PHP: Strip null entries from an array : how to

For a while i’ve had issues with certain db update queries in php - particularly where image uploads are involved. My original code looked like

//db update query from form with image upload fields
$data = array(
    'company_name' => $form->getValue('company_name'),
    'company_image' => $form->getElement('company_image')->getValue(),
    'company_logo' => $form->getElement('company_logo')->getValue(),
    'website' => $form->getValue('website')
$this->update($data, 'id = '. (int)$id);

but using the above code would over write the image fields in the db if the user didn’t upload a new image

to get around this problem i wrote an is_null check on the image fields and pretty much write the $data array twice

  • once with the image fields and once without
  • as i couldn’t put php code in the middle of the array
  • this is a pretty crappy solution so i sat down and figured out a simple way to strip null entries from an array
  • see code below


 * use this function to strip null array entries from an array
 * useful when doing a db update with pdo/zend_db_table etc..
function strip_null_array_entries($values){
  $array = array();
  foreach($values as $key=>$value){
    if( ($value!=='') AND (!is_null($value)) ) $array[$key] = $value;
  return $array;

now i don’t need to write the $data array twice - i can just use


$this->update(strip_null_array_entries($data), 'id = '. (int)$id);


Justin Kelly

Justin Kelly

Data Engineeer, Business Analytics, Web Developer, Library Technology specialising in PHP and Tableau

Based in Melbourne, Australia

Feel free to contact me or _justin_kelly