Using Eloquent outside Laravel

By Vivek Kumar Bansal on March 5th, 2015

I was looking for an ORM to use in a project and that lead to a lot of research. I finalized my list to Doctrine, Propel and Eloquent. I did not like Doctrine's way of using annotations. I tried Propel (specifically the upcoming version 2) and really liked it but it wasn't stable enough to be used in production. Then I looked into Eloquent of the Laravel fame and it instantly blew my mind.

Initially Eloquent was tightly coupled into the framework but as the public demand grew, a package called Capsule was created by the (in)famous Phil Sturgeon. Later it was merged into the offical repository. Today we will be learning how to use it outside Laravel.


We will be using composer to install it.

composer require illuminate/database

Now creating a connection is as simple as shown below. Eloquent supports a wide variety of databases. You cav have a look at them in the official docs.

require "vendor/autoload.php";

use Illuminate\Database\Capsule\Manager as Capsule;

 * Configure the database and boot Eloquent
$capsule = new Capsule;
    'driver'    => 'mysql',
    'host'      => 'host',
    'database'  => 'database',
    'username'  => 'username',
    'password'  => 'password',
    'charset'   => 'utf8',
    'collation' => 'utf8_general_ci',
    'prefix'    => 'prefix_'
// set timezone for timestamps etc

And we are good to go!

Building Schema

A schema can be built or dropped using code similar to shown below.

use Illuminate\Database\Capsule\Manager as Capsule;
use Illuminate\Database\Schema\Blueprint;

//Creating schema
Capsule::schema()->create('users', function (Blueprint $table) {

//Droping Schema

Making a model

Making a model is as simple as extending Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model

//User Model
use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model as Eloquent
class User extends Eloquent {

Wrap Up

This was a quick look at using Eloquent ORM outside Laravel. Hope you find it useful too.