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Shared Lists

Consider the following example concerning a strategy game: An army can defend one or more villages. Thus an army can belong to many villages, or do the villages belong to the army? In any case, this is an example of a many-to-many relationship. Many villages can be associated with many armies. In RedBeanPHP we describe this kind of relation with a shared-list.

$village->sharedArmy[] = $army;
$village2->sharedArmy[] = $army;

Now both villages have the same army. Once again the name of the shared list property needs to match the type of bean it stores. In the database, RedBeanPHP will make a link table army_village to associate the armies with their villages.

The other end of the beans…

Which villages does an army belong to? To answer this question use:

//or.. R::related($army,'village');

For the rest, shared lists work just like own-lists. For instance, just like own lists, shared lists can be filtered using withCondition() and sorted or limited using with().

Filtering by link (3.5)

Unlike own lists, you can filter a shared lists by their linking beans. For instance if we want to obtain all villages that our army defends:

$army->withCondition(' army_village.action = ? ',

Access the link bean

To access the links between an army and its villages:

//Prior to 3.4 use: ownArmy_village

Once you have obtained a link you can add additional properties:

->action 'defend';

Additional properties (3.4)

To add additional properties to a relation you can add the shared beans using the link() method like this:

'action'=>'defend'))->army $army1;

This will not just associate the army and the village but also qualify the relation by adding the property 'action' to the relationship. Instead of an array you may also use a JSON string:

'{"action":"defend"}')->army $army1;

Sometimes N-M relations are hidden in concepts (or we could argue that N-M relations are hidden concepts). For instance, if you have a bean called visit that has both an army and a village you can use this bean as a link table associating armies and villages. To use regular tables as link tables, just rename the association:

'{"action":"defend"}')->army $army1;
//returns armies linked in visit table
$armies $village->via('visit')->sharedArmy;

//access the visit information
$visit $army->ownVisit;


Instead of via(), you can also use R::renameAssociation, this method also accepts an associative array instead of just single values. The via() method is an alias for renameAssociation since 3.5.

Shared lists are the RedBeanPHP way of saying: 'many-to-many'.


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