Ruby on Rails is a fantastic web framework packed with great features, with perhaps no other being greater than Active Record. Rails’ database integration capabilities are in a word, incredible, offering developers not only an intuitive, object-oriented syntax for querying an application’s underlying database, but also a host of other useful features such as data validation, sane management of schema evolution through an approach known as Migrations, the ability to easily manage and burrow through often complex table relations, and straightforward solutions for loading seed data and testing the application’s model tier.

But all of this convenience does come at a cost in terms of the learning curve, and Rails newcomers can easily get frustrated (as I once was) by various nuances and other complexities pertaining to the so-called “Rails Way” of doing things. I wrote this book to help those new to Rails and ActiveRecord quickly ramp up this curve and gain a thorough understanding of Rails’ Active Record implementation. In this book you’ll learn about the following topics:

  • Chapter 1. Introducing Models, Schemas and Migrations
  • Chapter 2. Loading, Validating and Manipulating Data
  • Chapter 3. Querying the Database
  • Chapter 4. Introducing Associations
  • Chapter 5. Mastering Web Forms
  • Chapter 6. Debugging and Optimizing Your Application
  • Chapter 7. Integrating User Accounts with Devise
  • Chapter 8. Powerful Active Record Plugins

About the Sample Project

To make sure you’re fully engaged in the learning process, the book loosely follows the development of a real-world project called ArcadeNomad, a location-based directory tracking the locations of retro arcade games from the 1970’s and 1980’s. You can learn more about the sample project here, and play around with the actual site by navigating to

About the Author

Jason Gilmore ( is a Columbus, Ohio-based software developer, writer and consultant. He has spent much of the past 15 years helping companies of all sizes build amazing solutions. Recent projects include a Rails-driven e-commerce analytics application for a globally recognized publisher, a Linux-powered autonomous environmental monitoring buoy, and a 10,000+ product online store.

Jason is the author of seven books, including the bestselling “Beginning PHP and MySQL, Fourth Edition”, “Easy PHP Websites with the Zend Framework, Second Edition”, and “Easy Active Record for Rails Developers”.

Over the years Jason has published more than 300 articles within popular publications such as, JSMag, and Linux Magazine, and instructed hundreds of students in the United States and Europe.

Jason is cofounder of the wildly popular CodeMash Conference, the largest multi-day developer event in the Midwestern United States. Away from the keyboard, you’ll often find Jason hunched over a chess board and having fun with DIY electronics.