Guess attributes for Eloquent model factories

v3.0.2 2022-02-08 16:04 UTC


This package provides default attributes for Laravel model factories by guessing the best Faker formatters from columns' names and types. For example, if a column is called first_name, it will use $faker->firstName(). If unable to guess by the column's name, it will guess the formatter by the column's type; for example, it will use $faker->text() for a VARCHAR column, or a Carbon instance for a TIMESTAMP. Models of BelongsTo relationships that have been defined are created as well. Furthermore, if you use the Multilingual package, for translatable attributes Populator will generate arrays with a different value for each configured locale.

Compared to packages that generate factories once, you generally don't have to update your factories as you change their table definitions and they will be very small.


Install the package with Composer:

composer require --dev guidocella/eloquent-populator

Model factory integration

Call Populator::guessFormatters($this->modelName()) in your factories' definition methods to get an array with the guessed formatters. You may merge these with custom attributes whose guessed formatter isn't accurate.

use GuidoCella\EloquentPopulator\Populator;


public function definition()
    return [...Populator::guessFormatters($this->modelName()), ...[
        'avatar' => $this->faker->imageUrl()

If you execute php artisan stub:publish, you can include the call to Populator in factory.stub so that php artisan make:factory will add it.

After guessing a model's formatters once, they are cached in a static property even across different tests.


Before seeding your database you'll want to call setSeeding().

public function run()

Its effect is that nullable columns will have a 50% chance of being set to null or to the guessed formatter.


If setSeeding() wasn't called nullable columns will always be set to their guessed formatter. The idea is to simplify tests such as this:

public function testSubmitWithoutName() {
    $user = User::factory()->make(['name' => null]);
    // test that submitting a form with $user's attributes causes an error

public function testSubmitWithCorrectName() {
    $user = User::factory()->make();
    // no need to specify the correct formatter for name since it can't be null
    // test that submitting a form with $user's attributes is succesful

On the other hand, seeding the database with null attributes lets you notice Trying to get property of non-object errors.