RedBeanPHP
The Power ORM

Link Beans

The following code associates an employee with a project using a many-to-many relation.

    $project->sharedEmployeeList[] = $employee;

The project and the employee are linked by a link bean. Link beans have their own type, in this case: employeeProject. In the database, these beans are stored in the employee_project table.

Sometimes you want to qualify a relationship. For instance, in the case of projects and employees, you might want to add a 'role' property to the relation:

    list($e$p) = R::dispenseAll('employee,project');
    
$p->link'employee_project', [
        
'role' => 'director'
    
] )->employee $e;

While this is quite handy, it's often better to introduce the missing concept: participant in this case. Often, when you find yourself qualifying a relationship, you might have missed an important part of your data model. A relation or link is not a very good substitute for this.

Be careful with adding to much properties and logic to relations, make sure you haven't missed an important concept in your domain model.

Since a many-to-many relation can be viewed as a combination of two one-to-many relations you can access the link beans through the ownList on either side of the relation. In the case of a project-employee relations you can access the intermediate bean like this:

    $employee->ownEmployeeProjectList;

To remove the intermediate beans upon assigning an empty array open the list in exclusive mode:

    $employee->xownEmployeeProjectList;

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