Factories

Introduction

What are Factories?

Like Services, Factories are an extension of autoloading that helps keep your code concise yet optimal, without having to pass around object instances between classes.

At its simplest, Factories provide a common way to create a class instance and access it from anywhere. This is a great way to reuse object states and reduce memory load from keeping multiple instances loaded across your app.

Any class can be loaded by Factories, but the best examples are those classes that are used to work on or transmit common data. The framework itself uses Factories internally, e.g., to make sure the correct configuration is loaded when using the Config class.

Differences from Services

Factories require a concrete class name to instantiate and do not have code to create instances.

So, Factories are not good for creating a complex instance that needs many dependencies, and you cannot change the class of the instance to be returned.

On the other hand, Services have code to create instances, so it can create a complex instance that needs other services or class instances. When you get a service, Services require a service name, not a class name, so the returned instance can be changed without changing the client code.

Example

Take a look at Models as an example. You can access the Factory specific to Models by using the magic static method of the Factories class, Factories::models().

By default, Factories first searches in the App namespace for the path corresponding to the magic static method name. Factories::models() searches the path Models/.

In the following code, if you have App\Models\UserModel, the instance will be returned:

<?php

use CodeIgniter\Config\Factories;

$users = Factories::models('UserModel');

Or you could also request a specific class:

<?php

$users = Factories::models('Blog\Models\UserModel');

If you have only Blog\Models\UserModel, the instance will be returned. But if you have both App\Models\UserModel and Blog\Models\UserModel, the instance of App\Models\UserModel will be returned.

If you want to get Blog\Models\UserModel, you need to disable the option preferApp:

<?php

$widgets = Factories::models('Blog\Models\UserModel', ['preferApp' => false]);

See Factories Options for the details.

Next time you ask for the same class anywhere in your code, Factories will be sure you get back the instance as before:

<?php

class SomeOtherClass
{
    public function someFunction()
    {
        $users = Factories::models('UserModel');

        // ...
    }
}

Convenience Functions

Two shortcut functions for Factories have been provided. These functions are always available.

config()

The first is config() which returns a new instance of a Config class. The only required parameter is the class name:

<?php

$appConfig = config('App');

// The code above is the same as the code below.
$appConfig = \CodeIgniter\Config\Factories::config('App');

model()

The second function, model() returns a new instance of a Model class. The only required parameter is the class name:

<?php

$user = model('UserModel');

// The code above is the same as the code below.
$user = \CodeIgniter\Config\Factories::models('UserModel');

Factory Parameters

Factories takes as a second parameter an array of option values (described below). These directives will override the default options configured for each component.

Any more parameters passed at the same time will be forwarded on to the class constructor, making it easy to configure your class instance on-the-fly. For example, say your app uses a separate database for authentication and you want to be sure that any attempts to access user records always go through that connection:

<?php

$conn  = db_connect('AuthDatabase');
$users = Factories::models('UserModel', [], $conn);

Now any time the UserModel is loaded from Factories it will in fact be returning a class instance that uses the alternate database connection.

Factories Options

The default behavior might not work for every component. For example, say your component name and its path do not align, or you need to limit instances to a certain type of class. Each component takes a set of options to direct discovery and instantiation.

Key Type Description Default
component string or null The name of the component (if different than the static method). This can be used to alias one component to another. null (defaults to the component name)
path string or null The relative path within the namespace/folder to look for classes. null (defaults to the component name)
instanceOf string or null A required class name to match on the returned instance. null (no filtering)
getShared boolean Whether to return a shared instance of the class or load a fresh one. true
preferApp boolean Whether a class with the same basename in the App namespace overrides other explicit class requests. true

Factories Behavior

Options can be applied in one of three ways (listed in ascending priority):

  • A configuration class Config\Factory with a property that matches the name of a component.
  • The static method Factories::setOptions().
  • Passing options directly at call time with a parameter.

Configurations

To set default component options, create a new Config files at app/Config/Factory.php that supplies options as an array property that matches the name of the component.

For example, if you want to create Filters by Factories, the component name wll be filters. And if you want to ensure that each filter is an instance of a class which implements CodeIgniter’s FilterInterface, your app/Config/Factory.php file might look like this:

<?php

namespace Config;

use CodeIgniter\Config\Factory as BaseFactory;
use CodeIgniter\Filters\FilterInterface;

class Factory extends BaseFactory
{
    public $filters = [
        'instanceOf' => FilterInterface::class,
    ];
}

Now you can create a filter with code like Factories::filters('SomeFilter'), and the returned instance will surely be a CodeIgniter’s filter.

This would prevent conflict of an third-party module which happened to have an unrelated Filters path in its namespace.

setOptions Method

The Factories class has a static method to allow runtime option configuration: simply supply the desired array of options using the setOptions() method and they will be merged with the default values and stored for the next call:

<?php

Factories::setOptions('filters', [
    'instanceOf' => FilterInterface::class,
    'prefersApp' => false,
]);

Parameter Options

Factories’s magic static call takes as a second parameter an array of option values. These directives will override the stored options configured for each component and can be used at call time to get exactly what you need. The input should be an array with option names as keys to each overriding value.

For example, by default Factories assumes that you want to locate a shared instance of a component. By adding a second parameter to the magic static call, you can control whether that single call will return a new or shared instance:

$users = Factories::models('UserModel', ['getShared' => true]); // Default; will always be the same instance
$other = Factories::models('UserModel', ['getShared' => false]); // Will always create a new instance