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  Classes of Martin Latter   PHP Database Fill   Download  
Role: Documentation
Content type: text/markdown
Description: Auxiliary data
Class: PHP Database Fill
Fill records of MySQL tables with test data
Author: By
Last change: Update of
Date: 1 month ago
Size: 3,252 bytes


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This repo is shoved into retirement. The schema file parsing and single-threaded nature of PHP, along with high memory usage makes this package obsolete.

More efficient alternatives are MySQL-Filler and mysql_random_data_load.




Database Filler

Populate MySQL database tables with test data by parsing the SQL schema file.


  • Database table population without using any real or sensitive data:
  • Schema design and development: + Check table field population with specified datatypes, potential data truncation etc. + Test connection encoding and character encoding, and data insertion speeds.


[1]: ![Database-Filler database][1]



Originally, I needed to populate a database containing 14 complex tables. Tools such as Spawner are ideal for populating small tables, but in this case, specifying the datatypes for 300+ fields to initiate Spawner would have been insanity.

Instead, why not parse the SQL schema?

[2]: ![Database-Filler execute][2]

Database Requirements

  1. The script expects the database schema to already exist in MySQL (`mysql -u root -p < test.sql`).
  2. All table names and column names in the MySQL schema require back-ticks.
  3. Unique keys must be removed from tables when the configuration array option random_data is set to false.


  • The majority of MySQL datatypes are supported.
  • Any foreign keys are disabled on data population.
  • Random character generation is slow in PHP, and such slowness further depends on field length, number of fields, and the number of rows being generated.
  • Multiple INSERTs are added in a single query, which is quite fast. The number of INSERTs per second will depend on MySQL configuration settings (the defaults are not optimised), datatype / length inserted, system load, operating system, hardware etc.

Further Options

Configuration boolean toggles (false by default):

  • incremental_ints + make added integers incremental, enabling simplistic integer foreign keys.
  • populate_primary_key + populate a primary key field, e.g. a UUID used as a primary key (experimental, supports only some definitions).


Ensure the database already exists in MySQL e.g. for the test schema:

    mysql -u root -p < test.sql

Adjust the array connection details and parameters in the file databasefiller_example.php

Then execute this file with PHP on the command-line:

    php databasefiller_example.php

or run the file through a web server e.g.


Other Projects

SQLParser would have been used in this project had it been available in 2014.


Database Filler is released under the GPL v.3.