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Eloquent Performance: Avoid SELECT *

Published 12 September, 2020

Consider the following code:

# Controllers/UsersController

public function index()
{
    return view('posts.index', ['posts' => Post::paginate()]);
}
# views/posts/index.blade.php

@foreach ($posts as $post)
    <h2>{{ $post->title }}</h2>
@endforeach

By default, Laravel selects all the columns when using Eloquent:

-- Took 32 ms to execute
select * from `posts` limit 0, 15;

In this query, we're selecting the entire columns set, but we only use of them which is the title.

If you take a look at the database diagram, you'll see that the content column is of type longtext which means it can hold up to 4GB of data.

We saw that it took 32 ms on my machine to execute the above query, so what if we just select the title column:

-- Took 2 ms to execute
select title from posts;

A big difference, 32 ms vs 2 ms.

Here is the tip, only select the columns that you need as follows:

Post::query()
    ->select('title')
    ->paginate();

You may also use the with method to select the needed columns from the relationships as follows:

Post::query()
    ->select('title')
    ->with('user:id,name')
    ->paginate();

In ths upcoming post, I will discuss the eager-loading.

Edit on Github

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