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What is Data Transfer Object? Why do we use DTO in Laravel?

Posted on:February 22, 2023 at 10:00 AM

The very first question comes in my mind is that, what exactly Data Transfer Object?

DTO stands for Data Transfer Object. It is a design pattern used in software development to transfer data between different layers of an application. DTOs are typically used to encapsulate data and transport it across different parts of the system. They are commonly used in service-oriented architectures, where services communicate with each other by passing data through DTOs. The use of DTOs helps to simplify the communication between different components of an application and improves its overall maintainability.

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How to use DTO in laravel?

I am trying to visualize DTO in laravel with a real life example.

Suppose you have a Post model with the following properties:

class Post extends Model
    protected $fillable = [

You want to create a new Post using the data submitted in a form. However, you don’t want to pass the entire Request object to your Controller, because it may contain additional data that you don’t need. Instead, you want to create a DTO that contains only the necessary data, and pass it to your Controller.

1. Create a DTO:

I am creating a plain PHP class in the App\Http\DTO directory.

namespace App\Http\DTO;

class CreatePostDTO
    public string $title;
    public string $body;
    public ?DateTime $published_at;

    public function __construct(string $title, string $body, ?DateTime $published_at = null)
        $this->title = $title;
        $this->body = $body;
        $this->published_at = $published_at;

2. Use the DTO in your Controller:

Now in the PostController, I am using DTO instead of sending all the data from request.

namespace App\Http\Controllers;

use App\Http\DTO\CreatePostDTO;
use App\Models\Post;
use Illuminate\Http\Request;

class PostController extends Controller
    // Some other methods

    public function store(Request $request)
        $postDto = new CreatePostDTO($request);

        $post = Post::create([
            'title' => $postDto->title,
            'body' => $postDto->body,
            'published_at' => $postDto->published_at,

        return redirect()->route('', ['post' => $post]);

In this example, we’re creating a new CreatePostDTO from the request data using constructor. We then create a new Post object and set its properties from the DTO. Finally, we save the Post object to the database. This approach allows you to easily transfer data between the Controller and Model layers of your application, while optimizing for performance and maintainability.

Why do we use DTO?

We use DTOs (Data Transfer Objects) for several reasons in software development:


In this article, I’ll demonstrate how to use DTOs in Laravel to improve the structure and organization of your codebase. By implementing DTOs, we can simplify data transfer between different layers of our application and create a more maintainable codebase.