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Proxy in Ruby

Proxy is a structural design pattern that provides an object that acts as a substitute for a real service object used by a client. A proxy receives client requests, does some work (access control, caching, etc.) and then passes the request to a service object.

The proxy object has the same interface as a service, which makes it interchangeable with a real object when passed to a client.



Usage examples: While the Proxy pattern isn’t a frequent guest in most Ruby applications, it’s still very handy in some special cases. It’s irreplaceable when you want to add some additional behaviors to an object of some existing class without changing the client code.

Identification: Proxies delegate all of the real work to some other object. Each proxy method should, in the end, refer to a service object unless the proxy is a subclass of a service.

Conceptual Example

This example illustrates the structure of the Proxy design pattern. It focuses on answering these questions:

  • What classes does it consist of?
  • What roles do these classes play?
  • In what way the elements of the pattern are related?

main.rb: Conceptual example

# The Subject interface declares common operations for both RealSubject and the
# Proxy. As long as the client works with RealSubject using this interface,
# you'll be able to pass it a proxy instead of a real subject.
class Subject
  # @abstract
  def request
    raise NotImplementedError, "#{self.class} has not implemented method '#{__method__}'"

# The RealSubject contains some core business logic. Usually, RealSubjects are
# capable of doing some useful work which may also be very slow or sensitive -
# e.g. correcting input data. A Proxy can solve these issues without any changes
# to the RealSubject's code.
class RealSubject < Subject
  def request
    puts 'RealSubject: Handling request.'

# The Proxy has an interface identical to the RealSubject.
class Proxy < Subject
  # @param [RealSubject] real_subject
  def initialize(real_subject)
    @real_subject = real_subject

  # The most common applications of the Proxy pattern are lazy loading, caching,
  # controlling the access, logging, etc. A Proxy can perform one of these
  # things and then, depending on the result, pass the execution to the same
  # method in a linked RealSubject object.
  def request
    return unless check_access


  # @return [Boolean]
  def check_access
    puts 'Proxy: Checking access prior to firing a real request.'

  def log_access
    print 'Proxy: Logging the time of request.'

# The client code is supposed to work with all objects (both subjects and
# proxies) via the Subject interface in order to support both real subjects and
# proxies. In real life, however, clients mostly work with their real subjects
# directly. In this case, to implement the pattern more easily, you can extend
# your proxy from the real subject's class.
def client_code(subject)
  # ...


  # ...

puts 'Client: Executing the client code with a real subject:'
real_subject =

puts "\n"

puts 'Client: Executing the same client code with a proxy:'
proxy =

output.txt: Execution result

Client: Executing the client code with a real subject:
RealSubject: Handling request.

Client: Executing the same client code with a proxy:
Proxy: Checking access prior to firing a real request.
RealSubject: Handling request.
Proxy: Logging the time of request.

Proxy in Other Languages

Proxy in C# Proxy in C++ Proxy in Go Proxy in Java Proxy in PHP Proxy in Python Proxy in Rust Proxy in Swift Proxy in TypeScript