Storing a String in ActiveStorage

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Recently, I came across a useful way to use ActiveStorage. I had a text field on my model, that stored about 200 kB of data that was only being read a handful of times. A quick estimate suggested this single column contained about 90% of the databases content.

The solution was to offload this columns data to S3 via Rails ActiveStorage, and only load it into memory as we required it.

The Code

I used the StringIO class to convert my string to a blob, then just attached that to my model. When I wanted to read it, I just downloaded the file from S3 and assigned the contents to an instance variable.

class Report < ApplicationRecord
  has_one_attached :raw_data

  validates :raw_data, presence: true

  def data=(value)
    @data = value
      filename: 'raw_data.txt',
      content_type: 'text/plain'

  def data
    @data ||=

This was written by Mike Rogers, a freelance Ruby on Rails developer based in London.

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If you want to discuss this post, feel free to tweet me (@MikeRogers0) or drop me an email. Any code samples unless stated otherwise are licensed under the The MIT License (MIT). Spotted a mistake? Send me a pull request :)