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Delete entries in link table with a many to many relationship


I can't figure out how to delete my entries from a 'link table'. For example i have a product that can link to multiple categories. I have a table called 'product', 'category' and 'product_in_category'

And i linked all the models with hasmanytomany for the product and category and belongs to for the product_in_category.

To get all these categories we can do: $product->getCategories(); to add multiple categories i can do $product->categories = array(category object, category object)

But how do i delete categories from a product? If I do $product->getCategories()->delete() it looks like it tries to delete the category itself but it should only remove the link between te category and the product.

What is the way to go here? I can't find anything about this in the documentation.

Far from ideal, but could you create a new model for the relationship (ie: that maps to productincategory), then delete instances of that model?


Hi, Also, in Product model you can create a deleteCategories($product_id) function where you will loop through $product->getCategories() resultset


@quasipickle thanks for your reply, this is indeed a working solution. But i was thinking, there is a way to get the linked categories, add the linked categories so maybe there was also be a nice and easy way to delete the linked categories...

But if there is not an option like (at the moment) I will use your solution.

edited Mar '14

@le51 isnt this the same as: $product->getCategories()->delete()? This will result in deleting the 'category' entry and not the 'product in category' entry in my case. I want to remove only the link between the two tables


I think I've posted the wrong answer !

edited Mar '14

If i understand correctly :

model products  
    has many products_in_ categories, foreign key CASCADE  , alias = prodCats
    has many to many categories through products_in_ categories  

model categories
    has many products_in_ categories, foreign key CASCADE, alias catProds
    has many to many products through products_in_ categories

model products_in_categories
    belongs to products
    belongs to categories

product->delete() //should delete the product itself and all products_in_ categories related to specific product, but not related categories
category->delete() //should delete the category itself and all products_in_ categories related to specific category, but not related products

deleting categories from a product is a NO NO,
as the categories might be related to other products that will affect other categories in turn

product->prodCats->delete() // should delete only the links from specific product to any category

markup is not correct, i do not have acces in real code atm, let me know if you need assistance in translating above pseudocode


@humugus, great! This is also an option ofcourse, never thought of this.

But isn't it an idea to have this automatically build in? Or product->categories->delete() should remove the link between the product an the category or some other method like: product->categories->deleteLinks()

Maybe for the future?

But thanks for now!