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Laravel – Route::resource vs Route::controller

Problem

I read the documentation on the Laravel website, Stack Overflow, and Google however I am not sure that I understand the difference between Route::resource and Route::controller.

One answer I found said Route::resource was for CRUD. However, with Route::controller we can accomplish the same thing as with Route::resource and we can specify only the needed actions.

They appear to be like siblings:

Route::controller('post','PostController');
Route::resource('post','PostController');

How we can choose what to use? What is the best practice?

Solution

RESTful Resource controller

A RESTful resource controller sets up some default routes for you and even names them.

Route::resource('users', 'UsersController');

Gives you these named routes:

Verb          Path                        Action  Route Name
GET           /users                      index   users.index
GET           /users/create               create  users.create
POST          /users                      store   users.store
GET           /users/{user}               show    users.show
GET           /users/{user}/edit          edit    users.edit
PUT|PATCH     /users/{user}               update  users.update
DELETE        /users/{user}               destroy users.destroy

And you would set up your controller something like this (actions = methods)

class UsersController extends BaseController {

    public function index() {}

    public function show($id) {}

    public function store() {}

}

You can also choose what actions are included or excluded like this:

Route::resource('users', 'UsersController', [
    'only' => ['index', 'show']
]);

Route::resource('monkeys', 'MonkeysController', [
    'except' => ['edit', 'create']
]);

RESTful Resource Controller documentation

Implicit controller

An Implicit controller is more flexible. You get routed to your controller methods based on the HTTP request type and name. However, you don’t have route names defined for you and it will catch all subfolders for the same route.

Route::controller('users', 'UserController');

Would lead you to set up the controller with a sort of RESTful naming scheme:

class UserController extends BaseController {

    public function getIndex()
    {
        // GET request to index
    }

    public function getShow($id)
    {
        // get request to 'users/show/{id}'
    }

    public function postStore()
    {
        // POST request to 'users/store'
    }

}

Implicit Controller documentation
It is good practice to use what you need, as per your preference. I personally don’t like the Implicit controllers, because they can be messy, don’t provide names and can be confusing when using php artisan routes. I typically use RESTful Resource controllers in combination with explicit routes.

The other opinion is that you might not want to create too many controllers for every action, that would include all the CRUD methods. In that case, use the Implicit controllers.

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