# Getting started

# Terminology, general concept

In Sharp, we handle entities; an entity is simply a data structure which has a meaning in the application context. For instance, a Person, a Post or an Order. In the Eloquent world, for which Sharp is optimized, it's typically a Model — but it's not necessarily a 1-1 relationship, a Sharp entity can represent a portion of a Model, or several Models.

Each instance of an entity is called... an instance.

Each entity in Sharp can be displayed:

  • in an Entity List, which is the list of all the instances for this entity: with some configuration and code, the user can sort the data, add filters, pagination, and perform searches. From there we also gain access to applicative commands applied either to an instance or to the whole (filtered) list, and to a simple state changer (the published state of an Article, for instance). All of that is described below.
  • In a Show Page, optionally, to display an instance details.
  • And in a Form, either to update or create a new instance.

# Installation

Sharp 7 needs Laravel 8+ and PHP 8.0+.

  • Add the package with composer: composer require code16/sharp
  • And then publish assets: php artisan vendor:publish --provider="Code16\Sharp\SharpServiceProvider" --tag=assets

A tip on this last command: you'll need fresh assets each time Sharp is updated, so a good practice is to add the command in the scripts.post-autoload-dump section of your composer.json file:

"scripts": {
    [...]
    "post-autoload-dump": [
        "Illuminate\\Foundation\\ComposerScripts::postAutoloadDump",
        "@php artisan vendor:publish --provider=Code16\\Sharp\\SharpServiceProvider --tag=assets --force",
        "@php artisan package:discover"
    ]
},

# Configuration

Sharp needs a config/sharp.php config file, mainly to declare entities.

You can initialize this file with php artisan vendor:publish --provider="Code16\Sharp\SharpServiceProvider" --tag=config

Here's an example:

return [
    "entities" => [
        "spaceship" => [
            "list" => \App\Sharp\SpaceshipSharpList::class,
            "form" => \App\Sharp\SpaceshipSharpForm::class,
            "show" => \App\Sharp\SpaceshipSharpShow::class,
            "validator" => \App\Sharp\SpaceshipSharpValidator::class,
            "policy" => \App\Sharp\Policies\SpaceshipPolicy::class
        ]
    ]
];

As we can see, each entity (like spaceship here) can define:

  • a list class, responsible for the Entity List,
  • a show class, responsible for displaying an instance,
  • a form class, responsible for the create and edit Form
  • a validator class, to handle form validation
  • and a policy class, for authorization.

Almost each one is optional, in fact: we could skip the show and go straight to the form from the list, for instance.

We'll get into all those classes in this document. The important thing to notice is that Sharp provides base classes to handle all the wiring (and more), but as we'll see, the applicative code is totally up to you.

# Access to Sharp

Once installed, Sharp is accessible via the url /sharp, by default. If you wish to change this default value, you'll need to define the custom_url_segment config value, in config/sharp.php:

return [
    "name" => "Saturn",
    "custom_url_segment" => "admin",
    [...]
]