Factories

Introduction

Like Services, Factories are an extension of autoloading that helps keep your code concise yet optimal, without having to pass around object instances between classes. At its simplest, Factories provide a common way to create a class instance and access it from anywhere. This is a great way to reuse object states and reduce memory load from keeping multiple instances loaded across your app.

Anything can be loaded by Factories, but the best examples are those classes that are used to work on or transmit common data. The framework itself uses Factories internally, e.g. to make sure the correct configuration is loaded when using the Config class.

Take a look at Models as an example. You can access the Factory specific to Models by using the magic static method of the Factories class, Factories::models(). Because of the common path structure for namespaces and folders, Factories know that the model files and classes are found within Models, so you can request a model by its shorthand base name:

use CodeIgniter\Config\Factories;

$users = Factories::models('UserModel');

Or you could also request a specific class:

$widgets = Factories::models('Some\Namespace\Models\WidgetModel');

Next time you ask for the same class anywhere in your code, Factories will be sure you get back the instance as before:

class SomeOtherClass
{
        $widgets = Factories::models('WidgetModel');
        ...
}

Factory Parameters

Factories takes as a second parameter an array of option values (described below). These directives will override the default options configured for each component.

Any more parameters passed at the same time will be forwarded on to the class constructor, making it easy to configure your class instance on-the-fly. For example, say your app uses a separate database for authentication and you want to be sure that any attempts to access user records always go through that connection:

$conn  = db_connect('AuthDatabase');
$users = Factories::models('UserModel', [], $conn);

Now any time the UserModel is loaded from Factories it will in fact be returning a class instance that uses the alternate database connection.

Factories Options

The default behavior might not work for every component. For example, say your component name and its path do not align, or you need to limit instances to a certain type of class. Each component takes a set of options to direct discovery and instantiation.

Key

Type

Description

Default

component

string or null

The name of the component (if different than the static method). This can be used to alias one component to another.

null (defaults to the component name)

path

string or null

The relative path within the namespace/folder to look for classes.

null (defaults to the component name)

instanceOf

string or null

A required class name to match on the returned instance.

null (no filtering)

getShared

boolean

Whether to return a shared instance of the class or load a fresh one.

true

preferApp

boolean

Whether a class with the same basename in the App namespace overrides other explicit class requests.

true

Factories Behavior

Options can be applied in one of three ways (listed in ascending priority):

  • A configuration file Factory with a component property.

  • The static method Factories::setOptions.

  • Passing options directly at call time with a parameter.

Configurations

To set default component options, create a new Config files at app/Config/Factory.php that supplies options as an array property that matches the name of the component. For example, if you wanted to ensure that all Filters used by your app were valid framework instances, your Factories.php file might look like this:

<?php namespace Config;

use CodeIgniter\Config\Factory as BaseFactory;
use CodeIgniter\Filters\FilterInterface;

class Factories extends BaseFactory
{
        public $filters = [
                'instanceOf' => FilterInterface::class,
        ];
}

This would prevent conflict of an unrelated third-party module which happened to have an unrelated “Filters” path in its namespace.

setOptions Method

The Factories class has a static method to allow runtime option configuration: simply supply the desired array of options using the setOptions() method and they will be merged with the default values and stored for the next call:

Factories::setOptions('filters', [
        'instanceOf' => FilterInterface::class,
        'prefersApp' => false,
]);

Parameter Options

Factories’s magic static call takes as a second parameter an array of option values. These directives will override the stored options configured for each component and can be used at call time to get exactly what you need. The input should be an array with option names as keys to each overriding value.

For example, by default Factories assumes that you want to locate a shared instance of a component. By adding a second parameter to the magic static call, you can control whether that single call will return a new or shared instance:

$users = Factories::models('UserModel', ['getShared' => true]); // Default; will always be the same instance
$other = Factories::models('UserModel', ['getShared' => false]); // Will always create a new instance