This class makes it really easy to encode columns (mostly for password storage) automatically and flexibly. It's really easy to use different kinds of encodings and it's just as easy to add more. Great!
Simple and effective. Declare your user db module with password as an encoded_column, then just iterate through all of the users with a $user->password($user->password); # it looks like a no-op, but the setting will trigger the password hashing, and you're done!
Much simpler than having to worry about the defaults of encryption and salting yourself, and if you do want to tweak those later, you only have to do it in one place.