CodeIgniter base CRUD model to remove repetition and increase productivity
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My CodeIgniter Base Model is an extended CI_Model class to use in your CodeIgniter applications. It provides a full CRUD base to make developing database interactions easier and quicker. It also includes a bunch of other cool stuff, including before and after create callbacks, validation and a some table name guessing.


class Post_model extends MY_Model { }

$this->load->model('post_model', 'post');


$this->post->get_by('title', 'Pigs CAN Fly!');
$this->post->get_many_by('status', 'open');

    'status' => 'open',
    'title' => "I'm too sexy for my shirt"

$this->post->update(1, array( 'status' => 'closed' ));



I recommend you use Composer to install MY_Model. Install Composer for your project:

$ curl -s | php

...and create/edit your composer.json:

    "require": {
        "jamierumbelow/codeigniter-base-model": "*"

...and install it!

$ php composer.phar install

Remember to include Composer's autoload file in index.php:

require_once './vendor/autoload.php';

Alternatively, download and drag the MY_Model.php file into your application/core folder. CodeIgniter will load and initialise this class automatically for you. Extend all your model classes from MY_Model and all the functionality will be baked into your models automatically.

Naming Conventions

This class will try to guess the name of the table to use, by guessing the plural of the class name. If the table name isn't the plural and you need to set it to something else, just declare the $_table instance variable and set it to the table name. Some of the CRUD functions also assume that your primary key ID column is called 'id'. You can overwrite this functionality by setting the $primary_key instance variable.


There are many times when you'll need to alter your model data before it's inserted or returned. This could be adding timestamps, pulling in relationships or deleting dependent rows. The MVC pattern states that these sorts of operations need to go in the model. In order to facilitate this, MY_Model contains a series of callbacks -- methods that will be called at certain points.

The full list of callbacks are as follows:

  • $before_create
  • $after_create
  • $before_update
  • $after_update
  • $before_get
  • $after_get
  • $before_delete
  • $after_delete

These are instance variables usually defined at the class level. They are arrays of methods on this class to be called at certain points. An example:

class Book_model extends MY_Model
    public $before_create = array( 'timestamps' );
    protected function timestamps($book)
        $book['created_at'] = $book['updated_at'] = date('Y-m-d H:i:s');
        return $book;


This class also includes some excellent validation support. This uses the built-in Form Validation library and provides a wrapper around it to make validation automatic on insert. To enable, set the $validate instance variable to the rules array that you would pass into $this->form_validation->set_rules(). To find out more about the rules array, please view the library's documentation.

Then, for each call to insert(), the data passed through will be validated according to the $validate rules array. Unlike the CodeIgniter validation library, this won't validate the POST data, rather, it validates the data passed directly through.

If for some reason you'd like to skip the validation, you can call skip_validation() before the call to insert() and validation won't be performed on the data for that single call.

Arrays vs Objects

By default, MY_Model is setup to return objects using CodeIgniter's QB's row() and result() methods. If you'd like to use their array counterparts, there are a couple of ways of customising the model.

If you'd like all your calls to use the array methods, you can set the $return_type variable to array.

class Book_model extends MY_Model
    protected $return_type = 'array';

If you'd like just your next call to return a specific type, there are two scoping methods you can use:

                 ->get_by('column', 'value');

Unit Tests

MY_Model contains a robust set of unit tests to ensure that the system works as planned.

Currently, the tests only run on PHP5.4 or 5.3.

Install PHPUnit. I'm running version 3.6.10.

Then, simply run the phpunit command on the test file:

$ phpunit tests/MY_Model_test.php

Other Documentation


Special thanks to: well as everybody else who has contributed a great amount of code and ideas to this library


Version 1.3.0 - IN DEVELOPMENT

  • Added support for array return types using $return_type variable and as_array() and as_object() methods
  • Added PHP5.3 support for the test suite
  • Removed the deprecated MY_Model() constructor
  • Fixed an issue with after_create callbacks (thanks zbrox!)
  • Composer package will now autoload the file
  • Fixed the callback example by returning the given/modified data (thanks druu!)
  • Change order of operations in _fetch_table() (thanks JustinBusschau!)

Version 1.2.0

  • Bugfix to update_many()
  • Added getters for table name and skip validation
  • Fix to callback functionality (thanks titosemi!)
  • Vastly improved documentation
  • Added a get_next_id() method (thanks gbaldera!)
  • Added a set of unit tests
  • Added support for Composer

Version 1.0.0 - 1.1.0

  • Initial Releases