Saving Has and BelongsTo Many Associations with Array Push

In the CakePHP book they show you one technique for saving associated data:

$article->comments[] = $comment;
$article->dirty(‘comments’, true);

I found myself having to debug this in the framework code and (if I remember correctly), the association property wasn’t set in the Entity->_properties array.

class EvaluationAnswerSet extends Entity
    protected $_accessible = [
        '*' => true,
        'id' => false


class EvaluationAnswerSetsTable extends Table
    public function initialize(array $config)
        $this->hasMany('EvaluationAnswers', [
            'className' => 'HCP/Core.EvaluationAnswers',
            'foreignKey' => 'answer_set_id'


//Simplification of code that adds an associated answer
$answer = new \Cake\ORM\Entity\EvaluationAnswer();
$evaluation_answer->evaluation_answers[] = $answer;
$evaluation_answer->dirty('evaluation_answers', true);

With the above example, the associated entity was not being persisted to the database.

I’m not 100% certain that it was the _properties array that wasn’t getting populated that was the reason the save was failing or if it was some other property, but I feel like this should be handled by the framework when defining an association.

If anyone could provide further insight into this it would be much appreciated.

I’m aware that I can use the following technique to get this to work:
$answer = new \Cake\ORM\Entity\EvaluationAnswer(); $evaluation_answers = $evaluation_answer->evaluation_answers; $evaluation_answers[] = $answer; $evaluation_answer->evaluation_answers = $evaluation_answers; $EvaluationAnswerSetsTable->save($evaluation_answer);
However, the I feel like the book’s documentation should work and I’m concerned that there may be an issue with the way the associations or entities were defined.

Can you show a debug(evaluation_answer) after what you are doing?

The key to make it save is to make sure that evaluation_answers is marked as dirty.