Agile Web Development

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Settings is a plugin that makes managing a table of global key, value pairs easy. Think of it like a global Hash stored in you database, that uses simple ActiveRecord like methods for manipulation. Keep track of any global setting that you dont want to hard code into your rails app. You can store any kind of object. Strings, numbers, arrays, or any object.


You must create the table used by the Settings model. Simply run this command:

  ruby script/generate settings_migration

Now just put that migration in the database with:

  rake db:migrate


The syntax is easy. First, lets create some settings to keep track of:

  Settings.admin_password = 'supersecret'
  Settings.date_format    = '%m %d, %Y'
  Settings.cocktails      = ['Martini', 'Screwdriver', 'White Russian']            = 123

Now lets read them back:            # returns 123

Changing an existing setting is the same as creating a new setting: = 'super duper bar'

Decide you dont want to track a particular setting anymore?

  Settings.destroy :foo            # returns nil

Want a list of all the settings?

  Settings.all            # returns {'admin_password' => 'super_secret', 'date_format' => '%m %d, %Y'}

Set defaults for certain settings of your app. This will cause the defined settings to return with the Specified value even if they are not in the database. Make a new file in config/initializers/settings.rb with the following:

  Settings.defaults[:some_setting] = 'footastic'

Now even if the database is completely empty, you app will have some intelligent defaults:

  Settings.some_setting   # returns 'footastic'

That’s all there is to it!. Enjoy!


Repository git://
License Rails' (MIT)
Rating (10 votes)
Owner Alex Wayne
Created 14 April 2006


  • Avatar
    26 October 2006

    Not clear from the documentation, but the default settings need to be set before the part of the environment.rb file.

  • Frederico Araujo
    1 November 2007

    Doesn't work with Rails Edge yet. Nice plugin, and very useful.

    I have a patch so it saves the values in memcached. if anyone wants it. let me know

  • Avatar
    12 April 2008

    SHould work fine with Edge Rails now after the recent update. Get the latest from the GitHub link.

  • Avatar
    2 May 2008

    This seems like a very PHP way of doing settings/options the same as WP or Drupal where serialized data is persisted to the database. Is that right?

    I guess this is OK if you have only a few settings in your application. It will be inefficient after that, especially if you only need to access one or two settings at a time, which will likely be the main use case in many applications.

    Thanks. Good for small applications.

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