CakePHP Framework Tutorial for Beginners

What is CakePHP?

CakePHP is an open-source framework that helps make the development and maintenance of PHP apps much easier. It is based on the concept of MVC architecture. It helps you to separate your business logic from data and presentation layers.

In this CakePHP tutorial, you will learn:

Why use CakePHP Framework?

Here, are prime benefits/pros of using CakePHP framework:

  • Cake PHP is by far, one of the quickest web development platforms.
  • CakePHP allows developers to gain enhanced control over the database and SQL queries.
  • It helps users to develop robust web applications without losing their environment flexibility rapidly.
  • Support for PostgreSQL, SQLite, MySQL, PEAR-DB for ADODB, a database abstraction library.
  • Facilitates search Engine Friendly URLs
  • Provide features like input validation and sanitization tools which make the app secure.
  • Templating with familiar PHP syntax

History of CakePHP

  • CakePHP was developed by Michal Tatarynowicz On April 15, 2005.
  • CakePHP published it under MIT license and opened it to the community developers.
  • In July 2005, Larry E Masters took over as the lead developer.
  • Version 1.0 was released in 2006.
  • Version 2 was released in 2011
  • Version 3 was released in 2014 which is completely revoke of earlier versions.
  • Version 3.3.3. Of CakePHP is released with many advanced features in September 2016.
  • Version 3.7.9 is the last version released on June 19, 2019

Features of CakePHP

Here are important features of CakePHP.

  • Active, friendly community
  • MVC architecture
  • Built-in validation
  • Works from any web site directory, with some or no Apache configuration involved.
  • Templating Engine
  • Caching Operations
  • Easy CRUD Database Interactions.
  • Built-in Validation
  • Handlin Components like Email, Cookie, Security, Session, and Request
  • View Helpers for JavaScript, AJAX, HTML Forms and More

CakePHP- Folder Structure

Below given is folder structure of CakePHP.

FolderDescription
TestsThis folder contains test cases for your application.
TmpThe temp folder stores temporary data.
VendorThis folder helps you to store CakePHP, and other application dependencies will be installed.
WebrootThe Webroot stores all the files you want to be publicly reachable.
BinThe bin folder holds the Cake console executables.
LogsIt contains your log files, which depends on your log configuration.
ConfigThe config folder store the configuration files CakePHP uses
PluginsThis folder contains Plugins for the application. is where the Plugins your application uses are stored.
SrcIt contains a console task and commands to manage your application.

Locale Stores string files for internationalization.

Model Contains your application’s tables, entities, and behaviors.

Configuration of CakePHP

CakePHP comes with a single configuration file by default. It also allows you to modify it according to your requirements. There is a folder called “config” given for this purpose.

Variable NameDescription
DebugAllows you to change CakePHP debugging output.
App.namespaceHelps you to find app classes under.
App.baseUrlUn-comment this keyword when you don’t want to use Apache’s mod_rewrite with CakePHP.
App.encodingThis command allows you to Define what encoding your application uses.
App.baseIt is a base directory the app resides in If false, this will be auto-detected.
App.fullBaseUrlQualified domain name
App.webrootIt is a webroot directory.
App.wwwRootThe file path to the webroot.
App.jsBaseUrlPath to the public js directory.
App.pathsConfigure paths for non-class based resources.
App.cssBaseUrlIt is a web path to the public css directory under webroot.
Security.saltIt is a random string used in hashing.
Asset.timestampThis variable allows you to appends a timestamp when using proper helpers.

Cake- PHP naming conventions

Cake follows the idea of convention over configuration. Naming convention method allows you to organize the operation of the web application. In this method, more than one word in the name must be separated by “_” when naming the file and camel cases when naming the class.

The MVC parts must follow below given syntax:

 File NameClass NameBase Class NameLocation
ModelFile Name Singular form of the table name with .php extension ex: order.phpThe file name in a Camel case, ex: OrderAppModel/app/models
Controllertablename_controller with .php extension, ex: ordcrs_controllcr.phpThe table name appended Controller, ex: OrdcrsControllerAppController/app/controllers
ViewThe action name in the controller with .ctp extension, ex: add.ctpNo classes; a view c HTML tags and PHP. ‘ /app/vuews/controller name

Databases Configuration

CakePHP allows you to configure Database in config/app.php file. It provides default connection with provided parameters which you can modify per your choice.

Important parameters are given below:

DatabaseName of Database
port (optional) encodingThe TCP port or Unix socket used to connect to the server.
TimezoneServer timezone to set.
SchemaIt helps you to specify which schema you can use.
unix_socketThis Database used by drivers to connect via Unix socket files.
SSL keyIt is a file path to the SSL key file.
ssl_certIt is a file path to the SSL certificate file.
ssl_caIt is a file path to the SSL certificate authority.
LogThis term helps you to perform query logging.
InitA list of queries which should be sent to the database server whenever the connection is created.
 Set to true if you want to use reserved words or special characters

How does MVC work in CakePHP?

It is a dynamic way to build the prime mechanism of a web application. The model, the view, and the Controller- separate each other.

Cake PHP splits operations into three parts:

  • Models: Used for all database interactions.
  • Views: Used for all output and displays.
  • Controllers: Used to control the application flow

Here, are steps to use MVC architecture in CakePHP:

Step 1) The client or user interacts with the view

Step 2) View alerts controller of the specific event.

Step 3) It sends a database request to the Model and Controller updates the model.

Step 4) The model alerts view that it has changed.

Step 5) View receives model data and updates itself according to received data.

Why use MVC?

  • CakePHP MVC helps you to separates business logic from presentation and data retrieval.
  • A site is divided into logical sections which you can govern with a specific controller.
  • When testing and debugging an application, any developers help you to locate and correct errors without having complete details of the code.

Disadvantages of using the CakePHP framework

  • The documentation supports of CakePHP is not as comprehensive as it should be.
  • To use CakePHP software, the developer needs to update the default routes for creating fancy URL’s, which is a lot more work compared to other PHP frameworks.
  • CakePHP one way routing as compared to other frameworks.
  • Learning PHP framework is not easy.
  • Offers one-way routing is another disadvantage when compared with frameworks such as Ruby on Rails.

Summary

  • CakePHP is an open-source framework that helps make development and maintenance of PHP apps much easier.
  • CakePHP allows developers to gain enhanced control over the database and SQL queries.
  • It was developed by Michal Tatarynowicz On April 15, 2005
  • MVC architecture and Built-in validation are the most important features of CakePHP
  • CakePHP comes with a single configuration file by default which allows you to modify it according to your requirements.
  • Naming convention method of CakePHP allows you to organize the operation of the web application.
  • CakePHP allows you to configure Database in config/app.php file.
  • Cake PHP splits MVC operations into three parts:
  • Models: Used for all database interactions, Views: Used for all output and displays, Controllers: Used to control the application flow
  • The biggest advantage of using MVC in CakePHP is that it helps you to separates business logic from presentation and data retrieval.
  • The biggest drawback of CakePHP is that documentation supports of CakePHP is not as comprehensive as it should be.
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