A model is a concrete class representation a record of data (aka entity) which is persisted to the data storage layer of the application. Model classes are home to any business logic that is specific to a single entity. Operations in the model should not perform database queries or one-off business operations. Instead, they should be composed of helper functions to designed to simplify common operations (e.g formatting the entity's fields or building data structures from the entity).

Doctrine ORM

The model layer of Siteadmin uses the Doctrine 2 ORM. All models use the same annotations and entity relationship methodologies as documented on Doctrine's website, and will not be discussed further here.

Your First Model

A typical model will similar to the example below.


  • @Entity() - Identifies the class as a doctrine entity.

  • @InheritanceType("SINGLE_TABLE") - Enable single table inheritance for the object. This allows child modules to easily extend this entity.

  • @Table(name="sa_users") - Sets the name of the table where the will be stored. If the table does not already exist, it can be created by updating the doctrine schema. The table names of siteadmin modules should be prefixed with sa_ as shown in the example. Custom modules should be prefixed with a project specific prefix of your choice. Try to keep it under 5 characters.

  • @HasLifecycleCallbacks - Enables doctrine lifecycle callbacks.


By convention, properties should have a protected scope. Specific use cases may require private scope, but to enforce data integrity public scope is not acceptable under any condition.

All models must have a primary key defined (denoted by the @Id and @GeneratedValue annotations). An exception will be thrown if one is not defined.


As mentioned in the introduction, models should only contain getters/setters and helper methods. A helper method performs business logic that only affects the current entity (or associated entity). All database queries should be performed in a corresponding repository. In the context of the example below, the User entity may add/remove posts, format its own data, or prepare data structures from its own data. It should not affect the state of other entities.

 * @Entity()
 * @InheritanceType("SINGLE_TABLE")
 * @Table(name="sa_users")
 * @HasLifecycleCallbacks
class User {
     * @Id
     * @Column(type="integer")
     * @GeneratedValue
    protected $id;
     * @var Posts[]
     * @OneToMany(targetEntity="Post", mappedBy="user")
    protected $posts;
     * @var string
     * @Column(type="string")
    protected $firstName;
     * @var string
     * @Column(type="string")
    protected $lastName;
    // <getters and setters>
    // ...
    // <helper functions>
    public function getFullName() {
        return sprintf('%s %s', $this->firstName, $this->lastName);

Create New Entity Instance

Entity instances should not be instantiated manually. Instead, use the IOC manager to create instances.


$user = ioc::resolve('User');


$user = new User();

Save/Remove Model

View the entity manager documentation for instructions on how to perform CRUD operations on a model.

Advanced Queries

View the repository documentation for instructions on how to create complex queries on one or more entities.

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