Integration of a bbPress forum into a cakePHP application (part 2)

We've done enough work on the forum for now. The time has come to edit our cake files.

Creating the cakePHP models

We will create two models to help in speaking with the bbPress database.

Create a bb_usermeta.php model :

class BbUsermeta extends AppModel {
  var $useTable = 'bb_usermeta';
  var $primaryKey = 'umeta_id';

Create a bb_user.php model :

class BbUser extends AppModel {
  var $primaryKey = 'ID';

  var $hasMany = array(
     'BbUsermeta' => array(
       'className' => 'BbUsermeta',
       'foreignKey' => 'user_id',
       'dependent' => true

  //We make sure, before saving, that the nicename is url-friendly
  function beforeSave() {
    if (!empty($this->data[$this->name]['user_nicename'])) {
      $this->data[$this->name]['user_nicename'] = Inflector::slug($this->data[$this->name]['user_nicename']);
    return true;


So, what was that about ?

We created two models to communicate with bbPress. bbPress stores user-related information in bb_users as well as bb_usermeta. We defined the $primaryKey, $useTable and $foreignKey of the $hasMany because the bbPress tables do not follow the cakePHP convention.

We also add a nifty beforeSave() method to BbUserto make sure its user_nicename (used as an url slug) is url-friendly.

How to save bbPress users from the cakePHP app

Great. Now you can easily add, edit and delete users from bbPress directly from your app.

There are some things you should know about before doing that :

  • first_name and last_name are stored in bb_usermeta
  • the access rights are defined in bb_usermeta too, using the bb_capabilities key

Now that you know all that, you can easily create a behavior creating a new bbPress user when creating a new user, deleting that bbPress user when deleting the main user and updating the bbPress user when updating the main user.

I myself wrote this behavior, but as it is part of a more general bbPress plugin it may not work as-is. I'll try to publish it if anyone is interested.

Tags : #cakephp #bbpress

Want to add something ? Feel free to get in touch on Twitter : @pixelastic