Eager Loading

The Problem

Let's imagine a scenario where you are displaying a list of posts. You fetch the posts:

prc.posts = getInstance( "Post" ).limit( 25 ).get():

And start looping through them:

        <cfloop array="#prc.posts.get()#" item="post">
            <li>#post.getTitle()# by #post.getAuthor().getUsername()#</li>

When you visit the page, though, you notice it takes a while to load. You take a look at your SQL console and you've executed 26 queries for this one page! What?!?

Turns out that each time you loop through a post to display its author's username you are executing a SQL query to retreive that author. With 25 posts this becomes 25 SQL queries plus one initial query to get the posts. This is where the N+1 problem gets its name.

So what is the solution? Eager Loading.

Eager Loading means to load all the needed users for the posts in one query rather than separate queries and then stitch the relationships together. With Quick you can do this with one method call.

The Solution


You can eager load a relationship with the with method call.

prc.posts = getInstance( "Post" )
    .with( "user" )
    .limit( 25 )

with takes one parameter, the name of the relationship to load. Note that this is the name of the function, not the entity name. For example:

// Post.cfc
component extends="quick.models.BaseEntity" {

    function author() {
        return belongsTo( "User" );    


To eager load the User in the snippet above you would call pass author to the with method.

getInstance( "Post" ).with( "author" );

For this operation, only two queries will be executed:

SELECT * FROM `posts` LIMIT 25

SELECT * FROM `users` WHERE `id` IN (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ...)

Quick will then stitch these relationships together so when you call post.getAuthor() it will use the fetched relationship value instead of going to the database.

You can eager load multiple relationships by passing an array of relation names to with or by calling with multiple times.


Finally, you can postpone eager loading until needed by using the load method on QuickCollection. load has the same function signature as with. QuickCollection is the object returned for all Quick queries that return more than one record. Read more about it in Collections.

Last updated