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README.md

A simple way to keep your Laravel validation rules a bit more DRY.

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This package provides a relatively simple way to organize, reuse, and DRY up your Laravel validation rules. It was put together after working with Laravel for quite some time and specifically while building an API that also uses Laravel Nova to manage resources. There was a need to provide validation on the Laravel Nova side of things on a field-by-field basis. Then, on the API side of things, there was also a need to provide those same validation rules. These could be on a field-by-field basis or by resource.

So, by using this package, one can create two kinds of reusable rule sets. The first kind of rule set is what is referred to as a field rule set. A field rule set is a class that implements the Illuminate\Contracts\Validation\Rule interface. It can contain any number of Laravel's validation rules, as well as any other rule that implements Illuminate\Contracts\Validation\Rule.

The second kind of rule set is what is referred to as a resource rule set. This doesn't really have any direct relationship to anything that currently exists within Laravel. Rather, it's a convenient way to group rules for a given resource. It provides rules common to updating and creating as well as creation- and update-specific rules. This is quite similar to how Laravel Nova behaves with individual fields. Currently, the creation and update rules merge in any common rules, again, in the same way that Laravel Nova does with resource fields.

The result of these new classes is that one can more easily put field- and resource-specific rules in individual classes, which can then be used, reused, and tested in a way that many might prefer.

Installation

You can install the package via composer:

composer require telkins/laravel-validation-rulesets

Field Rule Sets

A field rule set is intended to be a validation rule object that can be applied or used for validating a single field or attribute. It's similar to Laravel's validation objects that implement Illuminate\Contracts\Validation\Rule. The main difference is that these field rule sets allow a user to list one or more validation rules in a set that will be applied to the field or attribute. The code itself is inspired by Juampi Barreto's medium.com article, "Laravel 5.5 validation ruleception (rule inside rule)".

Many times the same handful of validation rules need to be applied to a given field, like an email address or a password or something. It's certainly easy enough to enter 'required|email|max:255' each time it's needed. It's also possible to create a validation rule that simply implements Illuminate\Contracts\Validation\Rule, but this requires writing all of the various validation code oneself, even though it's already there in the Laravel framework.

So, now one can simply create a new field rule set, and then provide the various validation rules that should apply. This class is now quite portable and reusable as well as easily testable.

Making a new field rule set

The package includes an artisan command to create a new field rule set.

php artisan make:field-rule-set EmailRuleSet

This field rule set will have the App\Rules\FieldRuleSets namespace and will be saved in app/Rules/FieldRuleSets.

You can also indicate a custom namespace like App\MyFieldRules, for example:

php artisan make:field-rule-set MyFieldRules/EmailRuleSet

This field rule set will have the App\MyFieldRules namespace and will be saved in app/MyFieldRules.

In any case, you should wind up with a file that looks similar to this:

<?php

namespace App\Rules\FieldRuleSets;

use Telkins\Validation\AbstractFieldRuleSet;

class EmailRuleSet extends AbstractFieldRuleSet
{
    public function rules() : array
    {
        return [
            // ...
        ];
    }
}

One simply fills in the various validation rules that should be used to validate the field to which they are applied. For example:

public function rules() : array
{
    return [
        'email',
        'max:255',
    ];
}

One can also use other field rule sets, any object that implements Illuminate\Contracts\Validation\Rule, or closures. The only thing one must remember to do is to keep each rule as its own element in the array.

Implicit rules

According to Laravel's documentation on using implicit extensions, "For a rule to run even when an attribute is empty, the rule must imply that the attribute is required." Out of the box, the following code shows us which rules Laravel considers implicit:

/**
 * The validation rules that imply the field is required.
 *
 * @var array
 */
protected $implicitRules = [
    'Required', 'Filled', 'RequiredWith', 'RequiredWithAll', 'RequiredWithout',
    'RequiredWithoutAll', 'RequiredIf', 'RequiredUnless', 'Accepted', 'Present',
];

When there is a need to use one or more of these implicit rules with field rule sets, there are two ways to do so:

  • Use the implicit rule(s) within the field rule set, but be sure to make the field rule set class implement Illuminate\Contracts\Validation\ImplicitRule. This simply indicates to Laravel's validator that it is, in fact, an implicit rule.
  • Instead of using implicit rules within a field rule set, remove it and have it alongside the object.

For example, this field rule set uses required and indicates to Laravel's validator that it is implicit by way of the ImplicitRule interface:

<?php

namespace App\Rules\FieldRuleSets;

use Telkins\Validation\AbstractFieldRuleSet;
use Illuminate\Contracts\Validation\ImplicitRule;

class EmailRuleSet extends AbstractFieldRuleSet implements ImplicitRule
{
    public function rules() : array
    {
        return [
            'required',
            'email',
            'max:255',
        ];
    }
}

One can use the following artisan command, with the implicit option, in order to create a new field rule set that implements Illuminate\Contracts\Validation\ImplicitRule:

php artisan make:field-rule-set EmailRuleSet --implicit

The alternative is to not use required nor Illuminate\Contracts\Validation\ImplicitRule within the field rule set and instead use the implicit rule alongside the field rule set object whenever it's used. Here is how its usage might look from within a form request:

/**
 * Get the validation rules that apply to the request.
 *
 * @return array
 */
public function rules()
{
    return [
        'email_address' => ['required', new EmailAddressRuleSet()],
        // ...
    ];
}

Usage

To use a field rule set in a form request:

/**
 * Get the validation rules that apply to the request.
 *
 * @return array
 */
public function rules()
{
    return [
        'email_address' => [new EmailAddressRuleSet()],
        'subject' => 'required|string|max:255',
        'message' => 'required|string',
    ];
}

To use a field rule set in a form request where it might require the whole request data context:

/**
 * Get the validation rules that apply to the request.
 *
 * @return array
 */
public function rules()
{
    return [
        'email_address' => [new EmailAddressRuleSet($this->all())],
        'subject' => 'required|string|max:255',
        'message' => 'required|string',
    ];
}

This is necessary when applying validation rules that require the greater context of the request that needs to be validated. For example, if you wish to use the confirmed validation rule, then the object needs to be able to access all of the request attributes and their values. Simply pass that data into the constructor.

To use a field rule set except for one or more of the rules:

/**
 * Get the validation rules that apply to the request.
 *
 * @return array
 */
public function rules()
{
    return [
        'email_address' => [(new EmailAddressRuleSet())->except('required')],
        'subject' => 'required|string|max:255',
        'message' => 'required|string',
    ];
}

Resource Rule Sets

A resource rule set is intended to encapsulate all of the rules that go into validating a new or updated resource. It is a collection of attributes and the various rules that should be applied to them in order to validate them. The resource rule set takes some inspiration from Laravel Nova's validation in that they allow users to define "common" rules, creation rules, and update rules. Creation rules and update rules merge in any "common" rules that might be defined.

Making a new resource rule set

The package includes an artisan command to create a new resource rule set.

php artisan make:resource-rule-set BlogPost

This resource rule set will have the App\Rules\ResourceRuleSets namespace and will be saved in app/Rules/ResourceRuleSets.

You can also indicate a custom namespace like App\MyResourceRules, for example:

php artisan make:resource-rule-set MyResourceRules/BlogPost

This resource rule set will have the App\MyResourceRules namespace and will be saved in app/MyResourceRules.

In any case, you should wind up with a file that looks similar to this:

<?php

namespace App\Rules\ResourceRuleSets;

use Telkins\Validation\AbstractResourceRuleSet;

class BlogPost extends AbstractResourceRuleSet
{
    /**
     * Provide rules that should be applied during creation and updating. If
     * empty, then this method can be removed.
     *
     * @return array
     */
    protected function provideRules() : array
    {
        return [
            // ...
        ];
    }

    /**
     * Provide rules that should be applied only during creation. If empty,
     * then this method can be removed.
     *
     * @return array
     */
    protected function provideCreationRules() : array
    {
        return [
            // ...
        ];
    }

    /**
     * Provide rules that should be applied only during updating. If empty,
     * then this method can be removed.
     *
     * @return array
     */
    protected function provideUpdateRules() : array
    {
        return [
            // ...
        ];
    }
}

One simply fills in the various validation rules for the specific resource. For example:

protected function provideRules() : array
{
    return [
        'subject' => [
            'string',
            'max:255',
        ],
        'body' => [
            'string',
            'max:1024',
        ],
    ];
}

protected function provideCreationRules() : array
{
    return [
        'author_id' => [
            'required',
        ],
        'subject' => [
            'required',
        ],
    ];
}

protected function provideUpdateRules() : array
{
    return [
        'reason' => [
            'required',
            'string',
            'max:255',
        ],
    ];
}

One can also use field rule sets, any object that implements Illuminate\Contracts\Validation\Rule, or closures. The only thing one must remember to do is to keep each rule as its own element in the arrays.

Usage

To return the resource rule set's "common" rules:

(new BlogPost())->rules();

To return the resource rule set's creation rules:

(new BlogPost())->creationRules();

To return the resource rule set's update rules:

(new BlogPost())->updateRules();

To use a resource rule set in a form request that handles storing a new blog post:

/**
 * Get the validation rules that apply to the request.
 *
 * @return array
 */
public function rules()
{
    return (new BlogPost())->creationRules();
}

To return the resource rule set's "common" rules for an individual field:

(new BlogPost())->fieldRules('subject');

To return the resource rule set's creation rules for an individual field:

(new BlogPost())->fieldCreationRules('subject');

To return the resource rule set's update rules for an individual field:

(new BlogPost())->fieldUpdateRules('subject');

Testing

composer test

Changelog

Please see CHANGELOG for more information on what has changed recently.

Contributing

Please see CONTRIBUTING for details.

Credits

License

The MIT License (MIT). Please see License File for more information.

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