We previously discussed the own-list. This is RedBeanPHP's version of a one-to-many relationship. However, if we look from the other end of the relationship we have a many-to-one relationship: many buildings belong to one village. Suppose you are working on this end of the relationship; you have a building, how can you access its village?
$village = $building->village;
We call this the parent bean. The term 'parent' may be confusing but on the other hand it clearly indicates that on the other side the bean is part of a list owned by another bean.
You can unset the parent bean like this:
$building->village = null;
Trying to assign something other than a bean to a parent object field will throw an exception:
//throws a RedBeanPHP Security exception
$building->village = 'Lutjebroek';
Once a property has been used to store a bean, it can only be used to store a bean afterwards.
While RedBeanPHP uses the village_id column to refer to the actual related record, the village property of the bean will be used to return the village bean (a magic getter). This means that both the village_id and village columns are actually reserved for the relation mapping. Please, do not use a column with the same name as the magic getter ("village" in this case) for a different purpose. In RedBeanPHP terms this is called the 'reserved' column.
Parent beans are the RedBeanPHP way of saying: 'many-to-one'.
RedBeanPHP Easy ORM for PHP © 2013 Gabor de Mooij and the RedBeanPHP community - Licensed New BSD/GPLv2