Ransack is a rewrite of MetaSearch. It allows you to create search forms and sorting for your ActiveRecord data. Somehow I really miss that, when working with Mongoid. To be honest I can even live without the whole Ransack search engine, but I liked the UI helpers for search forms and sorting data.

I've really wanted to be able to do something like that:

@users = current_app.users.order(params[:q]).page(current_page)


%tr.condensed{:role => "row"}
  %th= sort_link @search, :guid, 'User id'
  %th= sort_link @search, :email, 'Email address'
  %th= sort_link @search, :current_country, 'Country'
  %th= sort_link @search, :current_city, 'City'

with Mongoid documents. It turns out, that if you don't need really sophisticated stuff, you can use Ransack helpers even with Mongoid. In order to use search/sort UI features, you need @search Ransack model instance. It is based on ActiveRecord data and unfortunately we don't have any models that would suit our needs. That's why we need to create a dummy one:

module System
  # In order to use Ransack helpers and engine for non AR models, we need to 
  # initialize @search with AR instance. To prevent searching (this is just a stub)
  # we do it usign ActiveRecord dummy class that is just a blank class
  class ActiveRecord < ActiveRecord::Base

    def self.columns
      @columns ||= []


This is enough to use it in controllers and views:

# In order to use Ransack helpers and engine for non AR models, we need to 
# initialize @search with AR instance. To prevent searching (this is just a stub)
# we do it with none
def search
  @search ||= ::System::ActiveRecord.none.search(params[:q])

It is a dummy ActiveRecord class, that will always return empty scope (none), but it is more than enough to allow us to work with UI helpers. To handle ordering of Mongoid document collection, we could use following code:

module System
  module Mongoid
      # Order engine used to order mongoid data
      # It is encapsulated in segment module, because we store here all the
      # things that are related to filtering/ordering data
      # Since it returns the resource/scope that was provided, modified
      # accordingly to sorting rules, this class can be used in defined
      # scopes and it will work with scope chainings
    class Orderable
      # @param resource [Mongoid::Criteria] Mongoid class or a subset 
      #   of it (based on Mongoid::Criteria)
      # @param rules [Hash] hash with rules for ordering
      # @return [Mongoid::Criteria] mongoid criteria scope
      # @example
      #   System::Mongoid::Orderable.new(current_app.users, params[:q])
      def initialize(resource, rules = {})
        @rules = rules
        @resource = resource

      # Applies given sort order if there is one.
      # If not, it will do nothing
      # @example Ordered example scope
      #   scope :order, -> order { System::Mongoid::Orderable.new(self, order).apply }
      def apply
        order unless @rules.blank?


      # Sets given order based on order rules (if there are any)
      # or it will do nothing if no valid order rules provided
      def order
        order = "#{@rules[:s]}".split(' ')
        @resource = order.blank? ? @resource : @resource.order_by(order)

This can be used to create scopes like that:

class User
  include Mongoid::Document
  include Mongoid::Attributes::Dynamic

  # Scope used to set all the params from ransack order engine
  # @param [Hash, nil] hash with order options or nil if no options
  # @return [Mongoid::Criteria] scoping chain
  # @example
  #   User.order(params[:q]).to_a #=> order results
  scope :order, -> order { System::Mongoid::Orderable.new(self, order).apply }