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Data Inheritance and Parent Class

Pimcore provides two sorts of inheritance. While data inheritance allows the inheritance of object data along the tree hierarchy of objects, can the developer modify the PHP class hierarchy with the parent class setting of object classes.

Data Inheritance

A very important feature in connection with PIM is data inheritance. Data inheritance means, that objects of the same class can inherit data from their parent objects in the object tree.

One use case is the storage of product data. Imagine, you have a group of products which have many attributes in common and differ in just a few attributes (for example size, color, ...). So you can create a parent product which stores all the common attributes. Then you add child products and specify attributes in which the products differ (size, color, ...). All other attributes they inherit from the common parent product.

Data inheritance has to be enabled in the class definition like in the screen below:

Data Inheritance

If data inheritance is enabled and an attribute of an object is empty, Pimcore tries to get this attribute from a parent object. This works only, if the parent object has the same class as the child object. Data inheritance between different classes is not supported.

In the Pimcore backend, inherited values are visualized as in the screen below: they are grey and a bit transparent, and have a green marker in the upper left corner. With a click on this corner, one can open the source object of this specific attribute.

Data Inheritance

Data Inheritance

Data Inheritance

To get the inherited values in the backend via code, you have to use the getter-methods of the attributes. By accessing the attributes directly, you will not get the inherited values.

Bear in mind The complex data type field collections do not support inheritance.

Parent Class - Class Inheritance

Pimcore data objects support inheritance, just as any PHP object does. In Pimcore the class from which a specific data class inherits can be changed. By default a data class inherits from Pimcore\Model\Object\Concrete, but if required otherwise, a data class can extend a different parent class. If the parent class should be changed, this needs to be specified in the class definition as shown in the screen below: Parent Class

Be Careful
This is a very advanced feature and should only be used by very experienced developers who know what they are doing and what consequences it might have when the parent class is changed from Pimcore\Model\Object\Concrete to something else.

In order to maintain all pimcore functionalities, it has to be ensured that the special class used in the example above extends Pimcore\Model\Object\Concrete and that it's methods don't override and clash in unexpected ways with existing methods of Pimcore\Model\Object\Concrete or any magic functions of Pimcore\Model\Object\Concrete or it's parent classes.

Hooks available when using class inheritance

Currently there's one hook available. Hooks can be defined as simple methods in the extended class.

Method Arguments Description
preGetValue($key) $key (the name of the property) This method is called in the getter and makes it possible to modify data before returning it to the caller.

namespace Website\Object;
use Pimcore\Model;
class Special extends Model\Object\Concrete {
   public function preGetValue($key) {
      if($key == "myCustomProperty") {
         return strtolower($object->myCustomProperty);

Overwrite pimcore models using dependency injection

In addition to parent classes, it is also possible to extend Pimcore object classes with custom classes and tell Pimcore to use the custom classes instead of the generated object classes. This can be done by using dependency injection functionality of Pimcore.


Create a custom class that extends from a default Pimcore object class:

// define a custom class,  for example:
namespace Website\Model; 
use Pimcore\Model\Object;
class News extends Object\News{
    public function myCustomGetter () {
        return true;

Create or extend the dependency injection configuration at /website/config/di.php to use the custom class instead of the default Pimcore class:

return [
    'Pimcore\Model\Object\News' => DI\object('Website\Model\News'),