Laravel - Accessors & Mutators

Amit Merchant · August 23, 2017

Accessors and mutators allow you to format Eloquent attribute values when you retrieve or set them on model instances. I’ll explain how you can you use them into your app.

Accessors

There comes a time when we need some database fields to be fetched with some modifications without making changes after processing the query. So, for example I have a DateTime field called reporting_date into my table say inventory. And now, while fetching the records from this particular table I want only date from this particular field removing the time.

Normal flow to achieve this would to get all the records, run a forloop on them and apply necessary logic on reporting_date field. This is sort of cumbersome.

In Laravel, to achieve this we have Accessors which you can define in the table’s model.

So, for our case we can define an accessor for reporting_date field like below

<?php

namespace App\Models;

use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model;
class Inventory extends Model
{
    /**
     * The table associated with the model.
     *
     * @var string
     */
    protected $table = 'inventory';

    public function getReportingDateAttribute($value)
    {
        $createDate = new \DateTime($value); //2017-08-14 20:58:37
        return $createDate->format('Y-m-d');
    }
}

As you can see, I have defined a getReportingDateAttribute() function on Inventory model where ReportingDate is the “studly” cased name of the column reporting_date which we wish to access. I have written the logic to retieve only date from the DateTime field.

Here, the original value of the column is passed to the accessor, allowing you to manipulate and return the value. To access the value of the accessor, you may simply access the reporting_date attribute on a model instance:

<?php
$inventory = App\Inventory::find(5);

$reportingDate = $inventory->reporting_date; //2017-08-14

Mutators

Similar to an Accessor, a Mutator can be used to modify the value of particular field before saving it into the database everytime an insert or an update query gets executed.

So for example, if I want tax field of table orders to be saved before saving into the database with some calculations, I’ll define a Mutator for the same like below

<?php

namespace App\Models;

use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model;
class Order extends Model
{
    /**
     * The table associated with the model.
     *
     * @var string
     */
    protected $table = 'orders';

    public function setTaxAttribute($value)
    {
        $tax = ($tax * 20)/100;
        $this->attributes['tax'] = tax;
    }
}

Here, The mutator will receive the value that is being set on the attribute, allowing you to manipulate the value and set the manipulated value on the Eloquent model’s internal $attributes property. So, for example, if we attempt to set the tax attribute to 15:

<?php
$order = App\Order::find(10);

$order->tax = 15;

In this example, the setTaxAttribute() function will be called with the value 15. The mutator will then apply necessary calculations on tax and set its resulting value in the internal $attributes array.

Conclusion

Accessors and Mutators are really great functionalities provided by Laravel to get and set model properties if used adequetly. It can also enhance the performance of the app as they process the model values on database level.

Hope you enjoy this article.

Happy coding!

Send a pull request here if you find any typo or need any correction.