A simple data transformer and serializer for your API responses
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A simple data transformer and serializer for your API responses


composer require nimbly/remodel

Basic usage

Create a transformer that extends the \Remodel\Transformer abstract. The transform method is required and should accept a single thing to transform. This thing could be a model object or a simple associative array or something else entirely - it really doesn't matter. Inside this method you will define and return the transformed data as an associative array.

class UserTransform extends \Remodel\Transformer
    public function transform(User $user)
        return [
            'id' => (int) $user->id,
            'name' => $user->name,
            'email' => $user->email,
            'created_at' => date('c', $user->created_at),

With our UserTransformer now defined, let's pull a user from the database, transform it, and serialize it. In order to transform the user data, we must map the data to be transformed to a specific transformer.

To do this we create a new Item resource since we are transforming a single item. If this were a collection of users, we would use the Collection resource.

// Grab the user from the database
$user = User::find($id);

// Create the transformer resource
$resource = new \Remodel\Resource\Item($user, new UserTransformer);

To convert the resource into an API friendly response, we pass it into a serializer. Remodel comes with a JsonSerializer that converts a resource into a JSON string. You can create your own custom serializer by extending the \Remodel\Serialzier\Serializer abstract.

// Pass transformer resource into serializer
$serializer = new \Remodel\Serializer\JsonSerializer($resource);

// Prints out JSON
echo $serializer->serialize();

Good job! You have now created a simple transformer that dumps out JSON. Let's dig deeper now.

Including related data automatically

What good is a transformer if it can only transform the object you've given it? Real use cases are far more complex. What if you need to transform a book whose author is stored in a separate model instance and needs its own transformation?

Add the protected $includes array property on the transformer containing all the default includes you would like. Remodel will then look for a method of the same name as the include to do the included transformation for you.

The method should return a Resource object, a raw associative array, or null. If the method returns null, the property will not be included.

class BookTransformer extends \Remodel\Transformer
    protected $includes = ['author', 'reviews'];

    public function transform(Book $book)
        return [
            'id' => (int) $book->id,
            'title' => $book->title,
            'genre' => $book->genre,
            'isbn' => $book->isbn,
            'published_at' => date('c', $book->published_at),

     * Remodel will call this method automatically for you since it's in the list of
     * $includes above.
    public function author(Book $book)
        return new \Remodel\Resource\Item($book->author, new App\Transformers\AuthorTransformer);

     * Return an array of reviews
    public function reviews(Book $book)
        return new \Remodel\Resource\Collection($book->reviews, new App\Transformers\ReviewTransformer);

Now let's create the Transformer for our Author object.

class AuthorTransformer extends \Remodel\Transformer
    public function transform(Author $author)
        return [
            'id' => (int) $author->id,
            'name' => $author->name,

Nested includes

What if you need an optional include on another include? For example, if the Author also has an Address object that is not included by default?

You can nest includes by using a dot notation.

protected $includes = ['author.address'];

This will include an Author and its Address object.

You can nest as many includes as you'd like and to an unlimited depth.

protected $includes = ['comments.user.profile'];

Transforming a collection of resources

You can transform a collection of resources in a similar fashion.

$collection = new \Remodel\Resource\Collection($books, new BookTransformer);

Adding includes at run time

What if you don't always need a related resource included with every transformation? Maybe it's a resource provided only when the requesting client needs it?

You can pass run-time user supplied includes into the Transformer instance using the setIncludes method.

$transformer = new BookTransformer;
$transformer->setIncludes(['author', 'publisher']);

// OR

$transformer = (new BookTransformer)->setIncludes(['author', 'publisher']);

Using a Serializer

A Transformer merely transforms your objects into a single associative array. Converting that associative array into something more API friendly (json, xml, etc) requires a Serializer.

Remodel includes a simple JSON serializer that wraps your Resource data in a root level element called data. It also provides setMeta and addMeta methods so that you may pass in additional meta data with your response. It then uses the json_encode function to convert to JSON. The JsonSerializer implements the JsonSerializable interface.

$resource = new \Remodel\Resource\Collection($users, new UserTransformer);
$response = new \Remodel\Serializer\JsonSerializer($resource);
    "data": [
            "id": 123456,
            "name": "Joe Biden",
            "email": "joe@example.com"

            "id": 123414,
            "name": "Sarah Silverman",
            "email": "sarah@example.com"

    "meta": {
        "page":  1,
        "total": 14,
        "next": 2,
        "previous": null

Extending the Serializer

Create your own custom Serializer by extending Remodel\Serializer\Serializer abstract.



A transformer takes an object (or an associative array), transforms it into an associative array, and returns it.


A resource maps data to a specific transformer to be applied to the data.

  • Item A single instance of data.

  • Collection A collection or set of data.

  • NullItem Use this resource if you would like a literal null assigned to an included resource.

  • NullCollection Use this resource if you would like a literal empty array [] assighed to an included resource.


Takes resource and serializes data into a specific format (eg, JSON or XML)