The query helper has an 'assemble' method that can be used for building query strings in a way that is somewhat similar to SQL prepared statements. The placeholder syntax will be used via the built-in support in various (query) classes in most cases, but they all map to the same 'assemble' method of the query helper.

This method supports the following placeholder syntax:

Placeholder Description
%1% This means: replace with the literal contents of the first entry of the supplied array of bind vars
%L3% Replace with the literal contents of the third entry of the supplied array of bind vars. This is the default, so if you don't supply a 'mode' like in the first example literal will be used.
%P2% Replace with the contents of the second bind var entry, escaping as a phrase
%T1% Replace with the contents of the second bind var entry, escaping as a term

Some notes:

  • The bind vars are supplied as an array. The placeholder number refers to the position of the entry in the array, not the array key! Position 1 is actually array key 0.
  • You can use the same bind var multiple times, even with different modes (literal, phrase or term)
  • Placeholder and bind var order don't need to match, just refer to the right positions.
  • The letters for the modes L (Literal), P (Phrase) and T (Term) are not case-sensitive.

Support in classes

Currently the following classes have built-in support for the placeholder syntax, making it even easier to use because you don't even need to call the query helper yourself:

  • Select query method setQuery($query, $bind = null)
  • Facet Query method setQuery($query, $bind = null)
  • FilterQuery method setQuery($query, $bind = null)
  • Spellcheck component methode setQuery($query, $bind = null)

In all other cases you can always use the 'assemble' method of the query helper and use the result as a normal query string.




// create a client instance
$client = new Solarium\Client($config);

// get a select query instance
$query = $client->createSelect();

// search input string, this value fails without escaping because of the double-quote
$input = 'ATA "133';

// the placeholder syntax applies phrase escaping to the first term
// see the manual for all supported formats
$query->setQuery('features: %p1% AND inStock:%2%', array($input, 1));

// show the result after replacing the placeholders with values
echo $query->getQuery() . '<br/>';

// this executes the query and returns the result
$resultset = $client->select($query);

// display the total number of documents found by solr
echo 'NumFound: '.$resultset->getNumFound();

// show documents using the resultset iterator
foreach ($resultset as $document) {

    echo '<hr/><table>';

    // the documents are also iterable, to get all fields
    foreach ($document as $field => $value) {
        // this converts multivalue fields to a comma-separated string
        if (is_array($value)) {
            $value = implode(', ', $value);

        echo '<tr><th>' . $field . '</th><td>' . $value . '</td></tr>';

    echo '</table>';