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The Request Object in Laravel Explained

2 min read
Published on 12th September 2023
The Request Object in Laravel Explained

At the core of every web application lies the process of handling user requests and returning appropriate responses. In Laravel, the Request object plays a pivotal role in this cycle. This article sheds light on the indispensable Laravel Request object, elucidating its methods and accessors to simplify data handling.

1. Understanding the Request Object

Every HTTP request made to a Laravel application is represented by an instance of the Illuminate\Http\Request class (API dev docs). This object provides a plethora of methods to access client input, cookies, files, and more.

2. Accessing the Request Object

You can type-hint the Request object on a route closure or controller method, and Laravel's service container will automatically inject it:

use Illuminate\Http\Request;

Route::get('/user', function (Request $request) {

3. Key Methods and Accessors

3.1. Retrieving Input Data

  • $request->input('name'): Get the value of name from the request. You can also specify a default if the key doesn't exist: $request->input('name', 'default').
  • $request->all(): Get all input data as an associative array.
  • $request->only(['username', 'password']): Get specific data points from the request.
  • $request->except('credit_card'): Get all input data excluding certain fields.

3.2. Query Parameters

  • $request->query('search'): Retrieve the search query parameter.

3.3. Path and URL Information

  • $request->path(): Get the request's path (excluding query string).
  • $request->url(): Get the full URL, without the query string.
  • $request->fullUrl(): Get the full URL, including the query string.
  • $request->is('admin/*'): Determine if the request path matches a given pattern. Useful for conditional logic based on the route.

3.4. HTTP Verbs & Content

  • $request->method(): Get the HTTP verb for the request (GET, POST, etc.).
  • $request->isMethod('post'): Check if the request uses a specific method.
  • $request->ajax(): Determine if the request is an AJAX request.
  • $request->wantsJson(): Determine if the request expects a JSON response.

3.5. File Handling

  • $request->hasFile('photo'): Check if a file is present in the request.
  • $request->file('photo'): Access uploaded file instances.
  • $request->file('photo')->isValid(): Check if the uploaded file is valid.
  • $request->file('photo')->store('images'): Store the uploaded file on the server.

3.6. Session Access

  • $request->session()->get('key'): Directly access session data via the Request object.

4. Special Input Types

  • $request->cookie('name'): Retrieve a cookie value.
  • $request->header('User-Agent'): Get the value of an HTTP header.
  • $request->ip(): Get the client's IP address.
  • $request->user(): If using Laravel's built-in authentication, retrieve the authenticated user.

5. Modifying the Request

Although not a common practice, you can modify request data:

$request->merge(['name' => 'Modified Name']);

The Request object in Laravel acts as a comprehensive interface to incoming HTTP requests. Understanding and leveraging its numerous methods and accessors ensures efficient and streamlined data handling and will allow you to build more efficient applications.