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ORM Integration#

Faker provides adapters for Object-Relational and Object-Document Mappers (currently, Propel, Doctrine2, CakePHP, Spot2, Mandango and Eloquent are supported). These adapters ease the population of databases through the Entity classes provided by an ORM library (or the population of document stores using Document classes provided by an ODM library).

To populate entities, create a new populator class (using a generator instance as parameter), then list the class and number of all the entities that must be generated. To launch the actual data population, call the execute() method.

Note that some of the populators could require additional parameters. As example the doctrine populator has an option to specify its batchSize on how often it will flush the UnitOfWork to the database.

Here is an example showing how to populate 5 Author and 10 Book objects:

$generator = \Faker\Factory::create();
$populator = new \Faker\ORM\Propel\Populator($generator);
$populator->addEntity('Author', 5);
$populator->addEntity('Book', 10);
$insertedPKs = $populator->execute();

The populator uses name and column type guessers to populate each column with relevant data. For instance, Faker populates a column named first_name using the firstName formatter, and a column with a TIMESTAMP type using the dateTime formatter. The resulting entities are therefore coherent. If Faker misinterprets a column name, you can still specify a custom closure to be used for populating a particular column, using the third argument to addEntity():

$populator->addEntity('Book', 5, [
  'ISBN' => function() use ($generator) { return $generator->ean13(); }

In this example, Faker will guess a formatter for all columns except ISBN, for which the given anonymous function will be used.


To ignore some columns, specify null for the column names in the third argument of addEntity(). This is usually necessary for columns added by a behavior:

$populator->addEntity('Book', 5, [
  'CreatedAt' => null,
  'UpdatedAt' => null,

Of course, Faker does not populate auto-incremented primary keys. In addition, Faker\ORM\Propel\Populator::execute() returns the list of inserted PKs, indexed by class:

// [
//   'Author' => [34, 35, 36, 37, 38],
//   'Book'   => [456, 457, 458, 459, 470, 471, 472, 473, 474, 475],
// ]

Due to the fact that Faker returns all the primary keys inserted, the memory consumption will go up drastically when you do batch inserts due to the big list of data.

In the previous example, the Book and Author models share a relationship. Since Author entities are populated first, Faker is smart enough to relate the populated Book entities to one of the populated Author entities.

Lastly, if you want to execute an arbitrary function on an entity before insertion, use the fourth argument of the addEntity() method:

$populator->addEntity('Book', 5, [], [
    function($book) {