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How to Use a PHP Performance Monitoring Tool to Solve N+1 Queries Problem in Laravel or Symfony Applications

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Updated on: 2022-06-06

Posted on: 2022-06-01

Categories: PHP Tutorials

Many PHP applications use an Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) approach to store and retrieve application objects using SQL to query relational databases.

N+1 Queries is the problem many applications have with using traditional approaches to implement Object-Relational Mapping (ORM). These approaches may cause performance loss if the developers still need to fix the application code to avoid this problem.

Read this short article to learn more about N+1 queries and how to find and fix performance issues caused by these queries in your Laravel or Symfony applications using the Scout APM tool for free.




Loaded Article

In this article you will learn about:

1. What is the N + 1 Queries Problem

2. Why You Need to Avoid the N+1 Queries Problem

3. How Can You Make Your Laravel or Symfony Application Sites Faster Using Scout APM to Find Performance Issues Due to The N+1 Queries Problem


1. What is the N + 1 Queries Problem

If you use Laravel or Symfony or some other PHP framework you may be using the Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) features that they provide to store and retrieve application objects in the application database.

For instance, you may have a database table that store customer information. You may also have another database table to store the products that each customer purchased.

If you have a page where you want to show the listing of products that the customers purchased, you probably use ORM classes to retrieve the data of those objects from the database.

If you retrieve all those objects from the database for one customers and all products he purchased, the ORM classes may just execute one query customer object data and N queries to retrieve product objects separately.

If you have a low number of customer and product objects in the database, this approach may seem fast because you only execute N+1 queries where N is the number of products that each customer purchased.

However, after the application grows and you have many customers and many products stored in the database, to list the products that one customer purchased, you need to perform too many queries and your application will become slow.  

2. Why You Need to Avoid the N+1 Queries Problem

As you may understand by now, the N+1 queries problem is not a big issue when the number of your application users is small.

However, when your application starts being used by many users, the number of queries that is executed starts to increase a lot. You application may become too slow to the point that the application uses may start to complain or even give up using the application.

If you want to be a good programmer that is concerned with the success of your customers business, you need to get prepared to handle better with the N + 1 queries problem as soon as possible.

If you implement a good solution for this problem, your customers will always want to hire more you because your are a developer concerned with the customer success in the present and in the future. 

3. How Can You Make Your Laravel or Symfony Application Sites Faster Using Scout APM to Find Performance Issues Due to The N+1 Queries Problem

Since you are reading this article here, you probably already have the N + 1 queries problem even if you were not aware about it.

The solution for this problem is to review all your application code and determine the PHP code where you may have this problem. Then you need to measure the time that the queries take to execute.

For instance, considering the example case above of listing products that each customer may have purchase, you need to measure the time that the queries take to execute.

Than consider the case if the application site customers purchase 10 times more products. How long the queries would take to execute? Would it be like 10 times more time? Would they have the patience to wait for that much time?

If the answer is no, you certainly need to fix your N+1 queries problem in all the important parts of your application.

This can be done manually but it would take you a lot of time to fix the performance issue.

Fortunately there is an easier approach to solve the N+1 queries problem if you have developed a PHP application based on Laravel and Symfony.

If you have developed an application using Laravel or Symfony from scratch, now you have a better solution to find and fix performance issues.

Scout is an application performance monitoring application that supports many Web programming languages, including PHP. If you used Laravel or Symfony, build your application it provides good support to find the code that needs to be fixed to solve the N+1 queries problem.

So for now I suggest that you try the Scout Application Monitoring with PHP support. You can try it for free for 14 days. That time will be enough for you test this feature to help you to quickly find the PHP code that have the N + 1 queries problem. Just go to the Scout signup for free trial page, so you can start trying it for free now.

I will be talking more about Scout Application Monitoring in the following weeks. For now, I invite you to try it by going to the Scout signup for free trial page so you can experience the benefits of this application without paying.

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