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How to Generate Propel’s Schema.xml File From a Database Model Created in Vertabelo

If you use Propel, you can now generate a Propel schema file from a database model created in Vertabelo.

Propel is a popular ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) library for PHP. In Propel, the datamodel structure is described by a special schema XML file. From this schema Propel generates PHP object model classes which Propel uses to represent rows in your tables.

VertabeloPropel is a PHP script which converts a Vertabelo XML file into Propel’s schema.xml file.


VertabeloPropel uses Composer to manage project dependencies.

  1. In your project directory create a file composer.json:

       "require": {
          "vertabelo/vertabelo-propel": "*"

  2. Run Composer install.

    composer install

    This will download VertabeloPropel into the vendor directory in your project directory. The script will be in vendor/bin/vertabelo-propel.php file or, for Windows, in vendor\bin\vertabelo-propel.php.bat.

How to Use VertabeloPropel

  1. Create a new or open an existing database model in Vertabelo.

    If you don’t have your Vertabelo account yet, you can sign up for a free trial. Notice that Vertabelo is completely free for students and lecturers. The academic registration is available here.

    Here is a sample database model which I prepared earlier:

  2. Download the model as an XML file and save it in your project directory.

    Exporting a database model as an XML file

  3. Generate Propel’s schema.xml file. If you want to use the default settings (input file model.xml, output file schema.xml, database name test, default id method native), run

    • in Windows


    • in Mac/Linux


    If you want to change the defaults, run

    • in Windows

      vendor\bin\vertabelo-propel.php.bat -i model.xml -o schema.xml /
         --database-name bookshop ---default-id-method native

    • in Mac/Linux

      vendor/bin/vertabelo-propel.php -i model.xml -o schema.xml --database-name bookshop --default-id-method native

  4. The script generates Propel’s schema.xml file.

  5. Proceed with your normal Propel application development (or see our HOWTO).

Script Options

The script options are:

  • --input-file (shortcut -i) location of Vertabelo XML file (default value “model.xml”)
  • --output-file (shortcut -o) location of output Propel schema.xml file (default value “schema.xml”)
  • --database-name name of the database (default value “test”)
  • --default-id-method database's defaultIdMethod. Allowed values are “native” or “none”, default value is “native”.
  • --help prints the help message
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