💼 Manage application specific business logic in Laravel (inspired by ActiveInteraction)
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README.md

Eloquent Interactions

Eloquent Interactions manages application-specific business logic. It's an implementation of the command pattern in PHP for Laravel, and is inspired by the ActiveInteraction library in Ruby.

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Eloquent Interactions gives you a place to put your business logic. It also helps you write safer code by validating that your inputs conform to your expectations, and provides a platform for creating discrete, easily testable code.

Installation

To install Eloquent Interactions, require the library via Composer:

composer require zachflower/eloquent-interactions

Eloquent Interactions is build with Laravel 5.3+ in mind. Earlier versions of Laravel may work, but they have not been tested, so your mileage may vary.

Laravel < 5.5:

If you have disabled auto-discovery in Laravel, or are using a version of Laravel prior to 5.5, add the EloquentInteractionsServiceProvider to the providers array in config/app.php:

ZachFlower\EloquentInteractions\EloquentInteractionsServiceProvider::class,

Basic Usage

To get started with Eloquent Interactions, let's first create a new Interaction. Interactions typically live in the app/Interactions directory, but you are free to place them anywhere that can be auto-loaded according to your composer.json file. All Eloquent Interactions extend the \ZachFlower\EloquentInteractions\Interaction abstract class.

The easiest way to create an Interaction is using the make:interaction Artisan command:

php artisan make:interaction ConvertMetersToMiles

Now, let's take a look at the base Interaction that was created by the make:interaction command above:

<?php

namespace App\Interactions;

use ZachFlower\EloquentInteractions\Interaction;

class ConvertMetersToMiles extends Interaction
{
    /**
     * Parameter validations
     *
     * @var array
     */
    public $validations = [
        //
    ];

    /**
     * Execute the interaction
     *
     * @return void
     */
    public function execute() {
        //
    }
}

Once generated, every interaction will require the following two components:

  1. Input Validations. The class $validations property utilizes the built-in Laravel validator to define and validate the expected input of a given Interaction. Alternatively, the $validations property can be replaced with a validations() method.
  2. Business Logic. The execute() method takes the provided input—after it passes validation, of course—and executes any necessary business logic on it. Each input you defined will be available. If any of the inputs are invalid, execute() won't be run.

Given that information, let's update the generated Interaction into something usable:

<?php

namespace App\Interactions;

use ZachFlower\EloquentInteractions\Interaction;

class ConvertMetersToMiles extends Interaction
{
    /**
     * Parameter validations
     *
     * @var array
     */
    public $validations = [
        'meters' => 'required|numeric|min:0',
    ];

    /**
     * Execute the interaction
     *
     * @return void
     */
    public function execute() {
        return $this->meters * 0.000621371;
    }
}

To execute the Interaction, you can call the static run() method on the class. As the Interaction's $validations property defines the expected inputs, a simple key-value array should be passed to run() with the expected input. This method will return a new instance of the \ZachFlower\EloquentInteractions\Outcome class. To check the success of the outcome, a boolean $valid property will be set on the Outcome object, with TRUE meaning the input validation passed, and FALSE meaning it failed. If the validation failed, all validation errors will be stored in the $errors property on the Outcome object. If validation passes, the value returned from the execute() method will be stored in the $result property on the Outcome object.

>>> $outcome = ConvertMetersToMiles::run(['meters' => 100]);
>>> $outcome->valid;
=> true
>>> $outcome->result;
=> 0.0621371

>>> $outcome = ConvertMetersToMiles::run(['meters' => 'one hundred']);
>>> $outcome->valid;
=> false
>>> $outcome->errors->toArray()
=> [
     "meters" => [
       "The meters must be a number.",
     ],
   ]

If you would rather deal with error handling on your own, you can pass TRUE as a second parameter to the run() method. This, for lack of a better word, will execute the Interaction "dangerously," meaning that any defined errors will be thrown as exceptions of the type \ZachFlower\EloquentInteractions\Exceptions\ValidationException instead.

>>> $outcome = App\Interactions\Utility\ConvertMetersToMiles::run(['meters' => 'one hundred'], TRUE);
Illuminate\Validation\ValidationException with message 'The given data failed to pass validation.'
>>> $outcome->errors->toArray();
=> [
     "meters" => [
       "The meters must be a number.",
     ],
   ]

Validations

Eloquent Interactions relies heavily on the build-in Laravel validator. This means that any validation method available within a Laravel application will also be available to the Eloquent Interactions validator. That said, there is currently one custom validator (with more on the horizon) to better facilitate the backend-nature of Eloquent Interactions.

Advanced Validators

If the built-in validators aren't powerful enough for your needs, you can use a validations() method in lieu of the $validations property. For example, let's say that we want to use a class to validate the meters parameter in the above examples. Our interaction would change to look something like this:

<?php

namespace App\Interactions;

use ZachFlower\EloquentInteractions\Interaction;

class ConvertMetersToMiles extends Interaction
{
    /**
     * Execute the interaction
     *
     * @return void
     */
    public function execute() {
        return $this->meters * 0.000621371;
    }
    
    /**
     * Parameter validations
     *
     * @var array
     */
    public function validations()
    {
        return [
            'meters' => ['required', new MyMetersRule()],
        ];
    }
}

Objects

In some instances, it might be desireable to validate the type of an object. For example, if we wanted to validate that an input parameter is User model, the following validation rule may be used:

public $validations = [
    'user' => 'required|object:App\Models\User'
];

In a nutshell, this validator checks the instanceof of an input parameter against the defined validation. This is especially useful when validating whether or not a provided object is a child of the defined validation object.

Errors

In addition to the built-in validation errors, Eloquent Interactions also has support for custom validation errors directly within the execute() method. This can be accomplished by utilizing the Laravel validator's own add() method directly on its errors() method:

public function execute() {
    $this->validator->errors()->add('entity', 'The entity object type is invalid.');
}

It is important to note that, while adding custom validation errors within the execute() method will mark the Outcome as invalid and return the expected error messages, what it won't do is halt Interaction execution, so any business logic in the execute() method will be executed as normal unless special steps are taken.

Contributing

Please read through the contributing guidelines. Included are directions for opening issues, coding standards, and notes on development.

For personal support requests, please use Gitter to get help.

Versioning

For transparency into the release cycle and in striving to maintain backward compatibility, Eloquent Interactions is maintained under the Semantic Versioning guidelines. Sometimes I screw up, but I'll adhere to those rules whenever possible.

See the Releases section of the GitHub project for changelogs for each release version of Eloquent Interactions.

Support

The issue tracker is the preferred channel for bug reports, feature requests and submitting pull requests.

Copyright and License

Code and documentation copyright 2017 Zachary Flower. Code released under the MIT license.