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PHP stdClass: Storing Data in an Object Instead of an Array April 13, 2011

Posted by Tournas Dimitrios in PHP.
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Have you ever seen a scenario where you’re accessing data as an object, such as when you’re using WordPress’s database interface or when you’re parsing XML files with SimpleXML? You have something like
echo $result->name

Have you ever wondered how that was done? Using PHP’s stdClass feature you can create an object, and assign data to it, without having to formally define a class.

Suppose you wanted to quickly create a new object to hold some data about a song . You would do something like this:

$book = new stdClass;
$album->title = "Sinatra 101";
$album->Song1 = "I'm a Fool to Want You (1951)";
$album->Song2 =  "I've Got You Under My Skin (1956)";
$album->Song3 = "The Way You Look Tonight (1964)";
$album->Song4 = "Fly Me To the Moon (1966)";
$album->Song5 = "The Way You Look Tonight (1964)";

You can then access the data by calling   $album->Song1 and so on. Or what if you wanted to take an array and turn it into an object? You can do that by casting the variable.

$array = array(
"title"   => "Sinatra 101" ,
"Song1" => "I'm a Fool to Want You (1951)" ,
"Song2" => "I've Got You Under My Skin (1956)" ,
"Song3" => "The Way You Look Tonight (1964)" ,
"Song4" => "Fly Me To the Moon (1966)" ,
"Song5" => "The Way You Look Tonight (1964)"
);

$album = (object) $array;

This should produce the same result as the previous code snippet. You could also go the other direction, casting an object into an array by using $array = (array) $object

Objects are really useful when you’re working with a large data structure, as you can have an object with nested sub-arrays in it, as SimpleXML tends to return. You get most of the data as properties of the result set object, and the posts in an RSS feed are assigned to array entries, which then have further objects inside them .

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