How to work with Multiple Entity Managers and Connections

How to work with Multiple Entity Managers and Connections

You can use multiple Doctrine entity managers or connections in a Symfony2 application. This is necessary if you are using different databases or even vendors with entirely different sets of entities. In other words, one entity manager that connects to one database will handle some entities while another entity manager that connects to another database might handle the rest.

Note

Using multiple entity managers is pretty easy, but more advanced and not usually required. Be sure you actually need multiple entity managers before adding in this layer of complexity.

The following configuration code shows how you can configure two entity managers:

  • YAML
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    doctrine:
        dbal:
            default_connection: default
            connections:
                default:
                    driver:   "%database_driver%"
                    host:     "%database_host%"
                    port:     "%database_port%"
                    dbname:   "%database_name%"
                    user:     "%database_user%"
                    password: "%database_password%"
                    charset:  UTF8
                customer:
                    driver:   "%database_driver2%"
                    host:     "%database_host2%"
                    port:     "%database_port2%"
                    dbname:   "%database_name2%"
                    user:     "%database_user2%"
                    password: "%database_password2%"
                    charset:  UTF8
    
        orm:
            default_entity_manager: default
            entity_managers:
                default:
                    connection: default
                    mappings:
                        AcmeDemoBundle:  ~
                        AcmeStoreBundle: ~
                customer:
                    connection: customer
                    mappings:
                        AcmeCustomerBundle: ~
    
  • XML
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    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <srv:container xmlns="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/doctrine"
        xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
        xmlns:srv="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/services"
        xsi:schemaLocation="http://symfony.com/schema/dic/services http://symfony.com/schema/dic/services/services-1.0.xsd
                            http://symfony.com/schema/dic/doctrine http://symfony.com/schema/dic/doctrine/doctrine-1.0.xsd">
    
        <config>
            <dbal default-connection="default">
                <connection name="default"
                    driver="%database_driver%"
                    host="%database_host%"
                    port="%database_port%"
                    dbname="%database_name%"
                    user="%database_user%"
                    password="%database_password%"
                    charset="UTF8"
                />
    
                <connection name="customer"
                    driver="%database_driver2%"
                    host="%database_host2%"
                    port="%database_port2%"
                    dbname="%database_name2%"
                    user="%database_user2%"
                    password="%database_password2%"
                    charset="UTF8"
                />
            </dbal>
    
            <orm default-entity-manager="default">
                <entity-manager name="default" connection="default">
                    <mapping name="AcmeDemoBundle" />
                    <mapping name="AcmeStoreBundle" />
                </entity-manager>
    
                <entity-manager name="customer" connection="customer">
                    <mapping name="AcmeCustomerBundle" />
                </entity-manager>
            </orm>
        </config>
    </srv:container>
    
  • PHP
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    $container->loadFromExtension('doctrine', array(
        'dbal' => array(
            'default_connection' => 'default',
            'connections' => array(
                'default' => array(
                    'driver'   => '%database_driver%',
                    'host'     => '%database_host%',
                    'port'     => '%database_port%',
                    'dbname'   => '%database_name%',
                    'user'     => '%database_user%',
                    'password' => '%database_password%',
                    'charset'  => 'UTF8',
                ),
                'customer' => array(
                    'driver'   => '%database_driver2%',
                    'host'     => '%database_host2%',
                    'port'     => '%database_port2%',
                    'dbname'   => '%database_name2%',
                    'user'     => '%database_user2%',
                    'password' => '%database_password2%',
                    'charset'  => 'UTF8',
                ),
            ),
        ),
    
        'orm' => array(
            'default_entity_manager' => 'default',
            'entity_managers' => array(
                'default' => array(
                    'connection' => 'default',
                    'mappings'   => array(
                        'AcmeDemoBundle'  => null,
                        'AcmeStoreBundle' => null,
                    ),
                ),
                'customer' => array(
                    'connection' => 'customer',
                    'mappings'   => array(
                        'AcmeCustomerBundle' => null,
                    ),
                ),
            ),
        ),
    ));
    

In this case, you've defined two entity managers and called them default and customer. The default entity manager manages entities in the AcmeDemoBundle and AcmeStoreBundle, while the customer entity manager manages entities in the AcmeCustomerBundle. You've also defined two connections, one for each entity manager.

Note

When working with multiple connections and entity managers, you should be explicit about which configuration you want. If you do omit the name of the connection or entity manager, the default (i.e. default) is used.

When working with multiple connections to create your databases:

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# Play only with "default" connection
$ php app/console doctrine:database:create

# Play only with "customer" connection
$ php app/console doctrine:database:create --connection=customer

When working with multiple entity managers to update your schema:

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# Play only with "default" mappings
$ php app/console doctrine:schema:update --force

# Play only with "customer" mappings
$ php app/console doctrine:schema:update --force --em=customer

If you do omit the entity manager's name when asking for it, the default entity manager (i.e. default) is returned:

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class UserController extends Controller
{
    public function indexAction()
    {
        // All three return the "default" entity manager
        $em = $this->get('doctrine')->getManager();
        $em = $this->get('doctrine')->getManager('default');
        $em = $this->get('doctrine.orm.default_entity_manager');

        // Both of these return the "customer" entity manager
        $customerEm = $this->get('doctrine')->getManager('customer');
        $customerEm = $this->get('doctrine.orm.customer_entity_manager');
    }
}

You can now use Doctrine just as you did before - using the default entity manager to persist and fetch entities that it manages and the customer entity manager to persist and fetch its entities.

The same applies to repository calls:

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class UserController extends Controller
{
    public function indexAction()
    {
        // Retrieves a repository managed by the "default" em
        $products = $this->get('doctrine')
            ->getRepository('AcmeStoreBundle:Product')
            ->findAll()
        ;

        // Explicit way to deal with the "default" em
        $products = $this->get('doctrine')
            ->getRepository('AcmeStoreBundle:Product', 'default')
            ->findAll()
        ;

        // Retrieves a repository managed by the "customer" em
        $customers = $this->get('doctrine')
            ->getRepository('AcmeCustomerBundle:Customer', 'customer')
            ->findAll()
        ;
    }
}

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