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How to Work with Emails During Development

2.1 version
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How to Work with Emails During Development

When developing an application which sends email, you will often not want to actually send the email to the specified recipient during development. If you are using the SwiftmailerBundle with Symfony2, you can easily achieve this through configuration settings without having to make any changes to your application's code at all. There are two main choices when it comes to handling email during development: (a) disabling the sending of email altogether or (b) sending all email to a specific address.

Disabling Sending

You can disable sending email by setting the disable_delivery option to true. This is the default in the test environment in the Standard distribution. If you do this in the test specific config then email will not be sent when you run tests, but will continue to be sent in the prod and dev environments:

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    # app/config/config_test.yml
    swiftmailer:
        disable_delivery:  true
    
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    <!-- app/config/config_test.xml -->
    
    <!--
        xmlns:swiftmailer="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/swiftmailer"
        http://symfony.com/schema/dic/swiftmailer http://symfony.com/schema/dic/swiftmailer/swiftmailer-1.0.xsd
    -->
    
    <swiftmailer:config
        disable-delivery="true" />
    
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    // app/config/config_test.php
    $container->loadFromExtension('swiftmailer', array(
        'disable_delivery'  => "true",
    ));
    

If you'd also like to disable deliver in the dev environment, simply add this same configuration to the config_dev.yml file.

Sending to a Specified Address

You can also choose to have all email sent to a specific address, instead of the address actually specified when sending the message. This can be done via the delivery_address option:

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    # app/config/config_dev.yml
    swiftmailer:
        delivery_address:  dev@example.com
    
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    <!-- app/config/config_dev.xml -->
    
    <!--
        xmlns:swiftmailer="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/swiftmailer"
        http://symfony.com/schema/dic/swiftmailer http://symfony.com/schema/dic/swiftmailer/swiftmailer-1.0.xsd
    -->
    
    <swiftmailer:config
        delivery-address="dev@example.com" />
    
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    // app/config/config_dev.php
    $container->loadFromExtension('swiftmailer', array(
        'delivery_address'  => "dev@example.com",
    ));
    

Now, suppose you're sending an email to recipient@example.com.

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public function indexAction($name)
{
    $message = \Swift_Message::newInstance()
        ->setSubject('Hello Email')
        ->setFrom('send@example.com')
        ->setTo('recipient@example.com')
        ->setBody(
            $this->renderView(
                'HelloBundle:Hello:email.txt.twig',
                array('name' => $name)
            )
        )
    ;
    $this->get('mailer')->send($message);

    return $this->render(...);
}

In the dev environment, the email will instead be sent to dev@example.com. Swiftmailer will add an extra header to the email, X-Swift-To, containing the replaced address, so you can still see who it would have been sent to.

Note

In addition to the to addresses, this will also stop the email being sent to any CC and BCC addresses set for it. Swiftmailer will add additional headers to the email with the overridden addresses in them. These are X-Swift-Cc and X-Swift-Bcc for the CC and BCC addresses respectively.

Viewing from the Web Debug Toolbar

You can view any email sent during a single response when you are in the dev environment using the Web Debug Toolbar. The email icon in the toolbar will show how many emails were sent. If you click it, a report will open showing the details of the sent emails.

If you're sending an email and then immediately redirecting to another page, the web debug toolbar will not display an email icon or a report on the next page.

Instead, you can set the intercept_redirects option to true in the config_dev.yml file, which will cause the redirect to stop and allow you to open the report with details of the sent emails.

Tip

Alternatively, you can open the profiler after the redirect and search by the submit URL used on previous request (e.g. /contact/handle). The profiler's search feature allows you to load the profiler information for any past requests.

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    # app/config/config_dev.yml
    web_profiler:
        intercept_redirects: true
    
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    <!-- app/config/config_dev.xml -->
    
    <!--
        xmlns:webprofiler="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/webprofiler"
        xsi:schemaLocation="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/webprofiler
        http://symfony.com/schema/dic/webprofiler/webprofiler-1.0.xsd">
    -->
    
    <webprofiler:config
        intercept-redirects="true"
    />
    
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    // app/config/config_dev.php
    $container->loadFromExtension('web_profiler', array(
        'intercept_redirects' => 'true',
    ));
    

This work, including the code samples, is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.