3.4 Migration Guide

CakePHP 3.4 is an API compatible upgrade from 3.3. This page outlines the changes and improvements made in 3.4.

Minimum PHP 5.6 Required

CakePHP 3.4 requires at least PHP 5.6.0 as PHP 5.5 is no longer supported and won’t receive any security fixes anymore.


The following is a list of deprecated methods, properties and behaviors. These features will continue to function until 4.0.0 after which they will be removed.

Request & Response Deprecations

The bulk of deprecations for 3.4 are in the Request and Response objects. The existing methods that modify objects in-place are now deprecated, and superseded by methods that follow the immutable object patterns described in the PSR-7 standard.

Several properties on Cake\Network\Request have been deprecated:

  • Request::$params is deprecated. Use Request::getAttribute('params') instead.

  • Request::$data is deprecated. Use Request::getData() instead.

  • Request::$query is deprecated. Use Request::getQueryParams() instead.

  • Request::$cookies is deprecated. Use Request::getCookie() instead.

  • Request::$base is deprecated. Use Request::getAttribute('base') instead.

  • Request::$webroot is deprecated. Use Request::getAttribute('webroot') instead.

  • Request::$here is deprecated. Use Request::getAttribute('here') instead.

  • Request::$_session was renamed to Request::$session.

A number of methods on Cake\Network\Request have been deprecated:

  • __get() & __isset() methods are deprecated. Use getParam() instead.

  • method() is deprecated. Use getMethod() instead.

  • setInput() is deprecated. Use withBody() instead.

  • The ArrayAccess methods have all been deprecated.

  • Request::param() is deprecated. Use Request::getParam() instead.

  • Request::data() is deprecated. Use Request::getData() instead.

  • Request::query() is deprecated. Use Request::getQuery() instead.

  • Request::cookie() is deprecated. Use Request::getCookie() instead.

Several methods on Cake\Network\Response have been deprecated because they either overlap the PSR-7 methods, or are made obsolete by the PSR-7 stack:

  • Response::header() is deprecated. Use getHeaderLine(), hasHeader() or Response::getHeader() instead.

  • Response::body() is deprecated. Use Response::withStringBody() instead.

  • Response::statusCode() is deprecated. Use Response::getStatusCode() instead.

  • Response::httpCodes() This method should no longer be used. CakePHP now supports all standards recommended status codes.

  • Response::protocol() is deprecated. Use Response::getProtocolVersion() instead.

  • send(), sendHeaders(), _sendHeader(), _sendContent(), _setCookies(), _setContentType(), and stop() are deprecated and made obsolete by the PSR-7 HTTP stack.

With responses heading towards immutable object patterns as recommended by the PSR-7 standards, a number of ‘helper’ methods in Response have been deprecated and immutable variants are now recommended:

  • Response::location() would become Response::withLocation()

  • Response::disableCache() would become Response::withDisabledCache()

  • Response::type() would become Response::withType()

  • Response::charset() would become Response::withCharset()

  • Response::cache() would become Response::withCache()

  • Response::modified() would become Response::withModified()

  • Response::expires() would become Response::withExpires()

  • Response::sharable() would become Response::withSharable()

  • Response::maxAge() would become Response::withMaxAge()

  • Response::vary() would become Response::withVary()

  • Response::etag() would become Response::withEtag()

  • Response::compress() would become Response::withCompression()

  • Response::length() would become Response::withLength()

  • Response::mustRevalidate() would become Response::withMustRevalidate()

  • Response::notModified() would become Response::withNotModified()

  • Response::cookie() would become Response::withCookie()

  • Response::file() would become Response::withFile()

  • Response::download() would become Response::withDownload()

Please see the Adopting Immutable Responses section for more information before updating your code as using responses through the immutable methods will require additional changes.

Other Deprecations

  • The public properties on Cake\Event\Event are deprecated, new methods have been added to read/write the relevant properties.

  • Event::name() is deprecated. Use Event::getName() instead.

  • Event::subject() is deprecated. Use Event::getSubject() instead.

  • Event::result() is deprecated. Use Event::getResult() instead.

  • Event::data() is deprecated. Use Event::getData() instead.

  • The Auth.redirect session variable is no longer used. Instead a query string parameter is used to store the redirect URL. This has the additional effect of removing the ability to store a redirect URL in the session outside of login scenarios.

  • AuthComponent no longer stores redirect URLs when the unauthorized URL is not a GET action.

  • The ajaxLogin option for AuthComponent is deprecated. You should use the 403 status code to trigger the correct behavior in clientside code now.

  • The beforeRedirect method of RequestHandlerComponent is now deprecated.

  • The 306 status code in Cake\Network\Response is now deprecated and has its status phrase changed to ‘Unused’ as this status code is non-standard.

  • Cake\Database\Schema\Table has been renamed to Cake\Database\Schema\TableSchema. The previous name was confusing to a number of users.

  • The fieldList option for Cake\ORM\Table::newEntity() and patchEntity() has been renamed to fields to be more consistent with other parts of the ORM.

  • Router::parse() is deprecated. Router::parseRequest() should be used instead as it accepts a request and gives more control/flexibility in handling incoming requests.

  • Route::parse() is deprecated. Route::parseRequest() should be used instead as it accepts a request and gives more control/flexibility in handling incoming requests.

  • FormHelper::input() is deprecated. Use FormHelper::control() instead.

  • FormHelper::inputs() is deprecated. Use FormHelper::controls() instead.

  • FormHelper::allInputs() is deprecated. Use FormHelper::allControls() instead.

  • Mailer::layout() is deprecated. Use Mailer::setLayout() provided by Mailer::__call() instead.

Deprecated Combined Get/Set Methods

In the past CakePHP has leveraged ‘modal’ methods that provide both a get/set mode. These methods complicate IDE autocompletion and our ability to add stricter return types in the future. For these reasons, combined get/set methods are being split into separate get and set methods.

The following is a list of methods that are deprecated and replaced with getX() and setX() methods:

  • config()

  • config()

  • dsnClassMap()

  • command()

  • description()

  • epilog()

  • driver()

  • schemaCollection()

  • useSavePoints() (now enableSavePoints()/isSavePointsEnabled())

  • autoQuoting (now enableAutoQuoting()/isAutoQuotingEnabled())

  • name()

  • tieWith() (now setConjunction()/getConjunction())

  • columns()

  • values()

  • query()

  • connection()

  • selectTypeMap()

  • bufferResults() (now enableBufferedResults()/isBufferedResultsEnabled())

  • cacheMetadata()

  • options()

  • temporary() (now setTemporary()/isTemporary())

  • defaults()

  • types()

  • typeMap()

  • defaultTypes()

  • name()

  • cascadeCallbacks()

  • source()

  • target()

  • conditions()

  • bindingKey()

  • foreignKey()

  • dependent()

  • joinType()

  • property()

  • strategy()

  • finder()

  • targetForeignKey()

  • saveStrategy()

  • conditions()

  • saveStrategy()

  • foreignKey()

  • sort()

  • foreignKey()

  • config()

  • setter part of canBeJoined() (now setCanBeJoined())

  • matching() (getMatching() will have to be called after setMatching() to keep the old behavior)

  • autoFields() (now enableAutoFields()/isAutoFieldsEnabled())

  • config()

  • eagerLoader()

  • hydrate() (now enableHydration()/isHydrationEnabled())

  • autoFields() (now enableAutoFields()/isAutoFieldsEnabled())

  • table()

  • alias()

  • registryAlias()

  • connection()

  • schema()

  • primaryKey()

  • displayField()

  • entityClass()

  • from()

  • sender()

  • replyTo()

  • readReceipt()

  • returnPath()

  • to()

  • cc()

  • bcc()

  • charset()

  • headerCharset()

  • emailPattern()

  • subject()

  • template() (now setTemplate()/getTemplate() and setLayout()/getLayout())

  • viewRender() (now setViewRenderer()/getViewRenderer())

  • viewVars()

  • theme()

  • helpers()

  • emailFormat()

  • transport()

  • messageId()

  • domain()

  • attachments()

  • configTransport()

  • profile()

  • provider()

  • templates()

  • templatePath()

  • layoutPath()

  • plugin()

  • helpers()

  • theme()

  • template()

  • layout()

  • options()

  • name()

  • className()

  • autoLayout() (now enableAutoLayout()/isAutoLayoutEnabled())

Adopting Immutable Responses

Before you migrate your code to use the new response methods you should be aware of the conceptual differences the new methods have. The immutable methods are generally indicated using a with prefix. For example, withLocation(). Because these methods operate in an immutable context, they return new instances which you need to assign to variables or properties. If you had controller code that looked like:

$response = $this->response;
$response->header('X-something', 'a value');

If you were to simply find & replace method names your code would break. Instead you must now use code that looks like:

$this->response = $this->response
    ->withHeader('X-something', 'a value');

There are a few key differences:

  1. The result of your changes is re-assigned to $this->response. This is critical to preserving the intent of the above code.

  2. The setter methods can all be chained together. This allows you to skip storing all the intermediate objects.

Component Migration Tips

In previous versions of CakePHP, Components often held onto references to both the request and response, in order to make changes later. Before you adopt the immutable methods you should use the response attached to the Controller:

// In a component method (not a callback)
$this->response->header('X-Rate-Limit', $this->remaining);

// Should become
$controller = $this->getController();
$controller->response = $controller->response->withHeader('X-Rate-Limit', $this->remaining);

In component callbacks you can use the event object to access the response/controller:

public function beforeRender($event)
    $controller = $event->getSubject();
    $controller->response = $controller->response->withHeader('X-Teapot', 1);


Instead of holding onto references of Responses, always get the current response from the controller, and re-assign the response property when you are done.

Behavior Changes

While these changes are API compatible, they represent minor variances in behavior that may affect your application:

  • ORM\Query results will not typecast aliased columns based on the original column’s type. For example if you alias created to created_time you will now get a Time object back instead of a string.

  • Internal ORM traits used to build Association classes have been removed and replaced with new internal APIs. This shouldn’t impact your applications, but may if you have created custom association types.

  • AuthComponent now uses a query string to store the redirect URL when an unauthenticated user is redirected to the login page. Previously, this redirect was stored in the session. Using the query string allows for better multi-browser experience.

  • Database Schema reflection now treats unknown column types as string and not text. A visible impact of this is that FormHelper will generate text inputs instead of textarea elements for unknown column types.

  • AuthComponent no longer stores the flash messages it creates under the ‘auth’ key. They are now rendered with the ‘error’ template under the ‘default’ flash message key. This simplifies using AuthComponent.

  • Mailer\Email will now autodetect attachment content types using mime_content_type if a content-type is not provided. Previously attachments would have defaulted to ‘application/octet-stream’.

  • CakePHP now uses the ... operator in place of call_user_func_array(). If you are passing associative arrays, you should update your code to pass a numerically indexed array using array_values() for the following methods:

    • Cake\Mailer\Mailer::send()

    • Cake\Controller\Controller::setAction()

    • Cake\Http\ServerRequest::is()

Visibility Changes

  • MailerAwareTrait::getMailer() will now become protected.

  • CellTrait::cell() will now become protected.

If the above traits are used in controllers, their public methods could be accessed by default routing as actions. These changes help protect your controllers. If you need the methods to remain public you will need to update your use statement to look like:

use CellTrait {
    cell as public;
use MailerAwareTrait {
    getMailer as public;


  • CollectionInterface::chunkWithKeys() was added. User land implementations of the CollectionInterface will need to implement this method now.

  • Collection::chunkWithKeys() was added.


  • Debugger::setOutputMask() and Debugger::outputMask() were added. These methods allow you to configure properties/array keys that should be masked from output generated by Debugger (for instance, when calling debug()).


  • Event::getName() was added.

  • Event::getSubject() was added.

  • Event::getData() was added.

  • Event::setData() was added.

  • Event::getResult() was added.

  • Event::setResult() was added.



  • RouteBuilder::prefix() now accepts an array of defaults to add to each connected route.

  • Routes can now match only specific hosts through the _host option.


  • Email::setPriority()/Email::getPriority() have been added.


  • HtmlHelper::scriptBlock() no longer wraps the JavaScript code in <![CDATA[ ]] tag by default. The safe option which controls this behavior now defaults to false. Using <![CDATA[ ]] tag was only required for XHTML which is no longer the dominant doctype used for HTML pages.


  • PaginatorHelper::numbers() now uses an HTML elipsis instead of ‘…’ in the default templates.

  • PaginatorHelper::total() was added to enable reading the total number of pages for the currently paginated results.

  • PaginatorHelper::generateUrlParams() was added as a lower level URL building method.

  • PaginatorHelper::meta() can now create links for ‘first’, ‘last’.


  • You can now configure the sources which FormHelper reads from. This makes creating GET forms simpler. See Getting form values from the query string for more information.

  • FormHelper::control() was added.

  • FormHelper::controls() was added.

  • FormHelper::allControls() was added.


  • Validation::falsey() and Validation::truthy() were added.


  • TranslateBehavior::translationField() was added.


  • cake plugin load and cake plugin unload now support a --cli option, which updates the bootstrap_cli.php instead.


  • Support to PHPUnit 6 was added. With this framework version requiring PHP 5.6.0 as a minimum version, the supported version of PHPUnit are now ^5.7|^6.0