Created: 2012-03-24 00:56
Updated: 2016-06-07 14:29

Setting up

To set up, is pretty straightforward.

  1. Add the library (a copy or as a submodule) to the applications/core/ folder.
  2. Update the $config['subclass_prefix'] value to EXT_ (or change the name of the core extension from EXT_ to whatever you want)
  3. Extend your models to the library (by default, to EXT_Model)

If using the default values, you code should be something like this:

class Model extends EXT_Model {
	// code in here

You would load the model as you usually do:


In your models, define a $_table property with the name of the table so the methods can auto-load the table.

You should use $this->cdb->method() if you're overriding the methods so you can use other database connections without issues. If you're using the default one, you can just use $this->db (replace $cdb with $db).


The extension comes with some default methods:

  • data()
  • fetch()
  • get()
  • getAll()
  • by()
  • limit()
  • insert()
  • update()
  • delete()
  • match()

Getting data

The main methods are these two: $this->get() and $this->getAll() these are the equivalents of doing row() and result(). You will end each query with these.

You can also use $this->fetch() so you get the query object, not the result (the equivalent of $this->db->get()). You'll be able to use num_rows() and other query helper methods.

Selecting data

The data() method is used to fetch information from the databases. You'll pass a comma-separated string with the fields to fetch.

If we're using a model named user and the table ($this->_table) is called users, we would just do:

$this->user->data('firstname, lastname, email, password')->getAll();

This will select all the first names, last names, emails, and passwords of the users table, and return the result.


Using PHP magic methods, you can just pass a method with the column name and PHP automaically will call a where method for it.

Continuing the above example, if we want to select the same information, but where the username equals "Mario", we'll do:

$this->user->data('firstname, lastname, email, password')->username('Mario')->get();

We use get() since it's just one result. This will generate:

SELECT 'firstname, lastname, email, password' FROM `users` WHERE `username` = 'Mario';

And runs the query.

You can chain methods, too. If you want to select all the data, but only where there's a certain name and last name, you'd do:


This will generate:

SELECT '*' FROM `users` WHERE `firstname` = 'Mario' AND `lastname` = 'Cuba';

Note that the firstname and lastname methods do not exist — they are created dynamically for flexibility. Those are database columns names.

Matching values

The match() method is used to compare a given value with the database. The method will check if the value exists in a certain field, and return a boolean value (TRUE if it exists, FALSE otherwise).

$user = 'AeroCross';
$exists = $this->user->match($user, 'username'); // returns TRUE if the user 'AeroCross' exists in the users table

As simple as that.

Inserting, updating, deleting

The insert(), update() and delete() methods are auxiliary methods to make these operations a little bit straightforward.

Pass an asociative array containing the where clauses (field => value) and that's it.

// short array syntax in 5.4 FTW!
$data = [	'username' 	=> 'AeroCross',
			'password' 	=> '123',
			'email' 	=> '',
			'firstname'	=> 'Mario',
			'lastname'	=> 'Cuba'


The same applies for the other methods.

Filtering and Ordering

The by() and limit() methods are using for filtering data.

$this->user->data('username, password')->role('Admin')->by('id', 'desc')->getAll();


SELECT `username`, `password` FROM `users` WHERE `role` = 'Admin' ORDER BY `id` DESC

If we add the limit (and optionally, the offset) clause:

$this->user->data('username, password')->role('Admin')->limit(2, 0)->by('id', 'desc')->getAll();
SELECT `username`, `password` FROM `users` WHERE `role` = 'Admin' ORDER BY `id` DESC LIMIT 2, 0
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