How to use Laravel Factory in Database Seeders

by Dillon -

Laravel use Factory in Database Seeder

Laravel factories are a great way to add test data to your database in bulk. This saves time, removing the need to write methods to insert data for each column manually. Follow along to learn how to use Laravel Factory in Database Seeders. 

To get started, create a new model. The model we will create will be Post

php artisan make:model Post

Next, we will create a new migration: 

php artisan make:migration create_posts_table 

Open the migration file and add the table schema. In this example, we will give a post a title column which will be a STRING, a description column which will be a VARCHAR, and a content column which will be TEXT. 

Schema::create('posts', function (Blueprint $table) {
    $table->id();
    $table->string('title');
    $table->string('description');
    $table->text('content');
    $table->timestamps();
});

In Laravel, string is equivalent to VARCHAR with the option to set the length. Text is equivalent to medium text with a maximum of 65,535 bytes. 

Now we have created the migration and the model, we can create the factory and seeder. 

Create a Laravel Factory

To create a Laravel Factory file from the command line, run the following artisan command:

php artisan make:factory PostFactory

Create a Laravel Seeder

To create a Laravel Seeder file from the command line, run the following artisan command:

php artisan make:seeder PostTableSeeder

Add Faker data to a Laravel Seeder

Open the new factory /database/factories/PostFactory and set the model for the factory: 

protected $model = Post::class;

Next, in the definition method, add the following:

return [
    'title' => $this->faker->sentence,
    'description' => $this->faker->paragraph(),
    'content' => $this->faker->text(350),
];

Laravel Factories extend the Factory class, which uses the PHP Faker/Generate class, making the object Faker available to your Factory.

Use your Laravel Factory in Database Seeders

Open the seeder file we generated above. In the run method, add the following:

public function run()
{
    Post::factory()->count(5)->create();
}

The integer used in the count method is used to create the specified number of rows in the table. In this example, we will create 5 records.

Add Seeder file to DatabaseSeeder.php

This step is optional and only applies if you want to run the seeder file when using the –seed flag when running your migrations or db:seed command.

Add the PostTableSeeder file to the run method in the DatabaseSeeder.php file.

public function run()
{
    $this->call([
        PostTableSeeder::class,
    ]);
}

Run Laravel Migrations and Seeders

To run the migrations and seeders at the same time, use:

PHP artisan migrate:fresh --seed

This will refresh the database and run all the seeder files added to the DatabaseSeeder.php file.

Optionally, you can run the single migration file like so:

php artisan migrate --path=/database/migrations/post_migration_file_name.php

Remember to replace “post_migration_file_name” with the name of the migration file.

And to run a single seeder file use:

php artisan db:seed --class=PostTableSeeder

Conclusion

Out of the box, Laravel makes it easy for developers to test their databases by inserting large volumes of fake data. Factories are a great way of generating fake data using the PHP Faker library.

Check out more posts about Laravel

Dillon Smart

👋 Hey, I'm Dillon!

I’m a Full-Stack developer in the UK, building websites and applications for around 12 years, landing my first full-time job as a developer in 2015.

Feel free to reach out on Twitter!

Laravel 9: How to Add a New Column to an Existing Table in a Migration - IKnowThatNow

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