New Features in CakePHP 2.0


The model construction process has been made lighter. Model associations are now lazy loaded, applications with lots of models and associations will see great time reductions in the bootstrap process.

Now models won’t require a database connection in the construction process. The database will be accessed for the first time only when a find operation is issued or information for one of the columns is required.



View will now always have the last rendered content (view or layout) accessible through $this->output. In helpers you can use $this->_View->output. Modifying this property will change the content that comes out of the view rendering.



  • getCrumbList() Creates breadcrumb links wrapped in <li> elements.

  • loadConfig() has moved from Helper to HtmlHelper class. This method now uses the new reader classes (see 2.0 Configure) to load your config file. As an option you can pass the path as second parameter (app/Config is default). To simplify, you can set the configuration file (and the reader) in Controller::$helpers (example below) to load on helper constructor. In configuration file you can set the below keys:

  • tags Should be an array with key value;

  • minimizedAttributes Should be a list;

  • docTypes Should be an array with key value;

  • attributeFormat Should be a string;

  • minimizedAttributeFormat Should be a string.

Example of how to set configuration file on controller:

public $helpers = array(
    'Html' => array(
        // Option one: an array with filename and reader name
        'configFile' => array('config_file', 'php')
        // Option two: a string with filename. The PhpReader will be used
        'configFile' => 'config_file'


  • FormHelper now supports all HTML5 input types and custom input types. Just use the input type you want as the method on the helper. For example range() would create an input with type = range.

  • postLink() and postButton() Creates link/button to access some page using HTTP method POST. With this, in your controller you can avoid some action, like delete, to be accessed by GET method.

  • select() with multiple = checkbox, now treats the 'id' attribute as a prefix for all the generated options.



CakeRequest is a new class introduced in 2.0. It encapsulates commonly used request introspection methods and replaces the params array with a more useful object. Read more about CakeRequest.


CakeResponse is a new class introduced in 2.0. It encapsulates commonly used methods and properties in the HTTP response your application generates. It consolidates several features in CakePHP. Read more about CakeResponse.

CakeSession, SessionComponent

CakeSession and the SessionComponent have had a number of changes, see the session section for more information.


Routes can return full URLs

Route objects can now return full URLs, and Router will not further modify them beyond adding the query string and fragment elements. For example this could be used to create routes to handle subdomains, or enabling https/http flags. An example of a route class that supports subdomains would be:

class SubdomainRoute extends CakeRoute {

    public function match($params) {
        $subdomain = isset($params['subdomain']) ? $params['subdomain'] : null;
        $path = parent::match($params);
        if ($subdomain) {
            $path = 'http://' . $subdomain . '.localhost' . $path;
        return $path;

When creating links you could do the following to make links pointing at other subdomains.

echo $this->Html->link(
    'Other domain',
     array('subdomain' => 'test', 'controller' => 'posts', 'action' => 'add')

The above would create a link with http://test.localhost/posts/add as the url.


Xml has had a number of changes. Read more about Xml class.

New Lib features

Configure readers

Configure can now be configured to load configuration files from a variety of sources and formats. The Configuration section contains more information about the changes made to configure.

Configure::read() without any arguments allows you to read all values from configure, instead of just the debug value.

Error and exception handling

CakePHP 2.0 has had Exceptions and Error Handling handling rebuilt, to be more flexible and give more power to developers.


String::wrap() was added to help make fixed width formatting of text easier. It’s used in Shells whenever you use Shell::wrapText().


debug() no longer outputs HTML in the console. Instead it makes output like the following:

########## DEBUG ##########
    [0] => test

This should improve readability of debug() on the command line.


Components received a similar treatment to helpers and behaviors, Component is now the base class for components. Read more about the component changes.


RequestHandler was heavily refactored due to the introduction of CakeRequest. These changes allowed for some new features to be introduced as well.

Automatic parsing of Accept headers

If a client sends a single Accept mime type that matches one of the extensions enabled in :php:class`Router`, RequestHandler will treat it the same an extension. This expands CakePHP’s support for REST style endpoints. To use this feature start off by enabling extensions in app/Config/routes.php:

Router::parseExtensions('json', 'xml');

Once you have created layouts and views for your extensions, you will be able to visit a url like posts/view/1 and send Accept: application/json in the headers to receive the JSON version of that URL.


CookieComponent now supports HTTP only cookies. You can enable their use by setting $this->Cookie->httpOnly = true;. Having HTTP only cookies will make them inaccessible from the browser.

Security Component CSRF separation

CakePHP has had CSRF protection since 1.2. For 2.0 the existing CSRF has a new more paranoid mode, and is its own standalone feature. In the past CSRF features were coupled with form tampering safe-guards. Developers often disabled validatePost in order to do dynamic forms, disabling the CSRF protection at the same time. For 2.0 CSRF checking has been separated from form tampering giving you greater control.

For more information see CSRF protection


Controllers now have access to request and response objects. You can read more about these objects on their specific pages.


The console for CakePHP 2.0 was almost entirely rebuilt. Several new features as well as some backwards incompatible changes were made. Read more about console changes.


Pagination now provides a default maxLimit for pagination at 100.

This limit can be overridden with the paginate variable on Controller:

$this->paginate = array('maxLimit' => 1000);

This default is provided to prevent user URL manipulation causing excessive strain on the database for subsequent requests, where a user would edit the ‘limit’ parameter to a very large number.


You can now alias helpers, components and behaviors to use your class instead of a different one. This means that you can very easily make a MyHtml helper and not need to replace every instance of $this->Html in your views. To do this, pass the ‘className’ key along with your class, like you would with models:

public $helpers = array(
    'Html' => array(
        'className' => 'MyHtml'

Similarly, you can alias components for use in your controllers:

public $components = array(
    'Email' => array(
        'className' => 'QueueEmailer'

Calls to the Email component would call the QueueEmailer component instead. Finally, you can alias behaviors as well:

public $actsAs = array(
    'Containable' => array(
        'className' => 'SuperContainable'

Because of the way 2.0 utilizes collections and shares them across the application, any classes you alias will be used throughout your application. Whenever your application tries to access the alias, it will access your class. For instance, when we aliased the Html helper in the example above, any helpers that use the Html helper or elements that load the Html helper, will use MyHtml instead.


A new method ConnectionManager::drop() was added to allow removing connections at runtime.