An UUID v4 (random) library with a new custom compact format for use in database primary keys. It also includes helper traits to make integration easier in Doctrine.

3.0.1 2020-12-13 03:49 UTC

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Last update: 2021-11-13 06:09:59 UTC


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An UUID v4 (random) library with a new custom compact format for use in database primary keys. It also includes helper traits to make integration easier in Doctrine.

Table Of Contents


Use composer to install from packagist.

composer require dragonrun1/uuid64type


For an example of integrating with Doctrine cli configuration have a look at:


For examples of using Uuid64Type in a Doctrine project see my related project on github: person_db_skeleton

Have a look at the config/cli-config.php in the skeleton project for how to register the custom type in Doctrine or the config/example-cli-config.php in this project.

See one of the src/Model/Entities/* table class files in the skeleton project for how to use the helper traits etc.

Why make this project?

There already exists several fine UUID v4 (random) libraries for PHP, so it would make little sense to make another one if that was all it did. In addition to UUIDs this library tries to solve a limitation in database designs. I'll detail the database limitation this library tries to overcome next.

Database Engine Limitation

Database engines be they MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, or any other all have some way to generate sequences for ID columns. How they do it is nearly as varies as the engines themselves since ID generation falls outside of the existing SQL standards, but the result is generally the same in that you end up with a simple auto-incrementing integer sequence. So where does the limitation come in and how is it bad? Two words: auto-incrementing and sequence. Add two more words: bad actors. Combining these four words and some of you may have started see the possible problems. Next I'll show why combining a bad actor with the first two words can become an issue.

The issue with auto-incrementing sequences

First a question for you. How often have you directly exposed a database table ID in a web form on the Internet? If you are like most developers including me I think we have all done this without thinking about it more than once. We may have made it a hidden field but, it's plain to see for anyone looking directly at the page code. Let's now think about auto-incrementing sequence and what it can tell us about the underlying DB table. The universal default for the sequences is they start at 1 and increase by 1 for each row added to the table. By causing the site to add a row to the table and looking at that new row we can make a good guess to how many rows there are in it and by add a second row make a good guess at how fast it is growing. How is that information useful? What if the table holds users accounts, and it's their account ID? Now they have some idea how many actual user accounts they can get in a data breach or are available to be attacked. Say they get just a list of user names, and the IDs which ones should they attack first? I'd attack the first accounts made as they are likely to be admin or test accounts with greater access. I'm sure you can think of many other ways that simple incremental sequences could be attacked that you probably never thought of before I pointed out the risks.

Custom base 64 encoding of UUID v4 (random).

An expected use would be in Doctrine entities instead of using auto-increment IDs.

A UUID is 128-bits long in binary and, most programming language can only support it in some kind of string or integer array format. Most commonly binary strings will be used for compactness where strings can contain (nul) chars. This format normally isn't seem except in functions were the UUID is being created as it's hard for programmers to visualize it easily. The normal formatted string version with 36 characters or as a hexadecimal string with 32 characters are much more commonly used. Both of these formats trade off two times or more memory usage to make them easier to work with. By using a base 64 encoding it increases the memory usage by less than 40 percent (22 chars) over a binary string (16 chars).

So in summary these are the benefits to using this custom base 64 encoded format:

  • Database compatible - Can be directly stored in any of the following field types: VARCHAR, CHAR, BINARY, etc.
  • URL compatible - Doesn't contain any chars that require special escaping in URLs.
  • HTML compatible - Doesn't include any special chars that need to be escaped when used in html forms or tag property values. HTML 5 has relaxed the rule requiring all ID property values to start with a letter.
  • More Human readable - Since base 64 is shorter that other formats most people find it easier to read.
  • The best memory to speed trade-off - The binary string takes up the least memory but, it needs to be converted to and from other formats when using it in URLs etc. which can cause un-needed server load issues. The normal and hexadecimal forms are both longer which adds to both memory and server load issues. The custom format hits the sweet spot where no conversions are required and, it doesn't use a lot of extra space either.

Related Projects

https://github.com/Dragonrun1/uuid64ts Started the uuid64ts project as a translation from this project into Typescript but along the way ended up feeding back into version 2.0 as well after issues/bugs in the version 1.0 code had been exposed.

https://github.com/Dragonrun1/person_db_skeleton This project developed in parallel with this project through version 1.0. They both were based on noticing how many prior projects seem to have these same common needs for some kind of person object. I decided to stop reinventing over and over and instead make something that was easy to re-use in all future projects.


Contributors are welcome. Please note that this project has a Contributor Covenant Code of Conduct. By participating in this project you agree to abide by its terms.

All intentionally contributed code will be considered to also be contributed under the same BSD-3-Clause license without any additional terms or conditions. Please include your information in a comment on all code files for the copyright etc.

All intentionally contributed documentation or non-code text like this README etc. will be considered to be contributed under the same CC-BY-SA license without any additional terms or conditions.

Pull requests are always welcome. For major changes, please open an issue first to discuss what you would like to change. Please make sure to update or add tests as appropriate.


All code is licensed under the BSD-3-Clause license. You can find a copy of the license in the LICENSE-BSD file. All documentation like this README is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC-BY-SA). You can find a copy of the CC-BY-SA license in the LICENSE-CC-BY-SA file.

Copyright © 2019-present, Michael Cummings
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