I have a custom component where I was to be able to select other articles to show in the frontend. I have thought the best way to do this would be through the SQL field.

This is good that it gives me the ID of the article, but I want to be able to display the article name, intro image and intro text in the frontend of my custom component.

I have the following in my component XML

<field name="interested_in" type="sql" default="10" label="Select an article" query="SELECT id, title FROM #__content" key_field="id" value_field="title" />

This echo's the ID:

<?PHP echo $this->item->interested_in; ?>

But ideally, I need something along the lines of:


    $id      = $this->item->interested_in;
    $article = JControllerLegacy::getInstance('Content')->getModel('Article')->getItem($id);
    $image   = json_decode($article->images);

    echo '<a href="' . JRoute::_('index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=' . $id) . '">' . $article->title . '</a>';

    if ($image !== null) {
        echo '<img src="' . $image->image_intro . '" alt="">';

But this is giving me an error in the frontend:

Call to a member function getItem() on bool
  • 2
    Your XML uses name="interested_in" however you confirmed that $this->item->interest_in echoes the ID. Note the difference between interested_in and interest_in. Was this a typo in the question or if there a mismatch?
    – Lodder
    Jul 7, 2021 at 16:49
  • 2
    FYI the I've tested the code and everything works fine...assuming interested_in is used in both the XML and PHP
    – Lodder
    Jul 7, 2021 at 16:50

2 Answers 2


JControllerLegacy::getInstance() caches the first controller instance so you're actually getting an instance of your component's controller rather than Content controller. You can skip the controller and get the model directly instead:

JModelLegacy::addIncludePath(JPATH_SITE . '/components/com_content/models', 'ContentModel');
$model = JModelLegacy::getInstance('Article', 'ContentModel');
$article = $model->getItem($id);
  • Worked perfectly, thank you! Jul 8, 2021 at 9:05

Building on @Sharky's answer, the correct way to get the model in Joomla 4 & 5 is:

use Joomla\CMS\Factory;

$app = Factory::getApplication();
$factory = $app->bootComponent('com_content')->getMVCFactory();
$model = $factory->createModel('Article');
$article = $model->getItem($id);

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