CakePHP 4 Search Plugin

CakePHP 4 Search Plugin

This tutorial will show basic usage on how to use the search plugin in CakePHP 4. Search has become an essential tool in any web information system. There are many methods to execute search function in a web information system. Using search plugin will save more time and easier. Let assume that in this tutorial, I've users table with attributes (id, name, email, role). The search function is required to search based on name, email and role.

Download search plugin using composer:

composer.phar require friendsofcake/search

Load search plugin:

bin/cake plugin load Search

or manually load at ...\src\Application.php

public function bootstrap(): void

Copy-paste your index page (you also can use search function index) and rename it as search.php at ...\templates\Users\search.php and add the following code to generate the search form before table:

	echo $this->Form->create(null, ['valueSources' => 'query']);
	echo $this->Form->control('search', ['placeholder' => 'Wildcards: * and ?']);
	echo $this->Form->control('role', ['options' => ['' => '- All -', '1' => 'Administrator', '2' => 'Moderator']]);

	echo $this->Form->button(__('Search'), ['class' => 'btn btn-primary']);
	if (!empty($_isSearch)) {
		echo ' ';
		echo $this->Html->link(__('Reset'), ['action' => 'search', '?' => array_intersect_key($this->request->getQuery(), array_flip(['sort', 'direction']))], ['class' => 'btn btn-default']);

	echo $this->Form->end();

Add EventInterface in Controller
File Location: ...\src\Controller\UsersController.php
Add the EventInterface as shown below:

//other codes
namespace App\Controller;

use Cake\Event\EventInterface; //add this

Create Public Function Initialize
File Location: ...\src\Controller\UsersController.php

public function initialize(): void

	$this->loadComponent('Search.Search', [
		'actions' => ['search'],

Create Public Function Search
File Location: ...\src\Controller\UsersController.php

public function search()
	//Download all records at once
	$this->paginate['maxLimit'] = 999;

	$users = $this->paginate($this->Users->find('search', ['search' => $this->request->getQuery()]));

	$this->set('_serialize', ['users']);

Create a Search Manager
File Location: ...\src\Model\Table\UsersTable.php
If you need need to search more field, add more attributes in fields array. 

public function initialize(array $config): void

	//other codes

		->add('search', 'Search.Like', [ 
			'before' => true,
			'after' => true,
			'fieldMode' => 'OR',
			'comparison' => 'LIKE',
			'wildcardAny' => '*',
			'wildcardOne' => '?',
			'fields' => ['name','email','role'],

If you've need more field eg: username, just add in your view and add another ->value('username') in the search manager.

Below is the sample of the search form output:

Now you should be able to search your data. That all. Happy coding :)