Symfony2 - A High Performance PHP Framework

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A Developers vision

What is Symfony?

Symfony is a bunch of stand alone PHP libraries

What is Symfony2 Framework?

  • A set of bundles containing configuration and bridge classes
  • These glue the components together, giving the developer a consistent experience
  • Symfony 2 is a PHP Framework for web development
  • Symfony 2 is MVC
  • Symfony 2 is OOP
  • Symfony 2 is not Symfony 1 (>=PHP 5.3)
  • Symfony 2 is HTTP-centric
  • Symfony 2 is like bits of Rails and like bits of Java

Why Symfony2?

Based on project needs Symfony can be used as:
  • Full framework
    1. Micro framework (single file apps)
    2. Symfony Components (stand alone)
  • Symfony comes with tight integration with many open source projects like Monolog, Assetic, Doctrine, Propel.
  • Powerful and easy routing.
  • Very advanced and useful template engine TWIG

Symfony2 VS Zend:

  • After the launch of Zend framework 2 (ZF2) all the major things offered in Symfony2 are available in ZF2
  • Both Symfony2 and ZF2 are the next generation frameworks using PHP 5.3
  • Symfony have pre integrated Twig template engine where as now ZF2 comes up with ZfcTwig Modules to support Twig
  • Symfony2 and ZF2 are both good for enterprise products

Things You should Know before starting with Symfony2:

  • Namespaces in PHP
  • YML
  • ORM ( Object relationship Model )
  • Understanding of design Patterns
  • OOP concepts

What can you expect?

22 High quality Components 

  • DependencyInjection          EventDispatcher
  • HttpFoundation                      DomCrawler
  • ClassLoader                              CssSelector
  • HttpKernel                                BrowserKit
  • Templating                                Translation
  • SerializerAl                               Serializer
  • Validator                                   Security
  • Routing                                       Console
  • Process                                       Config
  • Finder                                         Locale
  • Yaml                                            Form

Highlights of Symfony 2:

  • Rewritten from scratch for PHP5.3
  • Based on the HTTP specification
  • Very stable and solid API ( 12 preview releases, 5 beta releases, 6 release candidates, 9 stable releases )
  • Extensible through the creation of Bundles ( replacement for sf1plugins )
  • Flexible configuration using YAML, XML, annotations or PHP
  • All configuration is compiled to PHP code and cached
  • Lots of unit tests
  • Source code audited by independent security firm thanks to donations of the Symfony Community
  • Extensible Configuration with Service Container / Dependency Injection
  • Complete redesign of Forms support
  • Validations
  • Extensible Security with Authentication / Authorization
  • Advanced and powerful templating through Twig
  • Routes configured with YAML, XML or Annotations
  • ESI Caching support out of the box
  • Assets management with Assetic
  • Translations
  • Environments

What are Bundles?

  • Bundle is like a plugin, except that even the core framework is implemented as bundle.
  • Your code is an equal citizen with the core

Symfony2 is a set of standalone PHP component libraries, glued together by a group of removable “bundles” 

Let's get into some action..

  • Download Symfony2 from http://symfony.com/download
  • Unzip it into your localhost
  • Run the config file http://localhost/Symfony/web/config.php
  • This page identifies any problem with your setup
  • If you want to configure your setup using GUI then click on “Configure your Symfony Application Online”
  • Else you can directly edit Symfony/app/config/parameters.yml

Let's create some pages..

The 3 step approach:

  • Request comes in – Symfony matches the URL to a route
  • Symfony executes the controller (PHP function) of the route
  • The controller (your code) returns a Symfony Response object

 Famous Hello World:

  • Our goal is to create a Hello world like application

 In two small steps…

 Step 1: Define a route
In our case we are using YML but xml can also be used to define routes

Add the following route to app/config/routing.yml

** Routes can also be defined as XML,PHP and annotations

Step 2: Symfony executes the controller of the route

Step 2: Create the controller

The controller returns a  Symfony Response object

Routing Placeholders


2 Steps to remember:

  • Create a route that points to a controller
  • Do anything you want inside the controller, but eventually return a Response object

So far so good….

  • Now lets move to templates…
  • Why template…?
  • Template help you separate your presentation layer from your business logic.
  • In a nutshell separate your PHP code and HTML code

Lets Render a template in our controller..

Create the template file..
Still Working

Twig saves a lot of time ..

Learn more about Twig from official documentation: http://twig.sensiolabs.org/

Moving Forward …

Lets create another page  to check Ajax and Database calls

Configure database..

All application configuration is placed in “app/config”  folder. The one we need to edit is App/config/parameters.yml

Users App

Now we will create Our first form to add users to this table

Step1 : create Your route 

Step2: define action in controller 

Step3: define template 

Step4: create your form

Users App – Step1

Users App – Step 2

Users App – Step 3

Users App – Step 4

Create Form

  • For creating the form we will use Symfony2 Form Framework
  • Form component in Symfony2 is a very powerful framework that makes the tedious task of dealing with forms easy
  • As with all Symfony2 components, it can be used outside of Symfony2 in your own projects
  • For using Form component we need to create our Entity, in our case User
  • By using the Symfony Form component we create forms that can be re-used in the entire application which leads us to create our form type,  in our case UserType

User App Step 4 – create Form -User Entity class

Users App – Step 4 – Create Form – User Form Type class

Users App - Step 4

And its Alive!

Define validations

Save data to database

Symfony2 uses Doctrine2 ORM for Database abstraction
  • We will reuse our User Entity class
  • Define Database Mapping using Annotation
  • Save the record in the database

View Saved Users

We will now create a new page to show saved users

Step 1: create route

Step2: Create action

Step3: Create template

Create Route

Create Action

Create Template

Add Navigation and Style

Much Better


Topics : Technology, PHP development

Reetam Das

Written by Reetam Das

Reetam heads the digital marketing team at Classic Informatics, a global web development company. He is passionate about technology, software products and marketing. He has spent nearly a decade helping businesses across globe deliver uncanny customer & user experiences, market faster and growth-hack effectively. He is an avid reader and a writer and shares insights based on experience that readers can actually put to use.

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