Ruby on Rails/ActiveRecord/Naming
ActiveRecord uses convention for naming classes, tables and fields. Rails uses convention over configuration. ActiveRecord expects applications to follow certain naming conventions. These conventions extend from file naming, class naming, table naming and more. By default classes are singular, tables are plural, primary keys are id and foreign keys are table_id.
Note: There are also certain names that are reserved and should not be used in your model for attributes outside of the conventions defined in Rails:
- type - This is only used when you have single table inheritance and must contain a class name
- id - Reserved for primary keys
- table_name_count - Reserved for counter cache
- position - Reserved for acts_as_list
- parent_id - Reserved for acts_as_tree
- lft - Reserved for acts_as_nested_set
- rgt - Reserved for acts_as_nested_set
- quote - Method in ActiveRecord::Base which is used to quote SQL
ActiveRecord classes are named in singular form.
Tables for ActiveRecord objects are named in plural form by default. This pluralization is often an initial point of contention for new Rails users.
If you need to change the table name there are several ways to override the default behavior.
In config/environment.rb you can specify ActiveRecord::Base.use_pluralization = false. This will apply to all ActiveRecord objects.
You can call set_table_name to specify a custom table name for a particular model.
class Dog < ActiveRecord::Base set_table_name 'dog' end
You can also override the table_name method and return a value.
class Dog < ActiveRecord::Base def table_name 'dog' end end