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I have a Laravel project that has courses. I want to take the related courses from one.

Should I create the method in the model (the php class) or in the controller?

Currently I have this code in the model:

class Course extends Model {

    public function relatedCourses() {

        $all_courses = new Collection;

        // Similar name
        $words = explode($this->name, " ");
        foreach ($words as $word) {

            $courses = Course::where(function($query) use ($word) {
                $query->where('id', '<>', $this->id)->where('name_es', 'LIKE', "%$word%")->orWhere('name_cat', 'LIKE', "%$word%");
            })->get();

            $all_courses = $all_courses->merge($courses);
        }

        return $all_courses; 
    }

}

Should I move it to the controller?

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No, this code belongs in the Model (or a related repository if you where using such a design, though thats kind of overkill with Active Record).

You can however reduce the number of queries by using the foreach loop to build a single query, instead of making a query per word:

public function relatedCourses()
{   
    $words = explode($this->name, " ");
    return Course::where(function($query) use ($words) {
        $query->where('id', '<>', $this->id);
        foreach ($words as $key => $word) {
            if($key==0){
                $query->where('name_es', 'LIKE', "%$word%")->orWhere('name_cat', 'LIKE', "%$word%");
            }else{
                $query->orWhere('name_es', 'LIKE', "%$word%")->orWhere('name_cat', 'LIKE', "%$word%");
            }
        }
    })->get();
}
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