And WHERE Or WHERE

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The most common thing to do in a query is to add a WHERE clause. Unfortunately, Doctrine doesn't support that. I'm kidding!

I have a search box - let's search for "Lucky Number". This isn't hooked up yet, but it adds a query parameter ?q=lucky+number. Let's use that to only return categories matching that.

Back in FortuneController, add a Request $request argument to the controller. Below, let's look to see if there is a q query parameter on the URL or not. If there is, we'll search for it, otherwise, we'll keep finding all the categories. For the search, call a new method on the repository called search(), and pass in the term.

... lines 1 - 7
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Request;
... lines 9 - 14
public function homepageAction(Request $request)
{
... lines 17 - 20
$search = $request->query->get('q');
if ($search) {
$categories = $categoryRepository->search($search);
} else {
$categories = $categoryRepository->findAllOrdered();
}
... lines 27 - 30
}
... lines 32 - 53

Back in CategoryRepository, let's make that function:

... lines 1 - 12
class CategoryRepository extends EntityRepository
{
... lines 15 - 23
public function search($term)
{
... lines 26 - 30
}
}

We'll make a QueryBuilder just like before, but do the entire query in just one statement. Start by calling createQueryBuilder() and passing it cat:

... lines 1 - 12
class CategoryRepository extends EntityRepository
{
... lines 15 - 23
public function search($term)
{
return $this->createQueryBuilder('cat')
... lines 27 - 30
}
}

The only thing our query needs is a WHERE clause to match the term to the name of the Category. Let's chain!

Building AND WHERE into a Query

Use a function called andWhere(). Don't worry - Doctrine won't add an AND to the query, unless it's needed. Inside, write cat.name = . But instead of passing the variable directly into the string like this, use a placeholder. Type colon, then make up a term. On the next line, use setParameter to tell Doctrine what I want to fill in for that term. So type searchTerm, should be replaced with $term. This avoids SQL injection attacks, so don't muck it up! Finally, we call getQuery() - like before - and execute():

... lines 1 - 23
public function search($term)
{
return $this->createQueryBuilder('cat')
->andWhere('cat.name = :searchTerm')
->setParameter('searchTerm', $term)
->getQuery()
->execute();
}
... lines 32 - 33

And just like that, we should be able to go back, refresh, and there's our "Lucky Number" category match. And on the homepage, we still see everything.

Query with LIKE

But if we just search for "Lucky", we get nothing back because we're doing an exact match. But just like with normal SQL, we know that's easy to fix. And you already know how: just change = to LIKE - just like SQL!

It's just like writing SQL people! For the parameter value, surround it by percent signs to complete things. Refresh! We've got a match!

... lines 1 - 23
public function search($term)
{
return $this->createQueryBuilder('cat')
->andWhere('cat.name LIKE :searchTerm')
->setParameter('searchTerm', '%'.$term.'%')
->getQuery()
->execute();
}
... lines 32 - 33

OR WHERE

What about adding an OR WHERE to the query? The Category entity has an iconKey property, which is where we get this little bug icon. For "Lucky Number", it's set to fa-bug from Font Awesome. Search for that. No results of course!

Let's update our query to match on the name OR iconKey property. If you're guessing that there's an orWhere() method, you're right! If you're guessing that I'm going to use it, you're wrong!

The string inside of the andWhere is a mini-DQL expression. So you can add OR cat.iconKey LIKE :searchTerm:

... lines 1 - 23
public function search($term)
{
return $this->createQueryBuilder('cat')
->andWhere('cat.name LIKE :searchTerm OR cat.iconKey LIKE :searchTerm')
->setParameter('searchTerm', '%'.$term.'%')
->getQuery()
->execute();
}
... lines 32 - 33

And the searchTerm placeholder is already being filled in:

Refresh! Another match!

Avoid orWhere() and where()

So even though there is an orWhere() function, don't use it - it can cause WTF moments. Imagine if Category had an enabled property, and we built a query like this:

$this->createQueryBuilder('cat')
    ->andWhere('cat.name LIKE :searchTerm')
    ->orWhere('cat.iconKey LIKE :searchTerm')
    ->andWhere('cat.enabled = :enabled')
    ->setParameter('searchTerm', '%'.$term.'%')
    ->setParameter('enabled', true)
    ->getQuery()
    ->execute();

What would the SQL look like for this? Would it have the three WHERE clauses in a row, or would it correctly surround the first two with parentheses?

SELECT * FROM category WHERE
    name LIKE '%lucky%' OR iconKey LIKE '%lucky%' AND enabled = 1;

SELECT * FROM category WHERE
    (name LIKE '%lucky%' OR iconKey LIKE '%lucky%') AND enabled = 1;

Doctrine does the second and the query works as expected. But it's a lot less clear to read. Instead, think of each andWhere() as being surrounded by its own parentheses, and put OR statements in there.

Oh, and there's also a where() function. Don't use it either - it removes any previous WHERE clauses on the query, which you might be doing accidentally.

In other words, always use andWhere(), it keeps life simple.

Leave a comment!

This course is built on Symfony 2, but most of the concepts apply just fine to newer versions of Symfony. If you have questions, let us know :).

What PHP libraries does this tutorial use?

// composer.json
{
    "require": {
        "php": ">=5.3.3, <7.3.0",
        "symfony/symfony": "2.6.*", // v2.6.13
        "doctrine/orm": "~2.2,>=2.2.3", // v2.4.8
        "doctrine/doctrine-bundle": "~1.2", // 1.6.4
        "twig/extensions": "~1.0", // v1.5.4
        "symfony/assetic-bundle": "~2.3", // v2.8.2
        "symfony/swiftmailer-bundle": "~2.3", // v2.3.12
        "symfony/monolog-bundle": "~2.4", // v2.12.1
        "sensio/distribution-bundle": "~3.0.12", // v3.0.36
        "sensio/framework-extra-bundle": "~3.0", // v3.0.29
        "incenteev/composer-parameter-handler": "~2.0", // v2.1.3
        "hautelook/alice-bundle": "0.2.*" // 0.2
    },
    "require-dev": {
        "sensio/generator-bundle": "~2.3" // v2.5.3
    }
}