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Datamodel

SilverStripe uses an object-relational model that assumes the following connections:

  • Each database-table maps to a php-class
  • Each database-row maps to a php-object
  • Each database-column maps to a property on a php-object

All data tables in SilverStripe are defined as subclasses of DataObject. Inheritance is supported in the data model: seperate tables will be linked together, the data spread across these tables. The mapping and saving/loading logic is handled by sapphire, you don't need to worry about writing SQL most of the time.

The advanced object-relational layer in SilverStripe is one of the main reasons for requiring PHP5. Most of its customizations are possible through PHP5 Object Overloading handled in the Object-class.

See database-structure for in-depth information on the database-schema.

Generating the database-schema

The SilverStripe database-schema is generated automatically by visiting the URL. http://<mysite>/dev/build

Note: You need to be logged in as an administrator to perform this command.

Querying Data

There are static methods available for querying data. They automatically compile the necessary SQL to query the database so they are very helpful. In case you need to fall back to plain-jane SQL, have a look at SQLQuery.

$records = DataObject::get($obj, $filter, $sort, $join, $limit);

:::php
$record = DataObject::get_one($obj, $filter);

:::php
$record = DataObject::get_by_id($obj, $id);

CAUTION: Please make sure to properly escape your SQL-snippets (see security.

Joining

Passing a $join statement to DataObject::get will filter results further by the JOINs performed against the foreign table. It will NOT return the additionally joined data. The returned $records will always be a DataObject.

When using $join statements be sure the string is in the proper format for the respective database engine. In MySQL the use of backticks may be necessary when referring Table Names and potentially Columns. (see MySQL Identifiers):

// Example from the forums: http://www.silverstripe.org/archive/show/79865#post79865
// Note the use of backticks on table names
$links = DataObject::get("SiteTree", 
          "ShowInMenus = 1 AND ParentID = 23",
          "", 
          "LEFT JOIN `ConsultationPaperHolder` ON `ConsultationPaperHolder`.ID = `SiteTree`.ID",
          "0, 10"); 

Properties

Definition

Data is defined in the static variable $db on each class, in the format: <property-name> => "data-type"

class Player extends DataObject {
  static $db = array(
    "FirstName" => "Varchar",
    "Surname" => "Varchar",
    "Description" => "Text",
    "Status" => "Enum('Active, Injured, Retired')",
    "Birthday" => "Date"
  );
}

See data-types for all available types.

Overloading

"Getters" and "Setters" are functions that help us save fields to our data objects. By default, the methods getField() and setField() are used to set data object fields. They save to the protected array, $obj->record. We can overload the default behaviour by making a function called "get<fieldname>" or "set<fieldname>".

class Player extends DataObject {
  static $db = array(
    "Status" => "Enum('Active, Injured, Retired')"
  );

  // access through $myPlayer->Status
  function getStatus() {
      // check if the Player is actually... born already!
      return (!$this->obj("Birthday")->InPast()) ? "Unborn" : $this->Status;
  }

Customizing

We can create new "virtual properties" which are not actually listed in static $db or stored in the database-row. Here we combined a Player's first name and surname, accessible through $myPlayer->Title.

class Player extends DataObject {
  function getTitle() {
    return "{$this->FirstName} {$this->Surname}";
  }

  // access through $myPlayer->Title = "John Doe";
  // just saves data on the object, please use $myPlayer->write() to save the database-row
  function setTitle($title) {
    list($firstName, $surName) = explode(' ', $title);
    $this->FirstName = $firstName;
    $this->Surname = $surName;
  }
}

CAUTION: It is common practice to make sure that pairs of custom getters/setter deal with the same data, in a consistent format.

CAUTION: Custom setters can be hard to debug: Please double check if you could transform your data in more straight-forward logic embedded to your custom controller or form-saving.

Default Values

Define the default values for all the $db fields. This example sets the "Status"-column on Player to "Active" whenever a new object is created.

class Player extends DataObject {
  static $defaults = array(
    "Status" => 'Active',
  );
}

Note: Alternatively you can set defaults directly in the database-schema (rather than the object-model). See data-types for details.

Casting

Properties defined in static $db are automatically casted to their data-types when used in templates. You can also cast the return-values of your custom functions (e.g. your "virtual properties"). Calling those functions directly will still return whatever type your php-code generates, but using the obj()-method or accessing through a template will cast the value accordig to the $casting-definition.

class Player extends DataObject {
  static $casting = array(
    "MembershipFee" => 'Currency',
  );

  // $myPlayer->MembershipFee() returns a float (e.g. 123.45)
  // $myPlayer->obj('MembershipFee') returns a object of type Currency
  // In a template: <% control MyPlayer %>MembershipFee.Nice<% end_control %> returns a casted string (e.g. "$123.45")
  function getMembershipFee() {
    return $this->Team()->BaseFee * $this->MembershipYears;
  }
}

Relations

Relations are built through static array definitions on a class, in the format:\ <relationship-name> => <classname>{php}

has_one

A 1-to-1 relation creates a database-column called "<relationship-name>ID", in the example below this would be "TeamID" on the "Player"-table.

// access with $myPlayer->Team()
class Player extends DataObject {
  static $has_one = array(
    "Team" => "Team",
  );
}

SilverStripe's SiteTree base-class for content-pages uses a 1-to-1 relationship to link to its parent element in the tree:

// access with $mySiteTree->Parent()
class SiteTree extends DataObject {
  static $has_one = array(
    "Parent" => "SiteTree",
  );
}

has_many

Defines 1-to-many joins. A database-column named ""<relationship-name>ID"" will to be created in the child-class.

CAUTION: Please specify a $has_one-relationship on the related child-class as well, in order to have the necessary accessors available on both ends.

// access with $myTeam->Players() or $player->Team()
class Team extends DataObject {
  static $has_many = array(
    "Players" => "Player",
  );
}
class Player extends DataObject {
  static $has_one = array(
    "Team" => "Team",
  );
}

To specify multiple has_manys to the same object you can use dot notation to distinguish them like below

class Person {
    static $has_many = array(
        "Managing" => "Company.Manager",
        "Cleaning" => "Company.Cleaner",
    );
}

class Company {
    static $has_one = array(
        "Manager" => "Person",
        "Cleaner" => "Person"
    );
}

Multiple $has_one relationships are okay if they aren't linking to the same object type.

/**

 * THIS IS BAD
 */
class Team extends DataObject {
  static $has_many = array(
    "Players" => "Player",
  );
}
class Player extends DataObject {
  static $has_one = array(
    "Team" => "Team",
    "AnotherTeam" => "Team",
  );
}

many_many

Defines many-to-many joins. A new table, (this-class)_(relationship-name), will be created with a pair of ID fields.

CAUTION: Please specify a $belongs_many_many-relationship on the related class as well, in order to have the necessary accessors available on both ends.

// access with $myTeam->Categories() or $myCategory->Teams()
class Team extends DataObject {
  static $many_many = array(
    "Categories" => "Category",
  );
}
class Category extends DataObject {
  static $belongs_many_many = array(
    "Teams" => "Team",
  );
}

Adding relations

Inside sapphire it doesn't matter if you're editing a has_many- or a many_many-relationship. You need to get a ComponentSet.

class Team extends DataObject {
  // see "many_many"-description for a sample definition of class "Category"
  static $many_many = array(
    "Categories" => "Category",
  );
    
  /**

   * @param DataObjectSet
   */
  function addCategories($additionalCategories) {
    $existingCategories = $this->Categories();
    
    // method 1: Add many by iteration
    foreach($additionalCategories as $category) {
      $existingCategories->add($category);
    }

    // method 2: Add many by ID-List
    $existingCategories->addMany(array(1,2,45,745));
  }
}

Custom Relation Getters

You can use the flexible datamodel to get a filtered result-list without writing any SQL. For example, this snippet gets you the "Players"-relation on a team, but only containing active players. (See DataObject::$has_many for more info on the described relations).

class Team extends DataObject {
  static $has_many = array(
    "Players" => "Player"
  );

  // can be accessed by $myTeam->ActivePlayers
  function getActivePlayers() {
    return $this->Players("Status='Active'");
  }
}

Data Handling

When saving data through the object model, you don't have to manually escape strings to create SQL-safe commands. You have to make sure though that certain properties are not overwritten, e.g. ID or ClassName.

Creation

$myPlayer = new Player();
$myPlayer->Firstname = "John"; // sets property on object
$myPlayer->write(); // writes row to database

Update

$myPlayer = DataObject::get_by_id('Player',99);
if($myPlayer) {
  $myPlayer->Firstname = "John"; // sets property on object
  $myPlayer->write(); // writes row to database
}

Batch Update

$myPlayer->update(
  ArrayLib::filter_keys(
    $_REQUEST, 
    array('Birthday', 'Firstname')
  )
);

Alternatively you can use castedUpdate() to respect the data-types. This is preferred to manually casting data before saving.

$myPlayer->castedUpdate(
  ArrayLib::filter_keys(
    $_REQUEST, 
    array('Birthday', 'Firstname')
  )
);

onBeforeWrite

You can customize saving-behaviour for each DataObject, e.g. for adding security. These functions are private, obviously it wouldn't make sense to call them externally on the object. They are triggered when calling write().

Example: Disallow creation of new players if the currently logged-in player is not a team-manager.

class Player extends DataObject {
  static $has_many = array(
    "Teams"=>"Team"
  );

  function onBeforeWrite() {
    // check on first write action, aka "database row creation" (ID-property is not set)
    if(!$this->ID) {
      $currentPlayer = Member::currentUser();
      if(!$currentPlayer->IsTeamManager()) {
        user_error('Player-creation not allowed', E_USER_ERROR);
        exit();
      }
    }

    // check on every write action
    if(!$this->record['TeamID']) {
        user_error('Cannot save player without a valid team-connection', E_USER_ERROR);
        exit();
    }

    // CAUTION: You are required to call the parent-function, otherwise sapphire will not execute the request.
    parent::onBeforeWrite();
  }
}

Note: There are no separate methods for onBeforeCreate and onBeforeUpdate. Please check for the existence of $this->ID to toggle these two modes, as shown in the example above.

onBeforeDelete

Triggered before executing delete() on an existing object.

Example: Checking for a specific permission to delete this type of object. It checks if a member is logged in who belongs to a group containing the permission "PLAYER_DELETE".

class Player extends DataObject {
  static $has_many = array(
    "Teams"=>"Team"
  );

  function onBeforeDelete() {
    if(!Permission::check('PLAYER_DELETE')) {
      Security::permissionFailure($this);
      exit();
    }

    parent::onBeforeDelete();
  }
}

Saving data with forms

See forms.

Saving data with custom SQL

See SQLQuery for custom INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE queries.

Decorating DataObjects

You can add properties and methods to existing DataObjects like Member (a core class) without hacking core code or subclassing. Please see DataObjectDecorator for a general description, and Hierarchy for our most popular examples.

FAQ

Whats the difference between DataObject::get() and a relation-getter?

You can work with both in pretty much the same way, but relationship-getters return a special type of collection: A ComponentSet with relation-specific functionality.

$myTeam = DataObject::get_by_id('Team',$myPlayer->TeamID); // returns DataObjectSet
$myTeam->add(new Player()); // fails

$myTeam = $myPlayer->Team(); // returns Componentset
$myTeam->add(new Player()); // works

Comments

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