CakePHP 3.0.0-alpha1 released

We are excited to announce one new release in the 3.x series, approaching now a stable release

The CakePHP core team proudly announces the first alpha release of CakePHP 3.0.0. In the months between 3.0.0-dev3 and this release, we’ve been working really hard at getting more of the remaining parts implemented, and incorporating all the great feedback we’ve gotten from the community so far.

There are still a few larger features to be completed before we go to a beta release, most importantly:

  • Updated i18n and L10n features.
  • A replacement for CacheHelper based on Edge Side Includes.
  • A new routing API for simpler and faster route declaration.

The alpha releases will focus on getting these key features completed. After which, we’ll start beta releases focusing on polishing up any rough or confusing features, improving error messages/help and porting over plugins produced by the core team.

We’ve been truly humbled by the fantastic feedback and support we’ve received from the community in the last month. We’ve had numerous bug reports, pull requests and documentation edits that have helped improve 3.0 overall.

This release also comes with complete documentation for the new features and changes, make sure you check out the new CakePHP 3.0 book to read about them in detail.

Below is the list of new features and changes that made it into 3.0.0-alpha1:

Reworked Dispatcher Filters

Dispatcher filters have been reworked and expanded to include some of the previously ‘magic’ features of CakePHP. Filters are now registered as instances instead of through configuration data making it simple to do dependency injection.

Dispatcher filters also include a way to restrict when they are applied to any given request.

New Session Object

Session management has always been a static class in CakePHP which has proven to be problematic in a number of ways. For CakePHP 3.0, you can access the session from the request object ` $this->request->session()`.

This change also makes the session easier to test, and allows CakePHP to use PHPUnit 4.x

FlashHelper and FlashComponent

Flash messages play an important part in modern web applications. While CakePHP has always had rudimentary flash messaging support, CakePHP 3.0 gives developers even more tools to create and render multiple kinds of messages in a simple way. To make this happen a separate component and helper were created. We’d like to thank jadb and bcrowe for making this code happen.


CookieComponent has only been able to manage one cookie namespace at a time in the past. While it offered powerful tools for creating encrypted cookies, those tools were hard to use consistently and correctly. The redesigned CookieComponent makes it much easier to separate the configuration of cookie namespaces and the handling of cookie data.

Passwords Default to Bcrypt

Using bcrypt for passwords is a current best-practice. To help steer developers in the right direction, we’ve made bcrypt the default password hashing system in CakePHP, and provided an easy to use FallbackHasher that will allow you to incrementally update your password hashes from older hashing algorithms.

Themes and Plugins Merged

For CakePHP 3.0.0, we wanted to make themes more powerful and more robust. As we looked at ways of improving themes, we realized that what we really wanted were plugins. To that end, you can now use any plugin as a theme. This makes packaging and re-distributing themes easy as they are simply plugins do and can include helpers and cells.

App and Plugins share a standard suggested directory layout

To make your experience developing as consistent as possible, we’ve updated both the application skeleton and plugin skeletons to use the same directory structure. This will help make working with plugins feel just like you’re working in a small modular application.

ORM Improvements

Several API changes made their way into the new ORM. Now it is simpler to specify deep associations for saving operations and we have changed a couple conventions to reduce the learning curve and confusion among new adopters.

Better Performance

We’ve taken an initial performance review over the new features in 3.0, and spent some time removing obvious bottlenecks. We’re happy to announce that we succeeded at making the bootstrap process and several parts of the helpers template generation faster.

Additionally, we’ve identified a way to make the routing process several times faster. We’ll be implementing these new ideas for the following beta release.

You can download the release or just use composer create-project -s dev cakephp/app to start using CakePHP 3.0 today!