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Penumbra - Still in development

Domain oriented ORM, crafted with passion for PHP 5.4+.

Penumbra is not finished, the foundation and architecture is there, but the codebase has almost no unit tests. Since penumbra was originally a learning exercise with the goal of creating an orm that does not influence the domain model, this project has maintained a good code quality, but it is quickly becoming apparent that I cannot single handedly develop and maintain this project, especially with school. Serious contributors are needed, please feel free to clone the repository and look around the code base, if you have any questions, inquiries or want to begin contributing please email me at:

Please be aware that this is my first large open source project, so any tips/recommendations are welcome.

Another ORM for PHP?!

Yes! Penumbra offers features that no other ORM has. Penumbra is 100% data mapper and aims to stay completely decoupled from your domain models while offering a powerful language integrated query api.

Summary of the current state of Penumbra

The goals of Penumbra

Flexible domain models

Penumbra aims to provide as little restriction to domain models as possible

  • Penumbra natively supports: fields, getters/setters and even indexors or innvocation as entity properties.
  • Your entities can remain completely unaware of Penumbra: no base class, no annotations and no persistence logic.
  • Transparent relationship loading and persisting.
  • Seamless identifying and non-identifying relationships between entities:
    • Required child entity - A User has a Profile
    • Optional child entity - A User may have a CreditCard
    • Array/Traversable of many child entities - A User has multiple Posts, Traversable must be used for lazy loading
  • Embedded Objects
  • Value Objects
  • Polymorphic Types

PHP integerated query (Pinq)

  • Query in terms of the domain, not your database.
  • Abstract yourself from the underlying database.
  • Maintain full IDE auto-completion.
  • Remove the hassle of magic strings and prevent SQL injection.
  • Powerful aggregation api, Count, Maximum, Minimum, Average, Sum, Implode, All, Any
  • Supports used variables for parameterized queries function ($_) use ($Value) {...
  • Supports dynamic fields, method calls, function calls etc.
  • Even supports relationship properties for seamless joins!

Entity Request (SELECT) - Example:

$MiddleAgedUsersRequest = $UserRepository->Request()
        ->Where(function (User $User) {
            return $User->GetAge() > 20 && $User->GetAge() < 50 ;
        ->OrderByDescending(function (User $User) { return $User->GetLastLoginDate(); });
$SomeActiveMiddleAgedUsers = $MiddleAgedUsersRequest->AsArray();

Will map to something along the lines of:

SELECT Users.* FROM Users 
WHERE Users.Age > 20 AND Users.Age < 50
ORDER BY Users.LastLoginDate DESC;

Complex Data Request (SELECT) - Example:

$UserStatistics = $UserRepository->Request()
        ->Where(function (User $User) { return  $User->IsActive(); })
        ->GroupBy(function (User $User) { return $User->GetAge(); })
        ->Select(function (User $User, IAggregate $Users) {
            return [
                'Age' => $User->GetAge(),
                'Amount' => $Users->Count(),
                'AverageVisits' => $Users->Average(function (User $User) { return $User->GetVisitsPerDay(); })),

Will map to something along the lines of:

SELECT Users.Age AS Age, COUNT(*) AS Amount, AVG(Users.VisitsPerDay) AS AverageVisits FROM 
    (SELECT Users.* FROM Users 
    WHERE Users.Age > 20 AND Users.Age < 50
    ORDER BY Users.LastLoginDate DESC) AS Users
WHERE Users.IsActive
GROUP BY Users.Age;

Procedures (UPDATE) - Example:

$InactiveUserProcedure = $UserRepository->Procedure(
        function (User $User) {
            $User->SetInactivationDate(new DateTime());
        ->Where(function (User $User) {
            return $User->GetLastLoginDate() < (new DateTime())->sub(new DateInterval('P2Y'));


Will map to something along the lines of:

    Users.IsActive = 0,
    Users.InactivationDate = NOW()

NOTE: The supplied functions never actually executed, they are parsed and then mapped to the underlying platform as queries.

Sensible queries

One main goal of Penumbra is to take advantage of the underlying database as much as possible.

  • Penumbra will use batch inserts/upserts and deletes where possible.
  • Elimination of the dreaded N+1 query scenario introduced by excessive lazy loading. With penumbra, there are currenlty multiple relationship loading implementations:
    • Eager - Relationships are loaded along with the parent and children are joined where appropriate.
    • Global scope lazy - Relationships are not loaded with the parent entity but when one is required, globally every unloaded relationship will be loaded.
    • Request scope lazy (Recommended) - Relationships are loaded when required for all entities in the request object graph.
    • Parent scope lazy (N+1 likely) - Relationships are loaded when required from for each parent entity.


User is the parent entity, a user has many posts and a post has an author and many tags. Here is the typical N+1 scenario.

$User = $UserRepository->LoadById(1);
foreach($User->GetPosts() as $Post) {
    foreach($Post->GetTags() as $Tag) {

Now here is the number of queries executed for each loading mode (N=Number of Posts);

  • Eager - 3 (the user | posts joined with the author | all tags), when the user is loaded.
  • Global scope lazy - For loading a single request this is equivalent to Request scope lazy mode below.
  • Request scope lazy - 4 (the user | posts | all authors | all tags), the posts will be loaded when they are iterated and all the tags will be loaded when it is first is iterated.
  • Parent scope lazy - (N * 2) + 2 - (user | posts | each post's author | each post's tags).

NOTE: Relationship loading mode is per-relationship, the above example assumes every relationship will have the same loading mode for simplicity.


Domain oriented ORM with PHP integerated query (Pinq) for PHP 5.4+.



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