In the previous example we had a pre-defined current record and want to create a comment for it.

In this example we will:

  • select a polymorphic model
  • select a record to which we want to create a polymorphic child.

Example: Clients and Teachers can both create Payments.

To create a payment we:

  • select a model for which we want to create a payment (teacher or client)
  • select a teacher or client record



rails g scaffold payments amount:integer payable:references{polymorphic} --no-helper --no-assets --no-controller-specs --no-view-specs --no-test-framework --no-jbuilder


  belongs_to :payable, polymorphic: true
  validates :amount, presence: true

  def to_s
    [payable_type, payable_id, amount].join(" ")

teacher.rb and client.rb

  has_many :payments, as: :payable, dependent: :restrict_with_error


<%= link_to "Client Payment", new_payment_path(payable_type: "Client") %>
<%= link_to "Teacher Payment", new_payment_path(payable_type: "Teacher") %>

By pressing one of the above links we will be redirected to an url like /payments/new?payable_type=Client or /payments/new?payable_type=Teacher.

Based on ?payable_type=Teacher we give a collection of teachers to choose from:


<%= simple_form_for(@payment) do |f| %>
  <%= f.input :payable_type, input_html: {value: @payment.payable_type || params[:payable_type]}, as: :hidden %>
  <% if @payment.payable_type.present? %>
    <%= f.input :payable_id, collection: @payment.payable_type.classify.constantize.all %>
  <% elsif params[:payable_type].present? %>
    <%= f.input :payable_id, collection: params[:payable_type].classify.constantize.all %>
  <% end %>
  <%= f.input :amount %>
  <%= f.button :submit %>
<% end %>

@payment.payable_type.classify.constantize.all gives us a collection of @clients or @teachers if we are EDITING a payment.

params[:payable_type].classify.constantize.all gives us a collection of @clients or @teachers if we are CREATING a payment.

This approach is good by not depending on any JS.

However it can be improved by being able to select the payable_type inside the form and than rendering the collection, rather than using params.