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2 Ways to Get Latest Record by Date with Laravel

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

When working with databases and dates in Laravel, it's common to need to retrieve the latest record based on a certain date column. There are different ways to achieve this using Laravel's Eloquent ORM, but in this article, we will explore two different methods.


Let's assume that we have a "posts" table with a "created_at" column that stores the date and time when a post was created.


Method 1: Using orderBy and first

One way to retrieve the latest record based on a date column is to use the orderBy method to sort the query results by the date column in descending order, and then use the first method to retrieve the first record in the sorted set.


Here's an example:

$latestPost = DB::table('posts')
                ->orderBy('created_at', 'desc')
                ->first();

This code will execute a SQL query that sorts the "posts" table by the "created_at" column in descending order and then retrieves the first record in the sorted set, which will be the latest post.


Alternatively, we can use Eloquent's query builder to achieve the same result:

$latestPost = Post::orderBy('created_at', 'desc')->first();

This code will execute the same SQL query as the previous example, but using Eloquent's query builder syntax.


Method 2: Using latest

Another way to retrieve the latest record based on a date column is to use the latest method. This method is a shorthand for orderBy('created_at', 'desc') followed by first(), and it's a convenient way to retrieve the latest record with minimal code.


Here's an example:

$latestPost = DB::table('posts')->latest()->first();

This code will execute the same SQL query as the first example, but using the latest method instead of orderBy and first.


We can also use Eloquent's query builder to achieve the same result:

$latestPost = Post::latest()->first();

This code will execute the same SQL query as the previous example, but using Eloquent's query builder syntax.


Conclusion

In conclusion, there are different ways to retrieve the latest record based on a date column in Laravel. Whether you prefer to use orderBy and first or the latest method, you can easily retrieve the latest record with just a few lines of code. It's important to note that both methods will return null if the table is empty, so it's a good practice to add a null check before accessing the retrieved record.

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