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How it works

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Scramble PRO
Spatie’s Laravel Data support, realtime Typescript definitions generation, Inertia integration.

Scramble is a package for Laravel that generates API documentation using static code analysis and Laravel conventions.

Other packages usually require you to write PHPDoc annotations in your code, which is not always convenient. It may result in:

  • More work to keep annotations up to date with code changes.
  • Code duplication, where information is redundantly stated in annotations and the code itself.
  • Challenges during code refactoring, potentially leading to outdated documentation if annotations are not updated accordingly.

Scramble gives you the power to use annotations only when you want more control over your docs’ generation. You can add descriptions to parameters or tweak response types for your API routes, etc.

After installation, Scramble adds two routes to your application. /docs/api route is the UI. It triggers /docs/api.json route and shows the documentation in a nice UI.

The /docs/api.json route generates the OpenAPI document describing your API. Here is what happens behind the scenes.

Gathering API routes

First of all, Scramble gathers your API routes by retrieving all routes from the application and then filtering them using api route prefix.

You can customize this behavior by either publishing the package’s configuration file or providing your own route filter function.

Next, Scramble analyzes each API route’s corresponding controller method. It aims to determine both the request type and response type for the route.

Route to request documentation

To describe the request, Scramble analyzes validation rules and route parameters.

When FormRequest is used for the request, Scramble will analyze rules method.

If a custom request class is not used, Scramble will look for a call to validate in a controller’s method and will use rules from there by evaluating the rules’ array code.

Route’s responses documentation

To document responses, Scramble analyzes the return type of the controller’s method using static code analysis. To make the most correct assumption, Scramble first tries to infer the return type, and if it cannot, it uses the declared return type in the type hint.

It then proceeds to document the controller’s method return type as a route’s response. Thanks to being in Laravel context, Scramble does a lot of things automatically, such as documenting JSON API resources, resources collections, etc.

For instance, if you return a PostResource (a JSON API resource) from your controller’s method, Scramble performs the following actions:

  • Identifies the return type of your method as PostResource.
  • Analyzes the toArray method of the PostResource class and documents its attributes as response fields.

Scramble takes into consideration other scenarios to cover not only successful responses:

  • It accounts for cases when validate or FormRequest is used, which may result in a 422 response.
  • It handles situations where authorize or Gate is used, leading to a possible 403 response.
  • Scramble also considers the usage of abort, abort_if, and abort_unless, which could lead to 4xx or 5xx responses.
  • Furthermore, any exceptions thrown during the process are accounted for, which may also result in 4xx or 5xx responses.

Putting it all together

After analyzing all routes, Scramble merges all gathered information into a single OpenAPI document.

All the endpoints (operations) are sorted alphabetically by their paths. Schema definitions are also sorted alphabetically by their names.

Scramble PRO
Laravel Data support, real-time Typescript definitions generation, Inertia integration.