In Rails you can use routing helper methods to access a URL for a declared route.
As an example:
users_path => "http://localhost:3000/users"
This helps with a few things:
- You don’t have to hard code the URL strings, which need to be updated everywhere anytime this route changed
- You don’t have to check which ENV the app is in in order to get an accurate URL. Eg:
if Rails.env == "development" url = "http://localhost:3000/users" elsif Rails.env == "testing" url = "http://stagingapp.io/users" else url = "http://productionapp.io/users" end
But what if you need to access a dynamic URL path, where an ID is passed to the URL for identifying a specific user? Well you can pass an argument to the helper like so:
user_path("123") => "http://localhost:3000/users/123"
This is all covered in the Rails routing guide, but I ran into a situation where:
- I needed to send a dynamic route to a third party system so they could pass call it with any ID they wanted, anytime.
- It needed to still not be hard coded and be different based on environment.
The solution I came up with was to pass the route helper a string of “:id” like so:
user_path(":id") => "http://localhost:3000/users/:id"
Now the third party system can call our url using whichever ID they need. Note that URL path variables should be prefixed with a colon
: like in the example to indicate it is a variable.
If you need to find what url helpers are available to you in your app run the following command in your terminal/command line: