View Source Identities

Identities are a way to declare that a record (an instance of a resource) can be uniquely identified by a set of attributes. This information can be used in various ways throughout the framework. The primary key of the resource does not need to be listed as an identity.

Defining an identity

Identities are defined at the top level of a resource module, eg.

defmodule MyApp.MyResource do
  use Ash.Resource #, ...
  # ...

  identities do
    # If the `email` attribute must be unique across all records
    identity :unique_email, [:email]

    # If the `username` attribute must be unique for every record with a given `site` value
    identity :special_usernames, [:username, :site]

See Ash.Resource.Dsl.identities for the full range of options available when defining identities.

Using Ash.get

This will allow these fields to be passed to Ash.get/3, e.g Ash.get(Resource, %{email: "foo"}).

Using upserts

Create actions support the upsert?: true option, if the data layer supports it. An upsert? involves checking for a conflict on some set of attributes, and translating the behavior to an update in the case one is found. By default, the primary key is used when looking for duplicates, but you can set [upsert?: true, upsert_identity: :identity_name] to tell it to look for conflicts on a specific identity.

Creating unique constraints

Tools like AshPostgres will create unique constraints in the database automatically for each identity. These unique constraints will honor other configuration on your resource, like the base_filter and attribute multitenancy

Eager Checking

Setting eager_check?: true on an identity will allow that identity to be checked when building a create changeset over the resource. This allows for showing quick up-front validations about whether some value is taken, for example. If the resource does not have the domain configured, you can specify the domain to use with eager_check_with: DomainName.

If you are using AshPhoenix.Form, for example, this looks for a conflicting record on each call to Form.validate/2. For updates, it is only checked if one of the involved fields is being changed.

For creates, The identity is checked unless your are performing an upsert, and the upsert_identity is this identity. Keep in mind that for this to work properly, you will need to pass the upsert?: true, upsert_identity: :identity_name when creating the changeset. The primary? read action is used to search for a record. This will error if you have not configured one.

Pre Checking

pre_check? behaves the same as eager_check?, but it runs just prior to the action being committed. Useful for data layers that don't support transactions/unique constraints, or manual resources with identities. Ash.DataLayer.Ets will require you to set pre_check? since the ETS data layer has no built in support for unique constraints. The domain can be manually specified with pre_check_with: DomainName.