Unified Relational Model into one

Hi there, my first post!

Well, the thing is I’m very new with yii and I was trying to get experience in it.

This is the scenario



with a foreign key user_type


with the user_type autoincrement and name columns.

Well, if I use Gii tool, this will create to models: UserEntity and UserEntityType.

But I want to have it into one.

I would need to create a custom model (made by me) like Users and integrate there both models?

Then, with the CRUDs of UserEntity and UserEntityType, the same thing:

  • Integrate those into one and point to the custom model Users: protected/views/users/*


And, if all of this is correct, do I need to define in my Users Model public functions like Gii tool does?

Ex. tableName(), search(), rules(), relations(), attributeLabels(), etc…

BTW, I already love Yii!

Thanks in advance,

Hi cactork,

so far I dont think I understand what your are trying to do.

just to get you right:

If you can mix up UserEntity and UserEntityType in one custom model (-> assuming a 1:1 relation), why do you want to keep them in separate tables?

Next question: You mention an autoincrement in UserEntityType which seems to be independent from entries in UserEntity (-> 1:n or n:n relation?).

What is the real relation between those tables? Please, could you give examples of both tables?



Hi Steffen, thanks to take your time to response.

The thing is that I want to be able to create different types of user, that’s why I created a table of user_entity_type.

Let’s say today I have:


user_id (autoincrement key)

type_id - foreign key in user_entity_type

data_id - foreign key in other table, handling user profile information.


type_id (AI key)

name - string

So, if I generate this with Gii tool, I’ll have two models.

But I want to know if I can do it with one.


ok, as far as I understand you want to generate something like

user_id         |   type_id      |      user_type_name           |      data_id 

   1            |       1        |           friend              |        ...  

To get these values in one grid in the view you can use relational ActiveRecords:

e.g. from the UserEntity model

$model->user_id | $model->type_ID | $model->userentitytype->name | $model->data_id

As a prerequisite you need to define a relation in your UserEntity model

public function relations()


	return array(

		'userentitytype'=>array(self::BELONGS_TO, 'UserEntityType', 'type_id'),



That way you keep the data separate/normalized and at same time can have it in one view.

Hope this helps.

Looks like a single table inheritance.



    `name` varchar(255) NOT NULL,

    `type` varchar(100) NOT NULL,

    PRIMARY KEY (`id`)


class Car extends CActiveRecord {

    static function model($className=__CLASS__) {

        return parent::model($className);



    function tableName() {

        return 'car';



    protected function instantiate($attributes){


            case 'sport':



            case 'family':






        $model=new $class(null);

        return $model;



class SportCar extends Car {

    static function model($className=__CLASS__) {

        return parent::model($className);



    function defaultScope(){

        return array(






class FamilyCar extends Car {

    static function model($className=__CLASS__) {

        return parent::model($className);



    function defaultScope(){

        return array(





Now using Car you’ll get both SportCar and FamilyCar.

Good example steffen, that work so nice!

But I think that inheritance classes it’s what I need.

So, I can create main model of Users that have the other two models. Nice tip samdark.

I’ll try and post the final result.

Thanks again!

samdark, your post comes right in time for me. I just was thinking about how to work with inheritance between AR classes and like your approach very much. Thanks for sharing!

Sorry, for taking over this thread a little, but it’s probably related:

Any suggestion how to work with different sets of attributes for the different sub types?

For example, take the following attributes:

Shared by all car types: name, power, max_speed, …

Family cars: number_of_seats, …

Sport cars: power_to_wind_ratio, …

I thought about hardcoding the additional attributes in the type classes and store their values in another table car_attributes like this:

id (INT) - id of attribute

car_id (INT) - id of car (parent)

name (VARCHAR) - name of attribute ('number_of_seats', 'power_to_wind_ratio')

datatype (TINYINT) - id of datatype (1=string, 2=int, 3=float, ...)

value_string (VARCHAR) - value for datatype string

value_int (INT) - value for datatype int

value_float (DECIMAL) - value for datatype decimal

Each dynamic attribute value would be represented by a row in this table. The column ‘datatype’ stores the type of data and there’s one data column for every possible datatype (value_string, value_int, value_float, etc). Using a HAS_MANY relation in Cars with the ‘index’ feature would allow easy access to the attribute records:

'dynamics'=>array(self::HAS_MANY, 'CarAttributes', 'car_id','index'=>'name'),


// safety checks like isset(...) left out for clarity...


But as you see this makes it more complicated to access the value of such a dynamic attribute. And the "one-column-per-type" approach is not very ressource friendly. Not to mention that there are more types than i gave in the example.

Ideas? Alternative approaches?

When I faced a similar problem, I created different tables for sub types. But in this case you’ll need to join a main table with one of others depending on main.car_type value.

Your approach reminds me of EAV Model, which I didn’t use and don’t like it very much.

Anyway, the question is still interesting, but I think there is no perfect solution in Relational DBMS.

Hi I think I may have a similar question and wish to get further insight on steffans input

I refer to my post

Are you saying steffan that I should keep the data within there separate models…modify the relations and create a "View"( or Controller?) that merges the 2 data information together to be displayed?

Seems fitting for a 1 to 1 relationship but what about 1 to many?