Should Customers and Admins be on Separate Tables?

Can I please get everyone’s opinion? Should customers and admins be on separate tables? I’m developing an application that has two kinds of users, a customer and an administrator.

The application basically is a shopping cart. Customers from the internet create their accounts so they are able to buy my products. But there are also administrators (admins). Admins are my employees. They maybe call new customers and try to sell them my products. They have the ability to create, update and manage customers’ accounts. Admins are able to buy products for customers upon their request. I hope that makes sense.

Given that admins and customers have different roles but are the same objects, users, should they be in separate tables? Thank you.

I think you should have two separate tables and two controllers. for administrators, you will have more controllers. Many people will put them in a module and add namespace in routes.rb file to visit them.

Can I please get everyone's opinion? Should customers and admins be on
separate tables? I'm developing an application that has two kinds of users,
a customer and an administrator.

You have given the game away here by describing them as 'kinds of
users'. Have one table and distinguish the users types with a
boolean, for example. I guess they will both have to login for
example, and that is much easier with one table. You could look at
the cancan gem to handle the roles but it may be simpler just to use
before_filters to control the access.

In agreement with Colin’s point here. If they all log in with the same login form, I’d store them in a single “users” table and have a “roles” field that would help authorize requests using something like “CanCan” .

Hi,

Agree to Colin & Emil. I think this is the good opportunity to implement Single Table Inheritance(STI) pattern in your application.

-Himanshu

Hi,
Agree to Colin & Emil. I think this is the good opportunity to implement
Single Table Inheritance(STI) pattern in your application.

Generally I think that the additional complication of using STI for a
simple situation such as we have here is not worth the effort. I
would just use a single model. Try it both ways and see which you
like best.

Colin

I also prefer adding a boolean to the user table, but I can tell you I’ve seen a lot of cases where separate tables and controllers are created. I use devise for authentication and the documentation clearly recommends separate tables and controllers. I’ve never understood why, I just assumed their needs were more involved than mine, I’ve always just added the boolean and it’s been pretty straightforward.