A powerful form building and model data transforming package for Laravel 5 - 8.

v1.5.1 2021-04-21 02:59 UTC


A powerful form building and model data transforming package for Laravel 5 / 6 / 7 / 8.

Latest Stable Version License

Formation consists of two separate but complementary systems, each useable independently of each other:

  1. A powerful form builder which makes it really easy to build forms with PHP form building methods that automatically:

  2. An easy-to-use data transformer base model that extends Eloquent (or optionally an Extended trait to use in a model that extends something else) that offers many features for transforming data, either when serving from a web server to a client, or for saving form data to your database.

Note: All input data displayed within form elements are filtered through the entities method.


To install Formation, make sure regulus/formation has been added to Laravel 5's composer.json file.

"require": {
	"regulus/formation": "1.5.*"

Then run php composer.phar update from the command line. Composer will install the Formation package. Now, all you have to do is register the service provider and set up Formation's alias in config/app.php. Add this to the providers array:


And add this to the aliases array:

'Form' => Regulus\Formation\Facade::class,

You may use 'Formation', or another alias, but 'Form' is recommended for the sake of simplicity. Formation is now ready to go.

Now, publish the config file, form.php, as well as the views and JS file, from the command line:

php artisan vendor:publish

1. Form Builder

A select set of features for the form builder are as follows: - populate forms with data (both default values and data provided by the POST array) - add an error class to labels and form fields - add IDs to form fields based on their names and add matching for attributes to the fields' labels - provides the ability to validate specific arrays in the POST array as well as the entire form - set up by default to use Twitter Bootstrap 4 classes for form elements but can be easily customized for other CSS frameworks - allows use of combination of PHP and JS to allow automatic creation of Handlebars JS form templates

All of this can be achieved with a minimal amount of code:

{!! Form::field('first_name') !!}

{!! Form::field('password') !!}

{!! Form::field('user.item', 'select', [
	'options' => prep_options(Item::all(), ['id', 'name'])
]) !!}

Simply echoing Form::field('first_name') is the same as the following code:

<div class="form-group" id="field-first-name-area">
	{!! Form::label('first_name') !!}

	{!! Form::text('first_name') !!}

	{!! Form::error('first_name') !!}

The above code may produce the following markup:

<div class="form-group has-error" id="field-first-name-area">
	<label for="field-first-name" class="control-label has-error"><span class="access">F</span>irst Name</label>

	<input type="text" name="first_name" id="field-first-name" class="form-control has-error" placeholder="First Name" accesskey="f" value="Joe" />

	<div class="error">The First Name field is required.</div>

The above code is an example of how simple and versatile Formation is. The top 3 fields make use of Formation's simplified field() method, the middle section shows the long way to achieve the same markup as the first two text fields, and the final section shows the markup that may be produced from the above two examples (assuming a "required" form validation rule has been set for the "first_name" field and the form has been submitted). You may notice that the markup is quite comprehensive and complete. Accesskeys are automatically employed (unless you specify otherwise) and an "access" class is applied to the accesskey letter in the label. The label, field, and possibly error are all wrapped in a div tag with a Twitter Bootstrap "form-group" class. The IDs are based on the names but use hyphens instead of underscores and the labels are automatically created from the names as well (but can, again, be specified manually). All of the fields will be automatically repopulated when form data is posted to the page. The classes for fields, labels, errors, containers, and ID / class prefixes are customizable in the config file.

<input name="user[name]" value="" />
<input name="user[email]" value="" />

<input name="other_field" value="" />

With this form, we can validate just the fields in the user array with Form::isValid('user'), the final field with Form::isValid('root'), or all of the fields in the form with Form::isValid().

Example Routes

If you set example_routes in config/form.php to true or you leave it set to null and set your APP_ENV variable in .env to anything other than production, you can go to /formation to load the examples view and see Formation in action. It is recommended you review this along with the documentation to better understand what is possible with Formation and how it works.

Opening a Form

Opening a form to POST to the current URL:

{!! Form::open() !!}

Opening a form using a given URI and request method:

{!! Form::open(['url' => user/profile']) !!}

Opening a form that accepts file uploads:

{!! Form::openForFiles(['url' => 'user/profile', 'files' => true]) !!}

Opening a form for a resource controller:

{!! Form::openResource() !!}

Note: This method automatically creates the correct route for the form action, assuming a resource controller is being used.

Closing a form:

{!! Form::close() !!}

Default Form Values

One of the most useful features of Formation is its ability to take an array, object, or Eloquent model and use it to populate form fields automatically. When the form is posted, it will automatically make use of the values in the POST array instead.

$defaults = [
	'name'   => 'Ron Paul',
	'email'  => '',
	'active' => true,


Note: If you want to use array fields names instead, use, for example, and instead of name and email.

Forcing default values even after form POST:


Set defaults with relationships:

$user = User::find(1);

Form::setDefaults($user, ['posts']);

This will automatically set the defaults for the user's posts relationship defined in the model.

Set defaults with relationships based on specific attribute:

$user = User::find(1);

Form::setDefaults($user, [
	'posts' => '*',
	'roles' => 'id',

The posts item will work just like the above example (though this is the associative array version of the same thing) whereas the roles item will select only the id attributes in the relations to add to the defaults array. This could be used by a checkbox set with a roles. name prefix for managing record selections in a belongsToMany() relationship. There is an example in the Checkbox and Radio Button Sets section below.

Validation Rules

Formation makes use Laravel's Validator class. Using Form::setValidation() will create an instance of the Validator class (or many instances if array field names are used in the form setup). The reason the form's validation rules are passed through Formation to Validator is because Formation automatically adds an "error" class to the label and form field if an error is triggered. To do this, Formation needs a copy of the validation rules that have been set.

$rules = [
	'' => ['required'], // '' can be used for an array field like "user[name]"
	'email'     => ['required', 'email']


Validating all fields:

if (Form::isValid())
	return true;

Validating fields in an array:

if (Form::isValid('user')) // validates array fields with names like "user[name]" and "user[email]"
	return true;

if (Form::isValid('user.')) // ending with a "." allows us to validate fields like "user[0][name]" and "user[1][name]"
	return true;

The last example can be used when you have many instances of an array field like user above. That example will validate all sub fields of Input::get('user'). Ending your name with a period lets Formation know that user is an array that may contain many sets of the same sub fields.


Setting up labels with an array:

$labels = [
	'name'  =>  'Name',
	'email' => 'Email Address',


By setting up your labels with an array, you will be able to leave the second argument null in Form::label().

Generating a label element:

{!! Form::label('email', 'Email Address') !!}

If you do not pass a label for the second argument, it will be checked for in Formation's $labels array that can be set with Form::setLabels(). If it is not found here, it will be inferred from the field name in the first argument.

Specifying extra HTML attributes for a label:

{!! Form::label('email', 'Email Address', ['class' => 'email']) !!}

Note: After creating a label, any form element you create with a name matching the label name will automatically receive an ID matching the label name as well.

Text, Text Area, Password & Hidden Fields

Generate a text input element:

{!! Form::text('username') !!}

Specifying a default value for a text input element:

{!! Form::text('email', ['value' => '']) !!}

Setting attributes for a text field:

{!! Form::text('user.first_name', ['class' => 'short']) !!}

By using Form::setDefaults(), you will not need to pass a default value and can instead pass a null value or none at all as the second argument to let the field take advantage of the preset default value. When a form is posted, the values in the POST array will be used instead unless Form::resetDefaults() is used.

Note: A field with a name attribute of first_name is automatically given an ID of first-name. Underscores in names are always replaced with dashes in IDs.

Naming a text field with an unspecified array index while retaining a unique ID:

{!! Form::text('user.(0).username') !!}

The above example will create a text field with a name of user[][username] and an ID of user-0-username. If you wish to explicitly specify the index for the name, simply leave out the round brackets:

{!! Form::text('user.0.username') !!}

Generating a password input element:

{!! Form::password('password') !!}

Checkboxes and Radio Buttons

Generating a checkbox input element:

{!! Form::checkbox('name', ['value' => 'X']) !!}

Generating a checkbox input element with a label:

{!! Form::checkbox('name', ['label' => true]) !!}

{!! Form::checkbox('name', ['label' => 'Custom Label']) !!}

{!! Form::checkbox('name', ['label' => 'Custom Label', 'label-first' => true]) !!}

Generating a checkbox that is checked by default:

{!! Form::checkbox('name', ['checked' => true]) !!}

Please keep in mind that once again you will not need the second parameter to set the value if you set up your default values with Form::setDefaults().

Note: The radio method has the same signature as the checkbox method. Two for one!

Checkbox and Radio Button Sets

Creating a set of checkboxes:

<?php $checkboxes = simple_options(['Rain', 'Thunder', 'Lightning']); ?>
{!! Form::checkboxSet($checkboxes) !!}

Adding a prefix to the name of each checkbox:

{!! Form::checkboxSet($checkboxes, ['name-prefix' => 'weather']) !!}

In this example, the name attributes of the checkboxes will all be weather[].

Adding a prefix to the name of each checkbox with explicit keys:

{!! Form::checkboxSet($checkboxes, ['name-prefix' => 'weather', 'explicit-keys' => true]) !!}

{!! Form::checkboxSet($checkboxes, ['name-prefix' => 'weather.']) !!}

Both examples will produce name attributes like weather[Thunder]. Including a . character at the end will automatically use explicit keys, but you may pass it as an attribute instead to make it easier to understand what is happening.

Force interpretation of checkbox options as associative array:

{!! Form::checkboxSet($checkboxes, ['associative' => true]) !!}

By default checkboxSet() will interpret your array as associative unless the keys are integers or the keys are strings that evaluate to positive integers, but you can force it to interpret your checkbox options either way by passing an associative boolean value.

Specify what to use as your checkbox values:

<?php $checkboxes = [
	'checkbox_name'  => 'Checkbox Label!',
	'checkbox_name2' => 'Checkbox Label 2!',
]; ?>
{!! Form::checkboxSet($checkboxes, ['name-values' => true]) !!}

{!! Form::checkboxSet($checkboxes, ['label-values' => true]) !!}

By default, the value of the checkboxes is simply 1, but you may set the checkbox set to use the names as the values (keys of the associative array) or the labels as the values (values of the associative array).

Managing selections in a belongs-to-many relationship:

$user = App\Models\User\User::find(1);

Form::setDefaults($user, [
	'roles' => 'id',

$roleOptions = prep_options(App\Models\User\Role::get(), ['id', 'name']);
{!! Form::checkboxSet($roleOptions, [
	'name-prefix' => 'roles',
	'associative' => true,
	'name-values' => true,
]) !!}

Adding attributes to checkboxes and/or unordered list container for checkboxes:

{!! Form::checkboxSet($checkboxes, [
	'class'        => 'weather',
	'id-container' => 'checkbox-set-weather',
]) !!}

Note: Attributes ending with "-container" will be added to the container itself rather than to each of the checkboxes.

Creating a set of radio buttons:

{!! Form::radioSet('weather', simple_options(['Rain', 'Thunder', 'Lightning'])) !!}

Note: The simple_options() method is just used in the above example to have the radio buttons' labels used also as the actual form field values instead of using the numerical indexes of the array items. simple_options() and some other methods for building options are further described in the upcoming Drop-Down Lists section of the documentation.

You may append "-container" to attribute names to assign them to the container element for radio button sets as well. The default container classes for radio buttons and checkboxes are radio-set and checkbox-set. The containers are unordered list elements and each item in the set is a list item in the list.

Drop-Down Lists

Generating a drop-down list from an array of items:

{!! Form::select('size', ['L' => 'Large', 'S' => 'Small']) !!}

Using a label with a null value as the first option in the list:

{!! Form::select('size', ['L' => 'Large', 'S' => 'Small'], ['null-option' => Select a Size']) !!}

Generating a drop-down list with an option selected by default:

<?php // you may pass either a "selected" or "value" attribute to select an option ?>
{!! Form::select('size', ['L' => 'Large', 'S' => 'Small'], ['null-option' => 'Select a Size', 'value' => 'S']) !!}

{!! Form::select('size', ['L' => 'Large', 'S' => 'Small'], ['null-option' => 'Select a Size', 'selected' => 'S']) !!}

Of course, you may use Form::setDefaults() to populate select boxes without the need for the third selected or value attribute.

Turn an array, object, or Eloquent collection into a set of options:

$users = DB::table('users')->orderBy('username')->get();
{!! Form::select('user', prep_options($users, ['id', 'username']), 'Select a User') !!}

Turn a simple array into an options array with values the same as its labels:

{!! Form::select('animal', simple_options(['Tiger', 'Zebra', 'Elephant']), ['null-option' => Select an Animal']) !!}

Turn a simple array into an options array with values the same as its labels except lowercase:

{!! Form::select('animal', simple_options(['Tiger', 'Zebra', 'Elephant'], true), ['null-option' => Select an Animal']) !!}

Turn a simple array into a simple options array with numeric values that start at one instead of zero:

{!! Form::select('animal', offset_options(['Tiger', 'Zebra', 'Elephant']), ['null-option' => Select an Animal']) !!}

Turn a simple array into a simple options array with numeric values that start at one instead of zero:

<?php // display options from 0 to 180 incrementing by 10 each time ?>
{!! Form::select('number', number_options(0, 180, 10)) !!}

The first argument is the starting number, the second is the ending number, and the third is the number to iterate by. If it is negative, you may count down instead of up. Finally, the fourth argument is used to denote the number of decimal places the numbers should have.

Create an options array of months:

<?php // count up 12 months from current month ?>
{!! Form::select('month', month_options('current', 12)) !!}
<?php // count down 12 months from current month ?>
{!! Form::select('month', month_options(true, -12)) !!}
<?php // count up to a specific month from current month ?>
{!! Form::select('month', month_options(true, '2013-04-08')) !!}
<?php // count down to a specific month from another specific month ?>
{!! Form::select('month', month_options('2013-11-11', '2013-04-08')) !!}
<?php // count down 12 months from current month and use the last day of the month for "month_end" field ?>
{!! Form::select('month_start', month_options(true, -12, false, 'M Y')) !!}
{!! Form::select('month_end', month_options(true, -12, true, 'M Y')) !!}

The first argument is your start month. You can use true, false, null, or "current" to use the current month. The second argument can have a positive or negative integer to count up or down a specific number of months, or it can have a date string to count up or down months until a specific date. If the third argument, endDate, is set to true, the dates used for the options values will use the last day of the month instead of the first. Lastly, you can specify a date format for the options label as your fourth argument. The default is "F Y".

Note: All of the above options array building functions can also be used for checkbox sets and radio button sets and are helper functions that wrap core Formation functions. For example, prep_options() uses Form::prepOptions().

Using field macro for a set of radio buttons:

<?php $options = simple_options(['T-Rex', 'Parasaurolophus', 'Triceratops']); ?>
{!! Form::field('dinosaur', 'radio-set', ['label' => 'Favorite Dinosaur', 'options' => $options]) !!}

File Input

Generate a file input element:

{!! Form::file('image') !!}


Generating a submit button element:

{!! Form::submit('Click Me!') !!}

If you do not set the first argument, "Submit" will be used as the label.

Note: Need to create a button element? Try the button method. It has the same signature as submit.

Field Method

You may use the built-in Form::field() method to turn this:

<div class="form-group" id="user-email-area">
	{!! Form::label('') !!}

	{!! Form::text('') !!}

	{!! Form::error('') !!}

Into this:

{!! Form::field('') !!}

The field container element can be changed from a div to another HTML element and the "form-group" class can be changed as well in config.php. If you prefer not to use a field container at all, you may use the following:

{!! Form::field('name', 'text', ['field-container' => false]) !!}

Using field method for a drop-down select box:

{!! Form::field('animal', 'select', [
	'options' => simple_options(['Tiger', 'Zebra', 'Elephant'])
]) !!}

Using field method for a set of radio buttons:

<?php $options = simple_options(['T-Rex', 'Parasaurolophus', 'Triceratops']); ?>
{!! Form::field('dinosaur', 'radio-set', ['label' => 'Favorite Dinosaur', 'options' => $options]) !!}

Using field method for a set of checkboxes:

{!! Form::field('number.', 'checkbox-set', [
	'options' => offset_options(['One', 'II', '3.0'])
]) !!}

You will notice that the third parameter, attributes, has some options for special attributes such as label and options that don't work like any other attribute declaration. The combination of these into the attributes array makes sense because of the generic, many-use nature of the field method. This prevents simple fields from requiring a bunch of null parameters. In addition to label and options, you can use null-option for a prepended null option for a select box. Lastly, value can be used to manually set the value of the field. This is unnecessary if you are using the setDefaults() or setup methods to pre-populate your form with data.

$attributes = [
	'class'       => 'select-number',
	'options'     => number_options(1, 10),
	'null-option' => 'Select a Number',
	'value'       => 3,
{!! Form::field('number', 'select', $attributes) !!}

Note: Attributes ending with "-container" will be added to the container itself rather than to the field. Attributes ending with "-label" will be added to the field's label.

2. Data Transformer Base Model & Extended Trait

Formation includes a base model which simply extends the Eloquent Model class and uses a trait which contains many advanced model features, especially in the way of formatting your data for serving via an API or for formatting data before saving to your database. You may extend the Base model directly from your model (Regulus\Formation\Models\Base) or just use the Extended trait (Regulus\Formation\Traits\Extended) in an existing model.

Array-Included Methods and Attribute Sets

Array-Included Methods:

You may add a protected static $arrayIncludedMethods array to your model to specify methods that you would like to include in the model when it is run through toArray() or toJson(). This can be very useful when using a front-end JS framework such as Vue. Laravel's Eloquent model system already contains the appends array for this purpose, but this is a more versatile approach as it allows you to pass parameters and name the field whatever you like:

protected static $arrayIncludedMethods = [
	'name' => 'getName(true)',
	'url'  => 'getUrl', // parameters not required

Attribute Sets:

You may add a protected static $attributeSets array to your model to define specific sets of attributes to be returned using toArray() or toJson(), which can be obtained using getAttributeSet() and the name (the key in your array) of the set you would like to retrieve. This allows you to define different sets of attributes for different purposes You may also reference sets within related content. Here is a full example. Let's suppose we have a model called Post which belongs to a User using an author() relationship and the model has the following attribute sets:

	 * The attribute sets for the model.
	 * @var array
	protected static $attributeSets = [
		'standard' => [
			'url', // this could even be a key listed in $arrayIncludedMethods for a getUrl() method

		'update' => [
			'set:standard', // include all attributes in "standard" set
			'attribute:content', // set "content" attribute to ignore array-included method in favour of actual value from DB

	 * The attribute sets for related models.
	 * @var array
	protected static $relatedAttributeSets = [
		'standard' => [
			'author'  => 'set:author', // this will use an attribute set from the model used for the "author" relationship
			'section' => 'class:'.Section::class, // this will look for an attribute set called "standard"
			'tags'    => 'class:'.Tag::class.';set', // this will look for an attribute set called "set"

In our user model, we have the following array-included method and attribute set defined:

	 * The methods to automatically include in a model's array / JSON object.
	 * @var array
	protected static $attributeSets = [
		'author' => [
			'select:first_name', // this data is only being selected, and will be combined using the "getName" method defined above
			'select:last_name', // this data is only being selected, and will be combined using the "getName" method defined above

	 * The attribute sets for the model.
	 * @var array
	protected static $arrayIncludedMethods = [
		'name' => 'getName',

Note: If you're just using the Extended trait directly rather than extending the Base model, you will have to instead place all of your transform configuration in a single static array called $transformConfig because you can't override the static variables of the trait (this format also works for extending the Base model but isn't required in that case):

	 * The data transforming configuration.
	 * @var array
	public static $transformConfig = [
		'arrayIncludedMethods' => [

		'attributeSets' => [
			'standard' => [

		'relatedAttributeSets' => [
			'standard' => [

Now, we may query our Post model with its author relationship and return it as JSON data:

	$post = Post::selectAttributeSet('standard')

	// selectSet is short-hand alias for selectAttributeSet
	$users = User::selectSet('author', true), passing true as the second parameter automatically calls limitRelatedData() scope

Our example above doesn't really require the standard parameters as they are the assumed defaults for each of their respective functions. selectAttributeSet() / selectSet() makes use of getAttributeSet(), but it also uses the "select" attribute set key by default (and falls back to "standard" if "select" is not available) and adds a table prefix if possible (in case you are using JOINs with ambiguous column names). It removes select: prefixes that are used to denote fields that are to be selected but not returned in an array (for cases where underlying columns are used for array-included methods) as well. If you have an attribute with the same name as a dynamic attribute that uses an array-included method, you can add an attribute: prefix to it in your attribute set to cause toArray() to use the native attribute rather than the dynamically created one.

This will allow us to drastically reduce the amount of data returned so that we may obtain just the data we need and nothing more:

Note: If you use the selectAttributeSet() / selectSet() or limitRelatedData() scopes, calling toLimitedArray() on a model instance, a collection, or a paginator will use whatever attribute set was previously supplied.

		"content":"Taxation is theft, purely and simply even though it is theft on a grand and colossal scale which no acknowledged criminals could hope to match. It is a compulsory seizure of the property of the State's inhabitants, or subjects.",
		"created_at":"1973-03-02 00:00:00",
			"name":"Murray Rothbard"

You may also specify an attribute set in the toArray() method, or use toLimitedArray() which just uses standard as the first parameter to automatically select the standard attribute set:

	return $post->toArray('standard');

	return $post->toLimitedArray(); // same as above, assumes "standard" by default

	return Post::orderBy('id')->get()->toArray('standard'); // filter models in a collection with attribute set

Lastly, Record::getAttributeSet('fillable') will return the "id" attribute and anything listed in the model's $fillable array.

Transforming Paginators to Arrays:

The Extended trait uses all of Formation's extensions of model-related Laravel classes. This means that toArray() and toLimitedArray() are available for model instances themselves, collections of models, and paginators created from the model's paginate() method.

	return Post::orderBy('id')->paginate(25)->toArray('standard'); // return a paginator converted to an array

	return Post::orderBy('id')->setPage(3)->paginate(25)->collectionToArray('standard'); // return just the collection

Note: toLimitedArray() and collectionToLimitedArray() are also available for defaulting the attribute set to "standard".

Formatting Data for Saving to a Database


You may add a protected static $types array to your model to allow data to be automatically formatted before being used to populate a form or before saving data to the database. The following types can be used:

  • checkbox
  • date
  • date-time
  • datetime
  • timestamp
  • date-not-null
  • date-time-not-null
  • datetime-not-null
  • timestamp-not-null
  • token (only set on record creation, default length is 32, but a custom length can be set like token:16)
  • slug
  • unique-slug
  • checkbox-timestamp (if field is active, saved timestamp becomes active_at, but you can specify a custom field like checkbox-timestamp:activated_at)

Note: You may refer to the Regulus\Formation\Traits\Extended trait for examples of this and all of the other assisting arrays. The trait contains commented out array examples for each of them.


You may add protected static $formats and protected static $formatsForDb arrays to your model for some additional automatic data formatting prior to populating forms or data saving.

	 * The special formatted fields for the model for saving to the database.
	 * @var array
	protected static $formatsForDb = [
		'media_type'   => 'null-if-false:media',
		'published_at' => 'null-if-false:published',

The following formats can be used:

  • false-if-null
  • true-if-null
  • false-if-not-null
  • true-if-not-null
  • false-if-blank
  • true-if-blank
  • null-if-blank
  • false-if-not-blank
  • true-if-not-blank
  • null-if-not-blank
  • false-if-set
  • false-if-true
  • true-if-set
  • false-if-true
  • null-if-set
  • null-if-true
  • false-if-not-set
  • false-if-false
  • true-if-not-set
  • true-if-false
  • null-if-not-set
  • null-if-false
  • json
  • json-or-null
  • trim
  • uppercase-first
  • uppercase-words
  • uppercase
  • lowercase

The formatting from $types, $formats, and $formatsForDb will occur automatically before saving into the database when using the formatSave() or formatCreate() methods. You may also run them by using the model or trait's own setDefaults() method. Alternately, you can use getFormattedValues() to get an array of formatted values. Many of the format options, such as null-if-not-set will allow you to pass a checked field in case the field to be checked is not the field that the formatting rule is being applied to. For example, if you have a field called location_info, you can set null-if-not-set:location, so if a location boolean is not set in the POST data, location_info will be changed to null.

Formatting & Saving Data:

After you set up the formatting above, you can use $record->formatSave() and Record::formatCreate() to automatically format the data and save it. If you set up a formatValuesForModel() method in your model, you can add custom-formatting rules beyond what's available in the $types, $formats, and $formatsForDb arrays. Additionally, you can add extra logic post-save in an executeSaveTriggers($create = false) method (for saving related data in relationships or doing other things that require the record to exist first).


You can always just use Form::setValidationRules($rules, $input), but if you're using the base model or trait, you can do any of the following, after defining a validationRules($record = null, $input = null, $action = null) function in your model. It is recommended that you copy the empty one from the Extended trait to use as a starting point. The third parameter, $action, is unused by default, but exists to offer the ability to set different validation rules based on different data updating actions. If you set up the method in your model, you can set the validation rules using any of the following:

// new record

// existing record

// new or existing record ($record can be null)
Form::setValidationRulesForModel($record, $input);

Note: You don't need to pass $input if you want to use all input values, it will default to Input::all().