A trait containing common JSON responses for an API built with Laravel 5.1.

v1.2.5 2016-03-15 08:36 UTC

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Last update: 2024-07-20 17:41:03 UTC


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Common JSON responses for an API built with Laravel 5.1.


This trait does the following:

  • It returns generic (predefined) JSON responses for common API actions like creating, updating, destroying, indexing and showing a resource.
  • It can be easily extended and modified
  • It can be used anywhere in your application (controllers, routes etc...)


composer require delatbabel/jsonresponses

In your class do this:

use Delatbabel\JsonResponses\JsonResponses;

class MyController
    use JsonResponses;
    // ...


Success Response With Data

return $this->respondSuccess('OK', ['time' => gmtime()]);

Failure Response

return $this->respondInternalError();

Failure Response With Message and Data

return $this->respondNotAcceptable(
    'Mugwumps are not found in swamps',
    ['location' => 'desert']);

Choosing a Status Code

See and



Many APIs have generic response formats for returning a success/fail response, a response code, a message, and some data. There are a few packages out there including Syndra (Mario Basic), which do similar things but I gone back to this, which was my original implementation as a trait, because it does all of what I what I need to do.

This provides generic JSON responses for when a resource is created, updated, destroyed, indexed, etc, as well as a generic error format.

To Trait Or Not To Trait?

Many developers have derided the use of PHP 5.4+ traits on the basis that they are really just methods to hide simple cut/paste code. Certainly they have their disadvantages, not the least of which is difficulty in providing stand-alone tests for them.

In this case I decided to implement this as a trait anyway, because I wanted all of my API controllers to return an identical response format, and this was a simple way of doing it.

A lot of software designers have suggested that traits should not provide data, only methods, which makes them look more exactly like Ruby's "mixins". However PHP does provide limited capability for traits to hold data and so I have implemented a simple protected variable to store the response code between calls.

Response Format

The response format emitted by this trait will look like this (in JSON):

response: {
    success: true,      // true or false
    message: message,   // arbitrary message goes here
    response_code: code // response code goes here
data: { ...
}                       // arbitrary data structure goes here

The HTTP response code is repeated inside the response hash for easy access.