[CDBI] Different subclasses for one table / Factory Pattern?

Stephan Brunner stephan.brunner at gmx.de
Sun Jul 30 20:19:09 BST 2006

Hi all,

I'm currently setting up an application with Class::DBI and sqlite. In the 
database, I will store something like a filesystem representation, so I have 
a table "dir" for directories and "file" for files.
The application knows different types of files and I would like to use a base 
class "File" and subclasses (like "File::Foo" for files of type foo and so 
on...) to handle those file types.

Right now, I have only one table for *all* files, but need to create different 
File::<something> objects depending on column values (the file name, for 
example). I want $dir->files() to return a list of objects in the 
per-file-specific subclass. Is it possible to set this up using Class::DBI? 

My idea woud be something like a sub new() in the base class "File" (the one 
representing the database table) that gets the column values and selects the 
appropriate subclass (by calling File::Foo->new(...), for example). But I'm 
not sure which exact sub I would have to override and whether this is safe 
under all circumstances?

Another possibility seems to be Class::DBI::Plugin::Factory, which (if I 
understood correctly) hooks into the select-trigger and reblesses the given 

One more way to go would be to redesign the database schema and create 
seperate tables for each file type, but that's not as flexible IMO (adding 
another filetype would require a change to the schema).

Thank you very much for your advice to a novice,


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