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Data validation and conformation library for Elixir.

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Saul is a data validation and conformation library. It tries to solve the problem of validating the shape and content of some data (most useful when such data come from an external source) and of conforming those data to arbitrary formats.

The goal of Saul is to provide a declarative and composable way to define data validation/conformation. The basic unit of validation is a validator which is either a function or a term that implements the Saul.Validator protocol. The return value of validator functions or implementations of Saul.Validator.validate/2 has to be either {:ok, transformed} to signify a successful validation and conformation, {:error, term} to signify a failed validation with a given reason, or a boolean to signify just successful/failed validation with no conformation step. These return values have been chosen because of their widespread presence in Elixir and Erlang code: for example, allowing to return booleans means any predicate function (such as String.valid?/1) can be used as validator.

Validators can be a powerful abstraction because they're easy to combine: for example, the Saul.one_of/1 combinator takes a list of validators and returns a validator that passes if one of the given validators pass. Saul provides both "basic" validators as well as validator combinators, as well as a single entry point to validate data (Saul.validate/2). See the documentation for detailed information on all the provided features.


Add the :saul dependency to your mix.exs file:

defp deps() do
  [{:saul, "~> 0.1"}]

If you're not using :extra_applications from Elixir 1.4 and above, also add :saul to your list of applications:

defp application() do
  [applications: [:logger, :saul]]

Then, run mix deps.get in your shell to fetch the new dependency.


Validators are just data structures that can be moved around. You can create arbitrarely complex ones:

string_to_integer =
  fn string ->
    case Integer.parse(string) do
      {int, ""} -> {:ok, int}
      _other -> {:error, "not parsable as integer"}
  |> Saul.named_validator("string_to_integer")

stringy_integer = Saul.all_of([

Now you can use them to validate data:

iex> Saul.validate!("123", stringy_integer)
iex> Saul.validate!("nope", stringy_integer)
** (Saul.Error) (string_to_integer) not parsable as integer - failing term: "nope"


Clone the repository and run $ mix test. To generate docs, run $ mix docs.


Saul is released under the ISC license, see the LICENSE file.


Many ideas in this library are inspired by clojure.spec.

A special thanks for the feedback and encouragement goes to the awesome @lexmag, as well as to @josevalim, @ericmj, and @michalmuskala.

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