CakePHP 3.1.0 Released

The CakePHP core team is happy to announce the immediate availability of CakePHP 3.1.0. This release is an API stable release for 3.1. 3.1 delivers a number of improvements to the 3.x release series.

New in 3.1

ORM Enhancements

A big part of 3.1 was making the ORM even more awesome than it already is.

Lazy Eager Loading

You can now Lazily Eager Load Associations. This feature allows you to conditionally load additional associations into a result set, entity or collection of entities:

$articles = $this->Articles->find('popular')->all();

// Later on after some logic has run.
// We can load additional associations.
$withAuthors = $this->Articles->loadInto($articles, ['Authors']);

Additional Filtering Methods

You may have already used matching() on the query object. In 3.1 you can also use notMatching() to create a negated matching query:

// Find articles with no comments.
$query = $this->Articles->find('popular')

You can use the leftJoinWith() and innerJoinWith() methods to join associations without loading columns from those associations. This makes it easy to do filtering on associations:

$query = $this->Articles->find()
    ->where(['Authors.promoted' => true]);


Mailers allow you to create reusable emails throughout your application. They can also be used to contain multiple email configurations in one location. This helps keep your code DRYer and keeps email configuration noise out of other areas in your application. See the Mailer Documentation for more information.

Additional Template Variables in Templates

You can now add additional template placeholders in your application templates, and then populate those placeholders when generating inputs:

// Add a template with the help placeholder.
    'inputContainer' => '<div class="input {{type}}{{required}}">
        {{content}} <span class="help">{{help}}</span></div>'

// Generate an input and populate the help variable
echo $this->Form->input('password', [
    'templateVars' => ['help' => 'At least 8 characters long.']

Shell Helpers

Shell Helpers let you easily package up complex output generation code. Shell Helpers can be accessed and used from any shell or task:

// Output some data as a table.

// Get a helper from a plugin.

You can also get instances of helpers and call any public methods on them:

// Get and use the Progress Helper.
$progress = $this->helper('Progress');

CakePHP provides a Progress and Table helper that you can use to make your CLI tools look better.

Refreshed Default Application Styles

The styling used in the application skeleton have been streamlined and offer improved rendering on smaller devices. In addition to cleaner visuals, bake templates have been updated to create cleaner markup as well.


The above screenshot gives you a taste of what the new default styles look like.

Important Changes From 3.0

While none of the following changes modify method signatures, the behaviour of specific methods is slightly different than in the past:

  • FlashComponent now stacks Flash messages created with the set() or __call() methods. This means that the structure in the Session for stored Flash messages has changed.
  • New configuration option storage has been added. It contains the storage class name that AuthComponent uses to store user record. By default SessionStorage is used. If using a stateless authenticator you should configure AuthComponent to use MemoryStorage instead.
  • You can now also configure AuthComponent to do the auth check before controller’s beforeFilter() callback is run using the checkAuthIn configuration. This is particularly useful when using stateless authenticators.
  • RequestHandlerComponent now switches the layout and template based on the parsed extension or Accept-Type header in the beforeRender() callback instead of startup() callback.
  • The default mime-type used when sending requests has changed in HttpClient. Previously multipart/form-data would always be used. In 3.1, multipart/form-data is only used when file uploads are present. When there are no file uploads, application/x-www-form-urlencoded is used.

Other Enhancements

  • The default route class has been changed to DashedRoute in the cakephp/app repository. Your current code base is not affected by this, but it is recommended to use this route class from now on.
  • The breakpoint() helper function has been added. This function provides a snippet of code that can be put into eval() to trigger an interactive console.
  • Shell::dispatchShell() no longer outputs the welcome message from the dispatched shell.
  • You can now set _serialized to true for JsonView and XmlView to serialize all view variables instead of explicitly specifying them.
  • Time::fromNow() has been added. This method makes it easier to calculate differences from ‘now’.
  • Time::i18nFormat() now supports non-gregorian calendars when formatting dates.
  • Validation::latitude(), and Validation::longitude() were added.
  • Validation::ascii(), Validation::utf8(), and Validation::isInteger() were added.
  • Cache::add() was ported from 2.x. This method allows you to atomically add data to a cache backend if the key did not already exist.
  • Time::listTimezones() now supports options to display timezone abbreviations.
  • Hash::get() now supports objects implementing ArrayAccess.
  • Hash::sort() supports case-insensitive sorting through a new ignoreCase option.


As we continue to improve CakePHP, certain features are deprecated as they are replaced with better solutions. Deprecated features will not be removed until 4.0:

  • The SessionHelper has been deprecated. You can use $this->request->session() directly.

  • The following Controller properties are now deprecated:

    • layout
    • view
    • theme
    • autoLayout
    • viewPath
    • layoutPath

    Instead of setting these properties on your controllers, you should set them using the ViewBuilder.

The 3.1 migration guide has a full list of all the changes in 3.1.0 and is recommended reading for those considering upgrading.

Upgrading your Application

You can use composer to upgrade from 3.0 to 3.1:

php composer.phar require 'cakephp/cakephp:3.1.*' 'cakephp/debug_kit:3.2.*' 'cakephp/bake:1.1.*'

This will install the new core libraries, update bake and DebugKit. You should then address any deprecation warnings in your application, as deprecated features will be removed in the future. If you are using the default CSS provided with the application skeleton, you should also pull in the most recent CSS in cakephp/app as the default styling and bake templates have been refreshed.

As always, a huge thanks to all the community members that helped make this release happen by reporting issues and sending pull requests.

Download a packaged release on github.