The difference between update_attribute and update_attributes has confused new Rails developers for a long time. The key difference was that update_attribute did not run validations, where as update_attributes did.
As of Rails 3.2.7, update_attribute no longer exists in master and is deprecated in Rails 3. Xavier Noria provided a bit of history on this in a Rails Core group thread on the issue, which I found interesting.
So, to summarise:
- If you use update_attribute provided, change to update_column.
- If you use update_attributes, you can carry on as normal.