Query builder

The query builder allows you to programmatically build SQL queries.

The query builder currently supports the following dialects:

  • DB2
  • Firebird
  • MariaDB
  • MySQL
  • NuoDB
  • Oracle
  • PostgreSQL
  • SQLite
  • SQLServer

All queries executed by the query builder use prepared statements, thus mitigating the risk of SQL injections. However you have to make sure that you don't create SQL injection vectors if you're using using raw SQL in your query builder queries!

Getting a query builder instance

You can create a query builder instance using the Connection::builder() method.

$query = $connection->builder();

You can also skip the call to the Connection::builder() method using the Connection::table() method.

$query = $connection->table('foobar');

Fetching data

If you only want to retrieve a single row then you can use the first method.

$person = $query->table('persons')->where('id', '=', 1)->first();

Fetching all rows is done using the all method.

$persons = $query->table('persons')->all();

You can also specify which columns you want to include in the result set

$persons = $query->table('persons')->select(['name', 'email'])->all();

To make a distinct selection use the distinct method

$persons = $query->table('persons')->select(['name', 'email'])->distinct()->all();

Note that the all and paginate methods return a result set object and not an array so you'll need to use the isEmpty method to check if it's empty.

Selecting from the results of a subquery is also possible.

$persons = $query->table(function($query)
->where('name', '!=', 'John Doe')

You can also use the Subquery class instead of a closure if you need a specific table alias.

$persons = $query->table
	new Subquery(function($query)
	}, 'distinct_names')
->where('name', '!=', 'John Doe')

Advanced column selections can also be made using raw SQL and subqueries.

$persons = $query->table('persons')->select
		new Raw("CASE gender WHEN 'm' THEN 'male' ELSE 'female' END AS gender"),
		new Subquery(function($query)
			$query->table('persons')->select([new Raw('AVG(age)']));
		}, 'average_age')

If you need to process a large dataset and don't want to put the entire result set in memory then you can use the yield method. It returns a generator that lets you iterate over the result set.

$persons = $query->table('persons')->select(['name', 'email'])->yield();

foreach($persons as $person)
	// Only a single row is kept in memory at a time

Note that when using MySQL you might have to configure PDO to use unbuffered queries for this to work as expected.

In addition to using the yield method to process large amounts of data you can also use the batch method. The default batch size is a 1000 records but you can override this using the optional second parameter.

You can also set the offset starting point and offset end point using the optional third and fourth parameters respectively. This is useful if you have parallel workers processing data.

	// Process the batch here

Fetching the value of a single column is done using the column method.

$email = $query->table('persons')->select(['email'])->where('id', '=', 1)->column();

// You can also use the following syntax

$email = $query->table('persons')->where('id', '=', 1)->column('email');

It is also possible to fetch an array containing the values of a single column using the columns method.

 $emails = $query->table('persons')->select(['email'])->columns();

 // You can also use the following syntax

 $emails = $query->table('persons')->columns('email');

The pairs method allows you to fetch an array where the first column is used as the array keys and the second is used as the array values.

$pairs = $query->table->('users')->pairs('id', 'email');

Inserting data

Inserting data is done using the insert method.

$query->table('foobars')->insert(['field1' => 'foo', 'field2' => new DateTime]);

You can also insert data using the insertAndGetId method. It will create the record and return the generated auto increment id.

$query->table('foobars')->insertAndGetId(['field1' => 'foo', 'field2' => new DateTime]);

When working with PostgreSQL the insertAndGetId method assumes that the sequence follows the default naming convention (<table_name>_<primary_key_name>_seq) You can override the default primary key name (id) by using the optional second parameter.

Updating data

Updating data is done using the update method.

->where('id', '=', 10)
->update(['field1' => 'foo', 'field2' => new DateTime]);

There are also shortcuts for incrementing and decrementing column values:

$query->table('articles')->where('id', '=', 1)->increment('views');

$query->table('articles')->where('id', '=', 1)->increment('views', 10);

$query->table('shows')->where('id', '=', 1)->decrement('tickets')

$query->table('shows')->where('id', '=', 1)->decrement('tickets', 50);

Deleting data

Deleting data is done using the delete method.

$query->table('articles')->where('id', '=', 10)->delete();

JSON data

The query builder features a unified syntax for querying JSON data and it currently supports MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQLServer and SQLite.

$foos = $query->table('articles')->select(['meta->foo as foo'])->where('meta->bar', '=', 1)->all();

You can also use the unified syntax to update JSON values. This feature currently supports MySQL, PostgreSQL (jsonb), SQLServer and SQLite.

$query->table('articles')->update(['meta->bar' => json_encode(0)]);


The query builder also includes a few handy shortcuts to the most common aggregate functions:

// Counting

$count = $query->table('persons')->count();

$count = $query->table('persons')->where('age', '>', 25)->count();

// Distinct counting

$count = $query->table('persons')->countDistinct('age');

$count = $query->table('persons')->countDistinct(['age', 'height']);

// Average value

$height = $query->table('persons')->avg('height');

$height = $query->table('persons')->where('age', '>', 25)->avg('height');

// Largest value

$height = $query->table('persons')->max('height');

$height = $query->table('persons')->where('age', '>', 25)->max('height');

// Smallest value

$height = $query->table('persons')->min('height');

$height = $query->table('persons')->where('age', '>', 25)->min('height');

// Sum

$height = $query->table('persons')->sum('height');

$height = $query->table('persons')->where('age', '>', 25)->sum('height');


WHERE clauses

where(), whereRaw(), orWhere(), orWhereRaw()

// SELECT * FROM `persons` WHERE `age` > 25

$persons = $query->table('persons')->where('age', '>', 25)->all();

// SELECT * FROM `persons` WHERE `age` > 25 OR `age` < 20

$persons = $query->table('persons')->where('age', '>', 25)->orWhere('age', '<', 20)->all();

// SELECT * FROM `persons` WHERE (`username`, `email`) = ('foo', 'foobar@example.org') LIMIT 1

$person = $query->table('persons')->where(['username', 'email'], '=', ['foo', 'foo@example.org'])->first();

// SELECT * FROM `persons` WHERE (`age` > 25 AND `height` > 180)

$persons = $query->table('persons')
	$query->where('age', '>', 25);
	$query->where('height', '>', 180);

The wereRaw and orWhereRaw methods allow you to set a "raw" parameter value or to write an entire sql expression.

// SELECT * FROM `persons` WHERE `age` > AVG(`age`)

$persons = $query->table('persons')->whereRaw('age', '>', 'AVG(`age`)')->all();

// SELECT * FROM `persons` WHERE MATCH(`name`) AGAINST ('foobar' IN BOOLEAN MODE)

$persons = $query->table('persons')->whereRaw('MATCH(`name`) AGAINST (? IN BOOLEAN MODE)', ['foobar']);


between(), orBetween(), notBetween(), orNotBetween()

// SELECT * FROM `persons` WHERE `age` BETWEEN 20 AND 25

$persons = $query->table('persons')->between('age', 20, 25)->all();

// SELECT * FROM `persons` WHERE `age` BETWEEN 20 AND 25 OR `age` BETWEEN 30 AND 35

$persons = $query->table('persons')->between('age', 20, 25)->orBetween('age', 30, 35)->all();

WHERE IN clauses

in(), orIn(), notIn(), orNotIn()

// SELECT * FROM `persons` WHERE `id` IN (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

$persons = $query->table('persons')->in('id', [1, 2, 3, 4, 5])->all();

// SELECT * FROM `persons` WHERE `id` IN (SELECT `id` FROM `persons` WHERE `id` != 1)

$persons = $query->table('persons')
->in('id', function($query)
	$query->table('persons')->select(['id'])->where('id', '!=', 1);


isNull(), orIsNull(), isNotNull(), orIsNotNull()

// SELECT * FROM `persons` WHERE `address` IS NULL

$persons = $query->table('persons')->isNull('address')->all();


exists(), orExists(), notExists(), orNotExists()

// SELECT * FROM `persons` WHERE EXISTS (SELECT * FROM `cars` WHERE `cars`.`person_id` = `persons`.`id`)

$persons = $query->table('persons')
	$query->table('cars')->whereRaw('cars.person_id', '=', 'persons.id');

JOIN clauses

join(), joinRaw(), leftJoin(), leftJoinRaw()

// SELECT * FROM `persons` INNER JOIN `phones` ON `persons`.`id` = `phones`.`user_id`

$persons = $query->table('persons')->join('phones', 'persons.id', '=', 'phones.user_id')->all();

// SELECT * FROM `persons` AS `u` INNER JOIN `phones` AS `p` ON
// (`u`.`id` = `p`.`user_id` OR `u`.`phone_number` = `p`.`number`)

$persons = $query->table('persons as u')
->join('phones as p', function($join)
	$join->on('u.id', '=', 'p.user_id');
	$join->orOn('u.phone_number', '=', 'p.number');

GROUP BY clauses


// SELECT `customer`, `order_date`, SUM(`order_price`) as `sum` FROM `orders` GROUP BY `customer`

$customers = $query->table('orders')
->select(['customer', new Raw('SUM(price) as sum')])

// SELECT `customer`, `order_date`, SUM(`order_price`) as `sum` FROM `orders` GROUP BY `customer`, `order_date`

$customers = $query->table('orders')
->select(['customer', 'order_date', new Raw('SUM(price) as sum')])
->groupBy(['customer', 'order_date'])

HAVING clauses

having(), havingRaw(), orHaving(), orHavingRaw()

// SELECT `customer`, SUM(`price`) AS `sum` FROM `orders` GROUP BY `customer` HAVING SUM(`price`) < 2000

$customers = $query->table('orders')
->select(['customer', new Raw('SUM(price) as sum')])
->havingRaw('SUM(price)', '<', 2000)

ORDER BY clauses

orderBy(), orderByRaw(), descending(), descendingRaw(), ascending(), ascendingRaw()

// SELECT * FROM `persons` ORDER BY `name` ASC

$persons = $query->table('persons')->orderBy('name', 'asc')->all();

// SELECT * FROM `persons` ORDER BY `name` ASC

$persons = $query->table('persons')->ascending('name')->all();

// SELECT * FROM `persons` ORDER BY `name` DESC

$persons = $query->table('persons')->descending('name')->all();

// SELECT * FROM `persons` ORDER BY `name` ASC, `age` DESC

$persons = $query->table('persons')->orderBy('name', 'asc')->orderBy('age', 'desc')->all();

// SELECT * FROM `persons` ORDER BY `name`, `age` ASC

$persons = $query->table('persons')->orderBy(['name', 'age'], 'asc')->all();

LIMIT and OFFSET clauses

limit(), offset(), paginate()

// SELECT * FROM `persons` LIMIT 10

$persons = $query->table('persons')->limit(10)->all();

// SELECT * FROM `persons` LIMIT 10 OFFSET 10

$persons = $query->table('persons')->limit(10)->offset(10)->all();

You can also use the paginate method to limit your results.

// SELECT * FROM `persons` LIMIT 10 OFFSET 0

$persons = $query->table('persons')->paginate(10);

Set operations

union(), unionAll(), intersect(), intersectAll(), except(), exceptAll()

You can also combine the results of multiple queries into a single result set using set operations.

// SELECT * FROM `sales2015` UNION ALL SELECT * FROM `sales2016`

$sales2015 = $connection->builder()->table('sales2015');

$combinedSales = $connection->builder()->unionAll($sales2015)->table('sales2016')->all();

You can also use the closure syntax when adding set operations to your queries.

// SELECT * FROM `sales2015` UNION ALL SELECT * FROM `sales2016`

$combinedSales = $query->unionAll(function($query)

Row-level locking

lock(), sharedLock()

The lock() method can be used to enable row-level locking during database transactions.

// SELECT * FROM `persons` WHERE `age` =  30 FOR UPDATE

$persons = $query->table('persons')->where('age', '=', 30)->lock()->all();

It will use an exclusive lock by default but you can enable shared locking by passing false to the lock() method or by using the sharedLock() method.

// SELECT * FROM `persons` WHERE `age` =  30 LOCK IN SHARE MODE

$persons = $query->table('persons')->where('age', '=', 30)->lock(false)->all();

It is also possible to provide a custom locking clause.

// SELECT * FROM `persons` WHERE `age` =  30 CUSTOM LOCK

$persons = $query->table('persons')->where('age', '=', 30)->lock('CUSTOM LOCK')->all();

Here's an overview of the locking clauses generated for the different RDBMSes that support row-level locking.

RDBMS Exclusive lock Shared lock

Row-level locking will gracefully degrade for any RDBMS that doesn't support the feature.

Array and JSON representations of results

You can convert both single result and result set objects to arrays and JSON using the toArray and toJson methods respectively. JSON encoding of your results can also be achieved by using the json_encode function or by casting the objects to strings.

The toJson method accepts the same optional option flags as the json_encode function.

$json = (string) $query->table('articles')->select(['id', 'title', 'content'])->limit(10)->all();

The code above will result in the following JSON:

	{"id": 1, "title": "Article 1", "content": "Article 1 content"},
	{"id": 2, "title": "Article 2", "content": "Article 2 content"},
	{"id": 9, "title": "Article 9", "content": "Article 9 content"},
	{"id": 10, "title": "Article 10", "content": "Article 10 content"}

Data fetched using the paginate method will return a JSON object instead of an array. The records are available as data while pagination information is available as pagination:

	"data": [
		{"id": 1, "title": "Article 1", "content": "Article 1 content"},
		{"id": 2, "title": "Article 2", "content": "Article 2 content"},
		{"id": 9, "title": "Article 9", "content": "Article 9 content"},
		{"id": 10, "title": "Article 10", "content": "Article 10 content"}
	"pagination": {
		"current_page": 1,
		"number_of_pages": 1,
		"items": 10,
		"items_per_page": 50,
		"first": "https:\/\/example.org\/api\/articles?page=1",
		"last": "https:\/\/example.org\/api\/articles?page=1",
		"next": null,
		"previous": null