CakePHP find conditions (plus find all, find list, and find count)

CakePHP find FAQ: Can you share some "CakePHP find conditions" examples?

One thing you need to get used to when working with CakePHP is the CakePHP find method. To that end, I thought I'd put together this page of CakePHP find conditions and find query examples.

CakePHP find conditions

To get started, here's a list of the possible CakePHP find conditions you can use:

Name        Default  Description
type        'first'  can be 'all', 'first', or 'list'. determines what type of
                     find operation to perform. (TODO - more info here)

conditions  null     array containing the find (select) conditions as
                     key/value pairs

fields      null     array specifying which fields should be retrieved
                     in the resulting select query

order       null     sql 'order by conditions. field name must be
                     followed by ASC or DESC

page        null     page number, used for paged data

limit       null     a limit on the number of results returned, like
                     'select * from orders limit 20'.

offset      null     sql offset value (i haven't used this query much
                     myself, but i think it refers to skipping X 
                     number of rows returned in a query)

recursive      1     the cakephp recursive value, relating to associated
                     model data

CakePHP find condition examples

Given that reference information, let's take a look at some CakePHP find conditions examples.

First, a very simple CakePHP find query that retrieves all records from the Post model (probably not something you'll want to do in a production application):


Next, a "CakePHP find all" query with one find condition:


A CakePHP find query with one "not equal to" find condition:

                   array('conditions'=>array(''=>'<> 5')));

A find query with multiple CakePHP find conditions:

# this is a little lame, but i'm trying to avoid dates
                                             ''=>'> 50')));

A CakePHP find query that uses all the find function parameters:

# TODO - i'm not sure that this is right; i think 'fields' is supposed to be an array
                        'order'=>' ASC',

A CakePHP find conditions query using a date:

# note: you can search for date or datetime fields by enclosing the table's field name
#       in the SQL DATE() function.

# TODO demonstrate "date >" and "date <" conditions

CakePHP find conditions arrays with ORDER BY examples:

array('order'=>'date ASC')
array('order'=>'date DESC')
array('order'=>' DESC')

A collection of other CakePHP find conditions/examples:

These CakePHP find examples are lines of code that would be used in an OrderController class:

$this->Order->find(null, null, 'date DESC');
$this->Order->find('all', array('conditions'=>array(''=>1)));
$this->Order->find('all', array('conditions'=>array(''=>array(1,2,3,4))));
$this->Order->find('all', array('conditions'=>array(''=>'<> 1')));
$this->Order->find('all', array('conditions'=>array(''=>1, 'DATE('=>'CURDATE()')));
$this->Order->find('all', array('order'=>'date ASC', 'limit'=>20, 'recursive'=>0);

Here are some CakePHP find examples from the CakePHP retrieving your data book page:

$params can contain all these:

  'conditions' => array('Model.field' => $thisValue), //array of conditions
  'recursive' => 1, //int
  'fields' => array('Model.field1', 'DISTINCT Model.field2'), //array of field names
  'order' => array('Model.created', 'Model.field3 DESC'), //string or array defining order
  'group' => array('Model.field'), //fields to GROUP BY
  'limit' => n, //int
  'page' => n, //int
  'offset'=>n, //int   
  'callbacks' => true //other possible values are false, 'before', 'after'

Here's a CakePHP function showing several different CakePHP find examples:

# find('first', $params) syntax

function some_function() {
  $this->Article->order = null; // resetting if it's set
  $semiRandomArticle = $this->Article->find();
  $this->Article->order = 'Article.created DESC'; // simulating the model having a default order
  $lastCreated = $this->Article->find();
  $alsoLastCreated = $this->Article->find('first', array('order' => array('Article.created DESC')));
  $specificallyThisOne = $this->Article->find('first', array('conditions' => array('' => 1)));

CakePHP find count examples

Here's a CakePHP find count example:

# find('count', $params)

# more cakephp find count examples
function some_function() {
   $total = $this->Article->find('count');

   $pending = $this->Article->find('count', 
                                    array('conditions' => array('Article.status' => 'pending')));
   $authors = $this->Article->User->find('count');
   $publishedAuthors = $this->Article->find('count', 
                                             array('fields' => 'DISTINCT Article.user_id',
                                                   'conditions' => array('Article.status !=' => 'pending')

CakePHP find all examples

Here is a list of some CakePHP find all examples:

# find('all', $params) syntax

# a cakephp find all example
function some_function() {
   $allArticles = $this->Article->find('all');
   $pending = $this->Article->find('all', 
                                    array('conditions' => array('Article.status' => 'pending')));

   $allAuthors = $this->Article->User->find('all');

   $allPublishedAuthors = 
                                   array('conditions' => array('Article.status !=' => 'pending')));

CakePHP find list examples

Here are some CakePHP find list examples, useful for creating select boxes:

# find('list', $params) syntax

function some_function() {
    $allArticles = $this->Article->find('list');
    $pending = $this->Article->find('list', array(
        'conditions' => array('Article.status' => 'pending')
    $allAuthors = $this->Article->User->find('list');
    $allPublishedAuthors = $this->Article->find('list', array(
        'fields' => array('', ''),
        'conditions' => array('Article.status !=' => 'pending'),
        'recursive' => 0

See the CakePHP retrieving your data book page for many more CakePHP find examples, including:

  • find threaded
  • find neighbors
  • findAllBy
  • findBy
  • query
  • field
  • read
  • More complex CakePHP find examples

CakePHP find conditions, find all, and find list

I hope this collection of CakePHP find conditions, including CakePHP find all and find list examples, has been helpful. If you have any example you'd like to share, feel free to use the Comments section below.

Share it!

There’s just one person behind this website; if this article was helpful (or interesting), I’d appreciate it if you’d share it. Thanks, Al.

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