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Cover image for The best Laravel repositories solution in 30 lines of code
Sjors van Dongen
Sjors van Dongen

Posted on • Updated on

The best Laravel repositories solution in 30 lines of code

How a 30 lines piece of script can finally provide a good solution for a repository pattern in Laravel apps.

The problem

Laravel provides a beautiful way to query your database through Eloquent, an Object Relational Mapping. The moment your project becomes larger there starts to rise a problem. The difference between entities and models start to become vague. Let me give you an example:

We have two methods, one called findByName and one called concatName.

What we are actually doing here is mixing methods for retrieving (collections of) Products, with methods for instances of 1 Product.

A much cleaner approach would be to separate them into 2 different classes. One for obtaining instances and collections of models and one for the model definition itself. You might call this the repository pattern.

Wanted situation

There are several libraries for Laravel to start using the repository pattern. One thing that's a huge disadvantage to me is that you can't use Eloquent functions on your repositories. Since Eloquent is a huge reason why I am using Laravel I still wanted to be able to use Eloquent on repositories for obtaining models.

The solution

I created a very simple piece of code which enables all the features of Eloquent on your repositories. This way you can use the repository pattern in a way which is fun and keep your models and your repositories clean! A repository with the use of laravel-repositories would look like this:

By the use of the Repository trait and the $model property, laravel-repositories knows which model to query and where to use Eloquent and where to use your own repository methods. 

With this definition of the repository we can now use it in our controllers, jobs, commands etc:

Go try it out and leave me some feedback for improvement!

Link to Github repository

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Top comments (5)

mratiebatie profile image
Sjors van Dongen

I’m not sure power is the right word for this. I agree that your code will be better separated when you don’t use eloquent in combination with a repository but I’ve tried a couple repository packages for Laravel which all provide some methods for basic usage. The amount of code I had to write for the options I wanted was too much for me and more of a disadvantage than advantage. Eloquent is such a great tool and it felt like I abandoned it. That’s why I came up with this.

dj_syclone profile image
Dj Syclone

If you are mostly interested in creating custom functions to attach to your Models then you could just use scopes. E.g.

mratiebatie profile image
Sjors van Dongen

Scopes are a good way to create custom query functions indeed. Still, I don't think this should be part of an instance of a Product entity though. When an instance of a Product has a method called 'findByName' it is in the wrong place in my opinion.

miguelf11 profile image
Miguel Figueira • Edited

This is awesome, thanks for sharing!

But I have a doubt, How you define scopes in the repository?
Or how to reuse some queries to emulate the use of scopes, I want to define this scopes inside the repository :)

mratiebatie profile image
Sjors van Dongen

Thanks for your positive comment :) Unfortunately, it's currently not possible to put your scopes in your repositories. What you could do for now is put your scopes in a separate trait and include them in your model.