Yii 1 to Yii 2 differences and enhancements part 3

As a continuation on from Yii 1 to Yii 2 differences and enhancements part 3 I have noted some more differences between the 2 versions of the Yii framework …


In Yii 1 Scopes where defined as arrays. The key of the array was setup as the scope name and the value of the array was the additional piece of code that would be appended to the select query when using the scope.

In Yii 2 Scopes are defined by overriding the find() method inside a model. The overridden find() method returns a new ActiveQuery object which is defined in a separate class.

Essentially the new method uses the components that are already inherent within Yii2 to build the Scope i.e. the ActiveQuery class. The methods of the class become the items in the array in the Yii1 way of doing Scopes. This is a neater way of writing the Scopes than using the old Yii1 method of creating Scopes and with the fact that it is using the inherent functionality of the ActiveQuery class I would presume more powerful.

Authentication rules

A small difference but an extremely powerful one has been the addition of the “matchCallback” option to Yii2’s AccessControl system. In Yii1 to do user permissions a hierarchy of permissions would be setup with bizRules assigned to those permissions. The bixRules where pieces of code that needed to evaluate to true to allow the user to access what permission the user was trying to access. Permissions where assigned to controller actions.

So the application would get the controller action the user was trying to access, the application would then ask does the user have this permission and does this permission evaluate to true. The bizRules where written in code but where then stored in the database along with the rest of the permissions in a set of 3 tables. AuthAssignment, AuthItem and AuthItemChild.

Well you can still do all this with Yii2 but with the introduction of the “matchCallback” option I can skip most of this. I can now assign my bizRule directly to a controller action method. So I can choose not to create a permission hierarchy with all associated bizRules, also using the “matchCallback” allows me to create my own permission system more easily.

Bootstrap components

In Yii2 the components are styled using Bootstrap out of the box also Yii2 has some wrappers for various other Bootstrap components. In Yii1 this functionality was only gained through the use of plugins like YiiStrap and YiiBooster. Now this comes out of the box and is fully integrated as standard. This brings me to my next point below.

Kartik plugin

Yii1 had YiiStrap and YiiBooster. Yii2 has the Kartik plugins, I will not say much about this other than providing a link …


The additional functionality this plugin provides is huge, timepickers, datepickers, enhanced datagrids, enhanced detail views, sliders, tag selectors, menus, icons, labels there is simple too much to name here. The additional value this plugin provides cannot be easily listed here.

This concludes part 3 of Yii 1 to Yii 2 differences and enhancements.

Yii 1 to Yii 2 differences and enhancements part 2

I wrote about Yii 1 to Yii 2 differences and enhancements some time ago and now I am going to carry on from that article to discuss more differences and enhancements I have found since moving to the Yii 2 framework from the Yii 1 framework …


In Yii 1 relationships where defined in the relations method. The relations methods is a method that returns an array of data specifying the relations the model has and data relevant to those relations.

The array is used to create the relations as model properties.

In Yii 2 relations are defined in “magic methods” as follows …

I prefer the Yii 2 way of using the magic methods because it allows you to write additional code in the method that defines the relation. This could come in handy in unique scenarios where custom code is needed to handle the relationship. I also think the Yii 2 method is more in line with the PHP language as a whole than the Yii 1 way of defining relations.


Yii 2 has more validation options than Yii 1 and has introduced further options the validations themselves which make creating these sorts of validations a lot more streamlined. Both Yii 1 and Yii 2 validations are defined as arrays. With the added bonus of the later version of PHP language in the Yii 2 framework the arrays in Yii 2 look more streamlined.

For example rather than this …

They are like this …

They look much better.

Yii 2 introduces the new “when” option and thanks to PHP callback functions we can now write a validation like so …

This will only require the “name” attribute when the “complete” attribute is true. In Yii 1 this validation would have had to have been written as a custom validation method which is a real pain.

That is it for now, another update to come soon.

Yii 1 to Yii 2 differences and enhancements part 1

A number of months ago I made the switch to the Yii 2 framework from the Yii 1 framework. My intent in this post is to outline some of the differences and enhancements I have found from switching to the latest Yii framework.

A framework is a set of code written to help in common programming tasks for example handling data, creating forms and data tables etc.

When I first started programming I did not use a framework as I did not understand the benefits properly of using a framework. The above tasks would have been written from scratch and would have essentially duplicated code that was already out there for solving these common tasks.

When I first started using a framework it made my life much easier and the end product was of a better quality to time ratio than not using a framework. The same quality could be achieved without the use of a framework but would take longer and the programmer would be essentially writing code for common problems that already have a solution.

I would also like to mention that frameworks provide a consistent structure to the code that a programmer writes so that one way of solving a problem at one end of the code would be the same way the problem was solved at another end of the code. This makes it easier for other programmers to understand the code base.

After using the Yii 2 framework here are some of the differences and enhancements that I have found …

User Identity

In Yii 1 a “User identity” is a class that extends “UserIdentity” and handles the authentication and identity of the logged in user. I would create a class that extends “UserIdentity” create some predefined methods and let Yii handle the authentication.

In Yii 2 a similar approach is used except I do not create an extended “UserIdentity” class but instead I “implement” “IdentityInterface” in my User class. In Yii 1 I would have a “UserIdentity” class and a “User” class, in Yii 2 I just have the “User” class. Similar to Yii 1 I create some predefined methods in my “User” class and let Yii handle the authentication.

Active Record

Active Record has some key differences going from the Yii 1 framework to the Yii 2 framework. In Yii 1 Active Record was used like so …

Or …

Or …

In Yii 2 Active Record is used as follows …

Or …

Or …

Basically in Yii 1 there where a lot of methods that where created for specific purposes “findAll”, “findByPK”, “findByAttributes”, “findAllByAttributes”, “deleteByPK”, “deleteAllByAttributes” etc.

Yii 2 can do all of the above purposes but the syntax is much more flexible in that it does not have methods for each purpose but flexible syntax that can be used for flexible purposes.

Also note how in Yii 1 I used array() and in Yii 2 I used []. That is because at the time of Yii 1 array() was the PHP syntax used for creating arrays and at the time of Yii 2 [] could also be used to create arrays. Not really a Yii issue but still the array syntax looks better in the more modern version of PHP.


Due to the Yii 2 framework being written at a time when the version of PHP was later and more modern the Yii 2 framework has made extensive use of the “Use” statement and “Namespaces”. Yii 1 did not make use of these at all probably because they where not implemented in PHP at the time the Yii 1 framework was written.

Nevertheless I feel the “Use” statement and “Namespaces” give the code a more professional feel and it means that the code is only made use of when the code is needed.

I will be updating the blog with more articles on Yii 1 to Yii 2 differences and enhancements as I go a long. I already have plenty of differences lined up but I will be saving them for the next article in this series.