Automate Db Model Creation with Zend_CodeGenerator_Php_Class

I’m working on a new tool at work that will automate several processes for a few employees so they don’t have to spend too much time doing very repetitive tasks. This tool has to do a good bit of database manipulation so I’ve decided I’ll build it in PHP using Zend Framework.

I’ll be using Zend_Db_Table_Abstract to communicate with the db tables from my project and I’ll be creating a model for each table as well to store and manipulate data. I’ll be working with lots of tables in the database and many have lots of fields.

I start by opening up Zend Studio on one monitor and SQL Query Analyzer on the other and get to work. The first table I want to work with is the ‘Student’ table. I create a new file in my project called Student.php. Place it on my models/DbTable folder and inside I simply have to declare ‘_name’ as a protected property with the value ‘Student’ and extend ‘Zend_Db_Table_Abstract’. Easy enough but now I want to create the model I will be using to convert the database data into workable objects through my mapper class.


I create a new file called ‘Student.php’ and save it to my models folder. I open the file up and now I have to create a property (it’s actually an array _data with all properties defined as keys inside) for each field in the Student table… all 50 of them! I have to be careful to name each correctly as well as to not accidentally miss some field. It ends up being a time consuming process and inefficient so I start looking for a better way to accomplish this. Continue reading “Automate Db Model Creation with Zend_CodeGenerator_Php_Class”