Settings library for CodeIgniter 4

v2.1.0 2021-11-22 17:30 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2022-07-25 03:04:57 UTC


Provides database storage and retrieval of application settings, with a fallback to the config classes.

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Quick Start

  1. Install with Composer: > composer require codeigniter4/settings
  2. Create a new migration and copy the provided class from below into it.

Settings provides a simple interface that you can use in place of calling config() to allow you to read and store config values in the database. If the value has not been updated and saved in the database then the original value from the config file will be used.

This allows you to save your application's default state as values in config files, all stored in version control, and still allows your users to override those settings once the site is live.


Install easily via Composer to take advantage of CodeIgniter 4's autoloading capabilities and always be up-to-date:

  • > composer require codeigniter4/settings

Or, install manually by downloading the source files and adding the directory to app/Config/Autoload.php.


In order to store the settings in the database, you can run the provided migration:

> php spark migrate --all

This will also migrate all other packages. If you don't want to do that you can copy the file from vendor/codeigniter4/settings/src/Database/Migrations/2021-07-04-041948_CreateSettingsTable.php into app/Database/Migrations, and migrate without the --all flag.

dot Notation

This library uses what we call "dot notation" to specify the class name and the property name to use. These are joined by a dot, hence the name.

If you have a class named App, and the property you are wanting to use is siteName, then the key would be App.siteName.


To retrieve a config value use the settings service.

// The same as config('App')->siteName;
$siteName = service('settings')->get('App.siteName');

In this case we used the short class name, App, which the config() method automatically locates within the app/Config directory. If it was from a module, it would be found there. Either way, the fully qualified name is automatically detected by the Settings class to keep values separated from config files that may share the same name but different namespaces. If no config file match is found, the short name will be used, so it can be used to store settings without config files.

To save a value, call the set() method on the settings class, providing the class name, the key, and the value. Note that boolean true/false will be converted to strings :true and :false when stored in the database, but will be converted back into a boolean when retrieved. Arrays and objects are serialized when saved, and unserialized when retrieved.

service('settings')->set('App.siteName', 'My Great Site');

You can delete a value from the persistent storage with the forget() method. Since it is removed from the storage, it effectively resets itself back to the default value in config file, if any.


Contextual Settings

In addition to the default behavior describe above, Settings can can be used to define "contextual settings". A context may be anything you want, but common examples are a runtime environment or an authenticated user. In order to use a context you pass it as an additional parameter to the get()/set()/forget() methods; if a context setting is requested and does not exist then the general value will be used.

Contexts may be any unique string you choose, but a recommended format for supplying some consistency is to give them a category and identifier, like environment:production or group:42.

An example... Say your App config includes the name of a theme to use to enhance your display. By default your config file specifies App.theme = 'default'. When a user changes their theme, you do not want this to change the theme for all visitors to the site, so you need to provide the user as the context for the change:

$context = 'user:' . user_id();
service('settings')->set('App.theme', 'dark', $context);

Now when your filter is determining which theme to apply it can check for the current user as the context:

$context = 'user:' . user_id();
$theme = service('settings')->get('App.theme', $context);

// or using the helper
setting()->get('App.theme', $context);

Contexts are a cascading check, so if a context does not match a value it will fall back on general, i.e. service('setting')->get('App.theme'). Return value priority is as follows: "Setting with a context > Setting without context > Config value > null".

Using the Helper

The helper provides a shortcut to the using the service. It must first be loaded using the helper() method or telling your BaseController to always load it.


$name = setting('App.siteName');
// Store a value
setting('App.siteName', 'My Great Site');

// Using the service through the helper
$name = setting()->get('App.siteName');
setting()->set('App.siteName', 'My Great Site');

// Forgetting a value

Note: Due to the shorthand nature of the helper function it cannot access contextual settings.

Known Limitations

The following are known limitations of the library:

  1. You can currently only store a single setting at a time. While the DatabaseHandler uses a local cache to keep performance as high as possible for reads, writes must be done one at a time.
  2. You can only access the first level within a property directly. In most config classes this is a non-issue, since the properties are simple values. Some config files, like the database file, contain properties that are arrays.