Validation

Basic Usage

Laravel ships with a simple, convenient facility for validating data and retrieving validation error messages via the Validation class.

Basic Validation Example

$validator = Validator::make(
    array('name' => 'Dayle'),
    array('name' => 'required|min:5')
);

The first argument passed to the make method is the data under validation. The second argument is the validation rules that should be applied to the data.

Multiple rules may be delimited using either a "pipe" character, or as separate elements of an array.

Using Arrays To Specify Rules

$validator = Validator::make(
    array('name' => 'Dayle'),
    array('name' => array('required', 'min:5'))
);

Validating Multiple Fields

$validator = Validator::make(
    array(
        'name' => 'Dayle',
        'password' => 'lamepassword',
        'email' => 'email@example.com'
    ),
    array(
        'name' => 'required',
        'password' => 'required|min:8',
        'email' => 'required|email|unique:users'
    )
);

Once a Validator instance has been created, the fails (or passes) method may be used to perform the validation.

if ($validator->fails())
{
    // The given data did not pass validation
}

If validation has failed, you may retrieve the error messages from the validator.

$messages = $validator->messages();

You may also access an array of the failed validation rules, without messages. To do so, use the failed method:

$failed = $validator->failed();

Validating Files

The Validator class provides several rules for validating files, such as size, mimes, and others. When validating files, you may simply pass them into the validator with your other data.

Working With Error Messages

After calling the messages method on a Validator instance, you will receive a MessageBag instance, which has a variety of convenient methods for working with error messages.

Retrieving The First Error Message For A Field

echo $messages->first('email');

Retrieving All Error Messages For A Field

foreach ($messages->get('email') as $message)
{
    //
}

Retrieving All Error Messages For All Fields

foreach ($messages->all() as $message)
{
    //
}

Determining If Messages Exist For A Field

if ($messages->has('email'))
{
    //
}

Retrieving An Error Message With A Format

echo $messages->first('email', '<p>:message</p>');

Note: By default, messages are formatted using Bootstrap compatible syntax.

Retrieving All Error Messages With A Format

foreach ($messages->all('<li>:message</li>') as $message)
{
    //
}

Error Messages & Views

Once you have performed validation, you will need an easy way to get the error messages back to your views. This is conveniently handled by Laravel. Consider the following routes as an example:

Route::get('register', function()
{
    return View::make('user.register');
});

Route::post('register', function()
{
    $rules = array(...);

    $validator = Validator::make(Input::all(), $rules);

    if ($validator->fails())
    {
        return Redirect::to('register')->withErrors($validator);
    }
});

Note that when validation fails, we pass the Validator instance to the Redirect using the withErrors method. This method will flash the error messages to the session so that they are available on the next request.

However, notice that we do not have to explicitly bind the error messages to the view in our GET route. This is because Laravel will always check for errors in the session data, and automatically bind them to the view if they are available. So, it is important to note that an $errors variable will always be available in all of your views, on every request, allowing you to conveniently assume the $errors variable is always defined and can be safely used. The $errors variable will be an instance of MessageBag.

So, after redirection, you may utilize the automatically bound $errors variable in your view:

<?php echo $errors->first('email'); ?>

Available Validation Rules

Below is a list of all available validation rules and their function:

accepted

The field under validation must be yes, on, or 1. This is useful for validating "Terms of Service" acceptance.

active_url

The field under validation must be a valid URL according to the checkdnsrr PHP function.

after:date

The field under validation must be a value after a given date. The dates will be passed into the PHP strtotime function.

alpha

The field under validation must be entirely alphabetic characters.

alpha_dash

The field under validation may have alpha-numeric characters, as well as dashes and underscores.

alpha_num

The field under validation must be entirely alpha-numeric characters.

array

The field under validation must be of type array.

before:date

The field under validation must be a value preceding the given date. The dates will be passed into the PHP strtotime function.

between:min,max

The field under validation must have a size between the given min and max. Strings, numerics, and files are evaluated in the same fashion as the size rule.

confirmed

The field under validation must have a matching field of foo_confirmation. For example, if the field under validation is password, a matching password_confirmation field must be present in the input.

date

The field under validation must be a valid date according to the strtotime PHP function.

date_format:format

The field under validation must match the format defined according to the date_parse_from_format PHP function.

different:field

The given field must be different than the field under validation.

digits:value

The field under validation must be numeric and must have an exact length of value.

digits_between:min,max

The field under validation must have a length between the given min and max.

email

The field under validation must be formatted as an e-mail address.

exists:table,column

The field under validation must exist on a given database table.

Basic Usage Of Exists Rule

'state' => 'exists:states'

Specifying A Custom Column Name

'state' => 'exists:states,abbreviation'

You may also specify more conditions that will be added as "where" clauses to the query:

'email' => 'exists:staff,email,account_id,1'

Passing NULL as a "where" clause value will add a check for a NULL database value:

'email' => 'exists:staff,email,deleted_at,NULL'

image

The file under validation must be an image (jpeg, png, bmp, or gif)

in:foo,bar,...

The field under validation must be included in the given list of values.

integer

The field under validation must have an integer value.

ip

The field under validation must be formatted as an IP address.

max:value

The field under validation must be less than or equal to a maximum value. Strings, numerics, and files are evaluated in the same fashion as the size rule.

mimes:foo,bar,...

The file under validation must have a MIME type corresponding to one of the listed extensions.

Basic Usage Of MIME Rule

'photo' => 'mimes:jpeg,bmp,png'

min:value

The field under validation must have a minimum value. Strings, numerics, and files are evaluated in the same fashion as the size rule.

not_in:foo,bar,...

The field under validation must not be included in the given list of values.

numeric

The field under validation must have a numeric value.

regex:pattern

The field under validation must match the given regular expression.

Note: When using the regex pattern, it may be necessary to specify rules in an array instead of using pipe delimiters, especially if the regular expression contains a pipe character.

required

The field under validation must be present in the input data.

required_if:field,value

The field under validation must be present if the field field is equal to value.

required_with:foo,bar,...

The field under validation must be present only if any of the other specified fields are present.

required_with_all:foo,bar,...

The field under validation must be present only if all of the other specified fields are present.

required_without:foo,bar,...

The field under validation must be present only when any of the other specified fields are not present.

required_without_all:foo,bar,...

The field under validation must be present only when the all of the other specified fields are not present.

same:field

The given field must match the field under validation.

size:value

The field under validation must have a size matching the given value. For string data, value corresponds to the number of characters. For numeric data, value corresponds to a given integer value. For files, size corresponds to the file size in kilobytes.

unique:table,column,except,idColumn

The field under validation must be unique on a given database table. If the column option is not specified, the field name will be used.

Basic Usage Of Unique Rule

'email' => 'unique:users'

Specifying A Custom Column Name

'email' => 'unique:users,email_address'

Forcing A Unique Rule To Ignore A Given ID

'email' => 'unique:users,email_address,10'

Adding Additional Where Clauses

You may also specify more conditions that will be added as "where" clauses to the query:

'email' => 'unique:users,email_address,NULL,id,account_id,1'

In the rule above, only rows with an account_id of 1 would be included in the unique check.

url

The field under validation must be formatted as an URL.

Note: This function uses PHP's filter_var method.

Conditionally Adding Rules

In some situations, you may wish to run validation checks against a field only if that field is present in the input array. To quickly accomplish this, add the sometimes rule to your rule list:

$v = Validator::make($data, array(
    'email' => 'sometimes|required|email',
));

In the example above, the email field will only be validated if it is present in the $data array.

Complex Conditional Validation

Sometimes you may wish to require a given field only if another field has a greater value than 100. Or you may need two fields to have a given value only when another field is present. Adding these validation rules doesn't have to be a pain. First, create a Validator instance with your static rules that never change:

$v = Validator::make($data, array(
    'email' => 'required|email',
    'games' => 'required|numeric',
));

Let's assume our web application is for game collectors. If a game collector registers with our application and they own more than 100 games, we want them to explain why they own so many games. For example, perhaps they run a game re-sell shop, or maybe they just enjoy collecting. To conditionally add this requirement, we can use the sometimes method on the Validator instance.

$v->sometimes('reason', 'required|max:500', function($input)
{
    return $input->games >= 100;
});

The first argument passed to the sometimes method is the name of the field we are conditionally validating. The second argument is the rules we want to add. If the Closure passed as the third argument returns true, the rules will be added. This method makes it a breeze to build complex conditional validations. You may even add conditional validations for several fields at once:

$v->sometimes(array('reason', 'cost'), 'required', function($input)
{
    return $input->games >= 100;
});

Note: The $input parameter passed to your Closure will be an instance of Illuminate\Support\Fluent and may be used as an object to access your input and files.

Custom Error Messages

If needed, you may use custom error messages for validation instead of the defaults. There are several ways to specify custom messages.

Passing Custom Messages Into Validator

$messages = array(
    'required' => 'The :attribute field is required.',
);

$validator = Validator::make($input, $rules, $messages);

Note: The :attribute place-holder will be replaced by the actual name of the field under validation. You may also utilize other place-holders in validation messages.

Other Validation Place-Holders

$messages = array(
    'same'    => 'The :attribute and :other must match.',
    'size'    => 'The :attribute must be exactly :size.',
    'between' => 'The :attribute must be between :min - :max.',
    'in'      => 'The :attribute must be one of the following types: :values',
);

Sometimes you may wish to specify a custom error messages only for a specific field:

Specifying A Custom Message For A Given Attribute

$messages = array(
    'email.required' => 'We need to know your e-mail address!',
);

In some cases, you may wish to specify your custom messages in a language file instead of passing them directly to the Validator. To do so, add your messages to custom array in the app/lang/xx/validation.php language file.

Specifying Custom Messages In Language Files

'custom' => array(
    'email' => array(
        'required' => 'We need to know your e-mail address!',
    ),
),

Custom Validation Rules

Laravel provides a variety of helpful validation rules; however, you may wish to specify some of your own. One method of registering custom validation rules is using the Validator::extend method:

Registering A Custom Validation Rule

Validator::extend('foo', function($attribute, $value, $parameters)
{
    return $value == 'foo';
});

The custom validator Closure receives three arguments: the name of the $attribute being validated, the $value of the attribute, and an array of $parameters passed to the rule.

You may also pass a class and method to the extend method instead of a Closure:

Validator::extend('foo', 'FooValidator@validate');

Note that you will also need to define an error message for your custom rules. You can do so either using an inline custom message array or by adding an entry in the validation language file.

Instead of using Closure callbacks to extend the Validator, you may also extend the Validator class itself. To do so, write a Validator class that extends Illuminate\Validation\Validator. You may add validation methods to the class by prefixing them with validate:

Extending The Validator Class

<?php

class CustomValidator extends Illuminate\Validation\Validator {

    public function validateFoo($attribute, $value, $parameters)
    {
        return $value == 'foo';
    }

}

Next, you need to register your custom Validator extension:

Registering A Custom Validator Resolver

Validator::resolver(function($translator, $data, $rules, $messages)
{
    return new CustomValidator($translator, $data, $rules, $messages);
});

When creating a custom validation rule, you may sometimes need to define custom place-holder replacements for error messages. You may do so by creating a custom Validator as described above, and adding a replaceXXX function to the validator.

protected function replaceFoo($message, $attribute, $rule, $parameters)
{
    return str_replace(':foo', $parameters[0], $message);
}

If you would like to add a custom message "replacer" without extending the Validator class, you may use the Validator::replacer method:

Validator::replacer('rule', function($message, $attribute, $rule, $parameters)
{
    //
});