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How to I access a position attribute on a join model?

Thomas Bush asked in General

I have case studies and site models in my database. I have a has and belongs to many association set up between them.

site#show

When on a site#show page I want to write the following erb

<% @site.case_studies.order("position").each do |case_study| %>

The result is the correct case studies, but instead gives the case_studies table position, as opposed to the case_studies_sites table position which I would expect/need. How would I get the joint table's position attribute instead of the Model's position attribute. Does this make sense what I am asking?

schema.rb

case_studies
  title
  content
  position
sites
  address
case_studies_sites
  case_study_id
  site_id
  position

Welcome to the gotcha that is has_and_belongs_to_many :) It's not really designed to do this. However! You can just swap the association out with as has_many through and it will work just the same:

# This might not exactly map to the same database table name, so may need to either tweak the name of this model or rename your database table
class CaseStudySite < ActiveRecord::Base
  belongs_to :case_study
  belongs_to :site

  # Here you can just set this up so that it's automatically sorted every time
  default_scope ->{ order(position: :asc) }
end

And then your other models can reference this:

class Site
  has_many :case_study_sites
  has_many :case_studies, through: :case_study_sites
end

Do the reverse of this for the CaseStudy model and that'll give you access to everything.

Now that you've got a model representing the join table, you can have full access to it and adjust the positions as you like.

Thanks Chris, this really help!

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