Basic C.R.U.D. Operations

    In this chapter, you will learn how to perform basic C.R.U.D. (Create, Retrieve, Update, Delete) operations on your database using Propel.

    Creating Rows

    To add new data to the database, instantiate a Propel-generated object and then call the save() method. Propel will generate the appropriate INSERT SQL from the instantiated object.

    But before saving it, you probably want to define the value for its columns. For that purpose, Propel has generated a setXXX() method for each of the columns of the table in the model object. So in its simplest form, inserting a new row looks like the following:

    <?php
    /* initialize Propel, etc. */
    
    $author = new Author();
    $author->setFirstName('Jane');
    $author->setLastName('Austen');
    $author->save();
    

    The column names used in the setXXX() methods correspond to the phpName attribute of the <column> tag in your schema, or to a CamelCase version of the column name if the phpName is not set.

    In the background, the call to save() results in the following SQL being executed on the database:

    INSERT INTO author (first_name, last_name) VALUES ('Jane', 'Austen');
    

    Reading Object Properties

    Propel maps the columns of a table into properties of the generated objects. For each property, you can use a generated getter to access it.

    <?php
    echo $author->getId();        // 1
    echo $author->getFirstName(); // 'Jane'
    echo $author->getLastName();  // 'Austen'
    

    The id column was set automatically by the database, since the schema.xml defines it as an autoIncrement column. The value is very easy to retrieve once the object is saved: just call the getter on the column phpName.

    These calls don't issue a database query, since the Author object is already loaded in memory.

    You can also export all the properties of an object by calling one of the following methods: toArray(), toXML(), toYAML(), toJSON(), toCSV(), and __toString():

    <?php
    echo $author->toJSON();
    // {"Id":1,"FirstName":"Jane","LastName":"Austen"}
    

    TipFor each export method, Propel also provides an import method counterpart. So you can easily populate an object from an array using fromArray(), and from a string using any of fromXML(), fromYAML(), fromJSON(), and fromCSV().

    There are a lot more useful methods offered by the generated objects. You can find an extensive list of these methods in the Active Record reference.

    Retrieving Rows

    Retrieving objects from the database, also referred to as hydrating objects, is essentially the process of executing a SELECT query against the database and populating a new instance of the appropriate object with the contents of each returned row.

    In Propel, you use the generated Query objects to retrieve existing rows from the database.

    Retrieving by Primary Key

    The simplest way to retrieve a row from the database, is to use the generated findPK() method. It simply expects the value of the primary key of the row to be retrieved.

    <?php
    $q = new AuthorQuery();
    $firstAuthor = $q->findPK(1);
    // now $firstAuthor is an Author object, or NULL if no match was found.
    

    This issues a simple SELECT SQL query. For instance, for MySQL:

    SELECT author.id, author.first_name, author.last_name
    FROM `author`
    WHERE author.id = 1
    LIMIT 1;
    

    When the primary key consists of more than one column, findPK() accepts multiple parameters, one for each primary key column.

    TipEvery generated Query objects offers a factory method called create(). This methods creates a new instance of the query, and allows you to write queries in a single line:

    <?php
    $firstAuthor = AuthorQuery::create()->findPK(1);
    

    You can also select multiple objects based on their primary keys, by calling the generated findPKs() method. It takes an array of primary keys as a parameter:

    <?php
    $selectedAuthors = AuthorQuery::create()->findPKs(array(1,2,3,4,5,6,7));
    // $selectedAuthors is a collection of Author objects
    

    Querying the Database

    To retrieve rows other than by the primary key, use the Query find() method.

    An empty Query object carries no condition, and returns all the rows of the table

    <?php
    $authors = AuthorQuery::create()->find();
    // $authors contains a collection of Author objects
    // one object for every row of the author table
    foreach($authors as $author) {
      echo $author->getFirstName();
    }
    

    To add a simple condition on a given column, use one of the generated filterByXXX() methods of the Query object, where XXX is a column phpName. Since filterByXXX() methods return the current query object, you can continue to add conditions or end the query with the result of the method call. For instance, to filter by first name:

    <?php
    $authors = AuthorQuery::create()
      ->filterByFirstName('Jane')
      ->find();
    

    When you pass a value to a filterByXXX() method, Propel uses the column type to escape this value in PDO. This protects you from SQL injection risks.

    TipfilterByXXX() is the preferred method for creating queries. It is very flexible and accepts values with wildcards as well as arrays for more complex use cases. See Column Filter Methods for details.

    You can also easily limit and order the results on a query. Once again, the Query methods return the current Query object, so you can easily chain them:

    <?php
    $authors = AuthorQuery::create()
      ->orderByLastName()
      ->limit(10)
      ->find();
    

    find() always returns a collection of objects, even if there is only one result. If you know that you need a single result, use findOne() instead of find(). It will add the limit and return a single object instead of an array:

    <?php
    $author = AuthorQuery::create()
      ->filterByFirstName('Jane')
      ->findOne();
    

    TipPropel provides magic methods for this simple use case. So you can write the above query as:

    <?php
    $author = AuthorQuery::create()->findOneByFirstName('Jane');
    

    The Propel Query API is very powerful. The next chapter will teach you to use it to add conditions on related objects. If you can't wait, jump to the Query API reference.

    Using Custom SQL

    The Query class provides a relatively simple approach to constructing a query. Its database neutrality and logical simplicity make it a good choice for expressing many common queries. However, for a very complex query, it may prove more effective (and less painful) to simply use a custom SQL query to hydrate your Propel objects.

    As Propel uses PDO to query the underlying database, you can always write custom queries using the PDO syntax. For instance, if you have to use a sub-select:

    <?php
    use Propel\Runtime\Propel;
    $con = Propel::getWriteConnection(\Map\BookTableMap::DATABASE_NAME);
    $sql = "SELECT * FROM book WHERE id NOT IN "
            ."(SELECT book_review.book_id FROM book_review"
            ." INNER JOIN author ON (book_review.author_id=author.ID)"
            ." WHERE author.last_name = :name)";
    $stmt = $con->prepare($sql);
    $stmt->execute(array(':name' => 'Austen'));
    

    With only a little bit more work, you can also populate Book objects from the resulting statement. Create a new ObjectFormatter for the Book model, and call the format() method using the DataFetcher instance of the current connection with the pdo statement:

    <?php
    use Propel\Runtime\Formatter\ObjectFormatter;
    $con = Propel::getWriteConnection(\Map\BookTableMap::DATABASE_NAME);
    $formatter = new ObjectFormatter();
    $formatter->setClass('\Book'); //full qualified class name
    $books = $formatter->format($con->getDataFetcher($stmt));
    // $books contains a collection of Book objects
    

    There are a few important things to remember when using custom SQL to populate Propel:

    • The resultset columns must be numerically indexed
    • The resultset must contain all the columns of the table (except lazy-load columns)
    • The resultset must have columns in the same order as they are defined in the schema.xml file

    Updating Objects

    Updating database rows basically involves retrieving objects, modifying the contents, and then saving them. In practice, for Propel, this is a combination of what you've already seen in the previous sections:

    <?php
    $author = AuthorQuery::create()->findOneByFirstName('Jane');
    $author->setLastName('Austen');
    $author->save();
    

    Alternatively, you can update several rows based on a Query using the query object's update() method:

    <?php
    AuthorQuery::create()
      ->filterByFirstName('Jane')
      ->update(array('LastName' => 'Austen'));
    

    This last method is better for updating several rows at once, or if you didn't retrieve the objects before.

    Deleting Objects

    Deleting objects works the same as updating them. You can either delete an existing object:

    <?php
    $author = AuthorQuery::create()->findOneByFirstName('Jane');
    $author->delete();
    

    Or use the delete() method in the query:

    <?php
    AuthorQuery::create()
      ->filterByFirstName('Jane')
      ->delete();
    

    TipA deleted object still lives in the PHP code. It is marked as deleted and cannot be saved anymore, but you can still read its properties:

    <?php
    echo $author->isDeleted();    // true
    echo $author->getFirstName(); // 'Jane'
    

    Query Termination Methods

    The Query methods that don't return the current query object are called "Termination Methods". You've already seen some of them: find(), findOne(), update(), delete(). There are two more termination methods that you should know about:

    count() returns the number of results of the query.

    <?php
    $nbAuthors = AuthorQuery::create()->count();
    

    You could also count the number of results from a find(), but that would be less effective, since it implies hydrating objects just to count them.

    paginate() returns a paginated list of results:

    <?php
    $authorPager = AuthorQuery::create()->paginate($page = 1, $maxPerPage = 10);
    // This method will compute an offset and a limit
    // based on the number of the page and the max number of results per page.
    // The result is a PropelModelPager object, over which you can iterate:
    foreach ($authorPager as $author) {
      echo $author->getFirstName();
    }
    

    A pager object gives more information:

    <?php
    echo $pager->getNbResults();   // total number of results if not paginated
    echo $pager->haveToPaginate(); // return true if the total number of results exceeds the maximum per page
    echo $pager->getFirstIndex();  // index of the first result in the page
    echo $pager->getLastIndex();   // index of the last result in the page
    $links = $pager->getLinks(5);  // array of page numbers around the current page; useful to display pagination controls
    

    Collections And On-Demand Hydration

    The find() method of generated Model Query objects returns a PropelCollection object. You can use this object just like an array of model objects, iterate over it using foreach, access the objects by key, etc.

    <?php
    $authors = AuthorQuery::create()
      ->limit(5)
      ->find();
    foreach ($authors as $author) {
      echo $authors->getFirstName();
    }
    

    The advantage of using a collection instead of an array is that Propel can hydrate model objects on demand. Using this feature, you'll never fall short of memory when retrieving a large number of results. Available through the setFormatter() method of Model Queries, on-demand hydration is very easy to trigger:

    <?php
    $authors = AuthorQuery::create()
      ->limit(50000)
      ->setFormatter(ModelCriteria::FORMAT_ON_DEMAND) // just add this line
      ->find();
    foreach ($authors as $author) {
      echo $author->getFirstName();
    }
    

    In this example, Propel will hydrate the Author objects row by row, after the foreach call, and reuse the memory between each iteration. The consequence is that the above code won't use more memory when the query returns 50,000 results than when it returns 5.

    ModelCriteria::FORMAT_ON_DEMAND is one of the many formatters provided by the Query objects. You can also get a collection of associative arrays instead of objects, if you don't need any of the logic stored in your model object, by using ModelCriteria::FORMAT_ARRAY.

    The ModelCriteria Query API reference describes each formatter, and how to use it.

    Propel Instance Pool

    Propel keeps a list of the objects that you already retrieved in memory to avoid calling the same request twice in a PHP script. This list is called the instance pool, and is automatically populated from your past requests:

    <?php
    // first call
    $author1 = AuthorQuery::create()->findPk(1);
    // Issues a SELECT query
    ...
    // second call
    $author2 = AuthorQuery::create()->findPk(1);
    // Skips the SQL query and returns the existing $author1 object