So while developing for web using Rails framework. We many a times come across the common task of populating the database with some predefined value or making changes to a lot of records in an existing database using a seed file.

Rails has an already tried and tested path to do this stuff. We have to write the seeding instructions in a file and save it in the db folder named as seeds.rb. Now just issue the command rake db:seed and Voila! your data is seeded in the database.

Well this seems to be a dream come true, but this quickly turns into a nightmare if your workflow demands generation of multiple seed files and storing them with a naming convention for task purposes. You have to go through the dreaded path of renaming the existing seeds.rb to something like seeds.1.rb, then save your current seed file as seeds.rb and run the seed command and again repeat this whole thing. Phew!

I faced this similar issue yesterday at work and decided to solve this problem once and for all. I wrote a custom rake task just to seed any file. Yes it is possible.

Let’s have a look at it :
Filename: seeder_power.rake
Location: lib/tasks/

namespace :db do
	namespace :seed do
		Dir[File.joinf(Rails.root, 'db', '*.rb')].each do |filename|
			task_name = File.basename(filename, '.rb').intern
			task task_name => :environment do
				load(filename) if File.exist?(filename)

To use this superpower, we now have to use the command rake db:seed:filename
For e.g. if your new seed file name is user_likes_chocolate.rb then now to seed this file use the command rake db:seed:user_likes_chocolate

Basically the above rake task looks for files inside the db directory having an extension .rb. Then it symlinks to them. The file name to be searched for is added to the task after the namespace. The file is loaded if it exists.

Thats it. You can now seed any file without compromising on filename nor the structure!