3.2 Migration Guide

CakePHP 3.2 is an API compatible upgrade from 3.1. This page outlines the changes and improvements made in 3.2.

Minimum PHP 5.5 Required

CakePHP 3.2 requires at least PHP 5.5.9. By adopting PHP 5.5 we can provide better Date and Time libraries and remove dependencies on password compatibility libraries.


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:

  • Shell::error() is deprecated because its name does not clearly indicate that it both outputs a message and stops execution. Use Shell::abort() instead.
  • Cake\Database\Expression\QueryExpression::type() is deprecated. Use tieWith() instead.
  • Cake\Database\Type\DateTimeType::$dateTimeClass is deprecated. Use DateTimeType::useMutable() or DateTimeType::useImmutable() instead.
  • Cake\Database\Type\DateType::$dateTimeClass is deprecated. Use DateTimeType::useMutable() or DateType::useImmutable() instead.
  • Cake\ORM\ResultSet::_calculateTypeMap() is now unused and deprecated.
  • Cake\ORM\ResultSet::_castValues() is now unused and deprecated.
  • The action key for FormHelper::create() has been deprecated. You should use the url key directly.

Disabling Deprecation Warnings

Upon upgrading you may encounter several deprecation warnings. These warnings are emitted by methods, options and functionality that will be removed in CakePHP 4.x, but will continue to exist throughout the lifetime of 3.x. While we recommend addressing deprecation issues as they are encountered, that is not always possible. If you’d like to defer fixing deprecation notices, you can disable them in your config/app.php:

'Error' => [
    'errorLevel' => E_ALL & ~E_DEPRECATED & ~E_USER_DEPRECATED,

The above error level will suppress deprecation warnings from CakePHP.

New Enhancements

Carbon Replaced with Chronos

The Carbon library has been replaced with cakephp/chronos. This new library is a fork of Carbon with no additional dependencies. It also offer a calendar date object, and immutable versions of both date and datetime objects.

New Date Object

The Date class allows you to cleanly map DATE columns into PHP objects. Date instances will always fix their time to 00:00:00 UTC. By default the ORM creates instances of Date when mapping DATE columns now.

New Immutable Date and Time Objects

The FrozenTime, and FrozenDate classes were added. These classes offer the same API as the Time object has. The frozen classes provide immutable variants of Time and Date. By using immutable objects, you can prevent accidental mutations. Instead of in-place modifications, modifier methods return new instances:

use Cake\I18n\FrozenTime;

$time = new FrozenTime('2016-01-01 12:23:32');
$newTime = $time->modify('+1 day');

In the above code $time and $newTime are different objects. The $time object retains its original value, while $newTime has the modified value. See the Immutable Dates and Times section for more information. As of 3.2, the ORM can map date/datetime columns into immutable objects. See the Enabling Immutable DateTime Objects section for more information.

CorsBuilder Added

In order to make setting headers related to Cross Origin Requests (CORS) easier, a new CorsBuilder has been added. This class lets you define CORS related headers with a fluent interface. See Setting Cross Origin Request Headers (CORS) for more information.

RedirectRoute raises an exception on redirect

Router::redirect() now raises Cake\Network\Routing\RedirectException when a redirect condition is reached. This exception is caught by the routing filter and converted into a response. This replaces calls to response->send() and allows dispatcher filters to interact with redirect responses.

ORM Improvements

  • Containing the same association multiple times now works as expected, and the query builder functions are now stacked.
  • Function expressions now correctly cast their results. This means that expressions like $query->func()->current_date() will return datetime instances.
  • Field data that fails validation can now be accessed in entities via the invalid() method.
  • Entity accessor method lookups are now cached and perform better.

Improved Validator API

The Validator object has a number of new methods that make building validators less verbose. For example adding validation rules to a username field can now look like:

    ->lengthBetween('username', [4, 8]);

Console Improvements

  • Shell::info(), Shell::warn() and Shell::success() were added. These helper methods make using commonly used styling simpler.
  • Cake\Console\Exception\StopException was added.
  • Shell::abort() was added to replace error().

StopException Added

Shell::_stop() and Shell::error() no longer call exit(). Instead they raise Cake\Console\Exception\StopException. If your shells/tasks are catching \Exception where these methods would have been called, those catch blocks will need to be updated so they don’t catch the StopException. By not calling exit() testing shells should be easier and require fewer mocks.

Helper initialize() added

Helpers can now implement an initialize(array $config) hook method like other class types.

Fatal Error Memory Limit Handling

A new configuration option Error.extraFatalErrorMemory can be set to the number of megabytes to increase the memory limit by when a fatal error is encountered. This allows breathing room to complete logging or error handling.

Migration Steps

Updating setToStringFormat()

Before CakePHP 3.2 using Time::setToStringFormat() was working on Date Objects as well. After upgrading you will need to add Date::setToStringFormat() in addition to see the formatted Date again.