A lightweight, expressive, framework agnostic query builder for PHP.

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Language: PHP

1.0.2 2013-09-27 13:18 UTC


A lightweight, expressive, framework agnostic query builder for PHP it can also be referred as a Database Abstraction Layer. Pixie supports MySQL, SQLite and PostgreSQL and it takes care of query sanitization, table prefixing and many other things with a unified API. At least PHP 5.3 is required.

It has some advanced features like:

  • Query Events
  • Nested Criteria
  • Sub Queries
  • Nested Queries
  • Multiple Database Connections.

The syntax is quite similar to Laravel's query builder.


// Make sure you have Composer's autoload file included
require 'vendor/autoload.php';

// Create a connection, once only.
$config = array(
            'driver'    => 'mysql', // Db driver
            'host'      => 'localhost',
            'database'  => 'your-database',
            'username'  => 'root',
            'password'  => 'your-password',
            'charset'   => 'utf8', // Optional
            'collation' => 'utf8_unicode_ci', // Optional
            'prefix'    => 'cb_', // Table prefix, optional
            'options'   => array( // PDO constructor options, optional
                PDO::ATTR_TIMEOUT => 5,
                PDO::ATTR_EMULATE_PREPARES => false,

new \Pixie\Connection('mysql', $config, 'QB');

Simple Query:

The query below returns the row where id = 3, null if no rows.

$row = QB::table('my_table')->find(3);

Full Queries:

$query = QB::table('my_table')->where('name', '=', 'Sana');

// Get result

Query Events:

After the code below, every time a select query occurs on users table, it will add this where criteria, so banned users don't get access.

QB::registerEvent('before-select', 'users', function($qb)
    $qb->where('status', '!=', 'banned');

There are many advanced options which are documented below. Sold? Lets install.


Pixie uses Composer to make things easy.

Learn to use composer and add this to require section (in your composer.json):

"usmanhalalit/pixie": "1.*@dev"

And run:

composer update

Library on Packagist.

Full Usage API

Table of Contents


Pixie supports three database drivers, MySQL, SQLite and PostgreSQL. You can specify the driver during connection and the associated configuration when creating a new connection. You can also create multiple connections, but you can use alias for only one connection at a time.;

// Make sure you have Composer's autoload file included
require 'vendor/autoload.php';

$config = array(
            'driver'    => 'mysql', // Db driver
            'host'      => 'localhost',
            'database'  => 'your-database',
            'username'  => 'root',
            'password'  => 'your-password',
            'charset'   => 'utf8', // Optional
            'collation' => 'utf8_unicode_ci', // Optional
            'prefix'    => 'cb_', // Table prefix, optional

new \Pixie\Connection('mysql', $config, 'QB');

// Run query
$query = QB::table('my_table')->where('name', '=', 'Sana');


When you create a connection:

new \Pixie\Connection('mysql', $config, 'MyAlias');

MyAlias is the name for the class alias you want to use (like MyAlias::table(...)), you can use whatever name (with Namespace also, MyNamespace\\MyClass) you like or you may skip it if you don't need an alias. Alias gives you the ability to easily access the QueryBuilder class across your application.

When not using an alias you can instantiate the QueryBuilder handler separately, helpful for Dependency Injection and Testing.

$connection = new \Pixie\Connection('mysql', $config));
$qb = new \Pixie\QueryBuilder\QueryBuilderHandler($connection);

$query = $qb->table('my_table')->where('name', '=', 'Sana');


$connection here is optional, if not given it will always associate itself to the first connection, but it can be useful when you have multiple database connections.

Code Completion

When using an alias, you can enable IDE code completion by creating a "stub" for that alias. For example

class MyAlias extends \Pixie\QueryBuilder\QueryBuilderHandlerStub {


It is important that your stub is not included anywhere in your project. The presence of the file should be sufficient to enable code completion.

SQLite and PostgreSQL Config Sample

new \Pixie\Connection('sqlite', array(
                'driver'   => 'sqlite',
                'database' => 'your-file.sqlite',
                'prefix'   => 'cb_',
            ), 'QB');
new \Pixie\Connection('pgsql', array(
                    'driver'   => 'pgsql',
                    'host'     => 'localhost',
                    'database' => 'your-database',
                    'username' => 'postgres',
                    'password' => 'your-password',
                    'charset'  => 'utf8',
                    'prefix'   => 'cb_',
                    'schema'   => 'public',
                ), 'QB');


You must use table() method before every query, except raw query(). To select from multiple tables just pass an array.

QB::table(array('mytable1', 'mytable2'));

Get Easily

The query below returns the (first) row where id = 3, null if no rows.

$row = QB::table('my_table')->find(3);

Access your row like, echo $row->name. If your field name is not id then pass the field name as second parameter QB::table('my_table')->find(3, 'person_id');.

The query below returns the all rows where name = 'Sana', null if no rows.

$result = QB::table('my_table')->findAll('name', 'Sana');


$query = QB::table('my_table')->select('*');
Multiple Selects
->select(array('mytable.myfield1', 'mytable.myfield2', 'another_table.myfield3'));

Using select method multiple times select('a')->select('b') will also select a and b. Can be useful if you want to do conditional selects (within a PHP if).

Select Distinct
->selectDistinct(array('mytable.myfield1', 'mytable.myfield2'));
Get All

Return an array.

$query = QB::table('my_table')->where('name', '=', 'Sana');
$result = $query->get();

You can loop through it like:

foreach ($result as $row) {
    echo $row->name;
Get First Row
$query = QB::table('my_table')->where('name', '=', 'Sana');
$row = $query->first();

Returns the first row, or null if there is no record. Using this method you can also make sure if a record exists. Access these like echo $row->name.

Get Rows Count
$query = QB::table('my_table')->where('name', '=', 'Sana');


Basic syntax is (fieldname, operator, value), if you give two parameters then = operator is assumed. So where('name', 'usman') and where('name', '=', 'usman') is the same.

    ->where('name', '=', 'usman')
    ->whereNot('age', '>', 25)
    ->orWhere('type', '=', 'admin')
    ->orWhereNot('description', 'LIKE', '%query%')
Where In
    ->whereIn('name', array('usman', 'sana'))
    ->orWhereIn('name', array('heera', 'dalim'))

    ->whereNotIn('name', array('heera', 'dalim'))
    ->orWhereNotIn('name', array('usman', 'sana'))
Where Between
    ->whereBetween('id', 10, 100)
    ->orWhereBetween('status', 5, 8);
Where Null
Grouped Where

Sometimes queries get complex, where you need grouped criteria, for example WHERE age = 10 and (name like '%usman%' or description LIKE '%usman%').

Pixie allows you to do so, you can nest as many closures as you need, like below.

            ->where('my_table.age', 10)
                    $q->where('name', 'LIKE', '%usman%');
                    // You can provide a closure on these wheres too, to nest further.
                    $q->orWhere('description', 'LIKE', '%usman%');

Group By and Order By

$query = QB::table('my_table')->groupBy('age')->orderBy('created_at');
Multiple Group By
->groupBy(array('mytable.myfield1', 'mytable.myfield2', 'another_table.myfield3'));

->orderBy(array('mytable.myfield1', 'mytable.myfield2', 'another_table.myfield3'));

Using groupBy() or orderBy() methods multiple times groupBy('a')->groupBy('b') will also group by first a and than b. Can be useful if you want to do conditional grouping (within a PHP if). Same applies to orderBy().


->having('total_count', '>', 2)
->orHaving('type', '=', 'admin');

Limit and Offset




    ->join('another_table', 'another_table.person_id', '=', 'my_table.id')

Available methods,

  • join() or innerJoin
  • leftJoin()
  • rightJoin()

If you need FULL OUTER join or any other join, just pass it as 5th parameter of join method.

->join('another_table', 'another_table.person_id', '=', 'my_table.id', 'FULL OUTER')
Multiple Join Criteria

If you need more than one criterion to join a table then pass a closure as second parameter.

->join('another_table', function($table)
        $table->on('another_table.person_id', '=', 'my_table.id');
        $table->on('another_table.person_id2', '=', 'my_table.id2');
        $table->orOn('another_table.age', '>', QB::raw(1));

Raw Query

You can always use raw queries if you need,

$query = QB::query('select * from cb_my_table where age = 12');


You can also pass your bindings

QB::query('select * from cb_my_table where age = ? and name = ?', array(10, 'usman'));
Raw Expressions

When you wrap an expression with raw() method, Pixie doesn't try to sanitize these.

            ->select(QB::raw('count(cb_my_table.id) as tot'))
            ->where('value', '=', 'Ifrah')
            ->where(QB::raw('DATE(?)', 'now'))

NOTE: Queries that run through query() method are not sanitized until you pass all values through bindings. Queries that run through raw() method are not sanitized either, you have to do it yourself. And of course these don't add table prefix too, but you can use the addTablePrefix() method.


$data = array(
    'name' => 'Sana',
    'description' => 'Blah'
$insertId = QB::table('my_table')->insert($data);

insert() method returns the insert id.

Batch Insert
$data = array(
        'name'        => 'Sana',
        'description' => 'Blah'
        'name'        => 'Usman',
        'description' => 'Blah'
$insertIds = QB::table('my_table')->insert($data);

In case of batch insert, it will return an array of insert ids.

Insert with ON DUPLICATE KEY statement
$data = array(
    'name'    => 'Sana',
    'counter' => 1
$dataUpdate = array(
    'name'    => 'Sana',
    'counter' => 2
$insertId = QB::table('my_table')->onDuplicateKeyUpdate($dataUpdate)->insert($data);


$data = array(
    'name'        => 'Sana',
    'description' => 'Blah'

QB::table('my_table')->where('id', 5)->update($data);

Will update the name field to Sana and description field to Blah where id = 5.


QB::table('my_table')->where('id', '>', 5)->delete();

Will delete all the rows where id is greater than 5.

Get Built Query

Sometimes you may need to get the query string, its possible.

$query = QB::table('my_table')->where('id', '=', 3);
$queryObj = $query->getQuery();

getQuery() will return a query object, from this you can get sql, bindings or raw sql.

// Returns: SELECT * FROM my_table where `id` = ?
// Returns: array(3)
// Returns: SELECT * FROM my_table where `id` = 3

Sub Queries and Nested Queries

Rarely but you may need to do sub queries or nested queries. Pixie is powerful enough to do this for you. You can create different query objects and use the QB::subQuery() method.

$subQuery = QB::table('person_details')->select('details')->where('person_id', '=', 3);

$query = QB::table('my_table')
            ->select(QB::subQuery($subQuery, 'table_alias1'));

$nestedQuery = QB::table(QB::subQuery($query, 'table_alias2'))->select('*');

This will produce a query like this:

SELECT * FROM (SELECT `cb_my_table`.*, (SELECT `details` FROM `cb_person_details` WHERE `person_id` = 3) as table_alias1 FROM `cb_my_table`) as table_alias2

NOTE: Pixie doesn't use bindings for sub queries and nested queries. It quotes values with PDO's quote() method.

Get PDO Instance

If you need to get the PDO instance you can do so.


Fetch results as objects of specified class

Simply call asObject query's method.

QB::table('my_table')->asObject('SomeClass', array('ctor', 'args'))->first();

Furthermore, you may fine-tune fetching mode by calling setFetchMode method.


Query Events

Pixie comes with powerful query events to supercharge your application. These events are like database triggers, you can perform some actions when an event occurs, for example you can hook after-delete event of a table and delete related data from another table.

Available Events
  • before-select
  • after-select
  • before-insert
  • after-insert
  • before-update
  • after-update
  • before-delete
  • after-delete
Registering Events
QB::registerEvent('before-select', 'users', function($qb)
    $qb->where('status', '!=', 'banned');

Now every time a select query occurs on users table, it will add this where criteria, so banned users don't get access.

The syntax is registerEvent('event type', 'table name', action in a closure).

If you want the event to be performed when any table is being queried, provide ':any' as table name.

Other examples:

After inserting data into my_table, details will be inserted into another table

QB::registerEvent('after-insert', 'my_table', function($queryBuilder, $insertId)
    $data = array('person_id' => $insertId, 'details' => 'Meh', 'age' => 5);

Whenever data is inserted into person_details table, set the timestamp field created_at, so we don't have to specify it everywhere:

QB::registerEvent('after-insert', 'person_details', function($queryBuilder, $insertId)
    $queryBuilder->table('person_details')->where('id', $insertId)->update(array('created_at' => date('Y-m-d H:i:s')));

After deleting from my_table delete the relations:

QB::registerEvent('after-delete', 'my_table', function($queryBuilder, $queryObject)
    $bindings = $queryObject->getBindings();
    $queryBuilder->table('person_details')->where('person_id', $binding[0])->delete();

Pixie passes the current instance of query builder as first parameter of your closure so you can build queries with this object, you can do anything like usual query builder (QB).

If something other than null is returned from the before-* query handler, the value will be result of execution and DB will not be actually queried (and thus, corresponding after-* handler will not be called ether).

Only on after-* events you get three parameters: first is the query builder, third is the execution time as float and the second varies:

  • On after-select you get the results obtained from select.
  • On after-insert you get the insert id (or array of ids in case of batch insert)
  • On after-delete you get the query object (same as what you get from getQuery()), from it you can get SQL and Bindings.
  • On after-update you get the query object like after-delete.
Removing Events
QB::removeEvent('event-name', 'table-name');
Some Use Cases

Here are some cases where Query Events can be extremely helpful:

  • Restrict banned users.
  • Get only deleted = 0 records.
  • Implement caching of all queries.
  • Trigger user notification after every entry.
  • Delete relationship data after a delete query.
  • Insert relationship data after an insert query.
  • Keep records of modification after each update query.
  • Add/edit created_at and updated _at data after each entry.
  • Query Events are set as per connection basis so multiple database connection don't create any problem, and creating new query builder instance preserves your events.
  • Query Events go recursively, for example after inserting into table_a your event inserts into table_b, now you can have another event registered with table_b which inserts into table_c.
  • Of course Query Events don't work with raw queries.

If you find any typo then please edit and send pull request.

© 2015 Muhammad Usman. Licensed under MIT license.