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— From boring old arrays to shiny typed objects —

Valinor takes care of the construction and validation of raw inputs (JSON, plain arrays, etc.) into objects, ensuring a perfectly valid state. It allows the objects to be used without having to worry about their integrity during the whole application lifecycle.

The validation system will detect any incorrect value and help the developers by providing precise and human-readable error messages.

The mapper can handle native PHP types as well as other advanced types supported by PHPStan and Psalm like shaped arrays, generics, integer ranges and more.


There are many benefits of using objects instead of plain arrays in a codebase:

  1. Type safety — the structure of an object is known and guaranteed, no need for type checks once the object is constructed.
  2. Data integrity — the object cannot be in an invalid state, it will always contain valid data.
  3. Encapsulation — the logic of an object is isolated from the outside.

What about serialization?

This library also provides a serialization system that can help transform a given input into a data format (JSON, CSV, …), while preserving the original structure.

You can find more information on this topic in the normalizer chapter.

Validating and transforming raw data into an object can be achieved easily with native PHP, but it requires a lot a boilerplate code.

Below is a simple example of doing that without a mapper:

final class Person
    public readonly string $name;

    public readonly DateTimeInterface $birthDate;

$data = $client->request('GET', '')->toArray();

if (! isset($data['name']) || ! is_string($data['name'])) {
    // Cumbersome error handling

if (! isset($data['birthDate']) || ! is_string($data['birthDate'])) {
    // Another cumbersome error handling

$birthDate = DateTimeImmutable::createFromFormat('Y-m-d', $data['birthDate']);

if (! $birthDate instanceof DateTimeInterface) {
    // Yet another cumbersome error handling

$person = new Person($data['name'], $birthDate);

Using a mapper saves a lot of time and energy, especially on objects with a lot of properties:

$data = $client->request('GET', '')->toArray();

try {
    $person = (new \CuyZ\Valinor\MapperBuilder())
        ->map(Person::class, $data);
} catch (\CuyZ\Valinor\Mapper\MappingError $error) {
    // Detailed error handling

This library provides advanced features for more complex cases, check out the next chapter to get started.