3.9 Migration Guide

CakePHP 3.9 is an API compatible upgrade from 3.8. This page outlines the changes and improvements made.

To upgrade to 3.9.x run the following composer command:

php composer.phar require --update-with-dependencies "cakephp/cakephp:3.9.*"


  • ConsoleIo::info(), success(), warning() and error() will no longer accept null values in the message parameter in 4.0.

  • Using a comma separated string for $fixtures in test cases is deprecated. Instead use an array, or implement the new getFixtures() method on your test case classes.

  • Validator::errors() was renamed to Validator::validate().

  • FormHelper::create() now emits deprecation warnings when the $context parameter is a boolean or string. These values trigger fatal errors in 4.0 and will need to be updated before upgrading.

  • The magic method signature for FunctionBuilder::cast([...]) is deprecated. Use FunctionBuilder::cast('field', 'type') instead.

  • Abandoned zendframework package has been replaced with laminas which provides backwards-compatible classes.

New Features


  • MemcachedEngine::write() and add() no longer cap duration to 30 days. Instead all expiration values are forwarded to memcache.


  • ConsoleIo::abort() was added.

  • Command classes can implement the defaultName() method to overwrite the conventions based CLI name.


  • Driver::newTableSchema() was added. This hook method lets you customize which the class used for schema metadata.

  • FunctionBuilder::cast() was added.

  • Query::orderAsc() and Query::orderDesc() now accept Closure’s as their field enabling you to use build complex order expressions with the provided QueryExpression object.


  • Cake\Datasource\SimplePaginator was added. This class makes paginating very large results more efficient. It skips running the potentially expensive count() query. If you only use ‘next’ and ‘previous’ navigation in your pagination controls this class can be a good solution.


  • Cake\Http\Client\Response::isSuccess() was backported from 4.0

  • Cake\Http\Middleware\CspMiddleware was backported from 4.0

  • BaseApplication::addOptionalPlugin() was added. This method handles loading plugins, and handling errors for plugins that may not exist because they are dev dependencies.



  • Number::CURRENCY_ACCOUNTING was added.

  • Number::getDefaultCurrencyFormat() and Number::setDefaultCurrencyFormat() were added. These methods let you define the formatting style for currency values.

  • The setJsonEncodeFormat method on Time, FrozenTime, Date and FrozenDate now accepts a callable that can be used to return a custom string.

  • The i18n global functions now only return strings. The changes made to 4.0 to remove the null return value when no translation string is provide have been backported to 3.9.

  • Lenient parsing can be disabled for parseDateTime() and parseDate() using disableLenientParsing(). The default is enabled - the same as IntlDateFormatter.


  • Table::saveManyOrFail() method has been added that will throw PersistenceFailedException with the specific entity that failed in case of an error. The entities are saved within a transaction.

  • Table::deleteMany() and Table::deleteManyOrFail() methods have been added for removing many entities at once including callbacks. The entities are removed within a transaction.

  • TableLocator::clear() now resets the internal options array.

  • BelongsToMany associations now respect the bindingKey set in the junction table’s BelongsTo association. Previously, the target table’s primary key was always used instead.

  • Query::clearResult() was added. This method lets you remove the result from a query so you can re-execute it.


  • TestCase::getFixtures() was added. This method lets you generate your fixture list using application specific logic if necessary.

  • TestSuite\EmailTrait::assertMailContainsAttachment() was added.


  • Hash::combine() now accepts null for the $keyPath parameter. Providing null will result in a numerically indexed output array.

  • Hash::sort() now accepts the SORT_ASC and SORT_DESC constants in the direction parameter.

  • Text::uuid() now uses random_int() with PHP 5.6 insted of mt_rand(). This adds a dependency on paragonie/random_compat which implements it for PHP 5.6.


  • The ‘empty’ field detection in Validator now considers UploadedFileInterface objects that have UPLOAD_ERR_NO_FILE as their error code to be empty.

  • Validation::notAlphaNumeric() and Validator::notAlphaNumeric() were backported from 4.x.

  • Validation::asciiAlphaNumeric() and Validator::asciiAlphaNumeric() were backported from 4.x.

  • Validation::notAsciiAlphaNumeric() and Validator::notAsciiAlphaNumeric() were backported from 4.x.


  • FormHelper had the selectedClass template variable added. This template key controls the class name used when a radio or checkbox is selected.

  • TextHelper::slug() was backported from 4.0.