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Romans Malinovskis:
Objectively comparing ORM / DAL libraries
Dec 21, 2017 @ 12:19:38

In a new post on his Medium.com site Romans Malinovskis has posted an objective comparison of ORM/DBAL libraries based on his own list. It includes several different libraries from all around the community including Doctrine, Eloquent, Cake ORM and Agile Data.

For many of us, developers, pattern of accessing external data (SQL) is a thing of preference. We get used to different syntaxes and subjectively endorse it. By looking past the individual preferences, I wanted to create a “comparison criteria” that would help PHP community to objectively evaluate data persistence frameworks based on features. As I looked around I haven’t found anything, so I started to work on my own list:

https://socialcompare.com/en/comparison/php-data-access-libraries-orm-activerecord-persistence. I welcome my readers to help me populate and use the table. In this article I explain various features which I’ve used as comparison criteria.

The (lengthy) post is divided up into sections for each of the criteria including:

  • Sections and Scope
  • Support of Persistence Engines
  • Criteria, Scope, Condition
  • Query Building
  • Single-record operations
  • Relations and References

...just to name a few. Each section comes with an explanation of what it is in a library-agnostic way and code examples where relevant. Be sure to check out both the table and the rest of the post for the full details.

tagged: compare orm dbal library chart criteria summary features

Link: https://medium.com/@romaninsh/objectively-comparing-orm-dal-libraries-e4f095de80b5

Geoff Wozniak:
What ORMs have taught me: just learn SQL
Dec 20, 2017 @ 13:51:49

Geoff Wozniak has written up a post on the "Curried lambda" site sharing his opinion on ORMs (object relational mappers) for working with databases and how, after using them in his own development work, that they're a good side benefit but shouldn't replace knowing SQL.

I've come to the conclusion that, for me, ORMs are more detriment than benefit. In short, they can be used to nicely augment working with SQL in a program, but they should not replace it.

[...] Neward, in his well known essay, lays out many cogent reasons why ORMs turn into quagmires. In my experience, I've had to deal directly with a fair number of them: entity identity issues, dual-schema problem, data retrieval mechanism concern, and the partial-object problem. I want to talk briefly about my experiences with these issues and add one of my own.

He breaks the rest of the article up into several sections, for each sharing some of his own experiences with the feature and how it could be resolved using other query methods:

  • Partial objects, attribute creep, and foreign keys
  • Data retrieval
  • Dual schema dangers
  • Identities
  • Transactions

He ends the post with a look forward, thinking about where he'll end up, mentioning stored procedures, queries as APIs and how "easy" isn't always best when it comes to ORMs.

tagged: orm mapper database layer sql opinion issues experience

Link: http://woz.posthaven.com/what-orms-have-taught-me-just-learn-sql

Romans Malinovskis:
Pragmatic approach to reinventing ORM
Dec 19, 2017 @ 13:19:57

Romans Malinovskis has a post on his Medium.com site sharing what he calls a "pragmatic approach to reinventing ORM" with his thoughts about a different approach to this commonly used database interface.

It’s been over a year, since I posted my first highly debated post on Reddit: Reinventing the faulty ORM concept. Gathered information helped me design and implement an alternative pattern to ORM with many important advantages and that has reinforced my belief that ORM is faulty.

He's broken the article up into a few sections with details and thoughts for each along the way:

  • Why ORM is important?
  • Why ORM is broken?
  • How Agile Data differ in approach?
  • How Agile Data qualify production/enterprise use?
  • Notes on architectural decisions in Agile Data (OOP vs Decoupling)

That final section focuses mostly on the decoupling aspect and the Agile Data library (a Data Mapper) that can be used and solves some of the common ORM problems he mentioned in the earlier sections.

tagged: orm database interface datamapper agiledata broken opinion package

Link: https://medium.com/@romaninsh/pragmatic-approach-to-reinventing-orm-d9e1bdc336e3

SitePoint PHP Blog:
A First Look at Atlas – the ORM That Delivers
Oct 17, 2016 @ 15:16:33

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a new tutorial focusing on the Atlas ORM, a recent addition to the wide range of database ORMs in the PHP ecosystem, focusing on being a mapping of your persistence model.

By definition, a Data Mapper moves data between objects and a database and isolates them from one another. With a Data Mapper, the in memory objects don’t even need to know that a database exists. It does not need to know the SQL interface or database schema; it doesn’t even need the domain layer to know it exists!

This might lead us to thinking that, in Atlas, the persistence layer is totally disconnected from the database, but that is not quite what happens. [...] An Atlas Record is passive; not an active record. Unlike most ORMs, its objects represent the persistence model, not the domain model. Think of it as representing how the data is stored and not as real world representations.

The tutorial goes on to talk about some of the background behind the package being developed and some of its core principles. They then walk you through the installation of the package, doing a bit of related database setup and the code to perform some basic CRUD (create, read, update, delete) operations on the tables. This is followed by a few more practical examples and a few caveats for the library's use.

tagged: atlas orm database tutorial example crud operation

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/a-first-look-at-atlas-the-orm-that-delivers/

Master Zend Framework:
How To Use Laravel’s Eloquent ORM with Zend Expressive
Aug 25, 2016 @ 11:43:47

On the Master Zend Framework site there's a new tutorial posted showing you how to integrate Laravel's Eloquent database library with Zend Expressive to replace the usual options of Doctrine or ZendDb.

When working with Zend Expressive, if you were to choose a database layer for your application, I guess that the first two names to come to mind would be either ZendDb or Doctrine. But what about Laravel’s ORM: Eloquent? That’s right, Eloquent!

I’ve been getting to know Laravel a bit better recently, primarily for the comparison I wrote about it and Zend Expressive not that long ago. The tutorial was exceptionally well received. So I thought I’d dig a bit further, and see if I could use Eloquent instead of my standard ZendDb. It turns out, with a bit of work, you can do it!

In today’s tutorial, I’m going to step you through how to make it available, using a project based off of the Zend Expressive Skeleton Installer.

He starts by installing the Eloquent package and setting it up with a simple configuration (using a Homestead environment). With that configuration set up, he shows how to make the Eloquent connection available to the rest of the application. Once the connection is set up he shows how to create a first model - Capital - and using it to create a new record. He also includes examples of retrieving all records and mentions three things that seem missing from this Eloquent install: the "artisan" command, migrations and database seeing functionality.

tagged: zendframework zendexpressive eloquent orm laravel integration tutorial

Link: http://www.masterzendframework.com/using-eloquent-with-expressive/

Laravel Podcast:
Episode #42 - Shots Fired
Feb 25, 2016 @ 12:18:28

The Laravel Podcast, hosted by Matt Stauffer (with guest hosts Taylor Otwell and Jeffrey Way) has posted its latest episode - Episode #42: ActiveRecord & The School Of Zonda:

In this episode, the crew is joined by Adam Wathan to discuss ActiveRecord and the Eloquent ORM.

Lots of talk around ActiveRecord vs DataMapper and discussing the positives and negatives to each.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3. If you enjoy the show, be sure to subscribe to their feed or follow them on Twitter of the latest show updates.

tagged: eloquent activerecord mattstauffer ep42 podcast laravel orm

Link: http://www.laravelpodcast.com/episodes/27610-episode-42-activerecord-the-school-of-zonda

Johannes Siipola:
How to use Eloquent ORM migrations outside Laravel
Jan 20, 2016 @ 11:55:10

On his site Johannes Siipola has posted a tutorial showing how to use the Eloquent ORM outside of Laravel, more specifically the migration functionality to manage database table creation/updates/deletions.

Laravel's Eloquent is one of the most fluent and expressive ORM's available for PHP. However, unlike some of its competitors like Doctrine or Propel, it's highly tight to the Laravel ecosystem in some ways. It's still possible to use Eloquent outside Laravel with a bit of work.

[...] If you use Eloquent outside Laravel, you will be missing one of it's best features: database migrations. [...] There has been some effort in order to use Laravel migrations outside the framework, but it hasn't been possible because the migrations require a complete instance of Laravel to run. In this tutorial, we are using framework agnostic Phinx migration library instead.

He then shows how to install the packages needed for the example: Slim framework, the Eloquent ORM and Phinx. He then shows how to set up the database and Phinx configurations and create your first Phinx migration. Inside this migration he makes use of the Eloquent schema builder functionality to create a simple "widgets" table. He ends the post showing you how to create the simple Slim application and work with the model they've created to both save and read data easily.

tagged: eloquent laravel outside orm migration phinx slimframework tutorial

Link: https://siipo.la/blog/how-to-use-eloquent-orm-migrations-outside-laravel

NetTuts:
Doctrine ORM and Laravel 5
Nov 19, 2015 @ 10:55:39

On the NetTuts site there's a tutorial posted helping you get familiar with Doctrine 2 (the ORM) and how to integrate it with a Laravel 5 application via a simple service provider.

As a PHP developer, you might have come across the term ORM. ORM is a way to work with databases in the same way you work with classes and objects. If you were to delve deeper into how web applications are designed and built, after doing some exploring in their ORM you would find two well-known patterns: Active Record and Data Mapper.

[...] With Data Mapper the in-memory objects needn’t know that there is even a database present. They need no SQL interface code or knowledge of the database schema. One such solution is Doctrine.

The tutorial walks you through some of the basic concepts in using the Doctrine 2 ORM including Entities and Repositories. Also included is how to pull it in via Composer and update your Laravel configuration to use this bridge library for integrating it into your current application. Code examples are included showing you how to build out an entity, repository and a validator class for a basic blog post.

tagged: introduction integration tutorial laravel orm doctrine2 entity repository validator

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/doctrine-orm-and-laravel-5--cms-24914

Jon LeMaitre:
Separation of Concerns with Laravel’s Eloquent (Series)
Nov 10, 2015 @ 09:10:47

Jon LeMaitre has written up a series of posts talking about effective separation of concerns using Eloquent, the database access component of the Laravel framework. His goal is to show you how makes use of the library and keep your application both maintainable and readable.

Eloquent (and by extension, Laravel) is often criticized because of its ActiveRecord ORM implementation, and that DataMapper produces a cleaner, more maintainable architecture in the long run. [...] This combination of behaviors crammed into a single object in itself is not the problem (in fact, it’s a wonderful asset), the problem is in how you make use of those behaviors throughout your application. You can be sloppy with them, or you can be tidy with them.

He starts with the "sloppy approach" where different methods of accessing the objects (and their data) are spread all across the application. He counters this with the tidy approach that makes use of "persistence-agnostic 'POPOs'" to hide the logic behind repositories. In the second part of the series he starts in and puts this idea into practice, using a simple "Member" table and model and repository classes to abstract the logic. Finally, in part three he gets into some more extended functionality for the repositories approach: handling collections, relations, eager loading and schema changes.

tagged: laravel eloquent designpattern repository orm datamapper activerecord abstraction tutorial series

Link: https://medium.com/laravel-news/separation-of-concerns-with-laravel-s-eloquent-part-1-an-introduction-c9a6dc6b4a65#.o0qsccqos

Vertabelo.com:
ORMs under the hood
Aug 26, 2015 @ 09:55:01

The Vertabelo site has posted a tutorial that gives you an "under the hood" view of ORMs and what they're doing in the background to help make accessing your database information easier.

It often happens that if something is loved, it is also hated with the same power. The idea of object relational mapping fits into this concept perfectly. You will definitely come across many opposite points and fierce discussions as well as unwavering advocates and haters. So if you have ever asked whether to use ORM or not, the answer “it depends” will not be enough.

They start with a definition of an ORM to get everyone on the same page, highlighting how they represent database contents and what some of the benefits are in using them. From there the article talks about the importance of good SQL and a few common dangers in using an ORM and not knowing SQL. Then the article gets into how ORMs work and some of the common design patterns they can implement. It lists some of the more popular ORMs (for Python, Java and PHP) and covers some of the main disadvantages to their use. The article ends with examples of some of the libraries mentioned, highlighting the Propel ORM for the PHP world.

tagged: orm behindthescenes introduction advantages disadvantages types propel example

Link: http://www.vertabelo.com/blog/technical-articles/orms-under-the-hood