Mail sending module for Zend Framework 2

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This module, once enabled, allows you to register services that wrap ZF2 mailing functionality, allowing to configure mail information to be used to send emails. It supports file attachment and template email composition.


Install composer in your project

curl -s | php

Then run

php composer.phar require acelaya/zf2-acmailer:~5.0

Add the module AcMailer to your config/application.config.php file


return [
    // This should be an array of module namespaces used in the application.
    'modules' => [

IMPORTANT! Version 5.0.0 has introduced some important BC breaks, so make sure not to update from earlier versions in production without reading this documentation first. It is possible to autogenerate the new configuration structure from the command line. Read the configuration section at the end of this document for more information.


After installation, copy vendor/acelaya/zf2-acmailer/config/ to config/autoload/ and customize any of the params.

As with any ZF2 configs, you can choose to put any of the settings into a config/autoload/mail.local.php or into your existing config/autoload/local.php so you can make environment-specific mail settings, and avoid committing credentials into Git.

Configuration options are explained later.

By default, this configuration will register an acmailer.mailservice.default service, which is also aliased by the service names AcMailer\Service\MailService and mailservice.

All the services in the acmailer.mailservice namespace will return AcMailer\Service\MailService instances. The last part is the specific name, so that you can configure multiple mail services, even extending configurations between them.

Once you get the acmailer.mailservice.default service, the default MailService instance will be returned and you will be allowed to set the body and send the message.

$mailService = $serviceManager->get('acmailer.mailservice.default');
// The body can be a string, HTML or even a zend\Mime\Message or a Zend\Mime\Part
$mailService->setBody('This is the body');

$result = $mailService->send();
if ($result->isValid()) {
    echo 'Message sent. Congratulations!';
} else {
    if ($result->hasException()) {
        echo sprintf('An error occurred. Exception: \n %s', $result->getException()->getTraceAsString());
    } else {
        echo sprintf('An error occurred. Message: %s', $result->getMessage());
Via controller plugin

Inside controllers, you can access and use any MailService by using the sendMail controller plugin. It returns the MailService when no arguments are provided.

// In a class extending Zend\Mvc\AbstractController...
$mailService = $this->sendMail();
$mailService->setBody('This is the body');

$result = $mailService->send();

But you can pass some basic information, making the email to be sent right away and the result to be returned.

// In a class extending Zend\Mvc\AbstractController...
$result = $this->sendMail(
    'The body',
    'The subject',
    ['', '']
// Send another one
$result = $this->sendMail([
    'subject' => 'Hello there!',
    'from' => ['', 'John Doe']

Adapters configuration can't be provided here, and should be defined at configuration level. Any other information not provided here will be read from configuration.

The plugin accepts a maximum of 7 arguments, which are the body, the subject, the 'to', the 'from', the 'cc', the 'bcc' and the attachments. They can be provided as an associative array too.

By default this plugin uses the default MailService, but it is possible to define which one to use, by attaching its name to the sendMail part. For example, if you call sendMailEmployees, the employees mail service will be used.

$mailService = $this->sendMailEmployees();
$mailService->setBody('This is the body');

$result = $mailService->send();
Rendering views

Instead of setting a plain string, the body of the message can be set from a view script by using setTemplate instead of setBody. It will use a renderer to render defined template and then set it as the email body internally.

You can set the template as a string and pass the arguments for it.

$mailService = $serviceManager->get('acmailer.mailservice.default');
$mailService->setTemplate('application/emails/merry-christmas', ['name' => 'John Doe', 'date' => date('Y-m-d')]);

You can also set the template as a Zend\View\Model\ViewModel object, which will render child templates too.

$mailService = $serviceManager->get('acmailer.mailservice.default');

$layout = new \Zend\View\Model\ViewModel([
    'name' => 'John Doe',
    'date' => date('Y-m-d')

$footer = new \Zend\View\Model\ViewModel();

$layout->addChild($footer, 'footer');


If you are going to send more then one email with different templates but you want all of them to share a common layout, you can set a defaultLayout too.

$mailService = $serviceManager->get('acmailer.mailservice.default');
$mailService->setDefaultLayout(new AcMailer\View\DefaultLayout(
        'title' => 'Something',
    'captureToKey' // This is the capture to for the template inside the layout

// From this point, all the templates will be set as children of the previous layout
    ['name' => 'John Doe', 'date' => date('Y-m-d')]

    ['doo' => 'bar']

The renderer that is internally used can be changed to another one (like Twig or Blade). It just needs to implement Zend\View\Renderer\RendererInterface.

By default AcMailer uses the default ViewRenderer service via an alias, mailviewrenderer. You can override that alias in your service_manager configuration in order to change the renderer service to be used (thanks to kusmierz):

return [
    'service_manager' => [
        'aliases' => [
            'mailviewrenderer' => 'ZfcTwigRenderer',

Alternatively you can just set it via setter: $mailService->setRenderer($renderer);.

Rendering in CLI executions

When running a ZF2 application from the console, the default ViewRenderer service is not created. In that case a Zend\View\Renderer\PhpRenderer is created on the fly so that templates can be properly rendered.

It has access to view_manager and view_helpers configuration, so template resolution will properly work and view helpers (both standard and custom) will be accessible from rendered templates.

If you overriden the mailviewrenderer service alias with your own view renderer, then that will be used instead of creating one on the fly.

It is safe to use this module to send emails from cron jobs and such.

Email charset

The email body charset can be set in diferent ways.

String body: Use the second argument of the setBody method.

$mailService->setBody('Hello!!', 'utf-8');
$mailService->setBody('<h1>Hello!!</h1>', 'utf-8');

Template body: Set a 'charset' property in the second argument of the setTemplate method.

$mailService->setTemplate(new Zend\View\Model\ViewModel(), ['charset' => 'utf-8']);
$mailService->setTemplate('application/emails/my-template', [
    'charset' => 'utf-8',
    'date' => date('Y-m-d'),
    'foo' => 'bar',

Mime\Part body: Either set it in the object before calling setBody or pass it as the second argument.

$part = new Zend\Mime\Part();
$part->charset = 'utf-8';

// Providing a charset will overwrite the Mime\Part's charset
$mailService->setBody($part, 'utf-8');

Files can be attached to the email before sending it by providing their paths with addAttachment, addAttachments or setAttachments methods. At the moment we call send, all the files that already exist will be attached to the email.

$mailService->addAttachment('data/mail/attachments/file2.pdf', 'different-filename.pdf');

// Add two more attachments to the list
    'another-name.pdf' => 'data/mail/attachments/file3.pdf',
// At this point there is 4 attachments ready to be sent with the email

// If we call this, all previous attachments will be discarded
    'name-to-be-displayed.png' => 'data/mail/attachments/another-file2.png'

// A good way to remove all attachments is to call this

The files will be attached with their real name unless you provide an alternative name as the key of the array element in addAttachments and setAttachments or as the second argument in addAttachment.

Attention!! Be careful when attaching files to your email programatically.

Attached images can be displayed inmail by setting the cid to the image filename in the image tag like this (thanks to omarev). The alternative name should be used if provided.

<img alt="This is an attached image" src="cid:image-filename.jpg">
Customize the Message

If mail options does not fit your needs or you need to update them at runtime, the message wrapped by the MailService can be customized by getting it before calling send().

$message = $mailService->getMessage();
$message->setSubject('This is the subject')

$result = $mailService->send();

If you are using a Zend\Mail\Transport\File as the transport object and need to change any option at runtime do this

$mailService = $serviceManager->get('acmailer.mailservice.default');
$result = $mailService->send();

Event management

This module comes with a built-in event system.

  • An event is triggered before the mail is sent (MailEvent::EVENT_MAIL_PRE_SEND).
  • If everything was OK another event is triggered (MailEvent::EVENT_MAIL_POST_SEND) after the email has been sent.
  • If an error occured, an error event is triggered (MailEvent::EVENT_MAIL_SEND_ERROR).

Managing mail events is as easy as extending AcMailer\Event\AbstractMailListener. It provides the onPreSend, onPostSend and onSendError methods, which get a MailEvent parameter that can be used to get the MailService which triggered the event or the MailResult produced.

Then attach the listener object to the MailService and the corresponding method will be automatically called when calling the send method.

$mailListener = new \Application\Event\MyMailListener();

$mailService->send(); // Mail events will be triggered at this moment

If you want to detach a previously attached event manager, just call detach MailListener like this.

$mailListener = new \Application\Event\MyMailListener();

// Some conditions occurred which made us not to want the events to be triggered any more on this listener

$mailService->send(); // The events on the $mailListener won't be triggered.

The MailResult will always be null when the event EVENT_MAIL_PRE_SEND is triggered, since the email hasn't been sent yet.

Any Zend\Mail exception will be catched, producing a EVENT_MAIL_SEND_ERROR instead. If any other kind of exception occurs, the same event will be triggered, but the exception will be rethrown in the form of an AcMailer\Exception\MailException. The event's wrapped exception will be the original exception.

Configuration options

Important! The configuration has completly changed from v5.0.0 and is not compatible with earlier versions. If you want to upgrade, please, read this section.

When the mail service is requested, it automatically tries to find the acmailer_options config key under the global configuration, and then the specific name inside it. For example, if you fetch the acmailer.mailservice.employees service, the abstract factory will try to find the employees key under the acmailer_options block. If it is found, a MailService instance will be returned preconfigured with that configuration block.

An example configuration file is provided in vendor/acelaya/zf2-acmailer/config/ that comes with the default service already defined.

Each concrete service configuration can define these properties:

  • extends: Defines other configuration block from which this one extends, so that you only need to define the configuration that is different. By default this is null, which means that no configuration is extended.
  • mail_adapter: Tells the mail service what type of transport adapter should be used. Any instance or classname implementing Zend\Mail\Transport\TransportInterface is valid. It is also possible to define a service and it will be automatically fetched.
  • transport: It is an alias for the mail_adapter option. Just use one or another.
  • message_options: Wraps message-related options
    • from: From email address.
    • from_name: From name to be displayed.
    • reply_to: The email address to reply to
    • reply_to_name: The name to reply to
    • to: It can be a string with one destination email address or an array of multiple addresses.
    • cc: It can be a string with one carbon copy email address or an array of multiple addresses.
    • bcc: It can be a string with one blind carbon copy email address or an array of multiple addresses.
    • subject: Default email subject.
    • body: Wraps body configuration, like template, content or charset
      • content: A string with the default content body, either in plan text or HTML. Use it for simple emails.
      • charset: Charset to be used in the email body. Default value is utf-8
      • use_template: Tells if the body should be created from a template. If true, the template options will be used, ignoring the content option. Default value is false.
      • template: Wraps the configuration to create emails from templates.
        • path: Path of the template. The same used while setting the template of a ViewModel (ie. 'application/index/list').
        • params: Array with key-value pairs with parameters to be sent to the template.
        • children: Array with children templates to be used within the main template (layout). Each one of them can have its own children that will be recursively rendered. Look at vendor/acelaya/zf2-acmailer/config/ for details.
        • default_layout: Wraps the information to set a default layout for all the templates
          • path: Path of the layout. The same used while setting the template of a ViewModel (ie. 'application/index/list'). Default value is null, so that a default layout is not used.
          • params: Array with key-value pairs with parameters to be sent to the layout. By default is an empoty array.
          • template_capture_to: Capture to value for each template inside this layout. Default value is 'content'.
    • attachments: Wraps the configuration of attachements.
      • files: Array of files to be attached. Can be an associative array where keys are attachment names and values are file paths.
      • dir: Directory to iterate.
        • iterate: If it is not true, the directory won't be iterated. Default value is false.
        • path: The path of the directory to iterate looking for files. This files will be attached with their real names.
        • recursive: True or false. Tells if nested directories should be recursively iterated too.
  • smtp_options: Wraps the SMTP configuration that is used when the mail adapter is a Zend\Mail\Transport\Smtp instance.
    • host: IP address or server name of the SMTP server. Default value is 'localhost'.
    • port: SMTP server port. Default value is 25.
    • connection_class: The connection class used for authentication. Values are 'smtp', 'plain', 'login' or 'crammd5'
    • connection_config
      • username: Username to be used for authentication against the SMTP server. If none is provided the message_options/from option will be used for this purpose.
      • smtp_password: Password to be used for authentication against the SMTP server.
      • ssl: Defines the type of connection encryption against the SMTP server. Values are 'ssl', 'tls' or false to disable encryption.
  • file_options: Wraps the files configuration that will be used when the mail adapter is a Zend\Mail\Transport\File instance
    • path: Directory where the email will be saved.
    • callback: Callback used to get the filename of the email.
  • mail_listeners: An array of mail listeners that will be automatically attached to the service once created. They can be either AcMailer\Event\MailListenerInterface instances or strings that will be used to fetch a service if exists or lazily instantiate an object. This is an empty array by default.
Migrate config from AcMailer 4.5 and earlier to AcMailer 5.0

The configuration structure has changed from version 4.5 to 5.0. If you have an old configuration file, you can automatically parse it to the new structure by using a command line entry point.

Run php public/index.php acmailer parse-config and you will get the output of the new configuration file.

By default it parses the config under the key mail_options, which was the one used in older versions, but you can change it with the value flag configKey, like --configKey=my_custom_key.

Also, the configuration can be dumped in php, json, xml or ini format. Just define it with the value flag format. By default, php format is used.

Finally, the output is displayed by default in the console, but you can dump it to an output file with the outputFile value flag. Use quotes if the path includes spaces, --outputFile="my/pretty route/with spaces.ini".


AcMailer\Service\MailService should be injected into Controllers or other Services which you probably need to test. It implements AcMailer\Service\MailServiceInterface for this purpose, but even a MailServiceMock is included. It allows user to define if the message should or should not fail when send method is called, by calling setForceError method. You can even know if send method was called after any action by calling isSendMethodCalled.

$mailServiceMock = new \AcMailer\Service\MailServiceMock();
$mailServiceMock->isSendMethodCalled(); // This will return false at this point

// Force an error
$result = $mailServiceMock->send();
$result->isValid(); // This will return false because we forced an error

$mailServiceMock->isSendMethodCalled(); // This will return true at this point

// Force a success
$result = $mailServiceMock->send();
$result->isValid(); // This will return true in this case

Thanks to PhpStorm for their support, since they have provided me an OSS license to work on this project.