An ActiveRecord 3.x Ruby gem for attribute serialization.

"Dy-na-bix, tasty serialization attribute accessors for ActiveRecord"


Dynabix dynamically creates read/write accessors on ActiveRecord models for storing attributes in a serialized Hash. Read more in our introductory blog article.

ActiveRecord's native 'store' method

ActiveRecord as of 3.2.1, has a very similar native method store. Dynabix differs from store by providing a declarative DSL for defining multiple stores (Ruby 1.9+), has separate read/write accessors, and stores to the database as HashWithIndifferentAccess. Unless you need one of these specific features, using the native 'store' method is recommended.


Add to your Gemfile

gem "dynabix"

Install the gem

bundle install


Get the source

cd workspace

git clone https://github.com/robertwahler/dynabix.git

cd dynabix

Install the dependencies

bundle install

Run the specs

bundle exec rake spec

Autotest with Guard

bundle exec guard

Usage Examples

Ruby 1.8

Add a text column "metadata" to your model migration

class AddMetadataToThings < ActiveRecord::Migration

  def change
    add_column :things, :metadata, :text


Add accessors to your model using the default column name ":metadata", specify the attributes in a separate step.

class Thing < ActiveRecord::Base

  # full accessors
   :breakfast_food, :wheat_products, :needs_milk

  # read-only

Specifying attributes for full attribute accessors in one step

class Thing < ActiveRecord::Base
   :metadata, :breakfast_food, :wheat_products, :needs_milk

Using the new accessors

thing = Thing.new

thing.breakfast_food = 'a wheat like cereal"

# same thing, but using the hash directly
thing.metadata[:breakfast_food] = 'a wheat like cereal"

Ruby 1.9+

Dynabix under Ruby 1.9+ enables specifying multiple metadata columns on a model.

Add text columns "cows" and "chickens" to your model migration

class AddMetadataToThings < ActiveRecord::Migration

  def change
    add_column :things, :cows, :text
    add_column :things, :chickens, :text


Specifying multiple metadata serializers (Ruby 1.9 only)

class Thing < ActiveRecord::Base
   :chickens, :tasty, :feather_count

  # read-only
  cows_reader :likes_milk, :hates_eggs

  # write-only
  cows_writer :no_wheat_products

  # extra full accessors for chickens
  chickens_accessor :color, :likes_eggs

Runtime dependencies

  • Activerecord 3.x

Development dependencies

Rake tasks

bundle exec rake -T

rake build             # Build dynabix-0.0.2.gem into the pkg directory
rake doc:clean         # Remove generated documenation
rake doc:generate      # Generate YARD Documentation
rake doc:undocumented  # List undocumented objects
rake gemfiles          # Generate .gemfiles via 'git ls-files'
rake install           # Build and install dynabix-0.0.2.gem into system gems
rake release           # Create tag v0.0.2 and build and push dynabix-0.0.2.gem to Rubygems
rake spec              # Run RSpec

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