Oct 24th 2016

Rails with Active Record and Action Pack (Coursera)

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You already know how to build a basic web application with the Ruby on Rails framework. Perhaps, you have even taken Course 1, "Ruby on Rails: An Introduction" (we highly recommend it) where you relied on external web services to be your “data layer”. But in the back of your mind, you always knew that there would come a time when you would need to roll up your sleeves and learn SQL to be able to interact with your own relational database (RDBMS). But there is an easier way to get started with SQL using the Active Record Object/Relational (ORM) framework. In this course, we will be able to use the Ruby language and the Active Record ORM framework to automate interactions with the database to quickly build the application we want.

In Rails with Active Record and Action Pack, we will explore how to interact with relational databases by using Active Record, a Ruby gem, which Rails uses by default for database access. We will then take a look at what role Active Record plays in the overall request-response cycle, when a client (the browser) requests data from the server, as well as how to submit the data to the server. Of course, when accessing data, security is of paramount importance! We will talk about vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, as well as how to secure access to data by authenticating and authorizing users accessing the data. Take this course to build a Ruby on Rails application with Active Record to automate the detailed SQL interactions with our database.

Rails with Active Record and Action Pack is course 2 of 6 in the Ruby on Rails Web Development Specialisation.



Introduction to Active Record

In this module, we will begin exploring the database-interaction portion of Rails. We will start off with migrations that enable you to create and modify the schema of the database. We will then move on to discussing the Active Record gem Rails uses, which enables you to create, retrieve, update, and delete the data from the database. Before looking at Active Record, we will talk about some advanced Ruby features of meta-programming that will help facilitate our Active Record journey.

Graded: Basic Active Record CRUD


Deep Dive into Active Record

In this module, we will continue exploring Active Record and look at ways to code advanced queries without exposing ourselves to risk from SQL injection (as well as what SQL injection actually is). We will then look at expressing relationships between entities in Active Record and validating the data being saved to the database.

Graded: Active Record Relationships


Introduction to Action Pack

In this module, we will introduce Rails' Action Pack, which is a combination of Action Controller and Action View. We will see how REST has influenced routing in a Rails application and also talk about partials, form helpers, and layouts.

Graded: ActionPack


Security and Nested Resources in Action Pack

In this module, we will talk about how to deal with nested resources in Rails. We will then talk about securing your app with a username and password combination for authentication purposes and making sure that users are only authorized to make changes to and view their own resources. We will finish off the module by discussing pagination and deploying to Heroku Paas (Platform as a Service).

Graded: Nested Resources, Security, and Pagination