Last Update: 2011-07-16 11:31:03 -0700

New Plugins

  • A nested_attributes plugin was added allowing you to modify associated objects directly through a model object, similar to ActiveRecord’s Nested Attributes.

    Artist.plugin :nested_attributes
    Artist.one_to_many :albums
    Artist.nested_attributes :albums
    a = Artist.new(:name=>'YJM',
     :albums_attributes=>[{:name=>'RF'}, {:name=>'MO'}])
    # No database activity yet
    a.save # Saves artist and both albums
    a.albums.map{|x| x.name} # ['RF', 'MO']

    It takes most of the same options as ActiveRecord, as well as a a few additional options:

    • :destroy - Allow destruction of nested records.

    • :limit - For *_to_many associations, a limit on the number of records that will be processed, to prevent denial of service attacks.

    • :remove - Allow disassociation of nested records (can remove the associated object from the parent object, but not destroy the associated object).

    • :strict - Set to false to not raise an error message if a primary key is provided in a record, but it doesn’t match an existing associated object.

    If a block is provided, it is passed each nested attribute hash. If the hash should be ignored, the block should return anything except false or nil.

  • A timestamps plugin was added for automatically adding before_create and before_update hooks for setting values on timestamp columns. There are a couple of existing external plugins that handle timestamps, but the implementations are suboptimal. The new built-in plugin supports the following options (with the default in parentheses):

    • :create - The field to hold the create timestamp (:created_at)

    • :force - Whether to overwrite an existing create timestamp (false)

    • :update - The field to hold the update timestamp (:updated_at)

    • :update_on_create - Whether to set the update timestamp to the create timestamp when creating (false)

  • An instance_hooks plugin was added for adding hooks to specific w model instances:

    obj = Model.new
    obj.save # calls do_something after the obj has been saved

    All of the standard hooks are supported, except for after_initialize. Instance level before hooks are executed in reverse order of addition before calling super. Instance level after hooks are executed in order of addition after calling super. If any of the instance level before hook blocks return false, no more instance level before hooks are called and false is returned.

    Instance level hooks are cleared when the object is saved successfully.

  • A boolean_readers plugin was added for creating attribute? methods for boolean columns. This can provide a nicer API:

    obj = Model[1]
    obj.active  # Sequel default column reader
    obj.active? # Using the boolean_readers plugin

    You can provide a block when loading the plugin to change the criteria used to determine if the column is boolean:

    Sequel::Model.plugin(:boolean_readers) do |c|
      db_schema[c][:db_type] =~ /\Atinyint/

    This may be useful if you are using MySQL and have some tinyint columns that represent booleans and others that represent integers. You can turn the convert_tinyint_to_bool setting off and use the attribute methods for the integer value and the attribute? methods for the boolean value.

Other New Features

  • Sequel now has support for converting Time/DateTime to local or UTC time upon storage, retrieval, or typecasting.

    There are three different timezone settings:

    • Sequel.database_timezone - The timezone that timestamps use in the database. If the database returns a time without an offset, it is assumed to be in this timezone.

    • Sequel.typecast_timezone - Similar to database_timezone, but used for typecasting data from a source other than the database. This is currently only used by the model typecasting code.

    • Sequel.application_timezone - The timezone that the application wants to deal with. All Time/DateTime objects are converted into this timezone upon retrieval from the database.

    Unlike most things in Sequel, these are only global settings, you cannot change them per database. There are only three valid timezone settings:

    • nil (the default) - Don’t do any timezone conversion. This is the historical behavior.

    • :local - Convert to local time/Consider time to be in local time.

    • :utc - Convert to UTC/Consider time to be in UTC.

    So if you want to store times in the database as UTC, but deal with them in local time in the application:

    Sequel.application_timezone = :local
    Sequel.database_timezone = :utc

    If you want to set all three timezones to the same value:

    Sequel.default_timezone = :utc

    There are three conversion methods that are called:

    • Sequel.database_to_application_timestamp - Called on time objects coming out of the database. If the object coming out of the database (usually a string) does not have an offset, assume it is already in the database_timezone. Return a Time/DateTime object (depending on Sequel.datetime_class), in the application_timzone.

    • Sequel.application_to_database_timestamp - Used when literalizing Time/DateTime objects into an SQL string. Converts the object to the database_timezone before literalizing them.

    • Sequel.typecast_to_application_timestamp - Called when typecasting objects for model datetime columns. If the object being typecasted does not already have an offset, assume it is already in the typecast_timezone. Return a Time/DateTime object (depending on Sequel.datetime_class), in the application_timezone.

    Sequel does not yet support named timezones or per thread modification of the timezone (for showing all timestamps in the current user’s timezone). Extensions to support both features are planned for a future version.

  • Dataset#truncate was added for truncating tables. Truncate allows for fast removal of all rows in a table.

  • Sequel now supports typecasting a hash to date, time, and datetime types. This allows easy usage of Sequel with forms that split the entry of these database types into separate from fields. With this code, you can just have field names like:


    Rack will parse that into:

    {'date'=>{'year'=>?, 'month'=>?, 'day'=>?}}

    So then you can do:

    obj.date = params['date']
    # or
  • validates_unique now takes a block that can be used to scope the uniqueness constraint. This allows you to easily set up uniqueness validations that are only necessary in a given scope. For example, a validation on username, but only for active users (as inactive users are soft deleted but remain in the table). You just pass a block to validates_unique:

    validates_unique(:name){|ds| ds.filter(:active)}
  • The serialization plugin now supports json.

  • Sequel now supports generic concepts of CURRENT_{DATE,TIME,TIMESTAMP}. Most databases support these SQL concepts, but not all, and some implementations act differently.

    The Sequel::SQL::Constants module holds the three constants, which are instances of SQL::Constant, an SQL::GenericExpression subclass. This module is included in Sequel, so you can reference the constants more easily (e.g. Sequel::CURRENT_TIMESTAMP). It’s separated out into a separate module so that you can just include that module in the top level scope, allowing you to reference the constants directly (e.g. CURRENT_TIMESTAMP).

    DB[:events].filter{date < ::Sequel::CURRENT_DATE}
    # or:
    include Sequel::SQL::Constants
    DB[:events].filter{date < ::CURRENT_DATE}
  • Database#run was added for executing arbitrary SQL on a database. It’s an alias for Database#<<, but it allows for a nicer API inside migrations, since you can now do:

    run 'SQL'

    instead of:

    self << 'SQL'

    You can also provide a :server option to run the SQL on the given server/shard:

    run 'SQL', :server=>:shard1
  • Sequel::Model() can now take a database argument in addition to a symbol or dataset argument. If a database is given, it’ll create an anonymous subclass attached to the given database. Other changes were made to allow the following code to work:

    class Item < Sequel::Model(DB2)

    That will work correctly assuming a table named items in DB2.

  • Dataset#ungrouped was added for removing a grouping from an existing dataset. Also, Dataset#group when called with no arguments or with a nil argument also removes any existing grouping instead of resulting in invalid SQL.

  • Model#modified? was added, letting you know if the model has been modified. If the model hasn’t been modified, calling Model#save_changes will do nothing.

  • SQL::OrderedExpression now supports asc, desc, and invert.

Other Improvements

  • The serialization and lazy_attribute plugins now add accessor methods to a module included in the class, instead of to the model class itself. This allows the methods to be overridden in the class and work well with super, as well for the plugins to work together on the same column. Make sure the lazy_attributes accessor is setup before the serialization accessor if you want to have a lazy serialized column.

  • Calling the add_* method for many_to_many association now saves the record if the record is new. This makes it operate more similarly to one_to_many associations. Previously, it raised an Error.

  • Dataset#import now works correctly when called with a dataset. Previously, it generated incorrect SQL.

  • The JDBC adapter now converts byte arrays to/from SQL::Blob.

  • The JDBC adapter now attempts to bind unknown types using setObject instead of raising, so it can work with native Java objects. It also binds boolean parameters correctly.

  • Using multiple emulated ALTER TABLE statements (such as drop_column) in a single alter_table block now works correctly on SQLite.

  • Database#indexes now works on JDBC for tables in a non-default schema. It also now properly detects unique indexes on MSSQL.

  • Database#schema on JDBC now accepts a :schema option. Also, returned schema hashes now include a :column_size entry specifying the maximum length/precision for the column, since the :db_type entry doesn’t have contain the information on JDBC.

  • Datasets without tables now work correctly on Oracle, so things like DB.get(…) now work.

  • A descriptive error message is given if you attempt to use Sequel with the mysql.rb driver (which Sequel doesn’t support).

  • The postgres adapter now works correctly with a modified postgres-pr that raises PGErrors instead of RuntimeErrors (e.g. github.com/jeremyevans/postgres-pr).

  • You now get a Sequel::InvalidOperation instead of a NoMethodError if you attempt to update a dataset without a table.

  • The inflection support has been modified to reduce code duplication.

Backwards Compatibility

  • Sequel now includes fractional seconds in timestamps for all adapters except MySQL. It’s possible that this may break timestamp columns for databases that are not regularly tested.

  • Sequel now includes timezone values in timestamps on Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL and SQLite. The modification for SQLite is probably the biggest cause for concern, since SQLite stores times as text. If you have an SQLite database that uses timestamps and is accessed by something other than Sequel, you should make sure that it works with the timestamp format that Sequel now uses.

  • The default timestamp format used by Sequel now uses a space instead of ‘T’ between the date and time parts, which could possibly affect some databases that are not regularly tested.

  • Attempting to insert into a grouped dataset or a dataset that selects from multiple tables will now raise an Error. Previously, it would ignore any GROUP or JOIN settings and generate bad SQL if there were multiple FROM tables.

  • Database#<< now always returns nil. Before, the return value was adapter dependent.

  • ODBC::Time and ODBC::DateTime values are now converted to the Sequel.datetime_class. Before, ODBC::Time used Time and ODBC::DateTime used DateTime regardless of the Sequel.datetime_class setting.

  • The default inflections were modified, fixing some obvious errors and possibly changing some existing inflections. Further changes to the default inflections are unlikely.