Symfony2 - Creating a REST API - Part 1


This tutorial aims to get someone who is completely new to Symfony2 setup with a very basic REST API with Symfony, from scratch, as quickly and as simply as possible.

The majority of this tutorial is based on the video below, which I found to be incredibly useful, but far too quick to follow which resulted in me creating this tutorial. This tutorial will also be kept up-to-date and fix some of the issues that have since arisen due to updates.



Firstly, register some variables in your shell that we will use throughout this tutorial

# Specify a name for your project

# This should be the name of your organization, or your personal pseudonym

# This must end with "Bundle" and use Camelcase

Run the following commands to create a project

curl -s | php
sudo php composer.phar create-project symfony/framework-standard-edition ./$PROJECT_NAME '2.5.*'
We use sudo in the command above to removes the possible ErrorException
mkdir: permission denied

Answer the Questions

At this point it will ask you a series of questions. I elected to NOT install the Acme demo bundle and use the mysqli database_driver. When the secret option comes up, make sure to create something new and write it down for now


Run the following commands to include some relevant bundles

composer require jms/serializer-bundle @stable
composer require friendsofsymfony/rest-bundle @stable
Those commands will automatically add the corresponding lines to the composer.json file.

Create A New Bundle

Run the following command to create a new bundle

php app/console generate:bundle
You will not be able to use the variable names directly, but have to manually convert them into the corresponding strings for entry!

Press return three times to use the defaults for the questions that come next.

Bundle Namespace:
Bundle name: 
Target directory:
For configuration format, I chose php. Then choose no to generating the whole directory structure and choose yes to confirm generation. Confirm automatic updating of your kernel and routing.

Register the bundles with Symfony.

editor app/AppKernel.php
Add the following two lines to the bundles array
            new JMS\SerializerBundle\JMSSerializerBundle(),
            new FOS\RestBundle\FOSRestBundle(),

Your file should now look similar to the one below:

Create A User Entity

../../../app/console doctrine:generate:entity

Answer the Questions:

  • The Entity shortcut name: $USERNAME$BUNDLE_NAME:User
  • accept annotation as the configuration format
  • Add the following fields
  • username string 255
  • password string 255
  • email string 255
  • Press return to stop entering fields
  • Press return to use "no" for "Do you want to generate an empty repository class"
  • Press return to confirm generation.

Define Configurations

Run the following command to append to the end of your config.yml file.
echo "
    view: { annotations: false }
    router: { annotations: true }

            - prefer_extension: false
        view_response_listener: true
" >> ../../../app/config/config.yml
Please note that this is different from what is shown in the video. This was taken from a stack overflow post.

Define Our First Controller

editor ../../../app/config/routing.yml
Add the following:
    type: rest
    resource: $USERNAME\$BUNDLE_NAME\Controller\UsersController
editor Controller/UsersController.php

namespace $USERNAME\$BUNDLE_NAME\Controller;

use Symfony\Bundle\FrameworkBundle\Controller\Controller;
use FOS\RestBundle\Controller\Annotations\View;

class UsersController extends Controller
    public function getUsersAction()
        $users = $this->getDoctrine()->getRepository('$USERNAME$BUNDLE_NAME:User')
        return array('users' => $users);

Test It's Working

Run the following command to check that all of your routes/configurations are set up correctly with the following command:
../../../app/console router:debug
You should see output similar to below:

That concludes the first part of the tutorial. I will add a link to the second part as it becomes available.


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