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Chapter 1 - Getting Started


The symfony and Doctrine book does not explain in detail everything about Doctrine. It briefly touches on a few critical subjects that symfony utilizes the most. The Doctrine manual is still the best source of documentation for referencing everything that is Doctrine. It is recommended you read this book to get started and then utilize the Doctrine manual for referencing the specifics of using Doctrine. You can find the main Doctrine documentation here.

What is Doctrine?

Doctrine is a PHP ORM (object relational mapper) for PHP 5.2.3+ that sits on top of a powerful PHP DBAL (database abstraction layer). One of its key features is the ability to optionally write database queries in an OO (object oriented) SQL-dialect called DQL inspired by Hibernate's HQL. This provides developers with a powerful alternative to SQL that maintains a maximum of flexibility without requiring needless code duplication.

Enable Doctrine

In order to begin using Doctrine you must first enable it by editing your config/ProjectConfiguration.class.php setup() method to enable sfDoctrinePlugin and disable sfPropelPlugin.

public function setup()

If you prefer to have all plugins enabled by default, you can do the following:

public function setup()
  $this->enableAllPluginsExcept(array('sfPropelPlugin', 'sfCompat10Plugin'));


Though not recommended, Doctrine and Propel can be used side-by-side. Simply enable sfDoctrinePlugin without disabling sfPropelPlugin and you are good to go.

Available Tasks

Below is the complete list of tasks available with the sfDoctrinePlugin. sfDoctrinePlugin offers all of the functionality of sfPropelPlugin, plus much more.

$ ./symfony list doctrine
  symfony [options] task_name [arguments]

  --dry-run     -n  Do a dry run without executing actions.
  --help        -H  Display this help message.
  --quiet       -q  Do not log messages to standard output.
  --trace       -t  Turn on invoke/execute tracing, enable full backtrace.
  --version     -V  Display the program version.

Available tasks for the "doctrine" namespace:
  :build-all                   Generates Doctrine model, SQL and initializes the database (doctrine-build-all)
  :build-all-load              Generates Doctrine model, SQL, initializes database, and load data (doctrine-build-all-load)
  :build-all-reload            Generates Doctrine model, SQL, initializes database, and load data (doctrine-build-all-reload)
  :build-all-reload-test-all   Generates Doctrine model, SQL, initializes database, load data and run all test suites (doctrine-build-all-reload-test-all)
  :build-db                    Creates database for current model (doctrine-build-db)
  :build-filters               Creates filter form classes for the current model
  :build-forms                 Creates form classes for the current model (doctrine-build-forms)
  :build-model                 Creates classes for the current model (doctrine-build-model)
  :build-schema                Creates a schema from an existing database (doctrine-build-schema)
  :build-sql                   Creates SQL for the current model (doctrine-build-sql)
  :data-dump                   Dumps data to the fixtures directory (doctrine-dump-data)
  :data-load                   Loads data from fixtures directory (doctrine-load-data)
  :dql                         Execute a DQL query and view the results (doctrine-dql)
  :drop-db                     Drops database for current model (doctrine-drop-db)
  :generate-admin              Generates a Doctrine admin module
  :generate-migration          Generate migration class (doctrine-generate-migration)
  :generate-migrations-db      Generate migration classes from existing database connections (doctrine-generate-migrations-db, doctrine-gen-migrations-from-db)
  :generate-migrations-models  Generate migration classes from an existing set of models (doctrine-generate-migrations-models, doctrine-gen-migrations-from-models)
  :generate-module             Generates a Doctrine module (doctrine-generate-crud, doctrine:generate-crud)
  :generate-module-for-route   Generates a Doctrine module for a route definition
  :insert-sql                  Inserts SQL for current model (doctrine-insert-sql)
  :migrate                     Migrates database to current/specified version (doctrine-migrate)
  :rebuild-db                  Creates database for current model (doctrine-rebuild-db)