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CakePHP Expandable plugin

1.0.3 2014-05-07 06:33 UTC


Makes possible to save different fields for each item in two tables without touching schema.

It works like Cake's i18n table


Via git clone into your plugin folder or use composer. For existing applications you can add the following to your composer.json file:

"require": {
	"lubos/expandable": "~1.0"

And run php composer.phar update

What it Does:

The ExpandableBehavior will allow you to extend any model with any set of "extra fields" which don't exist in it's schema.

It uses a second table/model as a the key/value table, which links back to the primary table/model. Thus you can store any details you want separate from the main table/model, keeping schema simpler and reducing (main) table size.


git clone git:// app/Plugin/Expandable

You must make a new Table to store the keys/values and optionally a Model for that table. It should be named something like 'my_model_expands', and it needs the following fields:

  • a primary ID
  • a foreignKey linking back to the primary table
  • a "key" field
  • a "value" field ** null if you want to get null back, varchar or text depending on what you want to store

In your schema:

	public $my_model_expands = array(
		'id' => array('type' => 'string', 'null' => false, 'default' => null, 'length' => 36, 'key' => 'primary', 'collate' => 'utf8_general_ci', 'charset' => 'utf8'),
		'my_model_id' => array('type' => 'integer', 'null' => false, 'default' => null, 'key' => 'index'),
		'created' => array('type' => 'datetime', 'null' => true, 'default' => null),
		'key' => array('type' => 'string', 'null' => false, 'default' => null, 'length' => 128, 'collate' => 'utf8_general_ci', 'charset' => 'utf8'),
		'value' => array('type' => 'text', 'null' => true, 'default' => null, 'collate' => 'utf8_general_ci', 'charset' => 'utf8'),
		'indexes' => array(
			'PRIMARY' => array('column' => 'id', 'unique' => 1),
			'search' => array('column' => array('account_id', 'key'), 'unique' => 1)
		'tableParameters' => array('charset' => 'utf8', 'collate' => 'utf8_general_ci', 'engine' => 'InnoDB')

And you can create the table via the shell:

./cake schema create

On MyModel:

Setup the Expandable Behavior, configure "with" the Expand Model, and ensure you put the Expand model into the "hasMany" array.

	public $actsAs = array(
		'Expandable.Expandable' => array(
			'with' => 'MyModelExpand',
	public $hasMany = array('MyModelExpand');


Just do normal save() on the model, and a normal find() (containing the Expand data).

Your extra fields, not in the schema, will show up... add as many as you like.

For more information on this functionality, and a plain example of functionality, check out the packaged unit tests

./cake test Expandable Model/Behavior/ExpandableBehavior


Primary source: