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A CakePHP Tools plugin containing lots of useful helpers, behaviors, components, shells, ...
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CakePHP Tools Plugin

Build Status Latest Stable Version Coverage Status Minimum PHP Version License Total Downloads

A CakePHP 2.x Plugin containing several useful tools that can be used in many projects. This plugin requires PHP5.4+ (use the old 2.5 branch if you need PHP5.3 until you can upgrade).

Please note: New functionality has been tested against 2.x (current master branch) only. Please upgrade your app to latest CakePHP 2.x if possible. User a different 2.x branch if you need temporary support for older versions.

How to include

Installing the Plugin is pretty much as with every other CakePHP Plugin.

  • Put the files in APP/Plugin/Tools.
  • Make sure you have CakePlugin::load('Tools') or CakePlugin::loadAll() in your bootstrap.

You should use composer/packagist now @

"require": {
    "dereuromark/cakephp-tools": "[version].*"

With 0.9 as [version], for example, it would be: 0.9.*. The * asserts that you get all bugfix versions if existing.

That's it. It should be up and running.

The basics

In case you want the Tools bootstrap file included (recommended), you can do that in your APP/Config/bootstrap.php with

CakePlugin::load('Tools', array('bootstrap' => true));

For CakePlugin::loadAll() it's

        'Tools' => array('bootstrap' => true)

MyModel can be extended to use more powerful validation and other improvements:

App::uses('MyModel', 'Tools.Model');

class AppModel extends MyModel {

MyController can be extended for DRY improvements and to fix some common bugs:

App::uses('MyController', 'Tools.Controller');

class MyController extends MyController {

MyHelper can be extended and used this way:

App::uses('MyHelper', 'Tools.View/Helper');

class AppHelper extends MyHelper {

The test suite improvements can be used via:

App::uses('MyCakeTestCase', 'Tools.TestSuite');

class SomeClassTest extends MyCakeTestCase {

To run any of the console commands (replace [ShellName] and [command]!):

cake Tools.[ShellName] [command]

The models, behaviors, helpers, libs and other classes are used the same way prefixing them with the plugin name:

App::uses('GooglLib', 'Tools.Lib');
App::uses('TimeLib', 'Tools.Utility');
App::uses('GeocoderBehavior', 'Tools.Model/Behavior');

Tip: For how to use them, try to find some information in the test cases. For a quick reference or some larger modules see the Tools Plugin Wiki

For including components, helper and behaviors you don't need App::uses() calls. So for a pretty standard CakePHP app with some Tools plugin enhancements, the AppController could look like this:

public $components = array(
    'Session', 'RequestHandler', 'Tools.Common', 'Auth');

public $helpers = array(
    'Session', 'Html', 'Form' => array('className' => 'Tools.FormExt'),
    'Tools.Common', 'Tools.Format', 'Tools.Datetime', 'Tools.Numeric');

The cool stuff

Useful fixes and additions

  • Auto-trim on POST (to make - not only notEmpty - validation working properly).
  • RSS and Ajax Views for better responses (Ajax also comes with an optional component).
  • Using the Common component's flashMessage() you can have colorful (success, warning, error, ...) flash messages. They also can stack up (multiple messages per type). This way no message is lost when redirecting twice etc. You will also need echo $this->Flash->message(); then instead of the default flash code in your layout.ctp template. And bear in mind that it will eat all your normal flash messages and outputs it though the same method.
  • TinyAuth authorization adapter with single and multi-role support - extremely fast and easy to use.
  • The Passwordable behavior allows easy to use functionality for frontend and backend.
  • Geocodeable, WhoDidIt, Confirmable and Bitmasked behaviors.
  • With MyModel you can build subqueries the Cake way.
  • Tokens, Qlogin, TinyUrl, KeyValue functionality included.
  • DiffLib, ZipLib, WeatherLib and many more lib functionality.
  • The TextExt, Datetime, Numeric helpers etc provide extended functionality if desired.
  • FormExt and HtmlExt helpers also provide extended functionality and 3.x shims.
  • Tree helper for working with (complex) trees.
  • EmailLib as a wrapper for CakeEmail adding some more usefulness and making debugging/testing easier.
  • GoogleMapV3, Gravatar, Qrcode, Timeline, Typography, Ical, Hcard provide additional helper functionality.
  • NEW: Backported StringTemplate class (from CakePHP3.0) can be used to use template based rendering of HTML tags.

Additional shims

  • NEW: Backported password_hash() functionality via Shim.Modern / Shim.Fallback PasswordHasher and Tools Passwordable behavior out of the box.
  • Shims to write cutting edge 2.x code - and prepare for 3.x.

A full list of fixes and useful migration tweaks towards the next major version see here.

Also see the Shim plugin for details and documentation on more possible shims you can leverage.


Use at your own risk. Please provide any fixes or enhancements via issue or better pull request. Some classes are still from 1.2 (and are merely upgraded to 2.x) and might still need some serious refactoring. If you are able to help on that one, that would be awesome.


nuluke in IRC:

"I've been using Tiny(Auth) for a year now, it's dead simple amazing. tiny + tools plugin saved me tons of time."

[Yours here? Contact me]

Branching strategy

The master branch is the currently active and maintained one and works with the current 2.x stable version. Older versions might be found in their respective branches (2.0, 2.4, ...). Please provide PRs mainly against master branch then.

For details on how to contribute please read the CONTRIBUTING page.


  • Better test coverage (once it's >= 75% I will declare the plugin stable)
  • Use Transifex plugin and (you need to have a login) for translations

Recent changes (possibly BC breaking)

  • 2014-11 All translations now use the tools domain; development messages are not translated anymore
  • 2014-12 Some model validations have also been transformed from generic validation into tools domain.
  • 2014-12 All tools domain translations need to exist in APP/Locale due to a core issue in CakePHP <= 2.5 when trying to overwrite them in the application.
  • 2015-01 With CakePHP2.6 support now we can re-add the Locale files again. Use App.preferApp Configure key to overwrite the plugin's locale files.
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