Repository pattern with Laravel

Jeff Simons Decena
May 29, 2017 · 3 min read

Last time, I wrote an article to get your feet wet on Test Driven Development (TDD). You may refer to this post: Simple TDD in Laravel with 11 steps

Today, let us refactor what we have accomplished on that post to make it more manageable. We will use the REPOSITORY pattern. With this way, methods are reusable in the other parts of the application by doing Dependency Injection (DI).

Fork my TDD e-commerce application: https://github.com/jsdecena/laracom (check out the `/tests` folder)

Edit: I created a base repository package that can speed up your development :)

Let’s review the test we have created.

And also check the output of the phpunitcommand on the terminal to see if it still passes.

➜  intranet git:(develop) ✗ phpunit
PHPUnit 5.7.20 by Sebastian Bergmann and contributors.
. 1 / 1 (100%)Time: 401 ms, Memory: 16.00MBOK (1 test, 9 assertions)

Good! It is passing!

Let’s review the controller that makes the test pass as well.

But there might be implication on this type of implementation. When we want to create an article via the command line (or anywhere), we have to recreate what we have done in the controller to achieve the same result right? Is that good? Nope. That is not DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) at all.

So what can we do?

There are many approaches on every scenario but I would like to take the REPOSITORY pattern approach.


REPOSITORY

There are also different approaches in using the repository pattern but we will use the one that uses the Eloquent ORM.

So how do we refactor the controller’s block of code? See below.

So what happened to this? What voodo has happened? If we run again phpunit, it will turn to RED and fail.

Let me explain what happened. We moved our implementation of

$article = Article::create($request->all());

to a repository class that has a create method.

$article = $this->articleRepo->create($request->all());

Doing this, we will not be repeating again the code implementation on this store method in case we want to create an article. If we want to create an article, we just need to call the create method on the article repository class.

Maybe you are asking, you keep on saying the ArticleRepository class but you injected an ArticleRepositoryInterface, are those same?

Nope. But they go together to make the application more reliable. The interface is implented by a class to strictly follow the methods declared in there. This means, if a method is declared in the interface and not implemented by the class, the application will throw an error. Also, this will make the application more manageable in the future.

Laravel has DI mechanism as described on this part of the documentation.

How can we do all the things I am talking about?

Follow it with these simple steps:

STEP 1: CREATE THE INTERFACE AND ADD THE METHOD TO BE IMPLEMENTED

STEP 2: CREATE THE REPOSITORY CLASS

As you can see, we are extending a BaseRepository class. So, what does it do? Check below.

STEP 3: CREATE A REPOSITORY SERVICE PROVIDER

Why do we need this? This tells the application which class implements the interface.

STEP 4: LET LARAVEL KNOW YOUR SERVICE PROVIDER

Add this into your config/app.php file.

STEP 5: RUN YOUR PHPUNIT AND HOPE FOR THE BEST AGAIN

➜  intranet git:(develop) ✗ phpunit
PHPUnit 5.7.20 by Sebastian Bergmann and contributors.
. 1 / 1 (100%)Time: 478 ms, Memory: 16.00MBOK (1 test, 9 assertions)

Hooray! You are now a certified TDD-ier!

With all these in place, you can populate already your test file with other test scenarios like negative testing. Check if the application catches the errors it should throw. Errors like the user is not found should be caught. Negative testing might be covered in the next article.

So keep in mind the TDD cycle - RED, GREEN, REFACTOR.

/jsd