The Aura Marshal package is a data-object marshalling tool; it takes results from data sources and marshals those result sets into domain model objects of your own design, preserving data relationships along the way.
marshal (verb): to arrange in proper order; set out in an orderly manner; arrange clearly: to marshal facts; to marshal one's arguments. -- dictionary.com
The Aura Marshal package is a data-object marshalling tool. It takes results from data sources and marshals those result sets into domain model objects of your own design, preserving data relationships along the way.
This library requires PHP 7.2 or later; we recommend using the latest available version of PHP as a matter of principle. It has no userland dependencies.
It is installable and autoloadable via Composer as aura/marshal.
Alternatively, download a release or clone this repository, then require or include its autoload.php file.
To run the unit tests at the command line, issue
composer install and then
./vendor/bin/phpunit at the package root. This requires Composer to be available as
You can use any database access layer you like with Aura Marshal, such as ...
mysqlor the other PHP database function sets
... or anything else. (In theory, you should be able to retrieve data from XML, CSV, Mongo, or anything else, and load it into Aura Marshal.)
With Aura Marshal, you use the data retrieval tools of your choice and write your own queries to retrieve data from a data source. You then load that result data into an entity type object, and it creates entity and collection objects for you based on a mapping scheme you define for it.
Aura Marshal makes it easy to avoid the N+1 problem when working with a domain model. It also uses an identity map (per type) to avoid retaining multiple copies of the same object.
It is important to remember that Aura Marshal, despite resembling an ORM in many ways, it not an ORM proper:
- it does not have a query-building facility
- it will not issue queries on its own
- it will not handle persistence for you
- it will not lazy-load results from a data source
- it will not read metadata or schemas from the datasource
Those things are outside the scope of the Aura Marshal package. Their absence does provide a great amount of flexibility for power users who write their own hand-tuned SQL and need a way to marshal their result sets into a domain model, especially in legacy codebases.
Aura Marshal works by using
Type objects (which define the entity types in
the domain model). Each
Type has a definition indicating its identity field,
how to build entities and collections, and the relationships to other
Type objects are accessed through a type
Manager. You load
data into each
Type in the
Manager, then you retrieve entities and
collections from each
This package is fully documented here.