In PHP, furthermore efficient?

  • 1 join query to 4 tables OR
  • 4 individual database calls?

Limit is going to be maximum 10 in each and every situation.

The tables are:

approvals
id  |  content  |  user_id  |  time_stamp

users
id  |  name  |  email

labels
id  |  name

label_relations
id  |  label_id  |  approval_id

One complex (but effectively composed) call will beat 4 simple calls.

This is because creating a database call includes a large overhead, typically a lot more than the query itself. There's:

  • Opening a transaction
  • Parsing the query
  • Checking authorization
  • Calculating the program
  • Creating the transport of results
  • Closing the transaction

Which do not have anything related to getting data. You avoid doing all of this (and much more) 3 occasions by looking into making one call.

Just make certain your totally well crafted - eg consider unions

Should you code your queries properly, both is going to be equally reliable.

Maybe reliable is not the word you're looking for.