Database framework and query builder

0.7.5 2018-08-10 11:57 UTC


Database framework and query builder.

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This library implements (yet another) database abstraction and (yet another) query builder.

It is:

  • Query-builders for INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE and SELECT queries, with a chainable API.
  • Schema abstraction with two-way support for conversion between PHP data-types/objects and relational data.
  • An abstraction over PDO adding support for array values with PDO-style :name placeholders.
  • Streaming iteration of query results enabling you to process results in arbitrary-size batches.
  • On-fly-fly mapping of functions against individual records, or batches of records.
  • NOT an object/relational-mapper.

An important non-goal of this project is the ability to switch from one database technology to another - while we do support both MySQL and PostgreSQL, and while a lot of the implementations are shared, no attempt is made at hiding or abstracting the differences between each technology. On the contrary, we try to make it plain and obvious that there are differences, both in terms of capabilities and best patterns for each DBMS.

We favor simplicity over ease of use - this library minimally abstracts PDO and stays reasonably close to SQL and the relational model, rather than attempting to hide it.

Project Status

Per SimVersion, the 0.x release series is feature-incomplete, not "unstable", and will not transition to 1.x until it is feature-complete.

The project has been widely used on many internal projects in our organization - it is "stable", but is still subject to changes, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

The public API has been largely stable for many releases - at this point, most breaking changes are changes to the internal protected portion of the API; typically, a major 0.x+1 release has very little impact on client code.


Current target is php 5.5 and later, see .travis.yml.

Code adheres to PSR-2 and PSR-4.

To run the test-suite:

php test/test.php

To run only the unit or integration suites:

php test/test.php --unit
php test/test.php --integration

Quick Start

Every project needs a Schema class and one Table class for every table in that schema.

This boostrapping process may seem a little verbose, but with IDE support, you will write these simple classes in no-time - these classes in turn will provide support for static analysis tools and IDEs, e.g. with auto-completion for table/column names, making your database work simple and safe.

It's worth it.

1. Create Table Models

Define your table model by extending the Table class.

Your table classes act as factories for Column objects.

Add one method per column, each returning a Column object - the Table class provides several different protected factory-methods to help with the creation of Column instances.

The method-name should match the column name.

You should add a @property-read annotation for each column for optimal static analysis.

The table model pattern looks like this:

 * @property-read Column $id
 * @property-read Column $first_name
 * @property-read Column $last_name
class UserTable extends Table
    public function id($alias)
        return $this->autoColumn(__FUNCTION__, IntType::class, $alias);
    public function first_name($alias)
        return $this->requiredColumn(__FUNCTION__, StringType::class, $alias);

    public function last_name($alias)
        return $this->requiredColumn(__FUNCTION__, StringType::class, $alias);

2. Create Schema Model

Define your schema model by extending the Schema class.

Your schema class acts as a factory for Table objects.

Add one method per Table type, each returning a Table object - the Schema class provides a protected factory-method createTable() to help with the creation of Table instances.

The method-name should match the table-name.

You should add a @property-read annotation for each table for optimal static analysis.

The schema model pattern looks like this:

 * @property-read UserTable    $user
 * @property-read AddressTable $address
class UserSchema extends Schema
     * @param string $alias
     * @return UserTable
    public function user($alias)
        return $this->createTable(UserTable::class, __FUNCTION__, $alias);

     * @param string $alias
     * @return AddressTable
    public function address($alias)
        return $this->createTable(AddressTable::class, __FUNCTION__, $alias);

3. Bootstrap Your Project

If you use a dependency injection container, you should perform this bootstrapping once and register these objects as services in your container.

First, select a Database implementation - for example:

$db = new MySQLDatabase();

Next, create (and register in your DI container) your Schema model:

/** @var UserSchema $schema */
$schema = $db->getSchema(UserSchema::class);

Finally, create (and register) a matching Connection implementation - for example:

$connection = $db->createConnection(new PDO("mysql:dbname=foo;host=", "root", "root"));

Don't quibble about the fact that you need three different dependencies - it may seem complicated or verbose, but it's actually very simple; each of these three components have a very distinct purpose and scope:

  • The Database model acts as a factory for Schema types and various query-types (insert, select, etc.)

  • Your Schema-type acts as a factory-class for your domain-specific Table-types.

  • The Connection object provides a thin wrapper over PDO, which doesn't have an interface of it's own.

Note that the Database model and Schema-types have no dependency on the Connection object - the database model and query-builders operate entirely in the abstract with no dependency on any physical database connection, which is great, as it enables you to write (and unit-test) complex query-builders independently of any database connection.

4. Create Queries

Creating a query begins with the Database model and your Schema-type:

$user = $schema->user;

$query = $db->select($user)
    ->where("{$user->first_name} LIKE :name")
    ->bind("name", "%rasmus%")
    ->order("{$user->last_name} DESC, {$user->first_name} DESC")
    ->page(1, 20); // page 1, 20 records per page, e.g.: OFFSET 0 LIMIT 20

Note the use of __toString() magic, which is supported by Table-types and Column objects.

You're now ready to fetch() from the Connection and iterate over the results:

$result = $connection->fetch($query);

foreach ($result as $record) {
    // ...

To learn how to build nested queries, joins and other query-types, refer to inline documentation in the codebase, and peep at the unit tests.


Logging of queries is supported via the Logger interface - and instance can be injected into a Connection instance with the addLogger() method.

A BufferedPSRLogger implementation is available - this will buffer executed queries, until you choose to flush them to a PSR-3 logger, for example:

$buffer = new BufferedPSRLogger();


// ... execute queries ...


Where $psr_logger is a Psr\Log\LoggerInterface implementation of your choosing.

You may want to check out kodus/chrome-logger, which can be used to render an SQL query-log via ChromeLogger in tabular format.


The concepts used in this library can be roughly divided into two main areas: the framework and the model.

The codebase is namespaced accordingly.


The framework consists of database Connection, Statement and Prepared Statement abstractions, and an implementation of these for PDO.

In addition, the framework includes an iterable Result model which includes support for a Mapper abstraction and implementations providing support for custom operations on individual records, as well as processing of results in batches of multiple records.


The model includes a Driver abstraction, Query Builders for INSERT, SELECT, UPDATE, DELETE and custom SQL queries, a Schema model and a Type abstraction, which includes a Mapper implementation for Type conversions.


Plenty fast.

A simple benchmark of query-builder performance is included - a simple SELECT with ORDER and LIMIT clauses builds in ~0.1 msec, and a more complex SELECT with two JOIN clauses and a bunch of conditions and parameters builds in ~0.5 msec. (on my Windows 10 laptop running PHP 7)


This section contains notes for inquisitive minds.

The overall architecture consists of high-level Query models and a low-level PreparedStatement abstraction.

At the Query layer, values are managed as native PHP values. Simple values, such as int, float, string, bool, null, are internally managed, and the use of arrays is managed by expanding PDO-style placeholders.

The Query models implement either Executable or ReturningExecutable, depending on whether the type of query returns records (SELECT, INSERT..RETURNING, etc.) or not. (INSERT, DELETE, etc.)

The Connection abstraction prepares a Statement and generates a PreparedStatement instance - at this layer, the abstraction is connection-dependent, and only scalar values are supported.

The idea of internally managing the creation of the PDOStatement instance was considered, but this would block the consumer from making potential optimizations by repeatedly executing the same prepared statement. By hiding the creation of PDOStatement from the consumer (e.g. by implicitly preparing the statement again if a non-scalar type is used) the performance implications would have been hidden - in other words, the PreparedStatement model, with it's inability to bind anything other than scalar values, accurately reflects the real-world limitations and performance implications of prepared statements in PDO.