ActiveRecord override

Would really appreciate it if someone could tell me why this is happening:

I override ssn method of AR class so I can encrypt/decrypt to/from the db:

class Person < ActiveRecord::Base
def ssn=(value)
write_attribute(:borrower_ssn, Crypto.encrypt(self.encryption_key, value))
write_attribute(:borrower_ssn_final_four, value[5,4])
end

def ssn
# this begin - rescue can be removed once all data is encrypted
begin
return Crypto.decrypt(self.encryption_key, read_attribute(:borrower_ssn)) if read_attribute(:borrower_ssn) && self.encryption_key
rescue
return read_attribute(:borrower_ssn) if read_attribute(:borrower_ssn) && self.encryption_key
end
nil
end
end

However, when I do Person.find(27) I get:

#<Person id: 27, ssn: “l+IV+c55qywTjPd+bW+IGA==\n” >

And then if I do p = Person.find(27), then I get the decrypted ssn.

I know that find must be processing under the override methods, but I dont understand why, as I thought if you overrode a method it would hold in all situations for the AR object.

David

However, when I do Person.find(27) I get:

#<Person id: 27, ssn: "l+IV+c55qywTjPd+bW+IGA==\n" >

And then if I do p = Person.find(27), then I get the decrypted ssn.

I know that find must be processing under the override methods, but I dont
understand why, as I thought if you overrode a method it would hold in all
situations for the AR object.

inspect ( which is how objects are displayed by the console ) uses
read_attribute when building up its representation of the object

Fred

Ps rails 2.3.5 ruby 1.8.7

Thanks Frederick… I see what you are saying. So I learned something new, and it turns out the actual issue was that I forgot to run the migration where I munged cleartext in to encrypted.