DDC-1628: onUpdate parameter on @JoinColumn not supported #2269

doctrinebot opened this Issue Jan 31, 2012 · 17 comments

4 participants


Jira issue originally created by user chrisrichard:

It looks like this is in the older documentation (2.0) but not mentioned in the latest.

I need to use ON UPDATE CASCADE in a few cases. Seems odd to support onDelete and not onUpdate. Am I missing something?


Comment created by @beberlei:

We removed onUpdate because we couldnt come up with a use-case. CAn you share yours?


Comment created by chrisrichard:

I assume it's just the mysql driver but all the constraints get created such that you cannot change the primary keys (even if it's not an auto-gen PK). ON UPDATE CASCADE would probably be a better default.


Comment created by darklow:

I really hope onUpdate annotation attribute will be restored.
I used it in PostgreSQL very often. In some entities in some projects Primary Key ID can be very important its sequence, and if you want to change it, then "ON UPDATE CASCADE" changed it for all the references too. It was must have feature. Now few of my applications are broken with latest doctrine orm.
Please consider restoring it back.
Thank you


Comment created by drevolution:

+1 - onUpdate attribute is very useful for PostgreSQL databases, it controls operations with foreign keys.


Comment created by kenkataiwa:

What do you mean, you couldn't come up with a use-case? If one is migrating data from one table to another and requires that all foreign key references be changed to map the ones in the new table created, before deleting the last table. And there are may more case. Maybe I am missing some thing here, if it's a use-case for the MySQL and PostgreSQL guys, why would you not support it.


Comment created by @ocramius:

[~kenkataiwa] updating identifiers is something you don't do, and I sincerely also don't have a use case for this, not in the context of an ORM at least. Also, handling changes in your identifiers in the UnitOfWork is a real problem that adds a lot overhead.


Comment created by drevolution:

+1 - onUpdate attribute is very useful for PostgreSQL databases, it controls operations with foreign keys.

I'm taking my words back. It is not a good idea to define onUpdate on foreign keys. Yes, PostgreSQL supports it but it doesn't mean that we should use it in ORM.
Thanks for your time.


Comment created by @ocramius:

This issue is invalid, since data migration is not a task for the ORM anyway.


Issue was closed with resolution "Invalid"


Comment created by garygolden:

I have a third party table which holds users:


In my table I want to use natural foreign key, so I reference email.

CREATE TABLE transaction (
user_email VARCHAR(255) NOT NULL,
FOREIGN KEY (user_email) REFERENCES user(email)

I would like to RDBMS handle email updates on the foreign records.

That is a real-life use case of the onDelete, which you decided to remove.
Please, get it back if possible.


Comment created by ibo_s:

I have a good use case and I am really missing the onUpdate cascade.
However it is working inside a many-to-one association but not in a one-to-one association.
The use case is a little complicated but I can send it to you if it could change something.


Comment created by mrthehud:

Sorry to drag this up again, but…

I've also come across a use case as I'm migrating data in MySQL. I had to migrate data from a single table to MTI, which meant I had to investigate INFORMATION_SCHEMA, find the relevant constraints and change them in the migration script before I could migrate my data.

I appreciate that migrations and emails/usernames as PKs, are probably the only use cases, and that in general you wouldn't want the onUpdate to cascade... but is there some sort of extension that can update the constraints of all tables referencing the PK of a specified table to allow the onUpdate? If not, is that possible? Perhaps this should be raised against the doctrine migrations project... I'm not sure and would value some steer.

For anyone wondering, here's how I found the relevant constraints to batch update the onUpdate behaviour during migrations in mysql:


Then repeat the following for each constraint whose UPDATE_RULE is RESTRICT:

ALTER TABLE <table-name> DROP FOREIGN KEY `<constraint-name>`
ALTER TABLE <table-name> ADD CONSTRAINT `<constraint-name>` FOREIGN KEY (`<column-name>`) REFERENCES `<referenced-table-name>` (`<referenced-column-name>`) ON UPDATE CASCADE ON DELETE CASCADE");

Comment created by czernitko:

Hi, we are using Doctrine Migrations as an extension in our Symfony project.
I guess everyone agrees that "on update cascade" is one of the essential parts of RDBMS. I agree that it is not essential part of ORM system. Except for the case when the ORM annotations are also used to generate Doctrine Migrations - without onUpdate keyword we are unable to automatically generate "on update cascade" constraints.
It this a sufficient use case?
With kind regards,


Comment created by gnat:

So here's our use case.

We've built a system where we have two related tables. For simplicity, EntityA and EntityB. EntityA has a Custom ID Generator, based on some required fields. So for example the EntityA could have an id of ABC-DGE-X-YY-000001. That part works fine. EntityA has a OneToOne to EntityB.

Now one of the basic design considerations is that it is possible for an EntityB to be created before EntityA. When this occurs an basically blank EntityA is created and linked to EntityB. The ID becomes ABC-XXX-X-YY-{UUID}. This occurs because there are access rights and its necessary to query all EntityBs that don't properly link to EntityA's (basically a what EntityAs are we missing) and vise versa. The data comes from multiple sources and doesn't necessarily arrive in synchronous order. Therefore when the missing EntityA arrives, the link is detected and EntityA's id is updated. Without onUpdate cascade support it doesn't work. When I set onUpdate cascade manually everything works.

So my question is two fold. Why can't it be re-added? I'm not sure what the actual issue is since onDelete gets passed through to the DB in the end. Why can't onUpdate do the same?

If there is a design problem with having this type of key, then basically we have a storage waste as I would have an auto increment PK/FK, and then another column with our keys and used for retrieval etc...

So I'd really like to understand what the issue is having this supported.

@Ocramius Ocramius was assigned by doctrinebot Dec 6, 2015
@doctrinebot doctrinebot closed this Dec 6, 2015

I agree that it would be very nice to have onUpdate back.

The primary purpose is, to keep the ability intact to create the schema from orm annotations.

In quite a few cases it may be necessary to change record keys in the db directly and it's a PITA to mess around with constraint errors.

Cascade on update is a major feature of RDBMs so I see no reason not to support it in the annotiations.

Doctrine member

The ORM doesn't support onUpdate because it is one of its operational constraints: you cannot change an identity of an entity once it's assigned.

If you need this sort of functionality, then use the DBAL schema manager directly.


Minor issue: XML Mapping documentation still contains on-update in 19.1.1 Example

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