View Source Extending Resource

Resource extensions allow you to make powerful modifications to resources, and extend the DSL to configure how those modifications are made. If you are using AshPostgres, AshGraphql or AshJsonApi, they are all integrated into a resource using extensions. In this guide we will build a simple extension that adds timestamps to your resource. We'll also show some simple patterns that can help ensure that all of your resources are using your extension.

creating-an-extension

Creating an extension

Extensions are modules that expose a set of DSL Transformers and DSL Sections. We'll start with the transformers.

Here we create an extension called MyApp.Extensions.Base, and configure a single transformer, called MyApp.Extensions.Base.AddTimestamps

defmodule MyApp.Extensions.Base do
  use Spark.Dsl.Extension, transformers: [MyApp.Extensions.Base.AddTimestamps]
end

creating-a-transformer

Creating a transformer

Transformers are all run serially against a map of data called dsl_state, which is the data structure that we build as we use the DSL. For example:

attributes do
  attribute :name, :string
end

Would, under the hood, look something like this:

%{
  [:attributes] => %{entities: [
      %Ash.Resource.Attribute{name: :name, type: :string}
    ]
  },
  ...
}

Spark.Dsl.Transformer provides utilities to work with this data structure, and most introspection utilities also work with with that data structure (i.e Ash.Resource.Info.attributes(dsl_state)). A transformer exposes transform/1, which takes the dsl_state and returns either {:ok, dsl_state} or {:error, error}

defmodule MyApp.Extensions.Base.AddTimestamps do
  use Spark.Dsl.Transformer
  alias Spark.Dsl.Transformer

  def transform(dsl_state) do
    {:ok, inserted_at} =
      Transformer.build_entity(Ash.Resource.Dsl, [:attributes], :create_timestamp,
        name: :inserted_at
      )

    {:ok, updated_at} =
      Transformer.build_entity(Ash.Resource.Dsl, [:attributes], :update_timestamp,
        name: :updated_at
      )

    {:ok,
     dsl_state
     |> Transformer.add_entity([:attributes], inserted_at)
     |> Transformer.add_entity([:attributes], updated_at)}
  end
end

This transformer builds and adds a create_timestamp called :inserted_at and an update_timestamp called :updated_at.

introspecting-the-resource

Introspecting the resource

If the resource we are extending already has an attribute called inserted_at or updated_at, we'd most likely want to avoid adding one ourselves (this would cause a compile error about duplicate attribute names). We can check for an existing attribute and make that change like so:

  def transform(dsl_state) do
    {:ok,
      dsl_state
      |> add_attribute_if_not_exists(:create_timestamp, :inserted_at)
      |> add_attribute_if_not_exists(:update_timestamp, :updated_at)}
  end

  defp add_attribute_if_not_exists(dsl_state, type, name) do
    if Ash.Resource.Info.attribute(dsl_state, name) do
      dsl_state
    else
      {:ok, attribute} =
        Transformer.build_entity(Ash.Resource.Dsl, [:attributes], type,
          name: name
        )

      dsl_state
      |> Transformer.add_entity([:attributes], attribute)
    end
  end

This is just one example of what you can do with transformers. Check out the functions in Spark.Dsl.Transformer to see what utilities are available.

make-the-extension-configurable

Make the extension configurable

So far we've covered transformers, and using them to modify resources, but now lets say we want to make this behavior opt-out. Perhaps certain resources really shouldn't have timestamps, but we want it to be the default. Lets add a "DSL Section" to our extension.

defmodule MyApp.Extensions.Base do
  @base %Spark.Dsl.Section{
    name: :base,
    describe: """
    Configure the behavior of our base extension.
    """,
    examples: [
      """
      base do
        timestamps? false
      end
      """
    ],
    schema: [
      timestamps?: [
        type: :boolean,
        doc: "Set to false to skip adding timestamps",
        default: true
      ]
    ]
  }

  defmodule Info do
    def timestamps?(resource) do
      Spark.Dsl.Extension.get_opt(resource, [:base], :timestamps?, true)
    end
  end

  use Spark.Dsl.Extension, 
    transformers: [MyApp.Extensions.Base.AddTimestamps],
    sections: [@base]
end

Now we can use this configuration in our transformer, like so:

  def transform(dsl_state) do
    if MyApp.Extensions.Base.Info.timestamps?(dsl_state) do
      {:ok,
        dsl_state
        |> add_attribute_if_not_exists(:create_timestamp, :inserted_at)
        |> add_attribute_if_not_exists(:update_timestamp, :updated_at)}
    else
      {:ok, dsl_state}
    end
  end

  defp add_attribute_if_not_exists(dsl_state, type, name) do
    if Ash.Resource.Info.attribute(dsl_state, name) do
      dsl_state
    else
      {:ok, attribute} =
        Transformer.build_entity(Ash.Resource.Dsl, [:attributes], type,
          name: name
        )

      dsl_state
      |> Transformer.add_entity([:attributes], attribute)
    end
  end

And now we have a configurable base extension

a-note-on-the-ordering-of-transformers

A note on the ordering of transformers

In this case, this transformer can run in any order. However, as we start adding transformers and/or modify the behavior of this one, we may need to ensure that our transformer runs before or after specific transformers. As of the writing of this guide, the best way to look at the list of transformers is to look at the source of the extension, and see what transformers it has and what they do. The Resource DSL for example.

If you need to affect the ordering, you can define before?/1 and after?/1 in your transformer, i.e

# I go after any other transformer
def after?(_), do: true

# except I go before `SomeOtherTransformer`
def before?(SomeOtherTransformer), do: true
def before?(_), do: false

using-your-extension

Using your extension

Now it can be used like any other extension:

defmodule MyApp.Tweet do
  use Ash.Resource,
    extensions: [MyApp.Extensions.Base]

  base do
    # And you can configure it like so
    timestamps? false
  end
end

Your extension will be automatically supported by the elixir_sense extension, showing inline documentation and auto complete as you type. For more on that, see Development Utilities.

making-a-base-resource

Making a Base Resource

The "Base Resource" pattern has been adopted by some as a way to make it easy to ensure that your base extension is used everywhere. Instead of using Ash.Resource you use MyApp.Resource. Take a look at the Development Utilities guide if you do this, as you will need to update your formatter configuration, if you are using it.

defmodule MyApp.Resource do
  defmacro __using__(opts) do
    quote do
      use Ash.Resource,
        unquote(Keyword.update(opts, :extensions, [MyApp.Extensions.Base], &[MyApp.Extensions.Base | &1]))
    end
  end
end

And now you can use it with your resources like this:

defmodule MyApp.Tweet do
  use MyApp.Resource
end

ensuring-that-all-resources-use-your-base-extension

Ensuring that all resources use your base extension

To do this, you could create an extension very similar to Ash.Registry.ResourceValidations, that ensures that any resource present uses your extension. Spark.extensions/1 can be used to see what extensions a given module or dsl_config has adopted.