The Router

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The Router

Welcome at the third part of the Quick Tour. Well done, making it this far! And that’s a good thing, as you will learn about the backbone of the CMF in this chapter: The Router.

The Backbone of the CMF

The router is central to the CMF. To understand this, let us look at what a CMS tries to do. In a normal Symfony application, a route refers to a controller which can handle a specific entity. Another route refers to another controller which can handle another entity. This way, a route is tied to a controller. In fact, using the Symfony core you are also limited by this pattern.

But if you look at the base of a CMS, it only needs to handle one type of entity: The Content. So most of the routes don’t have to be tied to a controller anymore, as only one controller is needed. The Route has to be tied to a specific Content object, which - on its side - may need a specific template and controller.

Other parts of the CMF are also related to the Router. Two examples: The menu is created by generating specific routes using the Router and the blocks are displayed to specific routes (as they are related to a template).

Loading Routes from the PHPCR tree

In the first chapter, you have already learned that routes are loaded from the database using a special DynamicRouter. This way, not all routes need to be loaded each request.

Matching routes from a PHPCR is straightforward: The router takes the request path and looks for a document with that path. Some examples:

        /en            # /en Route
            /company   # /en/company Route
                /team  # /en/company/team Route
            /about     # /en/about Route
        /de            # /de Route
            /ueber     # /de/ueber Route

OK, you got it? The only thing the Router has to do is prefix the route with a specific path prefix and load that document. In the case of the RoutingBundle, all routes are prefixed with /cms/routes.

You see that a route like /company/team, which consist of two “path units”, has two documents in the PHPCR tree: company and team.

Creating a new Route

Now you know the basics of routing, you can add a new route to the tree using Doctrine:

// src/AppBundle/DataFixtures/PHPCR/LoadQuickTourData.php
namespace AppBundle\DataFixtures\PHPCR;

use Doctrine\Common\Persistence\ObjectManager;
use Doctrine\Common\DataFixtures\FixtureInterface;
use Doctrine\Common\DataFixtures\OrderedFixtureInterface;
use Doctrine\ODM\PHPCR\DocumentManager;
use PHPCR\Util\NodeHelper;
use Symfony\Cmf\Bundle\RoutingBundle\Doctrine\Phpcr\Route;

class LoadQuickTourData implements FixtureInterface, OrderedFixtureInterface
    public function load(ObjectManager $documentManager)
        // static content from model chapter, resulting in $content being defined
        // ...

        $routesRoot = $documentManager->find(null, '/cms/routes');
        $route = new Route();
        // set $routesRoot as the parent and 'new-route' as the node name,
        // this is equal to:
        // $route->setName('new-route');
        // $route->setParentDocument($routesRoot);
        $route->setPosition($routesRoot, 'new-route');


        $documentManager->persist($route); // put $route in the queue
        $documentManager->flush(); // save it

Now execute the doctrine:phpcr:fixtures:load command again.

This creates a new node called /cms/routes/new-route, which will display our quick_tour page when you go to /new-route.


Chaining multiple Routers

Usually, you want to use both the DynamicRouter for the editable routes, but also the static routing files from Symfony for your custom logic. To be able to do that, the CMF provides a ChainRouter. This router tries each registered router and stops on the first router that returns a match.

By default, the ChainRouter overrides the Symfony router and only has the core and dynamic router in its chain. You can add more routers to the chain in the configuration or by tagging the router services with cmf_routing.router.

Final Thoughts

Now you reached the end of this article, you can say you really know the basics of the Symfony CMF. First, you have learned about the Request flow and quickly learned each new step in this process. After that, you have learned more about the default storage layer and the routing system.

The Routing system is created together with some developers from Drupal 8. In fact, Drupal 8 uses the Routing component of the Symfony CMF. The Symfony CMF also uses some 3rd party bundles from others and integrated them into PHPCR. In the next chapter you’ll learn more about those bundles and other projects the Symfony CMF is helping.

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