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CakePHP 2 Application Cookbook by Jorge González, James Watts

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Has and belongs to many (HABTM)

Has and belongs to many (HABTM) is the most complex model association available in CakePHP. This association type allows you to define many-to-many relationships in your data model, for example, in an inventory management application, where packages might be stored in different warehouses, and each warehouse might have several packages. This is a typical many-to-many relationship between packages and warehouses.

To model this association, you'll need to use three tables in your database: the packages table to store the data related to your packages, the warehouses table, and the packages_warehouses table, where the association itself is defined. The packages_warehouses table will have three columns by convention: ...

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