Make getting started with data-driven apps easier by using some solid model classes and database abstractions.

v2.0.9 2017-04-07 17:01 UTC


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A lightweight, PDO & MySQL-based data modeling framework in PHP strongly inspired by Laravel & Underscore/Lodash.

Why Another Library

This library has been developed in a production environment to alleviate the difficulties of working with PHP and MySQL.

Developing in the [LMW]AMP stack affords the benefits of a high availability of deployment environments. Unfortunately, this also means dealing with the quirks of an inconsistent PHP language API and poor MySQL data type translations to PHP.

This is where the model-framework comes in. You can work with models & collections that provide a more consistent API wrapper around PHP, and define casts the work under the hood to enforce the type integrity of the data on your models.

PDO is a great way to interact with MySQL in PHP while simultaneously reducing the potential for injection attacks. This library uses prepared queries under the hood to help you get started with PDO right out of the box. Use simple methods like Model::removePropsNotInDatabase() to query your object's table and strip out any fields not defined in your table.

Not familiar with Object-Oriented PHP? The model class implements interfaces like ArrayAccess and Traversable so you can interact with it like a normal associative array, while still getting all the internal data type enforcement.

Getting Started

Using Composer, load up the library:

composer require alexsasharegan/model-framework

This library uses the vlucas/phpdotenv library to connect models to your database (already included). Start by creating a .env file with these database connection variables defined:


Now load the environment:

// in your main entry point file, load the environment
// this technique avoids any global variable pollution
call_user_func( function () {
	// constructed with the directory containing the `.env` file
	$environment = new \Dotenv\Dotenv( __DIR__ );
  // also a nice place to set things like timezone & session
} );

Now extend the abstract \Framework\Model class to get all the functionality:


use Framework\Model;

class Character extends Model {
	 * This is the name of the database table
	const TABLE = 'characters';
	 * Calling Model::delete() when this is set to true
	 * will only set the softDeleteFieldName to TRUE and update the db model
	protected $useSoftDeletes = TRUE;
	protected $softDeleteFieldName = 'deleted';
	 * Use this to handle time-stamping model creation
	 * (since MySQL handles updates automatically,
	 *  but not creation automatically)
	protected $timestamp = TRUE;
	protected $timestampFieldName = 'created_at';
	protected $casts = [
		'default_value' => self::CAST_TO_INT,
		'deleted'       => self::CAST_TO_BOOL,
		'float'         => self::CAST_TO_FLOAT,
		'price'         => self::CAST_TO_PRICE,
		'special'       => self::CAST_FROM_JSON_TO_ARRAY,
		'specialObject' => self::CAST_FROM_JSON_TO_OBJECT,

// Convenient static methods return instances
// this returns a model instance with the data from this id
// already parsed, or an empty model
$character = Character::fetch( 65 );

// Models implement ArrayAccess interface,
// but they still enforce the internal cast instructions
// as well as returning NULL when an index isn't defined
// instead of throwing an exception
$character['special'] = [
	'key'  => [
		'nested' => 'value',
	'prop' => TRUE,

echo $character->toJson( JSON_PRETTY_PRINT );

$newCharacter = Character::fetch( 655 );
$newCharacter->mergeData( [
	'first_name' => 'Jamie',
	'last_name'  => 'Lanaster',
	'special'    => [
		'house' => [
			'name'  => 'Lanaster',
			'words' => 'A Lanaster always pays his debts.',
			'sigil' => 'Lion',
	'price'      => 12.3493046,
	'deleted'    => FALSE,
	'fakeField'  => "I'm not in your database...",
] );

// a handy dot notation syntax is available from the model as a __get magic method
echo $newCharacter[''];
// Lanaster

// The benefits of the Traversable interface
foreach ( $newCharacter as $key => $value )
	$type = gettype( $value );
	echo "Prop: $key ($type): " . print_r( $value, TRUE ) . PHP_EOL;

echo PHP_EOL;
// Retrieves the fields from the database,
// then filters the properties on the object
// so you can further prevent injection
// (prepared queries are also used for data binding)
foreach ( $newUser as $key => $value )
	$type = gettype( $value );
	echo "Prop: $key ($type): " . print_r( $value, TRUE ) . PHP_EOL;
echo PHP_EOL;


This library uses the following dependencies directly: