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A flexible roles solution for active-record-backed Rails 3 applications. Allows for multiple roles scoped to instances of any model, as well as global roles (admin, for example).

Roleable is designed to be ultra simple and obvious, letting you build upon it to satisfy your needs. It is also designed to be efficient: using database indices, and well-crafted queries so that it can handle a huge number of roles.


Add this line to your application’s Gemfile:

ruby gem 'roleable'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Run the generator to create the Role and AppliedRole models, migrations, and a configuration initializer:

$ rails g roleable:install

And then run the migrations:

$ rake db:migrate

(This will create the roles and applied_roles tables, together with the appropriate database indices.)


Include Roleable::Subject into your subject model, e.g.:

ruby class User < ActiveRecord::Base include Roleable::Subject ... end

Include Roleable::Resource into any models you want to relate a subject role to (resource), e.g.:

ruby class Page < ActiveRecord::Base include Roleable::Resource ... end



Add a role:

```ruby # global user.add_role(:admin)


user.add_role(:editor, page) ```

Remove a role:

```ruby # global user.remove_role(:admin)


user.remove_role(:editor, page) ```

Query a role:

```ruby # global user.has_role?(:admin)


user.has_role?(:editor, page) ```

Find the resources of a given class for which a user has a given role:

ruby user.resources_with_role(:editor, Page)

Find the resource of a given class for which a user has any of a list of roles:

ruby user.resources_with_role([:editor, :author], Page)

Find a user’s roles for a given resource:

ruby user.roles_for_resource(page)

Or, all the global roles for a user:

ruby user.roles_for_resource(nil)


Find subjects (users) with a given role:

ruby page.subjects_with_role(:editor)

Find subjects matching any of a list of roles:

ruby page.subjects_with_role([:editor, :author])


By default, roleable assumes that your subject model is called User. You can customize this by modifying the generated configuration intializer located at config/initializers/roleable.rb, e.g.:

ruby Roleable.configure do |config| config.subject_class_name = 'principle' end

For more details check out the API documentation on


Rails 3, ActiveRecord, Ruby >= 1.8.7


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Added some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request