Query Scopes: An Undocumented Feature

Posted by Chris Mellor Chris Mellor on June 25th, 2022

I have built a package that I use personally for a project. While developing it, I discovered an undocumented way how to use Global Scopes in a different way than you might be used to, or how it’s currently documented.

I like it as I can store them all in a single class and keep things organised.

🔌 First, just a brief moment to say how I got here. I was developing a package — which you can see here — which allows you to approve Models before they are persisted. For example, you could use it for a Comments model, where a comment has to be approved before it can be shown publicly. At some point I realised I wanted to have some status’ to see what state an approval request was in, and also a way to set a state programmatically, I figured I’d use Query Scopes

A quick introduction to Query Scopes

Using a Query Scope makes things simple as it’s all stored in one class. Artisan has a command to make a new Scope

1php artisan make:scope <NameScope>

This stores the new class within the App\Scopes namespace.

The class implements a Contract — Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Scope which has a single apply method that must be used.

For example — one way to utilise this is — say you have a state column in your database structure with the potential values of “approved” and “pending” and you always want the query to have the state set the pending then you would add this to the apply method:

1public function apply(Builder $builder, Model $model)
3 $builder->where('state', 'pending');

Now anytime you query a Model, this extra code is added by default

1// query a model
4// result
5SELECT * FROM `approvals` WHERE `id` = 1 AND `state` = 'pending';

To assign this scope to a Model, you overwrite the models’ parent booted method

1protected static function booted(): void
3 static::addGlobalScope(new YourScope());

Disabling Global Scopes

There might be a time — especially if you’re working in a team when someone isn’t aware that a Model has a query scope applied, and they spend hours trying to fix something that isn’t broken (this is coming from experience). If a model needs to be queried without the applied scope, you will use the withoutGlobalScope method to disable it


Undocumented feature: using Macros within the Scope

Within your Scope, you can extend the query builder with some extra methods.

For example, I wanted three methods where I could see queries with a state of approved, pending or rejected and the key to extending the query builder within’ a Scope is to use an extend method like so

2 * Extend the query builder with the needed functions.
3 */
4public function extend(Builder $builder)
6 foreach ($this->extensions as $extension) {
7 $this->{"add{$extension}"}($builder);
8 }

Where does this come from?

At first, I thought this method came from the previously mentioned Contract, but it doesn’t, it comes from within’ the withGlobalScope method

2 * Register a new global scope.
3 *
4 * @param string $identifier
5 * @param \Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Scope|\Closure $scope
6 * @return $this
7 */
8public function withGlobalScope($identifier, $scope)
10 $this->scopes[$identifier] = $scope;
12 if (method_exists($scope, 'extend')) {
13 $scope->extend($this);
14 }
16 return $this;

As you can see, it is checking if there is an extend method and if so, it will register the new methods as a macro on the Illuminate\Eloquent\Builder class.

Registering extensions

To register a new extension onto the builder, you first have to assign an array of method names to an $extentions variable

2 * All of the extensions to be added to the builder.
3 *
4 * @var string[]
5 */
6protected $extensions = ['Approved', 'Pending', 'Rejected'];

and now add some new protected methods with this naming convention

1protected add{Extention}
3 //

Where Extention (camel case) is one of the values given in the $extensions array.

So for example, using Approved as the extension

1protected addApproved(Builder $builder)
3 $builder->macro('approved', fn (Builder $builder) => $builder
4 ->where('state', 'approved');

Now you can query a Model with this new method



This might be a little over-engineered, but if you like things being in a certain place and bundled together for easy access then this way seems like a logical way of doing it.

📷 Photo by Danny Avila on Unsplash