Handling recursive deletion in Yii

I www.jamesbarnsley.com was tasked to find a way to do recursive deletion in Yii. As I asked other developers and looked around the internet the usual answers all came up, use a plugin or use cascade delete at the DB level, but I did not want to do either of these.

So I came up with my own solution which I found to be simple and effective. It all starts off by adding a function to your global model, if you do not have one of these then create one. Create a model that extends active record and then make sure your other models extend the global model. This creates a nice place to put global model functions which can be used by any model in your application.

Add this function to the global model ...

public function deleteRecursive($relations = array())
	foreach($relations as $relation) 
			foreach($this->$relation as $relation_item)

Now setup the rest of your models so you can recursively delete them by adding this function to your models, make sure you replace the "tags" and "comments" etc, to the names of the relations you want to delete, the relations must be setup using the active record relations etc. As stated earlier if you set those "child models" (tags, comments) up correctly as well, they will also run their recursive function and on and on it goes deleting all child relations of those models as well ...

public function deleteRecursive()
	parent::deleteRecursive(array("tags", "comments"));

If you come across a model that has no child relations, then it will still delete the model with no child relations because deleteRecursive() is defined in the parent. Basically it will call the function with no relations, so it will just delete the model with no child relations and nothing else.

That should handle recursive deletion in your Yii app, give it a try.

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Version: 1.1
Category: How-tos
Written by: JamesBarnsley
Last updated by: JamesBarnsley
Created on: Dec 19, 2012
Last updated: 7 years ago
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