Version 5 supported

Managing lists

Whenever using the ORM to fetch records or navigate relationships you will receive an SS_List instance commonly as either DataList or RelationList. This object gives you the ability to iterate over each of the results or modify.

There's a lot more information about filtering and sorting lists in the Introduction to the Data Model and ORM section.

Iterating over the list

SS_List extends the IteratorAggregate interface, allowing you to loop over the instance.

use SilverStripe\Security\Member;

$members = Member::get();

foreach ($members as $member) {
    echo $member->Name;

Or in the template engine:

<%-- Assuming there is a "getMembers()" method or a "Members" relation --%>
<% loop $Members %>
<% end_loop %>

Finding an item by value

You can use the find() method to get a single item based on the value of one of its properties.

$members = Member::get();

// returns a string e.g. 'Sam'
echo $members->find('ID', 4)->FirstName;


A map is like an array, where the indexes contain data as well as the values. You can build a map from any list by calling the `map() method.

$members = Member::get()->map('ID', 'FirstName');

foreach ($members as $id => $firstName) {
    // Do something here with that data

This functionality is provided by the Map class, which can be used to build a map from any SS_List. You can instantiate a new Map object using the new keyword as well.

$membersMap = new Map(Member::get(), 'ID', 'FirstName');


You can get all of the values for a single property by calling the column() method.

// returns [
//    '',
//    '',
//    ''
// ];
$emailAddresses = Member::get()->column('Email');

Iterating over a large list

When iterating over a DataList, the ORM will create a Generator. This means we don't have all of the DataObject records in the list instantiated in memory, but the ORM does fetch all of the data about those records and loads that data in memory. This can consume a lot of memory when working with a large data set.

To limit the amount of data loaded in memory, you can use the chunkedFetch() method on your DataList. In most cases, you can iterate over the results of chunkedFetch() the same way you would iterate over your DataList. Internally, chunkedFetch() will split the database query into smaller queries and keep running through them until it runs out of results.

// Without using chunked fetch, all of the data for all of the Member records will be fetched from the database
// in a single query
$members = Member::get();
foreach ($members as $member) {
    echo $member->Email;

// This call will produce the same output, but it will use less memory and run more queries against the database
$members = Member::get()->chunkedFetch();
foreach ($members as $member) {
    echo $member->Email;

chunkedFetch() will respect any filter or sort condition applied to the DataList.

By default, chunk will limit each query to 1000 results. You can explicitly set this limit by passing an integer to chunkedFetch().

// Each query will only return 10 results at a time
$members = Member::get()
    ->filter('Email:PartialMatch', '')
foreach ($members as $member) {
    echo $member->Email;

There are some limitations:

  • chunkedFetch() will ignore any limit or offset you have applied to your DataList
  • you cannot "count" a chunked list or do any other call against it aside from iterating it
  • while iterating over a chunked list, you cannot perform any operation that would alter the order of the items.


ArrayList exists to wrap a standard PHP array in the same API as a database backed list.

$sam = Member::get()->byId(5);
$sig = Member::get()->byId(6);

$list = new ArrayList();

// returns '2'
$numItems = $list->Count();

Related lessons

API documentation