Read the CakePHP docs on Models:

What is a Model?

Models represent data and are used in CakePHP applications for data access. A model usually represents a database table but can be used to access anything that stores data such as files, LDAP records, iCal events, or rows in a CSV file.

A model can be associated with other models. For example, a Recipe may be associated with the Author of the recipe as well as the Ingredient in the recipe. Code

If you have a table named ‘recipes’ (with columns id, title, body), the model name would be Recipe and found at /app/Model/Recipe.php:

class Recipe extends AppModel {


Plugin Models

If it is Recipes plugin’s model, it would be found at /app/Plugin/Recipes/Model/Recipe.php.

Using Models in Controllers

class RecipesController extends AppController {

    public $uses = array(
        'Recipe', // 'Recipes.Recipe' if it is from Recipes plugin

    public function view($id) {
        // retrieve record with ID 123 from recipes table
        $recipe = $this->Recipe->findById(123);

        // set the $recipe variable so it can be used by views later
        $this->set('recipe', $recipe); // or $this->set(compact('recipe'));