A PHP 7.1 value objects helper library.

0.5 2020-12-18 17:34 UTC


Build Status Version


Requires PHP >= 7.1


Through Composer, obviously:

composer require funeralzone/valueobjects


This library only deals with fundamental values (scalars). We've also released an extension library which provides a starting point for more complex values.

Our approach

We've written up our philosophy to PHP value objects in our A better way of writing value objects in PHP article.

Single value object

If your VO encapsulates a single value, it's most likely a scalar. We've provided some traits to deal with scalars under:


Let's say you have a domain value called 'User Email'. You'd create a class which implements the ValueObject interface:

final class UserEmail implements ValueObject {

You now need to implement the interface. But because an email can essentially be considered a special kind of string (in this simple case) the StringTrait helper trait can implement most of the interface for you:

final class UserEmail implements ValueObject {

    use StringTrait;

In our case, a user's email has other domain logic that we can encapsulate in our VO. User emails have to be a valid email:

    public function __construct(string $string)
        $this->string = $string;

You can see an example of how to implement single value objects in the examples directory.


Enums can be defined easily through use of the EnumTrait. Then, the enum values are simply listed as constants on the class.

final class Fastening implements ValueObject
    use EnumTrait;
    public const BUTTON = 0;
    public const CLIP = 1;
    public const PIN = 2;
    public const ZIP = 3;

When dealing with value object serialisation, the constant names are used. They are case-sensitive. So:

$fastening = Fastening::fromNative('BUTTON');
$fastening->toNative(); // Equals to string: 'BUTTON'

In code, the trait utilises magic methods to create objects based on constant name like so:

$fastening = Fastening::ZIP();
$fastening->toNative(); // Equals 'ZIP'

If your IDE supports code completion and you'd like to use named methods to create enums you can add the following PHPDoc block to your enum class:

 * @method static Fastening BUTTON()
 * @method static Fastening CLIP()
 * @method static Fastening PIN()
 * @method static Fastening ZIP()
final class Fastening implements ValueObject

Composite value objects

A composite value object is a more complex value which is made from other values.

final class Location implements ValueObject
    use CompositeTrait;
    private $latitude;
    private $longitude;
    public function __construct(Latitude $latitude, Longitude $longitude)
        $this->latitude = $latitude;
        $this->longitude = $longitude;
    public function getLatitude(): Latitude
        return $this->latitude;
    public function getLongitude(): Longitude
        return $this->longitude;

A Location is made up of two VOs (latitude, longitude). We've provided a CompositeTrait to easily implement most of the ValueObject interface automatically. It handles toNative serialistation by using reflection to return an array of all the class properties.

The CompositeTrait does not implement fromNative. We leave the construction of your object up to you.

    public static function fromNative($native)
        return new static(

You can see an example of how to implement composite objects in the examples directory.

Nulls, NonNulls and Nullables

This package allows you to deal with nullable value objects.

First create a type of value object.

interface PhoneNumber extends ValueObject

Implement a non-null version of the value object.

final class NonNullPhoneNumber implements PhoneNumber
    use StringTrait;

Implement a null version of the value object.

final class NullPhoneNumber implements PhoneNumber
    use NullTrait;

Implement a nullable version of the value object.

final class NullablePhoneNumber extends Nullable implements PhoneNumber
    protected static function nonNullImplementation(): string
        return NonNullPhoneNumber::class;
    protected static function nullImplementation(): string
        return NullPhoneNumber::class;

This 'nullable' handles automatic creation of either a null or a non-null version of the interface based on the native input. For example:

$phoneNumber = NullablePhoneNumber::fromNative(null);

The $phoneNumber above will automatically use the NullPhoneNumber implementation specified above.


$phoneNumber = NullablePhoneNumber::fromNative('+44 73715525763');

The $phoneNumber above will automatically use the NonNullPhoneNumber implementation specified above.

Sets of value objects

A set of value objects should implement the Set interface. It's just an extension of the ValueObject interface with a few simple additions.

interface Set extends ValueObject, \IteratorAggregate, \ArrayAccess, \Countable
    public function add($set);
    public function remove($set);
    public function contains(ValueObject $value): bool;
    public function toArray(): array;
  • add Add values from another set to the current set.
  • remove Remove all the values contained in another set from the current set.
  • contains Returns true if the value exists in the current set.
  • toArray Returns a simple PHP array containing all of the value objects.

The other interfaces that the Set interface extends from (\IteratorAggregate, \ArrayAccess, \Countable) are for accessing the set object as though it was an array.

Non-null sets

The library provides a default implementation of the interface.

final class SetOfLocations extends NonNullSet implements Set
    protected function typeToEnforce(): string
        return Location::class;

    public static function valuesShouldBeUnique(): bool
        return true;

There are two abstract methods that need to be implemented.

  • typeToEnforce should return a string of the class name of the value object that you want to make a set of.
  • valuesShouldBeUnique should return a boolean representing whether you want to force the set to be unique.

If the set is set to unique, if duplicate values are added to the set (at instantiation or through the add method) the duplicates are filtered out.

Null and nullable sets

Just like standard value objects there are some constructs to help with creating nullable and null sets. See the Nulls, NonNulls and Nullables section for more information.

  • NullableSet The set equivalent of Nullable.
  • NullSetTrait The set equivalent of the NullTrait.

Usage of sets

Iteration, access and counting

// Iteration
$set = new SetOfLocations([$one, $two]);
foreach($set as $value) {
    // TODO: Do something with each value object

// Access
$one = $set[0];
$two = $set[1];

$count = count($set); // Returns 2


Merges another set.

$set = new SetOfLocations([$one, $two]);
$anotherSet = new SetOfLocations([$three]);
$mergedSet = $set->add($anotherSet);
count($mergedSet) // Equals: 3


Removes values from a set by using another set as reference values.

$set = new SetOfLocations([$one, $two, $three]);
$anotherSet = new SetOfLocations([$one]);
$remove = $set->remove($anotherSet);
count($remove) // Equals: 2


Checks whether a set contains a particular value object.

$set = new SetOfLocations([$one, $two, $three]);
$one = new Location(0);
$check = $set->contains($one);