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Api plugin for CakePHP 3.x

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dev-master 2016-05-25 10:23 UTC

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Last update: 2022-02-01 12:46:19 UTC




This plugin allows you to easily create flexible restful api's on the fly.

Note: This is a non-stable plugin for CakePHP 3.0 at this time. It is currently under development and should be considered experimental. We are working hard for a first release!

Table of Contents


You can install this plugin into your CakePHP application using composer.

The recommended way to install composer packages is:

composer require cakemanager/cakephp-api:dev-master

Now you need to load the plugin with:

$ bin/cake plugin load -b -r Api

Default the plugin-configurations can be done with Configure::write(). The Api-plugin has an Settings-plugin integration. By adding Configure::write('Api.settings') BEFORE loading the Api-plugin the settings will be saved in your database, and will be configurable in the CakeAdmin Plugin (or your own integration).


Response structure

The Api-plugin handles the following structure for responses:

    "url": "/api/blogs/1.json",
    "code": 200,
    "data": {
        "id": 1,
        "title": "My first blog",
        "body": "How are you?",
        "category_id": 1,
        "created_by": {
            "id": 1,
            "email": ""
        "modified_by": {
            "id": 1,
            "email": ""
        "created": "2015-06-27T08:39:02+0000",
        "modified": "2015-07-03T20:13:09+0000"


  • url - This is the requested url.
  • code - This is the status-code. On failures 4xx (client side) or 5xx (server side) errors will be given.
  • data - The requested data.

Note: In a later version, you will be able to add your own structure. For now this will be the baseline.

Basic introduction

Lets say we want to create an API for our blogs. First of all we need a controller which is prefixed with Api. Use the shell to create this:

$ bin/cake bake controller --prefix Api Blogs

Now the BlogsController is created in src/Controller/Api/BlogsController.php. Remove all crud-actions so we will have an empty controller.

Now add the following to let our api do the work:

use Api\Controller\ApiControllerTrait;

class BlogsController extends AppController
    use ApiControllerTrait;

    public function initialize()
        $this->loadComponent('Api.ApiBuilder', []);



  • The use ApiControllerTrait is added to invoke the requested action to fake it. When you request the action view and it doesn't exists in your controller this trait is able to see that, and use our component for that.
  • The Api.ApiBuilder-component handles all of the api-stuff. This component is also used to add configurations.

Now add the following to your config/routes.php:

Router::prefix('api', function ($routes) {

This will add the BlogsController to the rest-full routes of Cake. For more, read

From now on your api is working, but hold on, no actions are configured yet! Let's add some crud-actions:

$this->loadComponent('Api.ApiBuilder', [
    'actions' => [

Now all crud-actions will be added to your api.

Enabling and disabling

The following examples can be used to enable or disable actions:

// enable single action

// enable multiple actions
$this->ApiBuilder->enable(['index', 'view']);

// disable single action

// disable multiple actions
$this->ApiBuilder->disable(['index', 'view']);

Adding parent resources

In some cases you have parent resources like:



The Api-plugin has an integration for this parent resources. By calling the index action, the query will automatically validate on the (in this case) blog_id. On save-queries the column will be automatically added. For that, use the following code in your controller:

// in the comments-controller
$this->ApiBuilder->addParentResource('Blogs', 'blog_id');

The first value is the name of the parent resource: Blogs. The second value is the column-name in the table, and also the variable-name in the request (look at the first code-example above). In this case: blog_id.

Customize actions

Of course you will be able customize your own actions. Look at this example:

public function view($id) {
    $this->set('data', $this->Blogs->get($id));

    return $this->ApiBuilder->execute('view');

This example shows you how you will be able to affect the data key of the response and let the ApiBuilder do its work.

Custom actions

Adding your custom actions is easy:

public function active() {
    $this->set('data', $this->Blogs->find()->where(['' => true]));

    return $this->ApiBuilder->execute();

Using this action will return all active blogs on


The ApiBuilderComponent has the following configurations:

  • modelName - The name of the model the controller uses.
  • _serialize - List of serialized variables. Serialized variables will be added to the json-response.
  • actions - Actions which are implemented. Can also be changed by the enable and disable methods.

The bootstrap.php contains the following configurations:

  • Api.settings - Bool if the settings-plugin should be used to store configurations. By adding this feature, settings can be managed in the CakeAdmin panel.
  • Api.JWT - Bool if JWT should be implemented in the API. JWT is implemented by the JwtAuth Plugin.

Keep in touch

If you need some help or got ideas for this plugin, feel free to chat at Gitter.

Pull Requests are always more than welcome!