Rails Interactor- How to Organize your Business Logic

Rails Interactor

An interactor presents components in a system to complete a specific business use-case. It knows how to delegate & get the desired results without carrying out any of the work itself.

Rails interactor is like an object with a single purpose, where every interactor represents one particular task. Prior to interactors, complex business logic were written in ActiveRecord class having multiple responsibilities.

Benefits :

  • Easy to Read/Understand : A developer looking at the code base even for the first time would be able to make out what exactly is happening including how to find each of the use-cases.
  • Testing is easier : Because every interactor has its own specified task, it is easy to test.
  • Low ‘learning’ curve : Just the objects need to be passed into the interactor, that’s it.

Drawbacks :

  • More files : You end up dealing with so many files, however not tough to search.
  • More prep-time : No default Railsway of doing things


Add this line to your application’s Gemfile :
gem “interactor-rails”
Note: Compatible with Ruby > 1.9.3 & > 3 on Rails.


There are two kinds of interactors built into the Interactor library : basic interactors and organizers.

1. Basic Interactors

A basic interactor is a class that defines the call. They are the building blocks ensuring the app/interactors are included in your autoload paths, providing generators for your convenience.

The following command creates an interactors folder under your app directory and a authenticate_user.rb file in the folder.

rails generate interactor authenticate_user
  include Interactor
def call
    if user = User.login(context.email, context.password)
context.user = user
context.fail!(message: "Invalid Credentials")

rails generate interactor authenticate_user

2. Organizers

An organizer is an important variation on the basic interactor. It’s single purpose is to run other interactors. It passes its context to the interactors, one at a time where every interactor may change the context before it’s passed along to the next one.

Run this command to generate organizers.

rails generate interactor:organizerplace_ordercharge_cardsend_thank_youfulfill_order

  include Interactor::Organizer
  Organize PlaceOrder, ChargeCard,  SendThankYou, FulfillOrder

Note: The context assigned to an interactor contains everything it needs to do.

Take away…

Interactors are a nice way to reuse operations and explicitly specify a sequence of actions in order to execute business logic. They also provide a way to bubble back errors in any of the operation. In case the error needs to rollback an operation, a rollback method can be specified in the Interactor.

All in all, Interactors are a great way to start cleaning up your code, giving your application a good structure and architecture.

Ever struggled with organizing your Rails app logic ? Let’s help you find a solution.

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