Data providers, pagination and related abstractions

1.0.1 2023-01-25 17:12 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2024-04-03 14:15:53 UTC



Yii Data

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The package provides generic data abstractions. The aim is to hide storage aspect from the operations of reading, writing and processing data.

Features are:

  • Data reader abstraction with counting, sorting, limiting and offsetting, reading criteria filter and post-filter.
  • Pagination abstraction along with offset and keyset implementations.
  • Data writer abstraction.
  • Data processor abstraction.


  • PHP 8.1 or higher.


The package could be installed with composer:

composer require yiisoft/data


  • Each data set consists of items.
  • Each item has multiple named fields.
  • All items in a data set have the same structure.

Reading data

Data reader aim is to read data from a storage such as database, array or API and convert it to a simple iterator of field => value items.

$reader = new MyDataReader(...);
$result = $reader->read(); 

Result is iterable so you can use foreach on it. If you need an array, it could be achieved the following way:

// using is foreach
foreach ($result as $item) {
    // ...

// preparing array
$dataArray = $result instanceof \Traversable ? iterator_to_array($result, true) : (array)$result;

Limiting number of items to read

Number of items in an iterator can be limited:

$reader = (new MyDataReader(...))->withLimit(10);
foreach ($reader->read() as $item) {
    // ...

Counting total number of items

In order to know total number of items in a data reader implementing CountableDataInterface:

$reader = new MyDataReader(...);
$total = count($reader);


Filtering of data could be done in two steps:

  1. Forming a criteria for getting the data. That is done by "filter".
  2. Post-filtering data by iteration and checking each item. That is done by IterableDataReader with filters.

Whenever possible it is best to stick to using criteria because usually it gives much better performance.

In order to filter data in a data reader implementing FilterableDataInterface you need to supply filter to withFilter() method:

$filter = new All(
    new GreaterThan('id', 3),
    new Like('name', 'agent')

$reader = (new MyDataReader(...))

$data = $reader->read();

Filter could be composed with:

  • All
  • Any
  • Between
  • Equals
  • EqualsNull
  • GreaterThan
  • GreaterThanOrEqual
  • ILike
  • In
  • LessThan
  • LessThanOrEqual
  • Like
  • Not

Filtering with arrays

The All and Any filters have a withCriteriaArray() method, which allows you to define filters with arrays.

$dataReader->withFilter((new All())->withCriteriaArray([
    ['=', 'id', 88],
          ['=', 'color', 'red'],
          ['=', 'state', 1],

Implementing your own filter

In order to have your own filter:

  • Implement at least FilterInterface, which includes:
    • getOperator() method that returns a string that represents a filter operation.
    • toArray() method that returns an array with filtering parameters.
  • If you want to create a filter handler for a specific data reader type, then you need to implement at least FilterHandlerInterface. It has a single getOperator() method that returns a string representing a filter operation. In addition, each data reader specifies an extended interface required for handling or building the operation. For example, IterableDataFilter defines IterableFilterHandlerInterface, which contains additional match() method to execute a filter on PHP variables.

You can add your own filter handlers to the data reader using the withFilterHandlers() method. You can add any filter handler to Reader. If reader is not able to use a filter, filter is ignored.

// own filter for filtering
class OwnNotTwoFilter implenents FilterInterface
    private $field;

    public function __construct($field)
        $this->field = $field;
    public static function getOperator(): string
        return 'my!2';
    public function toArray(): array
        return [static::getOperator(), $this->field];

// own iterable filter handler for matching
class OwnIterableNotTwoFilterHandler implements IterableFilterHandlerInterface
    public function getOperator(): string
        return OwnNotTwoFilter::getOperator();

    public function match(array $item, array $arguments, array $filterHandlers): bool
        [$field] = $arguments;
        return $item[$field] != 2;

// and using it on a data reader
$filter = new All(
    new LessThan('id', 8),
    new OwnNotTwoFilter('id'),

$reader = (new MyDataReader(...))
        new OwnIterableNotTwoFilter()
        new OwnSqlNotTwoFilter()    // for SQL
        // and for any supported readers...

$data = $reader->read();


In order to sort data in a data reader implementing SortableDataInterface you need to supply a sort object to withSort() method:

$sorting = Sort::only([

$sorting = $sorting->withOrder(['name' => 'asc']);
// or $sorting = $sorting->withOrderString('name');

$reader = (new MyDataReader(...))

$data = $reader->read();

The goal of the Sort is to map logical fields sorting to real data set fields sorting and form a criteria for the data reader. Logical fields are the ones user operates with. Real fields are the ones actually present in a data set. Such a mapping helps when you need to sort by a single logical field that, in fact, consists of multiple fields in underlying the data set. For example, we provide a user with a username which consists of first name and last name fields in actual data set.

To get a Sort instance, you can use either Sort::only() or Sort::any(). Sort::only() ignores user-specified order for logical fields that have no configuration. Sort::any() uses user-specified logical field name and order directly for fields that have no configuration.

Either way you pass a config array that specifies which logical fields should be order-able and, optionally, details on how these should map to real fields order.

The current order to apply is specified via withOrder() where you supply an array with keys corresponding to logical field names and values correspond to order (asc or desc). Alternatively withOrderString() can be used. In this case ordering is represented as a single string containing comma separate logical field names. If the name is prefixed by -, ordering direction is set to desc.

Skipping some items

In case you need to skip some items from the beginning of data reader implementing OffsetableDataInterface:

$reader = (new MyDataReader(...))->withOffset(10);

Implementing your own data reader

In order to have your own data reader you need to implement at least DataReaderInteface. It has a single read() method that returns iterable representing a set of items.

Additional interfaces could be implemented in order to support different pagination types, ordering and filtering:

  • CountableDataInterface - allows getting total number of items in data reader.
  • FilterableDataInterface - allows returning subset of items based on criteria.
  • LimitableDataInterface - allows returning limited subset of items.
  • SortableDataInterface - allows sorting by one or multiple fields.
  • OffsetableDataInterface - allows to skip first N items when reading data.

Note that when implementing these, methods, instead of modifying data, should only define criteria that is later used in read() to affect what data is returned.


Pagination allows to obtain a limited subset of data that is both handy for displaying items page by page and for getting acceptable performance on big data sets.

There are two types of pagination provided: traditional offset pagination and keyset pagination.

Offset pagination

Offset pagination is a common pagination method that selects OFFSET + LIMIT items and then skips OFFSET items.


  • Total number of pages is available
  • Can get to specific page
  • Data can be unordered


  • Performance degrades with page number increase
  • Insertions or deletions in the middle of the data are making results inconsistent

Usage is the following:

$reader = (new MyDataReader(...));

$paginator = (new OffsetPaginator($dataReader))

$total = $paginator->getTotalPages();
$data = $paginator->read();

Keyset pagination

Keyset pagination is alternative pagination method that is good for infinite scrolling and "load more". It is selecting LIMIT items that have key field greater or lesser (depending on the sorting) than value specified.


  • Performance does not depend on page number
  • Consistent results regardless of insertions and deletions


  • Total number of pages is not available
  • Can not get to specific page, only "previous" and "next"
  • Data cannot be unordered

Usage is the following:

$sort = Sort::only(['id', 'name'])->withOrderString('id');

$dataReader = (new MyDataReader(...))

$paginator = (new KeysetPaginator($dataReader))

When displaying first page ID (or another field name to paginate by) of the item displayed last is used with withNextPageToken() to obtain next page.

Writing data

$writer = new MyDataWriter(...);

Processing data

$processor = new MyDataProcessor(...);


Unit testing

The package is tested with PHPUnit. To run tests:


Mutation testing

The package tests are checked with Infection mutation framework with Infection Static Analysis Plugin. To run it:


Static analysis

The code is statically analyzed with Psalm. To run static analysis:



The Yii Data is free software. It is released under the terms of the BSD License. Please see LICENSE for more information.

Maintained by Yii Software.

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