How to write a join query across multiple tables in CakePHP


can anyone tell me, how to retrieve joined result from multiple tables in cakePHP ( using cakePHP mvc architecture). For example, I have three tables to join (tbl_topics, tbl_items, tbl_votes. Their relationship is defined as following: a topic can have many items and an item can have many votes. Now I want to retrieve a list of topics with the count of all votes on all items for each topic. The SQL query for this is written below:

SELECT Topic.*, count( voteCount 
tbl_topics AS Topic 
LEFT OUTER JOIN tbl_items AS Item 
ON ( = Item.topic_id)
LEFT OUTER JOIN tbl_votes AS Vote
ON ( = Vote.item_id); 

My problem is I can do it easily using $this-><Model Name>->query function, but this requires sql code to be written in the controller which I don't want. I'm trying to find out any other way to do this (like find()).

Best Solution

$markers = $this->Marker->find('all', array('joins' => array(
        'table' => 'markers_tags',
        'alias' => 'MarkersTag',
        'type' => 'inner',
        'foreignKey' => false,
        'conditions'=> array('MarkersTag.marker_id =')
        'table' => 'tags',
        'alias' => 'Tag',
        'type' => 'inner',
        'foreignKey' => false,
        'conditions'=> array(
            ' = MarkersTag.tag_id',
            'Tag.tag' => explode(' ', $this->params['url']['q'])

as referred to in nate abele's article: link text

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