Eloquent model validating trait.

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1.0.7 2015-11-21 02:31 UTC


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Validating is a trait for Laravel 5.0+ Eloquent models which ensures that models meet their validation criteria before being saved. If they are not considered valid the model will not be saved and the validation errors will be made available.

Validating allows for multiple rulesets, injecting the model ID into unique validation rules and raising exceptions on failed validations. It's small and flexible to fit right into your workflow and help you save valid data only.

Laravel 4.2+

Looking to use Validating on Laravel 4.2+? Take a look at the 4.2 branch for documentation and installation instructions.

The Laravel 4.2 version is better suited to doing form validation; it supports custom validation messages, confirmation rules and multiple rulesets. Because Laravel 5.0 has FormRequest validation Validating is now designed to keep your core data valid and leave form validation to the framework.


Simply add the package to your composer.json file and run composer update.

"watson/validating": "~1.0"

Or go to your project directory where the composer.json file is located and type:

composer require "watson/validating"

View installation instructions for Laravel 4.2+.


First, add the trait to your model and add your validation rules and messages as needed.

use Watson\Validating\ValidatingTrait;

class Post extends Eloquent
    use ValidatingTrait;

    protected $rules = [
        'title'   => 'required',
        'slug'    => 'required|unique:posts,slug',
        'content' => 'required'

You can also add the trait to a BaseModel if you're using one and it will work on all models that extend from it, otherwise you can just extend Watson\Validating\ValidatingModel instead of Eloquent.

Now, you have access to some plesant functionality.

// Check whether the model is valid or not.
$post->isValid(); // true

// Or check if it is invalid or not.
$post->isInvalid(); // false

// Once you've determined the validity of the model, 
// you can get the errors.
$post->getErrors(); // errors MessageBag

Model validation also becomes really simple.

if ( ! $post->save()) {
    // Oops.
    return redirect()->route('posts.create')

return redirect()->route('posts.show', $post->id)
    ->withSuccess("Your post was saved successfully.");

Otherwise, if you prefer to use exceptions when validating models you can use the saveOrFail() method. Now, an exception will be raised when you attempt to save an invalid model.

try {

} catch (Watson\Validating\ValidationException $e) {
    $errors = $e->getErrors();

    return redirect()->route('posts.create')

Note that you can just pass the exception to the withErrors() method like withErrors($e) and Laravel will know how to handle it.

Bypass validation

If you're using the model and you wish to perform a save that bypasses validation you can. This will return the same result as if you called save() on a model without the trait.


Validation exceptions by default

If you would prefer to have exceptions thrown by default when using the save() method instead of having to use saveOrFail() you can just set the following property on your model or BaseModel.

 * Whether the model should throw a ValidationException if it
 * fails validation. If not set, it will default to false.
 * @var boolean
protected $throwValidationExceptions = true;

If you'd like to perform a one-off save using exceptions or return values, you can use the saveOrFail() and saveOrReturn methods.

Validation messages

To show custom validation error messages, just add the $validationMessages property to your model.

 * Validation messages to be passed to the validator.
 * @var array
protected $validationMessages = [
    'slug.unique' => "Another post is using that slug already."

Unique rules

You may have noticed we're using the unique rule on the slug, which wouldn't work if we were updating a persisted model. Luckily, Validation will take care of this for you and append the model's primary key to the rule so that the rule will work as expected; ignoring the current model.

You can adjust this functionality by setting the $injectUniqueIdentifier property on your model.

 * Whether the model should inject it's identifier to the unique
 * validation rules before attempting validation. If this property
 * is not set in the model it will default to true.
 * @var boolean
protected $injectUniqueIdentifier = true;


Various events are fired by the trait during the validation process which you can hook into to impact the validation process.

To hook in, you first need to add the $observeables property onto your model (or base model). This simply lets Eloquent know that your model can response to these events.

 * User exposed observable events
 * @var array
protected $observables = ['validating', 'validated'];

When validation is about to occur, the eloquent.validating: ModelName event will be fired, where the $event parameter will be saving or restoring. For example, if you were updating a namespaced model App\User the event would be eloquent.validating: App\User. If you listen for any of these events and return a value you can prevent validation from occurring completely.

Event::listen('eloquent.validating:*', function($model, $event) {
    // Pseudo-Russian roulette validation.
    if (rand(1, 6) === 1) {
        return false;

After validation occurs, there are also a range of validated events you can hook into, for the passed, failed and skipped events. For the above example failing validation, you could get the event eloquent.validated: App\User.


There is currently a bug in Laravel (see issue #1181) that prevents model events from firing more than once in a test suite. This means that the first test that uses model tests will pass but any subseqeuent tests will fail. There are a couple of temporary solutions listed in that thread which you can use to make your tests pass in the meantime.

Since Laravel has switched to Liferaft for the purpose of tracking bugs and pull requests, the issue mentioned above may not be available. This Gist has an example TestCase.php which shows you how to reset the events of all your models between tests so that they work as expected.

Controller usage

There are a number of ways you can go about using the validating validating model in your controllers, however here is one example that makes use of the new FormRequest in Laravel 5 (if you'd like to see another controller example without the FormRequest, check the 4.2+ version of this package.

This example keeps your code clean by allowing the FormRequest to handle your form validation and the model to handle it's own validation. By enabling validation exceptions you can reduce repetitive controller code (try/catch blocks) and handle model validation exceptions globally (your form requests should keep your models valid, so if your model becomes invalid it's an exceptional event).

<?php namespace App\Http\Controllers;

use App\Http\Requests\PostFormRequest;
use Illuminate\Routing\Controller;

class PostsController extends Controller
    protected $post;

    public function __construct(Post $post)
        $this->post = $post;

    // ...

    public function store(PostFormRequest $request)
        // Post will throw an exception if it is not valid.
        $post = $this->post->create($request->input());

        // Post was saved successfully.
        return redirect()->route('posts.show', $post);

You can then catch a model validation exception in your app/Exceptions/Handler.php and deal with it as you need.

public function render($request, Exception $e)
    if ($e instanceof \Watson\Validating\ValidationException) {
        return back()->withErrors($e)->withInput();

    parent::render($request, $e);