Note: for the purposes of this post, I chose an easy to understand plugin, but I recommend using the footprint plugin as it supports many more features than the one I cover here.

This is a pretty straightforward post. In CakePHP 3, we’ve removed a lot of the ability to access the session except where there is a Request object. Static access to CakeSession is gone, and it’s not coming back, so please stop asking for it. And stop using $_SESSION, that breaks the cake.

One thing this affects is the ability to see user session data in the Model layer. Typically you want to track who performed an action when the action happens. It’s quite nice to hide this in your model layer, as opposed to mangling data when it’s going into an entity.

How do we do this? We can use the ceeram/blame plugin!

# ugh more things to install
composer require ceeram/cakephp-blame
# load it
bin/cake plugin load Ceeram/Blame

Now we add the following use call to the inside of our src/Controller/AppController.php class:

class AppController extends Controller
  use \Ceeram\Blame\Controller\BlameTrait;

And finally add the behavior to our table:

public function initialize(array $config)

Now whenever a new record is saved, the created_by field is set to the logged in user’s id. When records are modified, the modified_by field will be set.

How does it work?

The BlameTrait we added to our AppController actually does all the heavy lifting. It adds a listener that will add the appropriate data to our Table instances whenever they are saved through the magic of Controller::loadModel().

It’s actually quite clever, and I’m a bit upset I hadn’t previously thought of it. The same trick probably works in 2.x.

For users that find this plugin limiting in some way, I definitely recommend reading the code over, extending it, or applying the clever usage of the event system to your own application.