This is part one of a DBIx::Class tutorial I started writing for the folks at work, I hope to turn it into a multi-part releasable document.


See DBIx::Class::Manual::Glossary.

Some terms needed for this doc:


A DBIx::Class::Schema object is created by calling ->connect on our Schema subclass, and passing it the DSN (and other possible values, see DBIx::Class::Schema). Eg: my $schema = Breadcrumbs::Schema->connect('dbi:mysql;dbname=Breadcrumbs', 'user', 'passwd'); Creating this object does not attempt to connect to the database yet.

NB: To make use of an existing mechanism to store credentials for databases, we can do: my $schema = Breadcrumbs::Schema->connect( sub { My::Util('Breadcrumbs') } );.


A DBIx::Class::ResultSet, an object which represents a database query, including all conditions/clauses. Creating one does not run the associated query, it is stored and used when actual data objects are requested. The simplest form of ResultSet represents an entire table, and can be retrieved from the schema object like this: my $rs = $schema->resultset('Path').


A class that describes a table, it's columns and it's relations with other tables.


A DBIx::Class::Row representing an actual row of data resulting from a database query. This could be and entire row, or just certain fields as restricted by a ResultSet.


To create a new set of DBIx::Class DBIx::Class::ResultSource classes, you can either write them by hand, or create from an existing database.

Create ResultSource classes from existing database

DBIx::Class::Schema::Loader's make_schema_at can extract schema definitions from existing databases and create a complete DBIx::Class schema for you, example:

  perl -MDBIx::Class::Schema::Loader=make_schema_at,dump_to_dir:./lib -e 'make_schema_at("Breadcrumbs::Schema", { debug => 1 }, [ "dbi:mysql:dbname=Breadcrumbs","user", "passwd" ])'

This will create a file for each database table (in lib/Breadcrumbs/Schema/), plus the file Breadcrumbs/ which is the DBIx::Class::Schema file.

The table files will contain information about the columns and their types. If the database is innodb, it will also extract relationships based on foreign key references etc. An md5 sum of the contents is added, so that the user can add more relations or other methods to the file, and a later update will not overwrite them.

If the database layout changes

Re-run the make_schema_at command shown above.

Create ResultSource classes from scratch

Setting up relationships

If your databases is mysql and not using innodb, you will have to add the table relationships ourselves. These are the most useful part of DBIx::Class, otherwise we might as well just use DBI..

There are 3 main/useful relationship types, for the rest and a more wordy description, see DBIx::Class::Relationship.

The name of each relationship (the first argument), is important, it is used both as an accessor and as a key to joni across tables.

belongs_to (foreign keys)

Breadcrumbs's Name table has a PathID column which contains an ID from the Path table. To make the Path object simple to retrieve and update, we add the following to the file, after the md5 sum from Loader:

  __PACKAGE__->belongs_to('path', 'Breadcrumbs::Schema::Path', 'PathID');

Read as: The value in the PathID column belongs_to the table represented by Breadcrumbs::Schema::Path.

This creates an accessor path, which we can call on a Name DBIx::Class::Row which will retrieve the appropriate DBIx::Class::Row in the Path table.

  ## Print the path of the current name entry
  print $name->path->path;

We can also set a PathID for a new Name row by calling:


has_many (reverse foreign key)

Going in the opposite direction, each Path row has 0 to many Name entries associated with it, indicated by the PathID column in the Name table. We can make it simple to retrieve all the name values for a particular Path row:

  __PACKAGE__->has_many('names', 'Breadcrumbs::Schema::Name', 'PathID');

Read as: This class has many names in Breadcrumbs::Schema::Name linked via the PathID column.

Creates us an accessor names which can give us a DBIx::Class::ResultSet (of which more later), or an array of Name objects.

  ## find all names for current path entry
  foreach my $name ($path->names)
     print $name->name;

Add a new name for the current path, assuming we have a language object as well:

                        { name => 'Products',
                          lang => $lang }


Whether fetching complete rows, searching for rows, or fetching data from multiple tables, the methods are much the same, all return DBIx::Class::Row objects eventually.

find (single row by unique key)

To fetch a full row using it's Primary Key (they all have PKs, right?), we can retrieve a Row object directly from a ResultSet representing the table:

  ## Just PK:
  my $name1 = $schema->resultset('Name')->find(1);

  ## More meaningful:
  my $name1 = $schema->resultset('Name')->find({ id => 1 });

The Row object contains all the values of all the fields defined in the ResultSource. Not necessarily in the table. Each column has an accessor which is by default the name of the column lower-cased (When using Loader).

  my $namename = $name1->name;   ## Japan
  my $langid   = $name1->langid; ## 1

search (multiple objects, less coluns, conditions)

To fetch a particular Name row and it's Path at the same time, using only one database query:

  my $name_rs = $schema->resultset('Name')->search(
    { '' => 1 },                                ## WHERE
    { prefetch => [ 'path' ] }                       ## JOIN AND SELECT. NB: Rel name!

This creates a DBIx::Class::ResultSet, to retrieve the actual Row object:

  my $namerow = $name_rs->next;

The following SQL is executed:

  SELECT me.ID, me.Name, me.LangID, me.PathID, path.ID, path.Path, path.Parent, path.Position, path.MenuID FROM Name me  JOIN Path path ON ( path.ID = me.PathID ) WHERE ( = ? ): '1'

As with the find, the data is retrieved using the column-name accessors. To retrieve a Row object representing the path:

  my $pathrow = $namerow->path;

  my $actualpath = $pathrow->path;   ## companyinfo/careers/jp
  my $pathparent = $pathrow->parent; ## 36

To fetch just a few columns:

  my $name_rs = $schema->resultset('Name')->search(
    { '' => 1 },                                ## WHERE
      select   => [ qw/id name/ ],                   ## SELECT
      as       => [ qw/id name/ ],

This will only select the ID and Name columns. The as attribute names the columns.

To add more complex conditions:

  ## All names where the patch matches '/support%'
  my $name_search = $schema->resultset('Name')->search(
      'path.path' => { 'like' => '/support/%' },  ## WHERE path.path LIKE '/support/%'
      'join' => [ 'path' ],                       ## JOIN


To insert new rows, call create on a ResultSet object. This will first instantiate a new Row object, then call insert on it. This can be done individually if needed.

  ## INSERT INTO .. 
  my $newname = $schema->resultset('Name')->create(
     name   => 'Support',
     pathid => $pathid,
     langid => $langid,
  print $newname->in_storage();  ## 1 (TRUE)

  my $newpath = $schema->resultset('Path')->new(
     path => 'support',
  print $newpath->in_storage();  ## 0 (FALSE)
  print $newpath->in_storage();  ## 1 (TRUE)


Updating one row

The column-name accessors used to fetch data from a row can also be used to set new values, eg:

  ## Nonsensically change the language of a given Name row
  my $namerow = $schema->resultset('Name')->find({ name => 'Japan' });
  $namerow->update;    ## UPDATE 

Updating many rows with a resultset

Create a resultset containing the condition to select all the rows to update. Calling update on the resultset will run the UPDATE command using the condition in the resultset.

  ## All name rows with value 'Evaluation'
  my $name_rs = $schema->resultset('Name')->search(
    '' => 'Evaluation',
  $name_rs->update({ name => 'Free Trial' });  ## UPDATE .. WHERE

Deleting a row

Just call delete on a Row object.

  ## No more products/es !
  my $pathrow = $schema->resultset('Path')->find({ path => 'products/es' });

This will also delete related rows that would otherwise be inconsistent. It will remove them *after* the main row. This cascading can be turned off on a relationship if necessary.

Delete multiple rows

Call delete on a ResultSet object instead. This will run a DELETE statement with a WHERE clause, and will not cascade the deletes.

  my $path_rs = $schema->resultset('Path')->search(
    'me.path' => 'products/es',
  $path_rs->delete;     ## DELETE .. WHERE 

To delete multiple rows with cascading, call delete_all on the ResultSet, which will delete each row and it's related rows individually.

  $path_rs->delete_all;    ## many DELETE statements


Add some sorta table descriptions to this doc.

Patches and suggestions welcome.


Jess Robinson <>