A Laravel package for using structs with Laravel including attribute casting.

v0.1.5 2023-06-17 08:36 UTC

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Last update: 2024-05-18 13:28:35 UTC


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A struct is a collection of typed variables. Structs are a well known datatype in other programming languages, but unfortunately not natively part of PHP yet. This package aims to bring structs to PHP and in particular to Laravel.


You can install the package via composer:

composer require proai/laravel-struct

Please note that you need at least PHP 7.4 and Laravel 8 for this package.


The package uses named properties, which were introduced in PHP 7.4, to define a struct:

use App\Structs\GeoLocation;
use ProAI\Struct\Struct;

class Address extends Struct
    public string $street;

    public string $city;

    public GeoLocation $geo_location;

You can use all primitive types like string, bool, float, int, but also you can type a property as an object. The object can also be another struct, which enables you to nest structs (like GeoLocation above).

Structs are instantiated by using an array of values:

$address = new Address([
    'street' => 'Baker Street',
    'city' => 'London',
    'geo_location' => [
        'latitude' => 51.52,
        'longitude' => -0.1566,

Properties that are typed as objects will be converted to these objects on instantiation. Thus in the example above an object of App\Structs\GeoLocation will be created for the $geo_location property.

Properties can be accessed normally:

=> "Baker Street"

=> App\Structs\GeoLocation { ... }

Hint: Snake cased properties are used to mimic the behaviour of Eloquent attributes.

Attribute Casting

You can use attribute casting with structs in your Eloquent models:

use App\Structs\Address;
use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model;

class User extends Model
    protected $casts = [
        'address' => Address::class,

In order to make this work you need to define a json column of the specified key, so in this case address.

Alternatively you can use the composed struct caster by adding the argument composed to compose a struct from multiple columns:

use App\Structs\Address;
use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model;

class User extends Model
    protected $casts = [
        'address' => Address::class.':composed',

The column names must start with the specified key followed by an underscore and the property name. This also works with nested structs. For the example above we would need the following columns:


Finally you can also write your own custom caster by overwriting the castUsing method of the struct like described in the Laravel docs.


Sometimes you need an array of structs. For this purpose you can define a struct collection. The struct collection class is inherited from the Laravel collection class, so you can use all methods of a Laravel collection.

use App\Structs\Address;
use ProAI\Struct\Collection;

class AddressCollection extends Collection
    public $type = Address::class;

By the way, attribute casting also works with struct collections for json columns.


Bugs and feature requests are tracked on GitHub.


This package is released under the MIT License.