Handling Meta

before you can attach meta to an Eloquent model, you must first add the Metable trait to your Eloquent model.


namespace App;

use Plank\Metable\Metable;
use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model;

class Page extends Model
        use Metable;

        // ...


The Metable trait adds a meta() relationship to the model. However, it also keeps meta keys indexed separately to speed up reads. As such, it is recommended to not modify this relationship directly and to instead only use the methods described in this document.

Attaching Meta

Attach meta to a model with the setMeta() method. The method accepts two arguments: a string to use as a key and a value. The value argument will accept a number of different inputs, which will be converted to a string for storage in the database. See the list of a supported Data Types.

$model->setMeta('key', 'value');

To set multiple meta key and value pairs at once, you can pass an associative array or collection to syncMeta().

        'name' => 'John Doe',
        'age' => 18,

Retrieving Meta

You can retrieve the value of the meta at a given key with the getMeta() method. The value should be returned in the same format that it was stored. For example, if an array is set, you will receive an array back when retrieving it.


$model->setMeta('age', 18);
$model->setMeta('approved', true);
$model->setMeta('accessed_at', Carbon::now());

//reload the model from the database
$model = $model->fresh();

$age = $model->getMeta('age'); //returns an integer
$approved = $model->getMeta('approved'); //returns a boolean
$accessDate = $model->getMeta('accessed_at'); //returns a Carbon instance


Once loaded, all meta attached to a model instance are cached in the model’s meta relationship. As such, successive calls to getMeta() will not hit the database repeatedly.

Similarly, the unserialized value of each meta is cached once accessed. This is particularly relevant for attached Eloquent Models and similar database-dependant objects.

Setting a new value for a key automatically updates all caches.

Default Values

You may pass a second parameter to the getMeta() method in order to specify a default value to return if no meta has been set at that key.

$model->getMeta('status', 'draft'); // will return 'draft' if not set

Alternatively, you may set default values as key-value pairs on the model itself, instead of specifying them at each individual call site. If a default has been defined from this property and a value is also passed as to the default parameter, the parameter will take precedence.

class ExampleMetable extends Model {
        use Metable;

        protected $defaultMetaValues = [
                'color' => '#000000'

$model->getMeta('color'); // will return '#000000' if not set
$model->getMeta('color', null); // will return null if not set
$model->getMeta('color', '#ffffff'); // will return '#ffffff' if not set


If a falsey value (e.g. 0, false, null, '') has been manually set for the key, that value will be returned instead of the default value. The default value will only be returned if no meta exists at the key.

Retrieving All Meta

To retrieve a collection of all meta attached to a model, expressed as key and value pairs, use getAllMeta().

$meta = $model->getAllMeta();

Checking For Presence of Meta

You can check if a value has been assigned to a given key with the hasMeta() method.

if ($model->hasMeta('background-color')) {
        // ...


This method will return true even if a falsey value (e.g. 0, false, null, '') has been manually set for the key.

Deleting Meta

To remove the meta stored at a given key, use removeMeta().


To Remove all meta from a model, use purgeMeta().


Attached meta is automatically purged from the database when a Metable model is manually deleted. Meta will not be cascaded if the model is deleted by the query builder.

$model->delete(); // will delete attached meta
MyModel::where(...)->delete() // will NOT delete attached meta

Eager Loading Meta

When working with collections of Metable models, be sure to eager load the meta relation for all instances together to avoid repeated database queries (i.e. N+1 problem).

Eager load from the query builder:

$models = MyModel::with('meta')->where(...)->get();

Lazy eager load from an Eloquent collection:


You can also instruct your model class to always eager load the meta relationship by adding 'meta' to your model’s $with property.


class MyModel extends Model {
    use Metable;

    protected $with = ['meta'];