Recommended way of restricting action permissions?

Hi, I just have a “best practices” question. I’d like to block users
that don’t own a particular resource from performing edit/update/
destroy actions on it. Here’s how I currently do it:

User has many resources, of different types

------- resource_controller.rb -------

before_filter :require_ownership, :only => [:edit, :update, :destroy]

… public actions …


def require_ownership
@resource = Resource.find(params[:id])
redirect_to_somewhere unless owns?(@resource)

------- application.rb -------

def owns?(resource)
resource.user_id ==

… And I apply this before_filter in the controller of any resource
I’d like to restrict in a similar way. I’m new to Rails and MVC so
I’m just wondering whether this is the best way of accomplishing this,
or if a different method is recommended.

Thanks in advance!

Ms. Klein,

I handle that situation very similarly with the only disparity being
where ownership is determined. In my opinion the object itself should
know nothing about @current_user, whereas the application can know about

I also tend to alias methods in my resources, like so

def self.owner

Then I insure that every object has some owner alias if it is to be
restricted, and in my :require_ownership before_filter, I do the

def require_ownership
if @resource.owner == @current.user

The end effect is the same, but this allows the resource to be used
intact in another application without modification, regardless of
@current_user in the other application. Just of matter of who knows
what about whom.

Otherwise, unless someone can suggest a better method for us both, I
personally think you’re on the right track.

Darrik Mazey

Lisa Klein wrote:

… public actions …
def owns?(resource)

Darrik Mazey
DMT Programming, LLC.
P.O. Box 91
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[email protected].

The simpler way is just search the user resources when performing an
edit/update/delete. like this:

def edit
@resource = @user.resources.find(params[:id])

This way you can be sure that the user will not be able to select a
resource that doesn’t belong to him.

Maurício Linhares (pt-br) |

Thanks a lot for the replies! I guess I kind of prefer the
before_filter method a little bit because then I don’t have to
replicate the redirect_if_not_found logic in each restricted action.
Thanks again!