In simplest words Criteria classes will hold all the parameters and their values that can be used with CriteriaBuilder class(s) in searching process. You have to be aware that Criteria can be used with multiple CriteriaBuilder, which means that it can be used for searches in MySQL, MongoDB, SQLite or whatever context you will use (I will describe contexts later) and that’s why we we are not talking about any specific context. Instead we will use abstract database Of course you can use multiple Criteria within single searching process. Any class that implements \KGzocha\Searcher\Criteria\CriteriaInterface can be used as Criteria. There is only one method inside this interface that is required to be implemented and it is shouldBeApplied(). The name of the method should speak for it self - if it will return true then the criteria will be used in searching process. Of course if there will be at least one CriteriaBuilder that will handle it, but I will describe builders later on.


Single query criteria can have zero or more fields that can be included in searching process. Let’s say for example that we want to search in our abstract database for a particular person by his specific age. In order to to do you can create very simple class:

use \KGzocha\Searcher\Criteria\CriteriaInterface;

class SpecificAgeCriteria implements CriteriaInterface
    private $age;

    public function getAge(): int
        return $this->age;

    public function setAge(int $age)
        $this->age = $age;

    * Only required method.
    * If will return true, then it will be passed to some of the CriteriaBuilder(s)
    public function shouldBeApplied(): bool
        return null !== $this->age;

As you can see this is very small and simple class holding just one field, its getter and setter and shouldBeApplied() method. In this example we want age criteria to be used only if age field inside is specified, so we need to check if null !== $this->age inside shouldBeApplied().

Multiple fields example

Ok, we have criteria for one fields, but what if having more makes more sense? Well, nothing is gonna stop you to do it! Lets assume that you still want to query your abstract database of people by theirs age, but you do not want specific age, but rather age range. Nothing is simpler! We just need to create criteria with minimum and maximum age, so let’s do that! We are still filtering people by 1 filter, so keeping two fields in single Criteria makes sense, but you should keep your Criteria as small as possible. It should be readable and naming used inside should be obvious.

use \KGzocha\Searcher\Criteria\CriteriaInterface;

class AgeRangeCriteria implements CriteriaInterface
    private $minimumAge;
    private $maximumAge;

    public function getMinimumAge(): int
        return $this->minimumAge;

    public function setMinimumAge(int $age)
        $this->minimumAge = $age;

    public function getMaximumAge(): int
        return $this->maximumAge;

    public function setMaximumAge(int $age)
        $this->maximumAge = $age;

    * Please notice that there is OR condition inside
    public function shouldBeApplied(): bool
        return null !== $this->minimumAge || null !== $this->maximumAge;

Now you can specify both minimum and maximum age of people that you want to search for. Please notice that in this example in shouldBeApplied() method I’ve used or condition, so this criteria will be applied even if you will specify at least one of the fields. If there would be and condition then this criteria would be applied only if both of the fields would be fulfilled.

Implemented criteria

You can find and use already implemented Criteria in here. You will find there query criteria for:

  • Coordinates
  • DateTime
  • DateTimeRange
  • Integer
  • IntegerRange
  • Number
  • OrderBy (with MappedOrderByAdapter)
  • Pagination (with ImmutablePaginationAdapter)
  • Text
  • AlwaysAppliedCriteria

Always applied criteria

In some cases you might find AlwaysAppliedCriteria useful, as you might use it to trigger some CriteriaBuilder, which will add some very important constraints to the QueryBuilder. For example you might want to use it to force searcher to return entities/rows/files/documents only with specified status. In such scenario you can add AlwaysAppliedCriteria directly to the CriteriaCollection and add CriteriaBuilder for it - builder will always be triggered, which will make impossible for end-user to change this behaviour.

Order adapter

Imagine situation in which you have constructed query using Doctrine’s ORM as query builder. Now you want to allow user to pick how he would like to get the results ordered, but in the way that will tell him nothing about the query it self. For example you would like to order your query by parameter, but you want user to see peopleId instead. To do so you can use \KGzocha\Searcher\Criteria\Adapter\MappedOrderByAdapter and following code snippet:

use \KGzocha\Searcher\Criteria\Adapter\MappedOrderByAdapter;

$mappedFields = [
    'peopleId' => '',
    '<order by field>' => '<mapped field>',
    /** rest of the mapping **/

$criteria = new MappedOrderByAdapter(
    new OrderByCriteria('peopleId'),    // hydrated OrderBy criteria

$criteria->getMappedOrderBy() == ''
$criteria->getOrderBy() == 'peopleId'

In this way we are also ensuring that only values specified in $mappedFields will hit criteria builders.


If OrderByCriteria will be hydrated with value that is not in the mapped fields, then getMappedOrderBy() will return null and shouldBeApplied() will return false

Pagination adapter

Often you want empower user to paginate your result and to do so you can use already implemented PaginationCriteria, but sometimes you would like to forbid changing of number of items per page. This feature is also already implemented and it’s very easy to use.

use \KGzocha\Searcher\Criteria\Adapter\ImmutablePaginationAdapter'

$criteria = new ImmutablePaginationAdapter(
    new PaginationCriteria($page = 1, $itemsPerPage = 50)

With criteria constructed as above user can change only the page. There is no possibility to change number of items per page.

Too long, didn’t read

What do you need to know about Criteria:

  1. It can be any class implementing CriteriaInterface
  2. Holds parameters and values that will be used in searching process
  3. Implementation of shouldBeApplied can change searching behaviour
  4. Can be used with multiple CriteriaBuilder