An enumerable behavior wrapped in a plugin, for CakePHP listing needs.
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Enumerable Behavior

ENUM column types are not supported by CakePHP for a variety of reasons. However, there are occasions where you want exactly what an ENUM column type would provide.

The Enumerable behavior attempts to bridge this gap by providing some transparent rewriting of fields marked as enumerable when returned in Model::find() calls.

A very typical use-case for Enumerable would be for a gender field in a user profile model. Without Enumerable, you have two basic choices:

  1. use ENUMs, which are not supported in model schemas, but some workarounds exists (e.g. custom Datasources).

  2. Define the column type as an integer or char(1), and use class constants in the model, e.g. Profile::MALE would map to 0 or m. This could be viable for some, but requires some mental bookeeping.

Using Enumerable, you don't have to deal with either of these.


  • Create the columns in the table corresponding to the model that you wish to attach Enumerable to. The fields should be integer-ish (smallint for MySQL is best, but will work with any column type where you can store an integer value).
  • Add the Enumerable.Enumerable behavior to the model (see below for example configuration).

Example Configuration

/* app/models/profile.php */

 * Model behaviors
 * @var array Behaviors, with optional configurations.
public $actsAs = array(
    'Enumerable.Enumerable' => array(
	    'gender' => array(1 => 'male', 2 => 'female', 3 => 'minotaur', 4 => 'griffon')

When calling a Model::find() method on a model configured to use Enumerable, the result set data will be modified to substitute the integer values in the gender field for their more human-readable counterparts.


For the most part, the use of this behavior should be pretty much transparent - your use of Model::find() and Model::field() on Enumerable-defined columns will work as expected.

If a mapping from an integer value to it's string representation does not exist, then the integer value will be returned.

To obtain a FormHelper::select() compatible list of fields (to generate a 'gender' dropdown menu, for example), a convenience method is available: EnumerableBehavior::enumerate('field_name'). You can use the results of this to send the data to your views in the typical manner, similar to performing a Model::find('list') operation, but with no database query overhead:

/* in a controller action */
$this->set('gender', $this->ModelName->enumerate('field_name'));

If field_name is not marked as an Enumerable field, then enumerate() will return an empty array.

As always, the test cases included with the plugin demonstrate the proper usage of Enumerable, as well as the possible functionality. If something does not work as intended, please open a ticket, or send a pull request with a patch/fix.