The Application is the heart of your application. It controls how your application is configured, and what plugins, middleware, console commands and routes are included.

You can find your Application class at src/Application.php. By default it will be pretty slim and only define a few default Middleware. Applications can define the following hook methods:

  • bootstrap Used to load configuration files, define constants and other global functions. By default this will include config/bootstrap.php. This is the ideal place to load Plugins and global event listeners.

  • routes Used to load routes. By default this will include config/routes.php.

  • middleware Used to add middleware to your application.

  • console Used to add console commands to your application. By default this will automatically discover shells & commands in your application and all plugins.

Bootstrapping your Application

If you have any additional configuration needs, you should add them to your application’s config/bootstrap.php file. This file is included before each request, and CLI command.

This file is ideal for a number of common bootstrapping tasks:

  • Defining convenience functions.

  • Declaring constants.

  • Defining cache configuration.

  • Defining logging configuration.

  • Loading custom inflections.

  • Loading configuration files.

It might be tempting to place formatting functions there in order to use them in your controllers. As you’ll see in the Controllers and Views sections there are better ways you add custom logic to your application.


In addition to the config/bootstrap.php file which should be used to configure low-level concerns of your application, you can also use the Application::bootstrap() hook method to load/initialize plugins, and attach global event listeners:

// in src/Application.php
namespace App;

use Cake\Http\BaseApplication;

class Application extends BaseApplication
    public function bootstrap()
        // Call the parent to `require_once` config/bootstrap.php

        // Load MyPlugin

Loading plugins and events in Application::bootstrap() makes Controller Integration Testing easier as events and routes will be re-processed on each test method.