Modifying LDAP Objects

Modifying an existing LDAP object is as easy as searching for it, making your changes to the object via either the setters/properties then sending the object back to the LdapManager class with the persist() method. All the changes you make to the object are tracked and when you call persist() it will only update the attributes you actually changed.

Please keep in mind that this is not an active record design. The LdapObject instance is only aware of properties you explicitly selected as part of the LDAP query. So if you want to check if an attribute exists, or has a specific value, then make sure to actually select the attribute when you query LDAP. If you selected the attribute as part of the query, but the has($attribute) method returns false, then the attribute is not set.

A simple example:

use LdapTools\Object\LdapObjectType;


$repository = $ldap->getRepository(LdapObjectType::USER);

$user = $repository->findOneByUsername('chad');

// Replaces the current title with whatever you choose.
// Resets whatever value might have been set to this attribute.
// Remove a specific value from a multi-valued attribute. Careful! If it doesn't exist LDAP will complain.
// Remove multiple values for a multi-valued attribute at once (Using splat notation)...
$user->removeOtherPhoneNumber(...['555-5555', '123-4567', '765-4321']);
// Adds a value to an attribute in addition to what it might already have
// Add multiple values at once...
$user->addOtherIpPhones('#001-1234','#002-5678', '#003-1001');

// Check if a specific attribute exists
if ($user->hasEmailAddress()) {
    // do something....

// Check if an attribute with a specific value exists
if ($user->hasState('WI')) {
    // do something else....

// Now actually save the changes back to LDAP
try {
} catch (\Exception $e) {
    echo "Error updating user! ".$e->getMessage();

Automatic Setters and Getters

When you search for and retrieve an object in LDAP you will get an LdapObject instance by default. This class has several "magic" PHP methods defined to make your life easier. You can get/set any attribute by its actual schema name just as if it had an actual setter defined. So to get the firstName attribute you can call getFirstName(). And to change it you simply call setFirstName($firstName).

However, be sure to check if the attribute exists in the returned object first by calling has($attributeName) before trying to actually get its value.

Automatic Property Access

In addition to the automatic setters/getters mentioned above, you can also access attributes by simply accessing them as if they were public properties on the object. Behind the scenes it still tracks any changes you might make by setting a property this way.

// Instead of '$user->getFirstName()' ...
echo "First Name:".$user->firstName.PHP_EOL;
echo "Last Name:".$user->lastName.PHP_EOL;

// Or set them this way too, which is equivalent to calling: $user->setFirstName('Some Dude')
$user->firstName = 'Fred';
$user->lastName = 'Fuchs';

// You can also call isset on a property to determine if it exists on the object...
if (isset($user>phoneNumber)) {
    echo "Phone: ".$user->phoneNumber.PHP_EOL; 

Standard Method Access

In Addition to all of the easy automatic property/setters/getters described above, you can also do it through more verbose methods. All of the below methods are ultimately what the automatic methods use to do everything behind the scenes.

set($attribute, $value)

Replaces any value that might exist in the attribute with the value you specify. If you pass null, an empty string, or an empty array, then the call will perform a reset of the attribute (which clears an existing value), which is identical to calling reset($attribute).

// Sets or replaces any value that may exist.
$user->set('firstName', 'Chad');

// This will trigger a reset of the attribute, as a null/empty value is not valid for LDAP
$user->set('firstName', null);
// This triggers a reset too...
$user->set('groups', []);

add($attribute, ...$value)

Adds a value to an attribute in addition to what it already may have. It will keep the existing value intact. This method is also variadic, so you can pass as many values you want as arguments to this function.

// Adds an additional attribute value...
$user->add('otherTelephoneNumbers', '555-555-5555');

// Check if the attribute exists before adding it...
if ($user->has('otherTelephoneNumbers', '888-888-888')) {
    $user->add('otherTelephoneNumbers', '888-888-888');

remove($attribute, ...$value)

Remove a specific value from an attribute. Be careful with this. If the value does not actually exist within the attribute then an exception will be thrown during persist. It's best to wrap persist in a try/catch block. This method is also variadic, so you can pass as many values you want as arguments to this function.

// Remove a specific attribute value...
$user->remove('otherTelephoneNumbers', '555-555-5555');

// Check if the attribute exists before removing it...
if ($user->has('otherTelephoneNumbers', '888-888-888')) {
    $user->remove('otherTelephoneNumbers', '888-888-888');


Resets an attribute (or attributes) by removing any values it may contain. Be careful with this method, just like the remove method you should select the attribute in the LDAP query then check if the attribute exists before resetting it. If you try to reset an attribute that is already empty/unset, then LDAP will throw an error.

// Reset a specific attribute value...

// Check if the attribute exists before resetting it...
if ($user->has('title')) {

has($attribute, $value = null)

Check for the existence of an attribute before you attempt to retrieve its value. If you attempt to get the value of a non-existent attribute then it will throw an exception. You can optionally specify a value check as well. In that case the attribute must exist and it must have the specified value for it to return true.

// Check if the attribute exists...
if ($user->has('title')) {
    // do something...

// Check if an attribute exists with a specific value...
if ($user->has('otherTelephoneNumbers', '555-5555')) {
    // do something else...