Jason Butz

Passionate about the web; enjoys JavaScript more than is probably reasonable; loves learning new things; Sr. Software Engineer @ Genesys

Ruby on Rails Exceptions

April 12, 2013 in #Ruby #Ruby on Rails

I've been learning Ruby and Ruby on Rails recently, and I was working on an application today that gave me some trouble in one particular area. The application is a simple application to allow IT to post the status of different systems so people can be aware of any issues. There are three models involved:

  • Services
  • Statuses
  • Events

An event references both a service and a status. I needed to be able to ensure a status being deleted wasn't referenced by any events. The callback and the database query were easy, but I was having issues when it came to showing an error as to why the status wasn't deleted. After a bit of Googling I found that exceptions seems to be the best way to do this. That was good to know, but I still had to figure out how to use them for this case. I had trouble finding any good example of an exception being used, so I figure I ought to post what I came up with.


class StatusesController < ApplicationController
  def destroy
    @status = Status.find(params[:id])
    rescue Exception => e
      flash[:error] = e.message
      redirect_to statuses_url

    respond_to do |format|
      format.html { redirect_to statuses_url }
      format.json { head :no_content }


class Status < ActiveRecord::Base
  before_destroy :check_existing_events

  def check_existing_events
    raise Exception.new("Events exist that use that status.") unless Event.where(:status_id => self.id).count == 0
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