Updating a collection in a RESTful manner…


Today I added a checkbox to each row of a table and a save button, to perform an Archive operation on N items in the table.

This is essentially an update of the collection.

My initial thought was to PUT to students_path but only GET and POST are allowed using the Rails RESTful routing.

I wound up adding an :collection => {:update_all => :put} to the students routing and added an appropriate controller method.

I'm not terribly happy with this, stylistically, though, pragmatically, it works.

What is the proper way to manage an update to a collection w/o having to add an addition method to my controller?

Thanks very much,


I would also like to know the correct way of doing a collection update. but I, generally, use ajax for check box, so when user clicks on the yes - no check box I make a put request to update 1 record at a time.


I don't think you can avoid having an additional method in the controller -- after all, the code required to update the collection is going to be different from any of your other actions. But you can avoid exposing the name of that new method in the URL.

I would try manually defining a new PUT route outside of the existing resource map:

map.connect 'students', :controller => 'students', :action => 'update_collection', :conditions => {:method => :put}

That should route correctly if you have a form with :url => students_path, :method => :put.

There may be a cleverer/neater way to do this within the resource map itself, but this at least is a good first thing to try.


Here is an advise for "What is the Restful manner for updating a collection?"


@flyerhzm: I quite like the idea of updating the owner of the collection in the case that there is one. There certainly was in my case, but it feels weird to PUT from /school/students to /school, for example.

@chrismear: Your additional route seems cleaner than the :collection => {:update_all => :put} but the Wikipedia entry for REST seems to suggest that a PUT to the collection URL should replace the entire collection with another collection so perhaps merely updating some attributes of some of the collection breaks architectural agreement.