Administrative Functions: Best Practices?

I haven’t come across an obvious best way to write my administrative
functions. Some candidates are:

  • Put the admin functions amongst the standard authenticated user
    functionality of the site, following the REST approach until your dying
    breath, and using roles to expose/hide these functions
  • Write admin controllers in an admin:: namespace, with their own
    administrative-specific views
  • Write a separate admin application entirely, using the same models,
    and stick the admin app on a subdomain

Each solution has its pros and cons. Certainly someone has opinions
regarding this; can you convince me/give me instruction as to your
fondest approach?

I’d like to second this question… I was searching around before
posting this question myself. I have seen posts like this online,
http://glu.ttono.us/articles/2006/08/30/guide-things-you-shouldnt-be-doing-in-rails

  • saying that you shouldn’t use namespacing. What would doing it
    using rails routes look like instead?

Thoughts?

On Sep 29, 7:17 pm, Sebastian Mathews <rails-mailing-l…@andreas-

There’s a namespace routing feature in the 2.0 preview release. DHH’s
blog post about the changes in 2.0
(http://weblog.rubyonrails.org/2007/9/30/rails-2-0-0-preview-release)
has a short example of how to use it for admin interfaces.

Matt G. wrote:

There’s a namespace routing feature in the 2.0 preview release. DHH’s
blog post about the changes in 2.0
(http://weblog.rubyonrails.org/2007/9/30/rails-2-0-0-preview-release)
has a short example of how to use it for admin interfaces.

I will need admin functionality in a few upcoming projects and am
running into the same questions for where it should go. I thought of
creating a separate Rails app to use on an admin subdomain, but that
seems like overkill.

I noticed in the inline documentation for the Controller generator
(script/generate controller --help) that it mentioned the ability to
“create a controller within a module,” but I couldn’t find any further
info on what a “module” was in this regard? Here’s the exact text:

script/generate controller --help

Description:
The controller generator creates stubs for a new controller and its
views.

The generator takes a controller name and a list of views as 

arguments.
The controller name may be given in CamelCase or under_score and
should
not be suffixed with ‘Controller’. To create a controller within a
module, specify the controller name as ‘module/controller’.

The generator creates a controller class in app/controllers with 

view
templates in app/views/controller_name, a helper class in
app/helpers,
and a functional test suite in test/functional.

Example:
./script/generate controller CreditCard open debit credit close

Credit card controller with URLs like /credit_card/debit.
    Controller: app/controllers/credit_card_controller.rb
    Views:      app/views/credit_card/debit.rhtml [...]
    Helper:     app/helpers/credit_card_helper.rb
    Test:       test/functional/credit_card_controller_test.rb

Modules Example:
./script/generate controller ‘admin/credit_card’ suspend late_fee

Credit card admin controller with URLs /admin/credit_card/suspend.
    Controller: app/controllers/admin/credit_card_controller.rb
    Views:      app/views/admin/credit_card/debit.rhtml [...]
    Helper:     app/helpers/admin/credit_card_helper.rb
    Test:       test/functional/admin/credit_card_controller_test.rb

So is “module” just another term for the namespace approach that has
been mentioned above? Can anyone provide an example of using this?

And even though DHH’s post re: Rails 2.0 has some text that points to a
new solution, what is a viable solution for the 1.x line?

Chris B. wrote:

So is “module” just another term for the namespace approach that has
been mentioned above? Can anyone provide an example of using this?

I believe so. The biggest reason namespacing controllers is often
frowned upon is that it can add unnecessary complexity to your app.

And even though DHH’s post re: Rails 2.0 has some text that points to a
new solution, what is a viable solution for the 1.x line?

The simplest thing you can do with 1.x is:

map.resources :whatever, :path_prefix => '/admin'

Matt G. [email protected] wrote:

Chris B. wrote:

So is “module” just another term for the namespace approach that has
been mentioned above? Can anyone provide an example of using this?

I believe so. The biggest reason namespacing controllers is often
frowned upon is that it can add unnecessary complexity to your app.

Yes. Modules and namespaces are synonymous. I’ve posted a sample
application at http://dev.panesofglass.org/projects/contacts.zip. This
app is using a contacts namespace to enclose a PeopleController and
CompaniesController. I can’t get the functional tests to work, so any
help there would be appreciated. The good news is that you can indeed
create nested resources now.

And even though DHH’s post re: Rails 2.0 has some text that points to a
new solution, what is a viable solution for the 1.x line?

The simplest thing you can do with 1.x is:

map.resources :whatever, :path_prefix => '/admin'

That’s definitely the easiest approach. It lets you continue to use
all the regular methods of referencing paths and urls without having
to edit every object, @object, object_path or object_url reference in
your app. Of course, if you’re going for a more modular approach and
you don’t scaffold then you probably don’t mind writing that from
scratch.

I’d stay away from the admin:: namespace, at least if you are ever
going to use nested resources. I just spent the weekend refactoring an
application that had been using that namespace, but then I needed
nested resources and WHAM… no good. DHH’s comments about
map.namespaces looks promising, though it seems you could easily do
something similar with an empty AdminController and nested resources.

On Sep 29, 6:17 pm, Sebastian Mathews <rails-mailing-l…@andreas-

As to my testing issues, I think my solution will be to use RSpec,
which I’ve already planned to use in the future. However, if you want
to use the built in testing system, not sure what to tell you. I’d
still be interested to see if anyone knows how to write tests for
namespaced controllers.

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