Introducing View Components in Laravel, an alternative to View Composers

Published on by

Introducing View Components in Laravel, an alternative to View Composers image

In software development, one of the “best practices” is to create reusable code that can be implemented in different parts of your application if needed.

Imagine you have a blog, and you need to show a “highlights” widget on a sidebar.

The “highlights” will be populated with the response of an API.

So, in your homepage controller You’d probably have something similar to the following:

<br></br><?php
 
class HomeController extends Controller {
 
protected $blog;
 
public function __construct(BlogRepository $blog)
{
$this->blog = $blog
}
 
public function index()
{
return view('blog', [
'posts' => $blog->latest(),
'highlights' => $blog->highlights()
]);
}
}

Nice and clean, but this approach starts to become a problem when you need to pass the same “highlights” variable to every page of your site; for example, a contact page:

<?php
 
class ContactPageController extends Controller {
 
protected $blog;
 
public function __construct(BlogRepository $blog)
{
$this->blog = $blog
}
 
public function index()
{
return view('contact', [
'highlights' => $blog->highlights()
]);
}
}

Imagine what would happen if you have 20 different controllers; You might end up having a lot of code duplication and as your application grows it will be harder to maintain.

Using Laravel’s view composers

View composers allow you to move the logic outside your controller and pass the data to the specified set of views.

<?php
 
class HighLightsComposer
{
 
protected $users;
 
public function __construct(BlogRepository $blog)
{
$this->blog = $blog
}
 
public function compose(View $view)
{
$view->with('highlights', $this->blog->highlights());
}
}

And then in your service provider, You’ll have something like this:

<?php
 
class ComposerServiceProvider extends ServiceProvider
{
public function boot()
{
View::composer(
'highlights', 'App\Http\ViewComposers\HighlighsComposer'
);
}
}

At this point you can refactor your controllers like so:

<?php
 
class HomeController extends Controller {
 
protected $blog;
 
public function __construct(BlogRepository $blog)
{
$this->blog = $blog
}
 
public function index()
{
return view('blog', [
'posts' => $blog->latest()
]);
}
}
 
 
class ContactPageController extends Controller {
 
public function index()
{
return view('contact');
}
 
}

Thinking about the product

At first hand, this looks great, but let’s give it some thought.

When you use “view composers,” the process it’s a little magic and runs in a part of the app that is not that obvious, especially for those who do not have much experience using Laravel.

Imagine your client asks you to replace the content of the “highlights” widget for something static. In the current example, you can do it just by updating the content of your “highlights.blade.php” file.

The app will work as expected but, the API call is going to be running in the background (in the View Composer).

So, it doesn’t matter if you remove the logic from your views, you’ll need to change the name on the view, or update the ServiceProvider to stop the API call from the ViewComposer.

Using View Components

The following is an approach I’m using in one of the projects I’m working on right now, I made up the name, feel free to call it as you wish.

What we want is to reuse a common view that will be built using dynamic data (coming from any resource).

Creating a new Highlights component class

This “View Component” classes could share an interface or contract to specify the type of data we want to return. In this case, the Laravel’s Htmlable contract will suit perfectly.

<?php
 
namespace App\ViewComponents;
 
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\View;
use Illuminate\Contracts\Support\Htmlable;
 
class HighlightsComponent implements Htmlable
{
protected $blog;
 
public function __construct(BlogRepository $blog)
{
$this->blog = $blog;
}
 
public function toHtml()
{
return View::make('highlights')
->with('highlights', $this->blog->highlights())
->render();
}
}

Creating a new blade directive to render the view components

As we are using dependency injection in the class above, it would be a good idea to use the IOC to resolve those dependencies for us.

<?php
 
class AppServiceProvider extends ServiceProvider
{
public function register()
{
Blade::directive('render', function ($component) {
return "<?php echo (app($component))->toHtml(); ?>";
});
}
}

Finally, you can “render” the view component, which will return an HTML partial, on any view.

// home.blade.php
 
@render(\App\ViewComponents\HighlightsComponent::class)

Wrapping up

Using this approach you can reuse complex components using dynamic data on any view within your application.

The component logic will only run if it’s included through the @render() blade directive.

If you work with a large team of developers, you can be sure that the performance of your application will not be affected if anyone changes the implementation of the widget in the view without updating the implementation in the backend.

Jeff photo

I'm a full-stack web developer and a part-time writer.

You can find more of my writing on https://medium.com/@jeffochoa.

Cube

Laravel Newsletter

Join 40k+ other developers and never miss out on new tips, tutorials, and more.

Laravel Forge logo

Laravel Forge

Easily create and manage your servers and deploy your Laravel applications in seconds.

Laravel Forge
Tinkerwell logo

Tinkerwell

The must-have code runner for Laravel developers. Tinker with AI, autocompletion and instant feedback on local and production environments.

Tinkerwell
No Compromises logo

No Compromises

Joel and Aaron, the two seasoned devs from the No Compromises podcast, are now available to hire for your Laravel project. ⬧ Flat rate of $7500/mo. ⬧ No lengthy sales process. ⬧ No contracts. ⬧ 100% money back guarantee.

No Compromises
Kirschbaum logo

Kirschbaum

Providing innovation and stability to ensure your web application succeeds.

Kirschbaum
Shift logo

Shift

Running an old Laravel version? Instant, automated Laravel upgrades and code modernization to keep your applications fresh.

Shift
Bacancy logo

Bacancy

Supercharge your project with a seasoned Laravel developer with 4-6 years of experience for just $2500/month. Get 160 hours of dedicated expertise & a risk-free 15-day trial. Schedule a call now!

Bacancy
Lucky Media logo

Lucky Media

Get Lucky Now - the ideal choice for Laravel Development, with over a decade of experience!

Lucky Media
Lunar: Laravel E-Commerce logo

Lunar: Laravel E-Commerce

E-Commerce for Laravel. An open-source package that brings the power of modern headless e-commerce functionality to Laravel.

Lunar: Laravel E-Commerce
LaraJobs logo

LaraJobs

The official Laravel job board

LaraJobs
SaaSykit: Laravel SaaS Starter Kit logo

SaaSykit: Laravel SaaS Starter Kit

SaaSykit is a Laravel SaaS Starter Kit that comes with all features required to run a modern SaaS. Payments, Beautiful Checkout, Admin Panel, User dashboard, Auth, Ready Components, Stats, Blog, Docs and more.

SaaSykit: Laravel SaaS Starter Kit
Rector logo

Rector

Your partner for seamless Laravel upgrades, cutting costs, and accelerating innovation for successful companies

Rector
MongoDB logo

MongoDB

Enhance your PHP applications with the powerful integration of MongoDB and Laravel, empowering developers to build applications with ease and efficiency. Support transactional, search, analytics and mobile use cases while using the familiar Eloquent APIs. Discover how MongoDB's flexible, modern database can transform your Laravel applications.

MongoDB

The latest

View all →
Introducing Built with Laravel image

Introducing Built with Laravel

Read article
Visual EXPLAIN for MySQL and Laravel image

Visual EXPLAIN for MySQL and Laravel

Read article
VS Code Snippets for Livewire and Alpine.js image

VS Code Snippets for Livewire and Alpine.js

Read article
A guide to Laravel's model events image

A guide to Laravel's model events

Read article
API Versioning in Laravel 11 image

API Versioning in Laravel 11

Read article
A Resize Plugin for Alpine.js image

A Resize Plugin for Alpine.js

Read article