Revision: Fri, 27 Jan 2023 20:32:58 GMT

Belongs To

Belongs To relation defines that an entity is owned by a related entity on the exclusive matter. Example: a post belongs to an author, a comment belongs a post. Most belongsTo relations can be created using the inverse option of the declared hasOne or hasMany relation.

The entity will always be persisted after its related entity.


To define Belongs To relation using annotated entities extension use:

use Cycle\Annotated\Annotation\Entity;
use Cycle\Annotated\Annotation\Relation\BelongsTo;

class Post
    // ...

    #[BelongsTo(target: User::class)]
    private User $user;

You must properly handle the cases when the relation is not initialized (null)!

By default, the ORM will generate an outer key in the relation object using the related entity's role and outer key ( primary key by default) values. As result column and FK will be added to Post entity on user_id column.

Option Value Comment
load lazy/eager Relation load approach. Defaults to lazy
cascade bool Automatically save related data with source entity. Defaults to true
nullable bool Defines if the relation can be nullable (child can have no parent). Defaults to false
innerKey string,array Inner key in source entity. Defaults to {relationName}_{outerKey}
outerKey string,array Outer key in the related entity. Defaults to the primary key
fkCreate bool Set to true to automatically create FK on innerKey. Defaults to true
fkAction CASCADE, NO ACTION, SET NULL FK onDelete and onUpdate action. Defaults to CASCADE
fkOnDelete CASCADE, NO ACTION, SET NULL FK onDelete action. It has higher priority than {$fkAction}. Defaults to @see {$fkAction}
indexCreate bool Create an index on innerKey. Defaults to true

Since Cycle ORM v2.x innerKey and outerKey can contain composite key.


ORM will automatically save the related entity (unless cascade set to false).

$post = new Post();
$post->setUser(new User("Antony"));

$manager = new \Cycle\ORM\EntityManager($orm);

You can only de-associate the related entity if the relation is defined as nullable. In other scenarios you will get an integrity exception:

$post = $orm->getRepository(Post::class)->findOne();


$manager = new \Cycle\ORM\EntityManager($orm);


To access related data simply call the method load of your Post Select object:

$post = $orm->getRepository(Post::class)->select()->load('user')->wherePK(1)->fetchOne();


You can filter entity selection using related data, call the method with of your entity's Select to join the related entity table:

$posts = $orm->getRepository(Post::class)
    ->with('user')->where('user.status', 'active')


Select can automatically join related tables on the first where condition. The previous example can be rewritten:

$posts = $orm->getRepository(Post::class)
    ->where('user.status', 'active')

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