Model mapping, unmapping and validation

php, library, validator, object, mapper, traits


PHP Model Mapper

Feature list:

  • Map PHP class properties from json, xml, arrays and other objects.
  • Unmap from model to json, xml, array and stdClass
  • Nested models supported
  • Annotations provide custom naming, types and rules for model properties
  • Properly annotated, mapped models can be validated for different types and rules


composer require runz0rd/mapper-php

How it works

The mapper goes trough all the property names (with @name you could change property name mappings) of your model and maps the ones with the same name from the source (json/xml/array/stdClass), if available. The mapped model can be used as is, but it is recommended you validate it after mapping. Required properties (@required) must always be set and of the appropriate type (if set with @var or @rule). Not required properties may not be set (null), but if set, must match defined types or rules (if set with @var or @rule) to pass validation. So, if you have:

  "name": "Jack",
  "type": "human",
  "age": 35,
  "isEmployed": true,
  "custom-desc": "lazy"

You could make a model like this:

class SomeGuy {

     * @required
     * @var string
    public $name;    

     * @required createSomeGuy
     * @var string
    public $type;    

     * @rule limit(1,150)
     * @var integer
    public $age;    

     * @var boolean
    public $isEmployed;    
     * @name custom-desc
     * @var string
    public $description

Validation would fail if:

  • You use createSomeGuy action, without (null) $type (required only on createSomeGuy action)
  • Without (null) $name (always required)
  • You use createSomething action, and $type is not a string
  • $name is not a string
  • $age is set (not null), but not an integer, or between 1 and 150 (rule)
  • $isEmployed is set (not null) but not a boolean

Note that $description would get mapped because it has the @name annotation set, and there is a property in the source matching that name (custom-desc).


Heres a list of annotations we can use in models:

annotation used above description
@var property Used to declare the type of the property (validation). This is an alias for @rule annotation. See below for a list of pre-defined types (rules) for model validation
@name property Used to change the property name, while mapping and unmapping (can be used with special characters, but be careful if youre working with XML)
@required property Used to declare that a property is required for a specific action (validation). Use without the action to make the property always required
@rule property Used to enforce specific rules and filters on the property value (validation). You can use the predefined rules or create and import your own
@xmlRoot class Used to name the xml root name of the element (only for xml mapping)
@xmlAttribute property Used to declare that a property is a xml attribute for the element. Also used for namespaces (only for xml mapping)
@xmlNodeValue property Used to declare that a property contains the text node value (only for xml mapping). Please see the models in tests/ (XmlTestModel)

@var annotation type list:

type description
any anything
string string type
integer integer type
boolean boolean type
double double type
float float type
array array type
[] array type
object stdClass for example
string[] string array type
integer[] integer array type
boolean[] boolean array type
object[] object array type
NamedModel any named class (model) (if from another namespace, make sure you include it!)
NamedModel[] any model array



Use MappableTrait inside your model to call methods from the model itself:


Or by using the ModelMapper class, providing it with the instance of the model you want mapped and the source object:

$model = new Model();
$mapper = new ModelMapper();
$mapper->map($sourceObject, $model);


Use ConvertibleTrait inside your model to call methods from the model itself:

$myArray = $model->toArray();
$myJson = $model->toJson();
$myXml = $model->toXml();
$myObject = $model->toObject();

Or by using the ModelMapper class, providing it with the mapped model (converts to stdClass):

$mapper = new ModelMapper();
$myObject = $mapper->unmap($myModel);


Validation will check your mapped model's property types, custom rules, and whether the property is required or not.

Validate your mapped models with ValidatableTrait, by providing it with the desired validation action:


Or if you want to validate only the properties that are always required:


You can also use the validator itself:

$model = new Model();
$validator = new ModelValidator();
$validator->validate($model, 'myAction');


Rules are used for custom validation of mapped property values.

 * @rule email
public $email;

This would check if the property value contains a valid email string.

You can pass additional parameters for rules.

 * @rule limit(0,99)
public $value;

If setup properly this custom rule would check if the property value is between 0 and 99.

Rule setup

Lets use the limit rule example from above, to create a new custom rule:

use Common\ModelReflection\ModelProperty;
use Validator\IRule;
use Validator\ModelValidatorException;

class LimitRule implements IRule {

    function getNames() {
        return ['limit'];

    function validate(ModelProperty $property, array $params = []) {
        if($property->getPropertyValue() < $params[0] || $property->getPropertyValue() > $params[1]) {
            throw new ModelValidatorException('Value is not between '.$params[0].' and '.$params[1]);

In the example above, we can configure a new rule, by:

  • Defining an array of names (aliases) which serve as the name of the rule in the annotation (getNames)
  • Providing a validation definition and throwing an exception if it doesnt pass (validate)
  • The rule parameters (0,99) come in through the $params array, in order in which they were provided

For more information please take a look at the pre-defined rule classes and the IRule interface.

Loading your rules

$model = new Model();
$myCustomRule = new MyCustomRule();
$validator = new ModelValidator();
$validator->validate($model, 'myAction');

In the example above we can use custom rules by providing them to the validator one by one (useRule) or providing a path to a directory containing rules (loadRules).

Code examples

Please see the tests and models used in it.

Stuff that got me inspired: