Dennis Hackethal’s Blog

My blog about coding, philosophy, and anything else that interests me.

Running Custom Logic in Rails Devise Controller

Today, I ran into the problem of needing to make a change to a user instance in the RegistrationsController using the Devise authentication gem. I couldn’t do it in a model callback because I needed access to cookies.

Luckily, Devise allows you to pass a custom block, which will be given the resource (e.g., the user object).

Assuming you already have a custom controller like this one

class RegistrationsController < Devise::RegistrationsController

you can achieve this pretty easily by passing a block:

class RegistrationsController < Devise::RegistrationsController
  def create
    super do |resource|
      # do stuff with resource... = 'bar'

Unfortunately, the block is invoked after the resource is saved to the database, so you’ll need to save it again if you’re making any changes that need to be persisted.

The call to super works because the RegistrationsController inherits from Devise::RegistrationsController as defined heresuper will call Devise::RegistrationsController#create and pass it the block, where it then gets invoked with the resource.

As you can see in the source code, Devise offers support for blocks in #new#update, and #destroy as well.

Unless you require functionality that’s only available in controllers (such as cookies, as I mentioned), I recommend using model callbacks instead. But if you do need to do your magic in controllers, this approach should work.

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