Data Mutation


The create() method instantiates a new record or document object, initialized with any data passed in.

$post = Posts::create(['title' => 'New post']);
echo $post->title; // echoes 'New post'
While this method creates a new object, there is no effect on the database until the save() method is called.

This method can also be used to simulate loading a pre-existing object from the database, without actually querying the database:

$post = Posts::create(['id' => $id, 'moreData' => 'foo'], ['exists' => true]);
$post->title = 'New title';
$success = $post->save();

This will create an update query against the object with an ID matching $id. Also note that only the title field will be updated.


The update() method allows you to update multiple records or documents with the given data, restricted by the given set of criteria (optional).

The $data parameter is typically an array of key/value pairs that specify the new data with which the records will be updated. For SQL databases, this can optionally be an SQL fragment representing the SET clause of an UPDATE query. The $conditions parameter is an array of key/value pairs representing the scope of the records to be updated. The $options parameter specifies any database-specific options to use when performing the operation. The options parameter varies amongst the various types of data sources. More detail is available in the source code documentation for the update() methods of each data source type (Example: \lithium\data\source\Database.php).

// Change the author for all documents.
Posts::update(['author' => 'Michael']);

// Set a default title for all empty titles
Posts::update(['title' => 'Untitled'], ['title' => '']);


Deleting entities from your data source is accomplished using either the delete() entity method or the static remove() method.

Ususally you should first retrieve the entity to-be-deleted, probably do some safety check and then delete it.

$post = Posts::first(); // Read the first post.
$post->delete(); // Delete first post.

To delete multiple records you first retrieve a set of entities then invoke the delete method on all of them. As the result of the find call here is actually a Collection any method called on the collection will be dispatched to each contained entity.

// Select all drafted posts, $posts is a Collection.
$posts = Posts::find('all', [
	'conditions' => ['is_draft' => true]

// Iterates over each post in collection and deletes it.

// ... is the same as:
foreach ($posts as $post) {

As an alternative to quickly remove massive sets of entities remove() together with conditions can be used. The $conditions parameter is first and is an array of key/value pairs representing the scope of the records or documents to be deleted.

// Delete all posts!!
$success = Posts::remove();

// Delete drafted posts only.
Posts::remove(['is_draft => true]);
Using the remove() method with no $conditions parameter specified will delete all entities in your data source.