We are big fans of convention over configuration. While it takes a bit of time to learn CakePHP’s conventions, you save time in the long run. By following conventions, you get free functionality, and you liberate yourself from the maintenance nightmare of tracking config files. Conventions also make for a very uniform development experience, allowing other developers to jump in and help.
Controller class names are plural, CamelCased, and end in
ArticleCategoriesController are both examples of
conventional controller names.
Public methods on Controllers are often exposed as ‘actions’ accessible through
a web browser. For example the
/users/view maps to the
UsersController out of the box. Protected or private methods
cannot be accessed with routing.
As you’ve just seen, single word controllers map to a simple lower case URL
path. For example,
UsersController (which would be defined in the file name
UsersController.php) is accessed from http://example.com/users.
While you can route multiple word controllers in any way you like, the
convention is that your URLs are lowercase and dashed using the
/article-categories/view-all is the correct form to access
When you create links using
this->Html->link(), you can use the following
conventions for the url array:
$this->Html->link('link-title', [ 'prefix' => 'MyPrefix' // CamelCased 'plugin' => 'MyPlugin', // CamelCased 'controller' => 'ControllerName', // CamelCased 'action' => 'actionName' // camelBacked ]
For more information on CakePHP URLs and parameter handling, see Connecting Routes.
In general, filenames match the class names, and follow the PSR-0 or PSR-4 standards for autoloading. The following are some examples of class names and their filenames:
LatestArticlesControllerwould be found in a file named LatestArticlesController.php
MyHandyComponentwould be found in a file named MyHandyComponent.php
OptionValuesTablewould be found in a file named OptionValuesTable.php.
OptionValuewould be found in a file named OptionValue.php.
EspeciallyFunkableBehaviorwould be found in a file named EspeciallyFunkableBehavior.php
SuperSimpleViewwould be found in a file named SuperSimpleView.php
BestEverHelperwould be found in a file named BestEverHelper.php
Each file would be located in the appropriate folder/namespace in your app folder.
Table class names are plural, CamelCased and end in
UserFavoritePagesTable are all examples of conventional model names.
Table names corresponding to CakePHP models are plural and underscored. The
underlying tables for the above mentioned models would be
The convention is to use English words for table and column names. If you use
words in another language, CakePHP might not be able to process the right
inflections (from singular to plural and vice-versa). If you need to add your
own language rules for some words, you can use the utility class
Cake\Utility\Inflector. Besides defining those custom inflection
rules, this class also allows you to check that CakePHP understands your custom
syntax for plurals and singulars words. See the documentation about
Inflector for more information.
Field names with two or more words are underscored:
Foreign keys in hasMany, belongsTo/hasOne relationships are recognized by
default as the (singular) name of the related table followed by
_id. So if
Users hasMany Articles, the
articles table will refer to the
table via a
user_id foreign key. For a table like
whose name contains multiple words, the foreign key would be
Join tables, used in BelongsToMany relationships between models, should be named
after the model tables they will join, arranged in alphabetical order
articles_tags rather than
In addition to use an auto-increment key as the primary key, you may also use
UUID columns. CakePHP will create a unique 36 character UUID
Cake\Utility\Text::uuid()) whenever you save a new record using
View template files are named after the controller functions they display, in an
underscored form. The
viewAll() function of the
will look for a view template in src/Template/Articles/view_all.ctp.
The basic pattern is src/Template/Controller/underscored_function_name.ctp.
By naming the pieces of your application using CakePHP conventions, you gain functionality without the hassle and maintenance tethers of configuration. Here’s a final example that ties the conventions together:
ArticlesTable, found at src/Model/Table/ArticlesTable.php
Article, found at src/Model/Entity/Article.php
ArticlesController, found at src/Controller/ArticlesController.php
Using these conventions, CakePHP knows that a request to
http://example.com/articles/ maps to a call on the
index() function of the
ArticlesController, where the Articles model is automatically available (and
automatically tied to the ‘articles’ table in the database), and renders to a
file. None of these relationships have been configured by any means other than
by creating classes and files that you’d need to create anyway.
Now that you’ve been introduced to CakePHP’s fundamentals, you might try a run through the Bookmarker Tutorial to see how things fit together.