chef attribute : avoiding “undefined method `[]’ for nil:NilClass” error

In chef, when a nested attribute that might not exist/or not crated yet, you can use rescue as a modifier to an if statement.

For example, assuming that only some of your nodes have node[‘install_wls’][‘isManaged’]defined:

if node['install_wls']['isManaged']
do the stuff
end rescue NoMethodError

will avoid the chef run bailing with “undefined method `[]’ for nil:NilClass” error.

Though there are any legit method errors within your if block to handle empty/nil/blank attributes, you’ve just caught an exception you shouldn’t.

I use this in cookbooks that have extra functionality if some dependency of other component recipe happens to be installed. For example, the odi cookbook  depend on wls or odi depends on oracldb.

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