I have a custom collection

$someCollection = Mage::getModel('mymodule/mymodel')->getCollection()
                           ->addFieldToFilter('another_field', array('eq' => $someValue));

Now consider, that this collection will always return only one row from the table, i.e.


will always be "1". How to get the value of "some_field" without a foreach like:

foreach($someCollection as $row){
    $catchTheValue = $row->getSomeField();

I don't want to write foreach loop for one iteration. Can someone help?


If you know that the collection just has one item then you could simply use $someCollection->getFirstItem(). This will give you the first and in your case only item. You can then continue to use the getSomeField() etc on this object.

A second option is possible to use ->load($attribute_value, 'attribute_code'); on the object but this can add overhead if the table is of a large size.

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  • 2
    the second approach loads a complete model and initilizes it. I think what he wants is to avoid the overhead – Fabian Blechschmidt Nov 16 '13 at 9:30
  • @FabianBlechschmidt true I always have the gut feeling that loading the collection would take more overhead, but forget that it is often the case. – David Manners Nov 16 '13 at 9:32
  • @FabianBlechschmidt: You're right that's a big table, I don't wanna load all the value instead only one column, so I don't want to use load(). – Shathish Nov 16 '13 at 9:35
  • @Shathish Then I would use the first option. – David Manners Nov 16 '13 at 9:41

I checked the Mage_Core_Model_Resource_Db_Abstract and Mage_Core_Model_Resource_Db_Collection_Abstract for any method that does this and there is none.

I think implementing your own ResourceModel is the best way. Just shot directly a query to the database and return the value.

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  • yes I already thought about that, I'll do that in the next version of my module. Thanks! – Shathish Nov 16 '13 at 9:56

You could make use of the underlying Zend_Db_Select object and execute it manually, bypassing the Magento model entirely:

$someFieldValue = $collection->getConnection()

fetchColumn() returns the raw value of the first column returned by the query.

Note that this will only work if you don't rely on any Magento events or special attribute models.

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There is this one method getAllIds() in Mage_Core_Model_Resource_Db_Collection_Abstract. It return an array containing primary key of all rows.

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