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PEAR::DB, DataObjects, And Joins / Reflection

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        PEAR::DB_DataObject is great. I really like it. We don't use it at work, though; having gone for a slightly different route. This pattern should be applicable, however, quite nicely to DB_DataObject.

First, the database is set to associative fetching - our results come out as neat little arrays with fieldnames, so a $row = $db->query(/*blah*/)->fetchRow(); makes $row["id"], $row["field"], etc...

require_once 'DB.php';

$db = DB::connect("mysql://blah:blah@server/databaseName"); //Defined elsewhere
$db->setFetchMode( DB_FETCHMODE_ASSOC );


Next, we have our core object.
class Core {

     * Process and extract values from an associative array.
     * Improve performance and overload in child classes.
     * @param   mixed[]    $array  Typically an assoc array from a DB::result->fetchRow.
     * @return  bool
    public function updateFromArray($array) {
        if ( is_array($array) ) {

            $class = new ReflectionObject($this);
            $properties = $class->getProperties();

            for ($i = 0; $i < count($properties); $i++) {
                $prop_name = $properties[$i]->getName();

                if (array_key_exists($prop_name, $array)) {
                    $this->$prop_name = @$array[$prop_name];

        return true;

So, when we do a query we can mash up everything nicely (assuming we don't have two tables with the same column names):

$sql = "SELECT * FROM table t JOIN table2 t2 ON t.table_id = t2.table_id";

$result = $db->query($sql);

while ($row = $result->fetchRow()) {
   $t = new Table();
   $t2 = new Table2();


   //Do whatever you like with your objects...

... and our objects get efficiently populated with data in a single query.

The behind the scenes magic...
class Table extends DO_Table {
//Business logic

class Table2 extends DO_Table2 {
//Business logic

class DO_Table extends DB_DataObject {
     public $field;

class DO_Table extends DB_DataObject {
     public $field2;

class DB_DataObject extends Core {

Now... there's a few gotchas with this; which is why we don't use DB_DataObject - you can accidentally overwrite information you shouldn't from Core::updateFromArray();

There's no validation - you have to trust the array data you pass to the object.

You have to watch your 'specialist' doesn't do anything silly like Table::updateFromArray($_REQUEST);

You are limited to one row, one *type* of object - you couldn't join a table to itself and such.