How to use is_unique in form validation on UPDATE in CodeIgniter 3

CodeIgniter provides a comprehensive form validation and data prepping class that helps developers make form submission easier.

Among the rule, is_unique is a useful one to check whether a field exists in database.

is_uniqueYesReturns FALSE if the form element is not unique to the table and field name in the parameter. Note: This rule requires Query Builder to be enabled in order to work.is_unique[table.field]

It works perfectly in situation when you need to create a new record. However, it doesn’t when you need to update an old record. This rule checks the data against its own record set so it always return a duplication.

Add the rule when data is different

This method is simple. We compare original data with the new submitted one. If they are different, we add is_unique rule, otherwise, don’t add the rule.

if(trim($user->phone) != trim($this->input->post('phone'))){
	$this->form_validation->set_rules('phone', 'Phone', 'required|is_unique[user.phone]');
} else {
	$this->form_validation->set_rules('phone', 'Phone', 'required');
}

Create your own validation methods

CodeIgniter 3 validation system supports callbacks to your own validation methods. We can create a new callback called callback_phone_check to check for phone number.

$this->form_validation->set_rules('phone', 'Phone', 'callback_phone_check');

public function phone_check($phone){
	//query database here then compare data
	if ($duplicated){
            $this->form_validation->set_message('phone_check', 'The phone is duplicated');
            return FALSE;
	} else {
            return TRUE;
	}
}

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