Extending The Framework

Managers & Factories

Laravel has several Manager classes that manage the creation of driver-based components. These include the cache, session, authentication, and queue components. The manager class is responsible for creating a particular driver implementation based on the application's configuration. For example, the CacheManager class can create APC, Memcached, File, and various other implementations of cache drivers.

Each of these managers includes an extend method which may be used to easily inject new driver resolution functionality into the manager. We'll cover each of these managers below, with examples of how to inject custom driver support into each of them.

Note: Take a moment to explore the various Manager classes that ship with Laravel, such as the CacheManager and SessionManager. Reading through these classes will give you a more thorough understanding of how Laravel works under the hood. All manager classes extend the Illuminate\Support\Manager base class, which provides some helpful, common functionality for each manager.

Cache

To extend the Laravel cache facility, we will use the extend method on the CacheManager, which is used to bind a custom driver resolver to the manager, and is common across all manager classes. For example, to register a new cache driver named "mongo", we would do the following:

Cache::extend('mongo', function($app)
{
    return Cache::repository(new MongoStore);
});

The first argument passed to the extend method is the name of the driver. This will correspond to your driver option in the config/cache.php configuration file. The second argument is a Closure that should return an Illuminate\Cache\Repository instance. The Closure will be passed an $app instance, which is an instance of Illuminate\Foundation\Application and a service container.

The call to Cache::extend could be done in the boot method of the default App\Providers\AppServiceProvider that ships with fresh Laravel applications, or you may create your own service provider to house the extension - just don't forget to register the provider in the config/app.php provider array.

To create our custom cache driver, we first need to implement the Illuminate\Contracts\Cache\Store contract. So, our MongoDB cache implementation would look something like this:

class MongoStore implements Illuminate\Contracts\Cache\Store {

    public function get($key) {}
    public function put($key, $value, $minutes) {}
    public function increment($key, $value = 1) {}
    public function decrement($key, $value = 1) {}
    public function forever($key, $value) {}
    public function forget($key) {}
    public function flush() {}

}

We just need to implement each of these methods using a MongoDB connection. Once our implementation is complete, we can finish our custom driver registration:

Cache::extend('mongo', function($app)
{
    return Cache::repository(new MongoStore);
});

If you're wondering where to put your custom cache driver code, consider making it available on Packagist! Or, you could create an Extensions namespace within your app directory. However, keep in mind that Laravel does not have a rigid application structure and you are free to organize your application according to your preferences.

Session

Extending Laravel with a custom session driver is just as easy as extending the cache system. Again, we will use the extend method to register our custom code:

Session::extend('mongo', function($app)
{
    // Return implementation of SessionHandlerInterface
});

Where To Extend The Session

You should place your session extension code in the boot method of your AppServiceProvider.

Writing The Session Extension

Note that our custom session driver should implement the SessionHandlerInterface. This interface contains just a few simple methods we need to implement. A stubbed MongoDB implementation would look something like this:

class MongoHandler implements SessionHandlerInterface {

    public function open($savePath, $sessionName) {}
    public function close() {}
    public function read($sessionId) {}
    public function write($sessionId, $data) {}
    public function destroy($sessionId) {}
    public function gc($lifetime) {}

}

Since these methods are not as readily understandable as the cache StoreInterface, let's quickly cover what each of the methods do:

Once the SessionHandlerInterface has been implemented, we are ready to register it with the Session manager:

Session::extend('mongo', function($app)
{
    return new MongoHandler;
});

Once the session driver has been registered, we may use the mongo driver in our config/session.php configuration file.

Note: Remember, if you write a custom session handler, share it on Packagist!

Authentication

Authentication may be extended the same way as the cache and session facilities. Again, we will use the extend method we have become familiar with:

Auth::extend('riak', function($app)
{
    // Return implementation of Illuminate\Contracts\Auth\UserProvider
});

The UserProvider implementations are only responsible for fetching a Illuminate\Contracts\Auth\Authenticatable implementation out of a persistent storage system, such as MySQL, Riak, etc. These two interfaces allow the Laravel authentication mechanisms to continue functioning regardless of how the user data is stored or what type of class is used to represent it.

Let's take a look at the UserProvider contract:

interface UserProvider {

    public function retrieveById($identifier);
    public function retrieveByToken($identifier, $token);
    public function updateRememberToken(Authenticatable $user, $token);
    public function retrieveByCredentials(array $credentials);
    public function validateCredentials(Authenticatable $user, array $credentials);

}

The retrieveById function typically receives a numeric key representing the user, such as an auto-incrementing ID from a MySQL database. The Authenticatable implementation matching the ID should be retrieved and returned by the method.

The retrieveByToken function retrieves a user by their unique $identifier and "remember me" $token, stored in a field remember_token. As with the previous method, the Authenticatable implementation should be returned.

The updateRememberToken method updates the $user field remember_token with the new $token. The new token can be either a fresh token, assigned on successfull "remember me" login attempt, or a null when user is logged out.

The retrieveByCredentials method receives the array of credentials passed to the Auth::attempt method when attempting to sign into an application. The method should then "query" the underlying persistent storage for the user matching those credentials. Typically, this method will run a query with a "where" condition on $credentials['username']. The method should then return an implementation of UserInterface. This method should not attempt to do any password validation or authentication.

The validateCredentials method should compare the given $user with the $credentials to authenticate the user. For example, this method might compare the $user->getAuthPassword() string to a Hash::make of $credentials['password']. This method should only validate the user's credentials and return boolean.

Now that we have explored each of the methods on the UserProvider, let's take a look at the Authenticatable. Remember, the provider should return implementations of this interface from the retrieveById and retrieveByCredentials methods:

interface Authenticatable {

    public function getAuthIdentifier();
    public function getAuthPassword();
    public function getRememberToken();
    public function setRememberToken($value);
    public function getRememberTokenName();

}

This interface is simple. The getAuthIdentifier method should return the "primary key" of the user. In a MySQL back-end, again, this would be the auto-incrementing primary key. The getAuthPassword should return the user's hashed password. This interface allows the authentication system to work with any User class, regardless of what ORM or storage abstraction layer you are using. By default, Laravel includes a User class in the app directory which implements this interface, so you may consult this class for an implementation example.

Finally, once we have implemented the UserProvider, we are ready to register our extension with the Auth facade:

Auth::extend('riak', function($app)
{
    return new RiakUserProvider($app['riak.connection']);
});

After you have registered the driver with the extend method, you switch to the new driver in your config/auth.php configuration file.

Service Container Based Extension

Almost every service provider included with the Laravel framework binds objects into the service container. You can find a list of your application's service providers in the config/app.php configuration file. As you have time, you should skim through each of these provider's source code. By doing so, you will gain a much better understanding of what each provider adds to the framework, as well as what keys are used to bind various services into the service container.

For example, the HashServiceProvider binds a hash key into the service container, which resolves into a Illuminate\Hashing\BcryptHasher instance. You can easily extend and override this class within your own application by overriding this binding. For example:

<?php namespace App\Providers;

class SnappyHashProvider extends \Illuminate\Hashing\HashServiceProvider {

    public function boot()
    {
        parent::boot();

        $this->app->bindShared('hash', function()
        {
            return new \Snappy\Hashing\ScryptHasher;
        });
    }

}

Note that this class extends the HashServiceProvider, not the default ServiceProvider base class. Once you have extended the service provider, swap out the HashServiceProvider in your config/app.php configuration file with the name of your extended provider.

This is the general method of extending any core class that is bound in the container. Essentially every core class is bound in the container in this fashion, and can be overridden. Again, reading through the included framework service providers will familiarize you with where various classes are bound into the container, and what keys they are bound by. This is a great way to learn more about how Laravel is put together.