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PHP Iterator - Page 2

by: Dejan Bosanac
|
February 25, 2003

OK, you say, this is all nice but there is nothing I can't do with combination of native PHP functions. Besides the fact that you are accessing all your arrays through unique interface, another (and most important) advantage is that Iterator's object structure allows you to easily expand its functionality.

ObjectIterator interface

Often I have ended up in situations where my object methods had to return an array of some other object as a result. Usually that object is loaded from the database, but could be some other situation such as obtaining objects through some RPC protocol (XML-RPC, SOAP, ...) or endless other situation combinations that you experience every day. In this article we will focus on the first problem and briefly explain how to empower Iterator for the purpose you'd need.
Suppose that you are developing an address book for some large web application. Your address book will work with companies and persons. In addition, companies could have an endless number of employees (that are also kinds of persons). So far we have recognized two objects in our application: Company and Person. Also, it is clear that the company will have method getEmployees() that returns an array of Person objects. There are a number of possible implementations of this method. Here are some usual implementations:
First, you could write a query to collect all the ids of all the company employees. Then you could make an array that contains all the objects and returns this array. This would look something like this (supposing you have a database wrapper):

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