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Catalyst::Manual::Tutorial::Intro - Catalyst Tutorial - Part 1: Introduction


This is Part 1 of 9 of the Catalyst Tutorial.

Tutorial Overview

  1. Introduction
  2. Catalyst Basics
  3. Basic CRUD
  4. Authentication
  5. Authorization
  6. Debugging
  7. Testing
  8. Advanced CRUD
  9. Appendices


This tutorial provides a multipart introduction to the Catalyst web framework. It seeks to provide a rapid overview of many of its most commonly used features. The focus is on the real-world best practices required in the construction of nearly all Catalyst applications.

Although the primary target of the tutorial is users new to the Catalyst framework, experienced users may wish to review specific sections (for example, how to use DBIC for their model classes or how to add authentication and authorization to an existing application).

You can obtain the code for all the tutorial examples from the catalyst subversion repository by issuing the command:

 svn co CatalystTutorial

This will download the current code for each tutorial chapter in the CatalystTutorial directory. Each example application directory has the same name as the tutorial chapter.

Subjects covered include:

This tutorial makes the learning process its main priority. For example, the level of comments in the code found here would likely be considered excessive in a "normal project". Because of their contextual value, this tutorial will generally favor inline comments over a separate discussion in the text. It also deliberately tries to demonstrate multiple approaches to various features (in general, you should try to be as consistent as possible with your own production code).

Furthermore, this tutorial tries to minimize the number of controllers, models, TT templates, and database tables. Although this does result in things being a bit contrived at times, the concepts should be applicable to more complex environments. More complete and complicated example applications can be found in the examples area of the Catalyst Subversion repository at

Note: There are a variety of other introductory materials available through the Catalyst web site and at and


This tutorial was built using the following resources. Please note that you may need to make adjustments for different environments and versions:


Unfortunately, one of the most daunting tasks faced by newcomers to Catalyst is getting it installed. Although a compelling strength of Catalyst is that it can easily make use of many of the modules in the vast repository that is CPAN, this can result in initial installations that are both time consuming and frustrating. However, there are a growing number of methods that can dramatically ease this undertaking. Of these, the following are likely to be applicable to the largest number of potential new users:

For additional information and recommendations on Catalyst installation, please refer to Catalyst::Manual::Installation.

NOTE: Step-by-step instructions to replicate the environment on which this tutorial was developed can be found at Catalyst::Manual::Installation::CentOS4. Using these instructions, you should be able to build a complete CentOS 4.X server with Catalyst and all the plugins required to run this tutorial.


This tutorial will primarily focus on SQLite because of its simplicity of installation and use; however, modifications in the script required to support MySQL and PostgreSQL will be presented in Appendix 2.

Note: One of the advantages of the MVC design patterns is that applications become much more database independent. As such, you will notice that only the .sql files used to initialize the database change between database systems: the Catalyst code generally remains the same.


Each part of the tutorial has complete code available in the main Catalyst Subversion repository (see the note at the beginning of each part for the appropriate svn command to use). Additionally, the final code is available as a ready-to-run tarball at


Kennedy Clark,

Please report any errors, issues or suggestions to the author. The most recent version of the Catalyst Tutorial can be found at

Copyright 2006, Kennedy Clark, under Creative Commons License (

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