Convert an array to an Object in PHP

Sometimes in PHP, you might find yourself needing to covert an array into an object. In this small hack, we'll be seeing how easily this could be achieved.

Introduction

Sometimes in PHP, you might find yourself needing to covert an array into an object. In this small hack, we’ll be seeing how easily this could be achieved.

The Array

Let us assume, you’re given an array of some property which contains an other array. Sounds complex? Well here you just have an array inside of an array.

<?php
$array =[
   'items' => [
      'foo',
  'bar'
 ]
];

The Output

On print_r the array, you might get the result something like

array:1 [
  "items" => array:2 [
    0 => "foo"
    1 => "bar"
  ]
]

Convert to an Object

So let’s convert this array into an object. Here we’ll be using json_encode & json_decode. JSON is the JavaScript object notation & PHP provides us an ability to encode and decode JSON.

– json_encode: For converting an array to a json string.

– json_decode: For converting a json string into an object.

Step 1 – Encode it to a string

$object = json_encode($array);

var_dump this object will get you something like:

"{"items":["foo","bar"]}"

This string of information might be useful for something like storing into the database.

Step 2 – Decode it to an Object

Now as we have a json string, we can use json_decode to convert and format this string in to an object. Let’s try that.

$object = json_decode(json_encode($array));

var_dump this object now will get you

stdClass Object ( [items] => Array ( [0] => foo [1] => bar ) )

One thing to note about json_decode is, it converts a json string to an object unless you provide a second option which is a boolean which maybe true or false. If you set the second parameter to “true”, you’ll still get an array.

The Use Case

Finally, we have successfully converted our array to an object, we can use it as

foreach ($object->items as $item) {
   echo $item;
}

Try this little trick yourself and leave us a comment below if you have any queries regarding this.

The Better way around

Using JSON encode and decode for converting arrays to objects may consume a lot of resources if the array is bigger. In this way, the better way to cast an array into an object is using the object typecast. For example

$object = (object)$array;

This will also return

stdClass Object ( [items] => Array ( [0] => foo [1] => bar ) )

Its upto you whichever method to chose between the two for converting an array to an object in PHP.

 

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