Programmatically Making Sample Testing Data in PHP

Considering that best warranty takes a tremendous quantity of task time and sourceswe are always looking for ways to enhance its efficiency. One trying out procedure improvement is to programmatically create pattern testing information. To achieve this, we can use a popular Hypertext Preprocessor library referred to as Faker.


Faker can be installed through Composer package manager:

composer require fzaninotto/faker

After that, create an instance of the class:

// Autoload the class
require_once '/path/to/Faker/src/autoload.php';

// Create an object
$faker = Faker\Factory::create();


Now you may call elegance techniques and every one of them might go back a random value of a positive kind (consisting of a namedeal withtext, date and time, telephone numberand many others.) that you may use to populate the database. a number of the most useful ones are shown beneath:

// Random number with 5 digits

// Pick a random element from a custom defined list

// Address, city, postcode (U.S.) and country

// Geographic location

// Phone number and e-mail address

// Generate random name

// Random login details

// Random dates
// Now is the latest date that can be generated and can be set to any value

// Random date between 10 years ago and now
$faker->dateTimeBetween('-10 years', 'now'); 


Note that if a method is called twice, it will generate two different values:


$username1 = $faker->userName();
$username2 = $faker->userName();

ORMs and Faker

To further automate populating the database, Faker can be integrated with ORM libraries, which are usually part of modern PHP frameworks. We will see how to use Faker with Eloquent in Laravel and Doctrine in Symfony framework.

Eloquent ORM

We will use database seeders to populate the database with a single command. First, create a class DatabaseSeeder in app/database/seeds/DatabaseSeeder.php:



class DatabaseSeeder extends Seeder {

	 * Run the database seeds.
	 * @return void
	public function run()


That is the principle technique so one can be performed upon coming into the command and it is also the area in which we outline which seeder lessons might be loaded. It is a superb practice to have one magnificence in step with the table. So, allow’s create UserSeeder in app/database/seeds/UserSeeder.php:


class UserSeeder extends DatabaseSeeder {

	public function run() 
		// Instantiate the Faker library
		$faker = Faker\Factory::create();

		// We will create 100 users
		$i = 0;
		$items = array();
		for($i=0;$i<100;$i++) {
			// This is the random data for each user
			$items[$i] = array(
				'email' => $faker->email(),
				'password' => Hash::make($faker->password()),
				'name' => $faker->name(),
				'address' => $faker->streetAddress(),
				'city' => $faker->city(),
				'postal_code' => $faker->postcode(),
				'lat' => $faker->latitude(),
				'lng' => $faker->longitude(),
				'phone' => $faker->phoneNumber(),
				'website' => $faker->url(),
				'is_active' => $faker->numberBetween(0,1)

	    // We create the users by using the Eloquent model User and its built-in method
	    foreach ($items as $item) {



Finally, to populate the database, run the following command:


php artisan db:seed


If all went well, you should now have 100 random users in the database.

Doctrine ORM

In Symfony, the setup is a bit different, but also more automated. We will use BazingaFakerBundle, which is a bundle that integrates Faker library with Symfony. To install it, add the following to composer.json and run composer update after that:


"willdurand/faker-bundle": "@stable"


Then, we need to register the bundle in app/AppKernel.php. The file should look something like this:


public function registerBundles()
      // ...
      if (in_array($this->getEnvironment(), array('dev', 'test'))) {
          // ...
          $bundles[] = new Bazinga\Bundle\FakerBundle\BazingaFakerBundle();


A lot of things in Symfony are configured in YML configuration files. The same applies to this library, so we will add the following to app/config/config_dev.yml:


    orm: doctrine
            number: 100

We’ve configured the Faker to use the Doctrine ORM, described an entity and added the preferred range of entries within the database. If we run the command to populate the database at this factorit might be a hitas the package will try to guess the sort of every field based on your entity elegance. If it has guessed wrongwe can manually outline which technique we want to use for which subject via the usage of custom formats:

    orm: doctrine
            number: 100
	            latitude: { method: latitude }
	            longitude: { method: longitude }


If the Faker method has one or more arguments:


    orm: doctrine
            number: 100
	            latitude: { method: latitude }
	            longitude: { method: longitude }
	            city: { method: randomElement, parameters: [ [ 'New York', 'Los Angeles', 'San Francisco', 'London', 'Paris', 'Tokyo' ] ] }


To populate the database, run the following command:


php app/console faker:populate


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