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Role: Documentation
Content type: text/markdown
Description: Documentation
Class: PHP MySQLi Class Library
Store and retrieve objects in MySQL using arrays
Author: By
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Date: 2 months ago
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dbObject - model implementation on top of the MysqliDb.

Please note that this library is not pretending to be a full stack ORM, but simply an OOP wrapper for mysqlidb.



Include mysqlidb and dbObject classes. If you want to use model autoloading instead of manually including them in the scripts use autoload() method.


// db instance
$db = new Mysqlidb('localhost', 'user', '', 'testdb');
// enable class autoloading

Each database table could be easily mapped into a dbObject instance. If you do not want to create model for a simple table its object could be simply created with a table() method.

$user = dbObject::table("users");

Otherwise basic model should be declared as:

class user extends dbObject {}

In case autoload is set to 'models' directory, the filename should be models/user.php

Class will be related to 'user' table. To change the table name, define correct name in the $dbTable variable:

    protected $dbTable = "users";

Both objects created throw new class file creation of with table() method will have the same set of methods available. Only exception is that relations, validation or custom model methods will not be working with an objects created with table() method.


Retrieving objects from the database is pretty much the same process as a mysqliDb get()/getOne() methods without a need to specify table name. All mysqlidb functions like where(), orWhere(), orderBy(), join(), etc. are supported.

Retrieving All Records

//$users = dbObject::table('users')->get();
$users = user::get();
foreach ($users as $u) {
  echo $u->login;

Using Where Condition And A Limit

$users = user::where("login", "demo")->get(Array (10, 20));
foreach ($users as $u) ...

Retrieving A Model By Primary Key

//$user = dbObject::table('users')->byId(1);
$user = user::byId(1);
echo $user->login;

dbObject will also assume that each table has a primary key column named "id". You may define a primaryKey property to override this assumption.

  protected $primaryKey = "userId";

Insert Row

  1. OOP Way. Just create new object of a needed class, fill it in and call `save()` method. Save will return
    record id in case of success and false in case if insert will fail.
    //$user = dbObject::table('users');
    $user = new user;
    $user->login = 'demo';
    $user->password = 'demo';
    $id = $user->save();
    if ($id)
    echo "user created with id = " . $id;
  2. Using arrays
    $data = Array('login' => 'demo',
          'password' => 'demo');
    $user = new user ($data);
    $id = $user->save();
    if ($id == null) {
      echo $db->getLastError;
    } else
      echo "user created with id = " . $id;
  3. Multisave
$user = new user;
$user->login = 'demo';
$user->pass = 'demo';

$p = new product;
$p->title = "Apples";
$p->price = 0.5;
$p->seller = $user;

After save() is called, both new objects (user and product) will be saved.


To update model properties just set them and call save() method. Values that need to be changed could be passed as an array to the save() method as well.

$user = user::byId(1);
$user->password = 'demo2';
$data = Array('password', 'demo2');
$user = user::byId(1);


Use delete() method on any loaded object.

$user = user::byId(1);


Currently dbObject supports only hasMany and hasOne relations. To use them declare $relations array in the model class. After that you can get related object via variable names defined as keys.

hasOne example:

    protected $relations = Array(
        'person' => Array("hasOne", "person", 'id');


    $user = user::byId(1);
    // sql: select * from users where id = $personValue
    echo $user->person->firstName . " " . $user->person->lastName . " have the following products:\n";
    // one more sql: select * from person where id=x

Please note, that following way of querying will execute 2 sql queries: 1. select * from users where id=1 2. select * from person where id=x

To optimize this into single select join query use with() method.

   $user = user::with('person')->byId(1);
   // sql: select * from users left join person on = wher id = 1;
    echo $user->person->firstName . " " . $user->person->lastName . " have the following products:\n";

hasMany example:

In the hasMany array should be defined the target object name (product in example) and a relation key (userid).

    protected $relations = Array(
        'products' => Array("hasMany", "product", 'userid')


    $user = user::byId(1);
    // sql: select * from $product_table where userid = $userPrimaryKey
    foreach ($user->products as $p) {
            echo $p->title;

Joining tables

$depts = product::join('user');
$depts = product::join('user', 'productid');

First parameter will set an object which should be joined. Second paramter will define a key. Default key is $objectName+'Id'

NOTE: Objects returned with join() will not save changes to a joined properties. For this you can use relationships.


Library provides a transparent way to set timestamps of an object creation and its modification: To enable that define $timestamps array as follows:

protected $timestamps = Array ('createdAt', 'updatedAt');

Field names can't be changed.

Array Fields

dbObject can automatically handle array type of values. Optionaly you can store arrays in json encoded or in pipe delimited format. To enable automatic json serialization of the field define $jsonFields array in your modal:

    protected $jsonFields = Array('options');

To enable pipe delimited storage of the field, define $arrayFields array in your modal:

    protected $arrayFields = Array('sections');

The following code will now store 'options' variable as a json string in the database, and will return an array on load. Same with the 'sections' variable except that it will be stored in pipe delimited format.

    $user = new user;
    $user->login = 'admin';
    $user->options = Array('canReadNews', 'canPostNews', 'canDeleteNews');
    $user->sections = Array('news', 'companyNews');
    $user = user::byId(1);

Validation and Error checking

Before saving and updating the row, dbObject does input validation. In case validation rules are set but their criteria is not met, then save() will return an error with its description. For example:

$id = $user->save();
if (!$id) {
    // show all validation errors
    echo $db->getLastQuery();
    echo $db->getLastError();
echo "user were created with id" . $id;

Validation rules must be defined in $dbFields array.

  protected $dbFields = Array(
    'login' => Array('text', 'required'),
    'password' => Array('text'),
    'createdAt' => Array('datetime'),
    'updatedAt' => Array('datetime'),
    'custom' => Array('/^test/'),

First parameter is a field type. Types could be the one of following: text, bool, int, datetime or a custom regexp. Second parameter is 'required' and its defines that following entry field be always defined.

NOTE: All variables which are not defined in the $dbFields array will be ignored from insert/update statement.

Using array as a return value

dbObject can return its data as array instead of object. To do that, the ArrayBuilder() function should be used in the beginning of the call.

    $user = user::ArrayBuilder()->byId(1);
    echo $user['login'];

    $users = user::ArrayBuilder()->orderBy("id", "desc")->get();
    foreach ($users as $u)
        echo $u['login'];

The following call will return data only of the called instance without any relations data. Use with() function to include relation data as well.

    $user = user::ArrayBuilder()->with("product")->byId(1);
    print_r ($user['products']);

Using json as a return value

Together with ArrayBuilder() and ObjectBuilder(), dbObject can also return a result in json format to avoid extra coding.

    $userjson = user::JsonBuilder()->with("product")->byId(1);

Object serialization

Object could be easily converted to a json string or an array.

    $user = user::byId(1);
    // echo will display json representation of an object
    echo $user;
    // userJson will contain json representation of an object
    $userJson = $user->toJson();
    // userArray will contain array representation of an object
    $userArray = $user->toArray();


Use paginate() instead of get() to fetch paginated result

$page = 1;
// set page limit to 2 results per page. 20 by default
product::$pageLimit = 2;
$products = product::arraybuilder()->paginate($page);
echo "showing $page out of " . product::$totalPages;

Hidden Fields

Sometimes it's important to block some fields that can be accessed from outside the model class (for example, the user password).

To block the access to certain fields using the -> operator, you can declare the $hidden array into the model class. This array holds column names that can't be accessed with the -> operator.

For example:

class User extends dbObject {
    protected $dbFields = array(
        'username' => array('text', 'required'),
        'password' => array('text', 'required'),
        'is_admin' => array('bool'),
        'token' => array('text')

    protected $hidden = array(
        'password', 'token'

If you try to:

echo $user->password;
echo $user->token;

Will return null, and also:

$user->password = "my-new-password";

Won't change the current password value.


Please look for a use examples in <a href='tests/dbObjectTests.php'>tests file</a> and test models inside the <a href='tests/models/'>test models</a> directory

For more information send a message to info at phpclasses dot org.