Tealeaf Academy course three/week six - admins and securing access

There are parts of your site that you only want certain people to be able to access and I'll use this post to walk through the steps of adding an admin to the MyFLiX site on the Tealeaf Academy Course. I want to give that admin the authority to add a video on the site but regular users should not be able to this.

First up I need to add an admin column to my users table:

rails g migration add_admin_to_users

then write the migration:

class AddAdminToUsers < ActiveRecord::Migration
  def change
    add_column :users, :admin, :boolean

followed by rake db:migrate.

I want this to add the video with the link /admin/add_video so within routes.rb I need to add a namespace:

namespace :admin do
  get '/add_video', to: 'videos#new'
  resources :videos, only: [:create]

Name spacing like this is really useful to stop controllers getting too large especially if you have lots of different roles on your site like admin, moderator, etc. With it name spaced each role can have their own controller for the site features you need to protect.

With that done I need a new controller under controllers/admin/videos.rb which will look like:

class Admin::VideosController < AdminsController

  def new
    @video = Video.new

  def create



Note that I am inheriting from AdminsController rather than the usual ApplicationController. The AdminsControlller will be as follows:

class AdminsController < ApplicationController
  before_filter :require_user
  before_filter :require_admin


  def require_admin
    unless current_user.admin?
      flash[:danger] = "You do not have access to that area."
      redirect_to root_path

I already have before_filter :require_user defined in ApplicationController but I need to add the require_admin method. The reason for inheriting from AdminsController is because I want to ensure that I never forget to add the before filter (very important that ordinary users never access this area) and by inheriting from AdminsController this will happen automatically so need for me to worry about it.

In addition to the controller I need to add a view file under views/admin/videos/new.html.haml.

Now I can go to the rails console and make one of my users an admin:

user = User.first
user.update_column(:admin, true)

Obviously there should be tests to back this up and that is mainly straightforward so I didn't cover it but I did learn an interesting feature of testing in this lesson.

In my project I'm using Fabricator to create my user objects like so:

Fabricator(:user) do
  email_address { Faker::Internet.email }
  password { Faker::Internet.password(6) }
  full_name { Faker::Name.name } 
  admin false

and I also use a macro to set the current user in the system:

def set_current_user_session
  valid_user = Fabricate(:user)
  session[:user_id] = valid_user.id

This works well for ordinary users but I need the session to specify that the user is also admin so I used another macro:

def set_current_admin_session
  valid_user = Fabricate(:admin)
  session[:user_id] = valid_user.id

This time I'm fabricating an admin which I do not yet have defined. Interestingly I can make my admin inherit from my user fabricator:

Fabricator(:admin, from: :user) do
  admin true

This way the admin gets the email_address, password and full_name from user but alters admin.

That's it for this post, fairly straight forward but handy to know.