v1.2.0 - Show latest stable - 4 notes - Class: ActionController::Resources
resources(*entities, &block) public

Creates named routes for implementing verb-oriented controllers. This is useful for implementing REST API’s, where a single resource has different behavior based on the HTTP verb (method) used to access it.


  map.resources :messages

  class MessagesController < ActionController::Base
    # GET messages_url
    def index
      # return all messages

    # GET new_message_url
    def new
      # return an HTML form for describing a new message

    # POST messages_url
    def create
      # create a new message

    # GET message_url(:id => 1)
    def show
      # find and return a specific message

    # GET edit_message_url(:id => 1)
    def edit
      # return an HTML form for editing a specific message

    # PUT message_url(:id => 1)
    def update
      # find and update a specific message

    # DELETE message_url(:id => 1)
    def destroy
      # delete a specific message

The #resources method sets HTTP method restrictions on the routes it generates. For example, making an HTTP POST on new_message_url will raise a RoutingError exception. The default route in config/routes.rb overrides this and allows invalid HTTP methods for resource routes.

Along with the routes themselves, #resources generates named routes for use in controllers and views. map.resources :messages produces the following named routes and helpers:

  Named Route   Helpers
  messages      messages_url, hash_for_messages_url,
                messages_path, hash_for_messages_path
  message       message_url(id), hash_for_message_url(id),
                message_path(id), hash_for_message_path(id)
  new_message   new_message_url, hash_for_new_message_url,
                new_message_path, hash_for_new_message_path
  edit_message  edit_message_url(id), hash_for_edit_message_url(id),
                edit_message_path(id), hash_for_edit_message_path(id)

You can use these helpers instead of #url_for or methods that take #url_for parameters:

  redirect_to :controller => 'messages', :action => 'index'
  # becomes
  redirect_to messages_url

  <%= link_to "edit this message", :controller => 'messages', :action => 'edit', :id => @message.id %>
  # becomes
  <%= link_to "edit this message", edit_message_url(@message) # calls @message.id automatically

Since web browsers don’t support the PUT and DELETE verbs, you will need to add a parameter ‘_method’ to your form tags. The form helpers make this a little easier. For an update form with a @message object:

  <%= form_tag message_path(@message), :method => :put %>


  <% form_for :message, @message, message_path(@message), :html => {:method => :put} do |f| %>

The #resources method accepts various options, too, to customize the resulting routes:

  • :controller — specify the controller name for the routes.
  • :singular — specify the singular name used in the member routes.
  • :path_prefix — set a prefix to the routes with required route variables. Weblog comments usually belong to a post, so you might use resources like:
      map.resources :articles
      map.resources :comments, :path_prefix => '/articles/:article_id'

    You can nest resources calls to set this automatically:

      map.resources :articles do |article|
        article.resources :comments

    The comment resources work the same, but must now include a value for :article_id.

      comment_url(@article, @comment)
      comments_url(:article_id => @article)
      comment_url(:article_id => @article, :id => @comment)
  • :name_prefix — define a prefix for all generated routes, usually ending in an underscore. Use this if you have named routes that may clash.
      map.resources :tags, :path_prefix => '/books/:book_id', :name_prefix => 'book_'
      map.resources :tags, :path_prefix => '/toys/:toy_id',   :name_prefix => 'toy_'
  • :collection — add named routes for other actions that operate on the collection. Takes a hash of #{action} => #{method}, where method is :get/:post/:put/:delete or :any if the method does not matter. These routes map to a URL like /messages;rss, with a route of rss_messages_url.
  • :member — same as :collection, but for actions that operate on a specific member.
  • :new — same as :collection, but for actions that operate on the new resource action.

If map.resources is called with multiple resources, they all get the same options applied.


  map.resources :messages, :path_prefix => "/thread/:thread_id"
  # --> GET /thread/7/messages/1

  map.resources :messages, :collection => { :rss => :get }
  # --> GET /messages;rss (maps to the #rss action)
  #     also adds a named route called "rss_messages"

  map.resources :messages, :member => { :mark => :post }
  # --> POST /messages/1;mark (maps to the #mark action)
  #     also adds a named route called "mark_message"

  map.resources :messages, :new => { :preview => :post }
  # --> POST /messages/new;preview (maps to the #preview action)
  #     also adds a named route called "preview_new_message"

  map.resources :messages, :new => { :new => :any, :preview => :post }
  # --> POST /messages/new;preview (maps to the #preview action)
  #     also adds a named route called "preview_new_message"
  # --> /messages/new can be invoked via any request method

  map.resources :messages, :controller => "categories",
        :path_prefix => "/category/:category_id",
        :name_prefix => "category_"
  # --> GET /categories/7/messages/1
  #     has named route "category_message"
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August 19, 2008 - (v2.1.0)
6 thanks

Namespace or modules in routes

If you have grouped controllers into a module, e.g. admin then you can specify this in the routes using the namespace method:

map.namespace :admin do |admin|
  admin.resources :categories

which will map the categories resource giving urls like



It will also generate the named routes such as new_admin_category_url and admin_category_path

August 12, 2008
1 thank

Overview of all routes

To see all defined routes type in your console:

rake routes

This produces (eg.):

reorder_toolbox_items   PUT   /toolbox_items reord {:controller=>"toolbox_items", :action=>"reorder"}
channels   GET  /channels {:controller=>"channels", :action=>"index"}
May 6, 2009 - (>= v2.3.2)
1 thank

Formatted route helpers are gone

In Rails >= 2.3 you can’t use formatted_xxx url helpers anymore.

However, you can still pass a :format option to url helpers, eg:

articles_path(:format => :csv) # => /articles.csv
June 13, 2009 - (>= v2.3.2)
0 thanks