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< API16:JAccess
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Method to return a list of user groups mapped to a user. The returned list can optionally hold only the groups explicitly mapped to the user or all groups both explicitly mapped and inherited by the user.

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static getGroupsByUser($userId, $recursive=true)
Parameter Name Default Value Description
$userId Id of the user for which to get the list of groups.
$recursive true True to include inherited user groups.


array List of user group ids to which the user is mapped.

Defined in[edit]



jimport( 'joomla.access.access' );

Source Body[edit]

public static function getGroupsByUser($userId, $recursive = true)
        // Get the database connection object.
        $db = JFactory::getDbo();

        // Build the database query to get the rules for the asset.
        $query  = $db->getQuery(true);
        $query->select($recursive ? 'b.id' : 'a.id');
        $query->from('#__user_usergroup_map AS map');
        $query->where('map.user_id = '.(int) $userId);
        $query->leftJoin('#__usergroups AS a ON a.id = map.group_id');

        // If we want the rules cascading up to the global asset node we need a self-join.
        if ($recursive) {
                $query->leftJoin('#__usergroups AS b ON b.lft <= a.lft AND b.rgt >= a.rgt');

        // Execute the query and load the rules from the result.
        $result = $db->loadResultArray();

        // Clean up any NULL or duplicate values, just in case
        if (empty($result)) {
                $result = array('1');
        } else {
                $result = array_unique($result);

        return $result;

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Code Examples[edit]