formats:

  • alpha-dash characters
  • alpha-numeric characters
  • alpha characters
  • dates
  • email addresses
  • ip addresses
  • phone numbers
  • postal codes
  • zip codes
  • strong passwords
  • website addresses

Our boss agreed to let us open source the project. We put the source code up on GitHub and published the Gem on RubyGems.

Your models in Rails can benefit from the validations by simply include gem omg_validator in your Gemfile. And of course, run bundle install.

gem 'omg_validator', '~>0.7'

Using OmgValidator is as simple as installing it. Here's an example model using the Mongoid ORM that has a postal code field which we expect to be a valid postal code or zip code format.

class Address
  include Mongoid::Document

  field :postal_code, type: String

  attr_accessor :postal_code

  validates :postal_code, postal_or_zip_code: true
end

Download the source on GitHub Check out the Gem at RubyGems