Doctrine ORM 3 and DBAL 4 Released

Posted on February 3, 2024 by Jonathan H. Wage

We are thrilled to announce the release of Doctrine ORM 3.0 and DBAL 4.0. These releases are the culmination of over a decade of hard work across dozens of contributors and the Doctrine maintainers.

What's New

A Slimmer, More Efficient ORM: The new Doctrine ORM 3.0 comes in at 326KB, down from 400KB in ORM 2.18.0. This reduction not only makes the ORM lighter but also signals our efforts to streamline and optimize every aspect of our library and focus our maintenance efforts on the core functionality of an ORM and less on tooling and helpers that are only useful by a small number of our users.

Enhanced Code Quality and Coverage: With ORM 3.0, we've pushed our code coverage from 84% to 89%. For DBAL 4.0, we've pushed our code coverage from 86% to 94%. This improvement underscores our commitment to reliability and the stability of the Doctrine ecosystem, ensuring that your applications run smoothly.

Leaner Dependencies: In Doctrine ORM 3.0, we have finally eliminated dependencies on doctrine/cache and doctrine/common. This change reduces complexity and improves maintainability of Doctrine as we now depend on PSR-6: Caching Interface for our caching responsibilities. Implementing a PSR means we are more interoperable with other frameworks and easier to use by a broader amount of users.

A Growing Community: The Doctrine project now boasts 1029 contributors across all its projects. This vibrant community is the backbone of Doctrine, providing valuable insights, feedback, and contributions that drive the project forward.


We understand that upgrading to a new major version can be difficult. The best way to upgrade is to first upgrade to the latest Doctrine ORM 2.x and DBAL 3.x version and address any deprecation warnings that are reported. You can read more about how Doctrine handles deprecations here. Once you have addressed all of the deprecations, you should have a clear path to upgrade.

In addition to that, we've maintained comprehensive documentation about every change, deprecation and BC break to facilitate a smooth transition to ORM 3.0 and DBAL 4.0.

The Future of Doctrine ORM 2

We plan to maintain Doctrine ORM 2 for at least the next 2 years by providing bug and security fixes. We may also add or deprecate things in 2.x to improve the existing forward-compatbility layer to make the transition to ORM 3 smoother.

Looking Forward

ORM 3 and DBAL 4 are a big step forward towards modernizing the API of our libraries, increasing safety with the use of scalar types in the code base, better error handling and generally cleaning up the code to make it easier to maintain. We look forward to continuing work on Doctrine and focusing on being the most stable and reliable PHP database persistence related libraries available.