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Extending Bolt / Fetching Content

This page describes how to fetch existing Content from the database in code. Not to be confused with fetching Content in your (frontend) templates.

Fetching content programmatically in setcontent-like format.

This is the recommended and easy way of fetching Content in Bolt. Alternatively, you can use Bolt's built-in repository and/or write your own Doctrine repositories for special cases. See below for more info.

Bolt provides the Query class, which is a Symfony service that allows you to query and fetch content much like you would do in Twig templates using setcontent.

You can use two main methods of the service to fetch content:

Method Explanation
getContent A generic way of fetching content with new defaults, limitations and restrictions.
getContentForTwig A way of fetching content suitable for displaying in the frontend, with default order and published status for entries.

The ExampleFetcher class below shows you how to inject the Query service and use it to filter and fetch content in PHP code.


namespace App;

use Bolt\Enum\Statuses;
use Bolt\Storage\Query;

class ExampleFetcher
    /** Query*/
    private $query;

    public function __construct(Query $query)
        $this->query = $query;

    public function fetch(): array
        // Using the generic Query::getContent()
        $entries = $this->query->getContent('entries', [
           'status' => Statuses::PUBLISHED,
           'title' => '%entry%' // search LIKE

        // Using Query::getContentForTwig()
        // which sets default parameters, like status 'published'
        // and orderBy
        $entriesForTwig = $this->query->getContentForTwig('entries', [
            'title' => '%entry%' // search LIKE

        // Get entries and pages, without any filtering parameters
        $entriesAndPages = $this->query->getContentForTwig('entries,showcases');

        // Finally, since all results are paginated using PagerFanta
        // here is a few operations we can run on them.
        $numberOfPages = $entries->getNbResults();
        $numberOfEntries = $entries->getNbResults();
        $currentPage = $entries->getCurrentPage();
        $currentPageEntries = iterator_to_array($entries->getCurrentPageResults());

        // And finally, let's just return entries that we found.
        return $currentPageEntries;

Fetching content using built-in Repositories

Doctrine is a PHP object relational mapper (ORM) and Database Abstraction Layer (DBAL) that is the de-facto standard for Symfony projects like Bolt. In plain terms, Doctrine is the PHP library for working with databases in Symfony and Bolt itself.

Doctrine Repositories are PHP classes that allow you to query the Entities (tables, records) that Bolt has. Each entity has its own Repository class.

Class Purpose
ContentRepository Query and fetch Content entities (Bolt records)
FieldRepository Query and fetch individual Fields in Bolt records
LogRepository Query and fetch entities from the Bolt Logger
MediaRepository Query and fetch media from the Filemanager
RelationRepository Query and fetch relations between two Bolt records
ResetPasswordRequestRepository Query and fetch entities related to Bolt's password reset feature
TaxonomyRepository Query and fetch the taxonomy entities for records
UserAuthTokenRepository Query and fetch info about authenticated users. Used on the Users & Permissions page
UserRepository Query and fetch Bolt users.

The ContentRepository, itself a Symfony service much like the Query class, has a number of methods. The ExampleFetcherFromRepository class shows how to work with Bolt's own ContentRepository.


namespace App;

use Bolt\Repository\ContentRepository;

class ExampleFetcherFromRepository
    /** @var ContentRepository */
    private $contentRepository;

    public function __construct(ContentRepository $contentRepository)
        $this->contentRepository = $contentRepository;

    public function fetch(): array
        // Find record with specific ID
        $entryById = $this->contentRepository->find(50);

        // Get all records.
        $records = $this->contentRepository->findAll();

        // Get all records matching criteria, e.g. Content Type
        $entries = $this->contentRepository->findBy([
           'contentType' => 'entries'

        // Search records programmatically, for records that include 'apples', page 1, 100 per page
        $searchResults = iterator_to_array(
            $this->contentRepository->searchNaive('apples', 1, 100)

        // Find by the record slug
        $aboutUs = $this->contentRepository->findOneBySlug('about-us');

        // Find by the value of a field
        $entry = $this->contentRepository->findOneByFieldValue('title', 'This is the title of the entry');

        // Let's return some records here.
        return $records;

For more information on querying using Repositories, check the official Doctrine documentation.

Creating a custom Repository

You can also create your custom Repository class inside the src folder of your project. To do so, make sure you read and understand the concept behind Doctrine repositories first.

Below is a Repository skeleton that you can use for Bolt Content entities.



namespace App;

use Bolt\Configuration\Content\ContentType;
use Bolt\Doctrine\JsonHelper;
use Bolt\Entity\Content;
use Doctrine\Bundle\DoctrineBundle\Repository\ServiceEntityRepository;
use Doctrine\ORM\QueryBuilder;
use Doctrine\Persistence\ManagerRegistry;

 * @method Content|null find($id, $lockMode = null, $lockVersion = null)
 * @method Content|null findOneBy(array $criteria, array $orderBy = null)
 * @method Content[] findAll()
 * @method Content[] findBy(array $criteria, array $orderBy = null, $limit = null, $offset = null)
class ContentRepository extends ServiceEntityRepository
    public function __construct(ManagerRegistry $registry)
        parent::__construct($registry, Content::class);

    public function getQueryBuilder(): QueryBuilder
        return $this->createQueryBuilder('content');

    public function findOneByFieldValue(string $fieldName, string $value, ?ContentType $contentType = null): ?Content
        $qb = $this->getQueryBuilder();
        $connection = $qb->getEntityManager()->getConnection();

        [$where, $value] = JsonHelper::wrapJsonFunction('translation.value', $value, $connection);

        $query = $qb
            ->innerJoin('content.fields', 'field')
            ->innerJoin('field.translations', 'translation')
            ->andWhere($where . ' = :value')
            ->setParameter('value', $value)
            ->andWhere('field.name = :name')
            ->setParameter('name', $fieldName);

        if ($contentType) {
            $query->andWhere('content.contentType = :ct')
                ->setParameter('ct', $contentType->get('slug'));

        return $query->setMaxResults(1)

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