class Cake\ORM\Behavior\TimestampBehavior

The timestamp behavior allows your table objects to update one or more timestamps on each model event. This is primarily used to populate data into created and modified fields. However, with some additional configuration, you can update any timestamp/datetime column on any event a table publishes.

Basic Usage

You enable the timestamp behavior like any other behavior:

class ArticlesTable extends Table
    public function initialize(array $config): void

The default configuration will do the following:

  • When a new entity is saved the created and modified fields will be set to the current time.

  • When an entity is updated, the modified field is set to the current time.

Using and Configuring the Behavior

If you need to modify fields with different names, or want to update additional timestamp fields on custom events you can use some additional configuration:

class OrdersTable extends Table
    public function initialize(array $config): void
        $this->addBehavior('Timestamp', [
            'events' => [
                'Model.beforeSave' => [
                    'created_at' => 'new',
                    'updated_at' => 'always',
                'Orders.completed' => [
                    'completed_at' => 'always'

As you can see above, in addition to the standard Model.beforeSave event, we are also updating the completed_at column when orders are completed.

Updating Timestamps on Entities

Sometimes you’ll want to update just the timestamps on an entity without changing any other properties. This is sometimes referred to as ‘touching’ a record. In CakePHP you can use the touch() method to do exactly this:

// Touch based on the Model.beforeSave event.

// Touch based on a specific event.
$orders->touch($order, 'Orders.completed');

After you have saved the entity, the field is updated.

Touching records can be useful when you want to signal that a parent resource has changed when a child resource is created/updated. For example: updating an article when a new comment is added.

Saving Updates Without Modifying Timestamps

To disable the automatic modification of the updated timestamp column when saving an entity you can mark the attribute as ‘dirty’:

// Mark the modified column as dirty making
// the current value be set on update.
$order->setDirty('modified', true);