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Creating Ancillary Classes
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<h1>Creating Ancillary Classes</h1>

<p>In some cases you may want to develop classes that exist apart from your controllers but have the ability to
utilize all of CodeIgniter's resources. This is easily possible as you'll see.</p>

<h2>get_instance()</h2>


<p><strong>Any class that you instantiate within your controller functions can access CodeIgniter's native resources</strong> simply by using the <kbd>get_instance()</kbd> function.
This function returns the main CodeIgniter object.</p>

<p>Normally, to call any of the available CodeIgniter functions requires you to use the <kbd>$this</kbd> construct:</p>

<code>
<strong>$this</strong>->load->helper('url');<br />
<strong>$this</strong>->load->library('session');<br />
<strong>$this</strong>->config->item('base_url');<br />
etc.
</code>

<p><kbd>$this</kbd>, however, only works within your controllers, your models, or your views.
If you would like to use CodeIgniter's classes from within your own custom classes you can do so as follows:</p>


<p>First, assign the CodeIgniter object to a variable:</p>

<code>$CI =& get_instance();</code>

<p>Once you've assigned the object to a variable, you'll use that variable <em>instead</em> of <kbd>$this</kbd>:</p>

<code>
$CI =& get_instance();<br /><br />
$CI->load->helper('url');<br />
$CI->load->library('session');<br />
$CI->config->item('base_url');<br />
etc.
</code>

<p class="important"><strong>Note:</strong> You'll notice that the above get_instance() function is being passed by reference:
<br /><br />
<var>$CI =& get_instance();</var>
<br /><br />
This is very important. Assigning by reference allows you to use the original CodeIgniter object rather than creating a copy of it.</p>
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