Frontend Bridge CakePHP 3

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CakePHP 3 Notifications Plugin License

A CakePHP 3 plugin that allows the creation of JavaScript Controllers for Controller-actions. Code-generation via the shell is possible as well.



1. require the plugin in composer.json

"require": {
	"codekanzlei/cake-frontend-bridge": "dev-master",

2. Include the plugin using composer

Open a terminal in your project-folder and run

$ composer update

3. Load the plugin in config/bootstrap.php

Plugin::load('FrontendBridge', ['bootstrap' => true, 'routes' => true, 'autoload' => true]);

4. Create additional files

Create the following files and set them up using the given code.

  • app_controller.js


    template code:

     Frontend.AppController = Frontend.Controller.extend({
         baseComponents: [],
         _initialize: function() {

5. Configure AppController.php

In your src/Controller/AppController.php, insert the following pieces of code to setup the Frontend Bridge plugin.


use \FrontendBridge\Lib\FrontendBridgeTrait;


'FrontendBridge' => ['className' => 'FrontendBridge.FrontendBridge'],



6. Load the scripts

Inside your <head> section add the following code to load all needed .js controllers:

<?php if(isset($this->FrontendBridge)) {
	echo $this->FrontendBridge->run();
} ?>

In development add $this->FrontendBridge->addAllControllers(); into the if block to load without exceptions all .js controllers

7. Add Main Content Classes

Inside your Layout\default.ctp add the following line. Inside the div should be your content.

<div <?= $this->FrontendBridge->getControllerAttributes(['some', 'optional', 'css', 'classes']) ?>>
    <?= $this->fetch('content') ?>

Also add this to other layout files, if you're using them.

Bake JS Controllers

You can bake JS Controllers for your controller actions by using the bake shell. Just pass the controller name and the camelized action name.

bin/cake bake js_controller Posts addPost

This command will create the JavaScript-controller file and if necessary the directory structure for it.

You can also bake JS controllers into your plugins by using the --plugin option.

Code Examples

Use the following example code snippets to get a better understanding of the FrontendBridge Plugin and its useful features. Note that you might need to include further Plugins for these.

1.) Access view variables in js_controller

Use the following basic setup to pass data from the Backend to the Frontend via FrontendBridge.

  • YourController.php (CakeController)

     action() {
     		'this is sample text');
  • action.ctp (Cake View file)

     display content of json var
     <span class="findMe"></span>
  • action_controller.js (FrontendBridge JS-Controller)

     startup: function() {
     	var varName = this.getVar('varName');

Be sure to play close attention to the naming convention, especially regarding the action_controller.js. Following the example shown above, its exact path should be /webroot/js/app/controllers/your/action_controller.js

The data you passed from the Controller to the Frontend in the variable varName should now be rendered in the view.

2.) Use modal dialog windows for editing forms

This example uses the following additional Plugins:

Use the following basic setup to use a modal view element as an edit form that passes the change-request data to the Backend via FrontendBridge. For this example, we will use a basic Users-Model as well as a modal form-element, embedded in the regular view page for a User-Entity to edit and save some of its attributes.

  • UsersController.php (CakeController)

     public function editModal ($id = null) {
     	$user = $this->Users->get($id);
     	if ($this->request->is(['patch', 'post', 'put'])) {
     		$user = $this->Users->patchEntity($user, $this->request->data);
     		if ($this->Users->save($user)) {
     			// prevent redirecting or reloading of the current page
     		    $this->FrontendBridge->setJson('success', true);
  • view.ctp (regular Cake View file; edit_modal.ctp in front of it)

     // CkTools button
     <?=$this->CkTools->button('edit_label', [
     	'controller' => 'Users',
     	'action' => 'editModal',
     	// block interaction with the view file 'behind' the modal element
     	['additionalClasses' => 'modal-form']
  • edit_modal.ctp (View file which will be the content of the modal form)

     <div class="modal-content">
     	<div class="modal-header">
     		<button type="button" class="close" data-dismiss="modal">&times;</button>
     	<div class="modal-body">
     		<?= $this->Form->create($user, [
                 'class' => 'dialog-ajax-form dialog-ajax-form-close-on-success',
     	            <?= $this->Form->input('name'); ?>
     	            // [further input fields]
     	        <div class="modal-footer">
     	        	// FormEnd (save) button generated using CkTools
     	            <?= $this->CkTools->formButtons(['cancelButton' => false]); ?>
             <?= $this->Form->end(); ?>
  • edit_modal_controller.js (FrontendBridge JS-Controller)

     startup: function() {
     	//  add an EventListener to element with class 'modal-form'
     	this.$('.modal-form').on('click', function(e) {
     		// callback function when Listener is triggered
             App.Main.Dialog.loadDialog($(e.currentTarget).attr('href'), {
                 modalTitle: 'Modal title',
                 preventHistory: false

3.) Generate custom AJAX requests

Use the following setup to generate custom AJAX requests. Using FrontendBridge's 'request' action, we will pass JSON data from the Backend to the Frontend.

  • YourController.php (CakeController)

     public function getJsonData()
         $code = ApiReturnCode::SUCCESS;
         return $this->Api->response($code, [
             'foo' => 'bar',
             'more' => 'json-data'
         ]); // JSON data which will be logged in your browser console
  • index.ctp (Cake View file)

     <a class="ajax-json-demo">Get JSON data</a>
  • index_controller.js (FrontendBridge JS-Controller)

     App.Controllers.YourIndexController = Frontend.AppController.extend({
     	startup: function() {
     		this.$('.ajax-json-demo').click(function() {
                 var url = {
                     controller: 'Your',
                     action: 'getJsonData'
                 // if postData is null, a GET request will be made
                 var postData = null;
                 App.Main.request(url, postData, function (response) {
                     alert('Response Code ' + response.code + ' - see console for details');

4.) Load content dynamically using AJAX

Use the following setup to make custom HTML requests via AJAX. Using FrontendBridge's loadJsonAction and request, we will implement a very basic livesearch.

This example assumes a Table called Users with a field username in your database.

  • SearchController.php (CakeController)

     public function index() {
     	// renders index.ctp
     public function search() {
         $users = null;
         if ($this->request->is(['patch', 'post', 'put']) && !empty($this->request->data['search'])) {
         	// search UsersTable for entities that contain
         	// request->data['search'] in field 'username'
             $users = TableRegistry::get('Users')->find()
                 ->where(['username LIKE' => '%' . $this->request->data['search'] . '%'])
  • index.ctp (Cake View file)

     <!-- input field -->
     <div class="input-group">
     	<input type="text" class="form-control" id="search">
     <br />
     <!-- search results (search.ctp) will be rendered here -->
     <div class="results"></div>
  • search.ctp (Cake View file)

     <?php if(!empty($users)) : ?>
     	<?php foreach($users as $user) : ?>
     		<?= h($user->username) ?><br />
     	<?php endforeach; ?>
     <?php else : ?>
     	no results to display
     <?php endif; ?>
  • index_controller.js (FrontendBridge JS-Controller)

     App.Controllers.SearchIndexController = Frontend.AppController.extend({
         startup: function() {
         	// set KeyUp-EventListener to field with id 'search' in index.ctp
         // called at eatch keyup-event in 'search'
         _search: function() {
             var $renderTarget = this.$('.results');
             var url = {
                 controller: 'Search',
                 action: 'search'
             // create a custom AJAX request with the user input included in the post-data
             App.Main.loadJsonAction(url, {
                 data: {
                     search: this.$('#search').val()
                 target: $renderTarget, // render the HTML into this selector

Functionality Overview

  • loadJsonAction

    Allows dynamically loading content in the view using AJAX according to user interaction. Uses request.

  • request

    Allows generating custom AJAX requests. Also supports FormData (except IE <= 9) as request data.