Pro Active Record: Databases with Ruby and Rails

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Apress (September 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590598474

Pro Active Record helps you take advantage of the full power of your database engine from within your Ruby programs and Rails applications. ActiveRecord, part of the magic that makes the Rails framework so powerful and easy to use, is the model element of Rail’s model/view/controller framework. It’s an object-relational mapping library enabling you to interact with databases from both Ruby and Rails applications.

Because ActiveRecord is configured with default assumptions that mesh perfectly with the Rails framework, Rails developers often find they hardly need think about it at all. However, if you are developing in Ruby without Rails, or are deploying against legacy databases designed without Rails in mind, or you just want to take advantage of database-specific features such as large objects and stored procedures, you need the in-depth knowledge of ActiveRecord found in this book.

In Pro Active Record, authors Kevin Marshall, Chad Pytel, and Jon Yurek walk you through every step from the basics of getting and installing the ActiveRecord library to working with legacy schema to using features specific to each of today’s most popular database engines, including Oracle, MS SQL, MySQL, and more! You’ll come to a deep understanding of ActiveRecord that will enable you to truly exploit all that Ruby, Rails, and your chosen database platform have to offer.

About the Author
Kevin Marshall is a software developer at heart. He is a consultant to a number of companies and currently runs 50+ sites of his own–many of which are now happily taking advantage of ActiveRecord with the Ruby on Rails framework, including the popular As a technology writer, Kevin has published a short article, “Web Services with Rails”; contributed a few recipes to the Ruby Cookbook; and contributed a number of articles to the Association of Computing Machinery’s periodical, Computing Reviews (available online at

Kevin is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. When he’s not deep into coding, building content, or talking football, he’s generally off playing with his sons. To learn more about what he’s up to right now, you can visit his company site,, or just drop him a note at

Chad Pytel is president of thoughtbot, inc. a software development consulting firm that specializes in agile, test-driven web application development using the Ruby on Rails framework located in Boston, MA, and New York, NY. A firm believer in the Model-View-Controller design pattern and realistic software development, with a history in Java and EJB development, Chad strongly believes that Ruby and Ruby on Rails represents a new, exciting, and better way to develop software.

Chad lives with his wife in Somerville, MA. When not at the office managing projects and writing code, Chad enjoys acting in and producing theater, film, and improv comedy. To follow along with Chad and the rest of the thoughtbot team’s thoughts on business, design, development, and technology, visit their blog at

Jon Yurek is CTO at thoughtbot, inc. Born a programmer, Jon has been developing software professionally since 1999. After seeing the elegant and expressive power of Ruby, Jon quickly moved all new development at thoughtbot away from Java and Perl to using Ruby and Rails.

Jon is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and currently lives in Somerville, MA.