Full-blown importer stack for importing almost any data into your application

v0.9.3 2017-07-20 14:32 UTC


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Full-blown importer stack for importing almost any data into your application. Can be used for exports, too.


This library implements some high-level functionality based on the great Ddeboer Data Import library. As the Data-Import library offers a great toolkit to implement a data import/export process in a quick and clean way, there is still a lot of work to do to have a full blown importer set up for your application. This library helps you with that.

If you are developing a Symfony2 project, you may want to use the comfortable configuration of the ImportEngineBundle.


  • A Storage Abstraction-layer that supports nice features like automatic delimiter-discovering or processing compressed files. Currently these storages are supported:
    • Structured Files
      • CSV, XML, JSON, Excel
      • File may be compressed
    • Doctrine2 queries
    • Service endpoints
  • Storage Provisioning. Provide a list of possible storage-containers for your import. I.e. local files, remote files, uploaded files, database connections, service endpoints and more.
  • A mapping sub-system, for building various mappings for your import: field-field, field-converter-field, field-converter-object and more.
  • Automatic mapping into object tree's using the JMSSerializer
  • Source (read) and Target (write) validation using Symfony Validation. Annotations can be used.
  • Integrated Eventsystem using Symfony EventDispatcher
  • Keeping almost every flexibility that is offered by the Ddeboer Data Import library.
  • Well-tested code.


This library is available on Packagist. The recommended way to install it is through Composer:

$ composer require mathielen/import-engine

Then include Composer’s autoloader:

require_once 'vendor/autoload.php';

If you want to make use of excel files, please also make sure to include phpoffice/phpexcel in your project:

$ composer require phpoffice/phpexcel


Import an arbitrary file into your system

Using the *Provider facilities enables you to let the importer-system figure out what format the file has and what abstraction-classes should be used.

$service = new TestEntities\Dummy(); //your domain service

$fileStorageProvider = new Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\Provider\FileStorageProvider();
$storageSelection = $fileStorageProvider->select('tests/metadata/testfiles/flatdata.csv');
$sourceStorage = $fileStorageProvider->storage($storageSelection);

$targetStorage = new Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\ServiceStorage(array($service, 'onNewData'));
$importer = Mathielen\ImportEngine\Importer\Importer::build($targetStorage);

$import = Mathielen\ImportEngine\Import\Import::build($importer, $sourceStorage);

$importRunner = new Mathielen\ImportEngine\Import\Run\ImportRunner();

More examples

Have a look at: https://github.com/mathielen/import-engine/tree/master/tests/functional/Mathielen/ImportEngine



  • An Importer is the basic definition of the whole import-process. It says what may be imported and where to. It consists of:
    • (optional) A StorageProvider, that represents a "virtual file system" for selecting a SourceStorage
    • (optional) A SourceStorage that may be a file, a database table, an array, an object-tree, etc
    • A TargetStorage that may be a file, a database table, an array, an object-tree, etc
    • A Mapping, which may contain converters, field-mappings, etc
    • A Validation, that may contain validation-rules for data read from the SourceStorage and/or validation-rules for data that will be written to the TargetStorage.
    • An Eventsystem for implementing detailed Logging or other interactions within the process.
  • An Import is a specific definition of the import-process. It uses the Importer and has all the specific informations that is mandatory for processing the data. That is a specific SourceStorage and a Mapping.
  • The ImportRunner is used to process the Import.
  • Every run of an Import is represented by an ImportRun


StorageProviders represents a "virtual file system" for selecting a SourceStorage that can be used as a source or target of the import.


Using the Symfony Finder Component as a collection of possible files that can be imported.

use Symfony\Component\Finder\Finder;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\Provider\FinderFileStorageProvider;

$finder = Finder::create()
$ffsp = new FinderFileStorageProvider($finder);


You can use specific Doctrine Queries or only Entity-Classnames (the query will be SELECT * FROM then) as possible Source-Storages.

use Symfony\Component\Finder\Finder;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\Provider\DoctrineQueryStorageProvider;

$em = ... //Doctrine2 EntityManager
$qb = $em->createQueryBuilder()
  ->from('MySystem\Entity\Address', 'a')
  ->andWhere('a.id > 10')

$queries = array(

$desp = new DoctrineQueryStorageProvider($em, $queries);


You can use a Provider to facilitate a File-Upload.

use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\Provider\UploadFileStorageProvider;

$ufsp = new UploadFileStorageProvider('/tmp'); //path to where the uploaded files will be transferred to

Automatic CSV Delimiter Discovery for FileStorageProviders

FileStorageProviders may use StorageFactories for constructing Storage objects. By default the FormatDiscoverLocalFileStorageFactory is used. This StorageFactory uses a MimeTypeDiscoverStrategy to determine the mime-type of the selected file and use it to create the correct storage-handler. You can change this behavior or extend it. There is a CsvAutoDelimiterTypeFactory that you can use to automaticly guess the correct delimiter of a CSV file.

use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\Format\Factory\CsvAutoDelimiterFormatFactory;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\Factory\FormatDiscoverLocalFileStorageFactory;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\Format\Discovery\MimeTypeDiscoverStrategy;

$ffsp = ...
  new FormatDiscoverLocalFileStorageFactory(
    new MimeTypeDiscoverStrategy(array(
      'text/plain' => new CsvAutoDelimiterFormatFactory()

This way any file that has the text/plain mime-type will be passed to the CsvAutoDelimiterFormatFactory to determine the delimiter.


A storage is a container of data. Storages provide a reader and writer implementation for itself.

use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\ArrayStorage;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\DoctrineStorage;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\LocalFileStorage;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\Format\CsvFormat;

$em = ... //Doctrine2 EntityManager

$array = array(1,2,3);
$storage = new ArrayStorage($array);
$storage = new DoctrineStorage($em, 'MyEntities\Entity');
$storage = new LocalFileStorage('tests/metadata/testfiles/flatdata.csv', new CsvFormat());
$storage = new ServiceStorage(array($service, 'myMethod')); //callable


You can get the source and target validation errors with:

$import = ...

Source data validation

use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Validation\ValidatorValidation;
use Mathielen\DataImport\Filter\ClassValidatorFilter;
use Symfony\Component\Validator\Constraints\NotBlank;
use Symfony\Component\Validator\Constraints\Regex;

$validator = ... //Symfony Validator

$validation = ValidatorValidation::build($validator)
  ->addSourceConstraint('salutation', new NotBlank()) //source field 'salutation' should not be empty
  ->addSourceConstraint('zipcode', new Regex("/[0-9]{5}/")) //source field 'zipcode' should be 5 digits

Target data Validation


You can use the ClassValidatorFilter to map the data to an object-tree and validate the objects (using annotations, or differently configurated validation rules). Therefore you must provide an ObjectFactory. There is a JmsSerializerObjectFactory you may want to use.

use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Validation\ValidatorValidation;
use Mathielen\DataImport\Filter\ClassValidatorFilter;
use Mathielen\DataImport\Writer\ObjectWriter\JmsSerializerObjectFactory;

$validator = ... //Symfony Validator

$jms_serializer = ... 
$objectFactory = new JmsSerializerObjectFactory(

$validation = ValidatorValidation::build($validator)
  ->setTargetValidatorFilter(new ClassValidatorFilter($validator, $objectFactory));


use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Importer\Importer;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\ArrayStorage;

$ffsp = ...
$validation = ...
$targetStorage = ...

$array = array(1,2,3);
$importer = Importer::build($targetStorage)
  ->setSourceStorage(new ArrayStorage($array))

Import / Source Storage

You can either use a StorageProvider (see above) and set the selection-id or you can use a specific Storage-Handler directly:

use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\ArrayStorage;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\LocalFileStorage;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Import\Import;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Importer\Importer;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\Format\CsvFormat;

$targetArray = array();
$importer = Importer::build(new ArrayStorage($targetArray));
$import = Import::build(
    new LocalFileStorage(new \SplFileObject(__DIR__ . '/../../../metadata/testfiles/flatdata.csv'), new CsvFormat())


Also see orginal documentation here.

$import = ... 

  ->add('foo', 'fooloo')
  ->add('baz', array('some' => 'else'));

Converting fields

There are a some field-level build-in converters available:

  • upperCase
  • lowerCase
  • @TODO
$import = ...

  ->add('SALUTATION_FIELD', 'salutation', 'upperCase')

Custom fieldlevel-converting

You have to register more complex converters to the importer for selecting them in your import.

use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Mapping\Converter\Provider\DefaultConverterProvider;
use Ddeboer\DataImport\ValueConverter\CallbackValueConverter;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Import\Import;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\ArrayStorage;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Importer\Importer;

$converterProvider = new DefaultConverterProvider();
  ->add('salutationToGender', new CallbackValueConverter(function ($item) {
      switch ($item) {
        case 'Mr.': return 'male';
        case 'Miss':
        case 'Mrs.': return 'femaile';

$targetStorage = ...

$importer = Importer::build($targetStorage);

$array = array();
$import = Import::build($importer, new ArrayStorage($array))
  ->add('salutation', 'gender', 'salutationToGender')

Custom rowlevel-converting

Like the fieldlevel converters, you have to register your converters first.

use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Mapping\Converter\Provider\DefaultConverterProvider;
use Ddeboer\DataImport\ItemConverter\CallbackItemConverter;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Import\Import;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\ArrayStorage;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Importer\Importer;

$converterProvider = new DefaultConverterProvider();
  ->add('splitNames', new CallbackItemConverter(function ($item) {
      list($firstname, $lastname) = explode(' ', $item['name']);

      $item['first_name'] = $firstname;
      $item['lastname'] = $lastname;

      return $item;

$targetStorage = ...

$importer = Importer::build($targetStorage);

$array = array();
$import = Import::build($importer, new ArrayStorage($array))
  ->add('fullname', null, 'splitNames')


For running a configured Import you need an ImportRunner. Internally the ImportRunner builds a workflow and runs it. You can change the way how the workflow is built by supplying a different WorkflowFactory.

use Symfony\Component\EventDispatcher\EventDispatcher;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Import\Run\ImportRunner;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Import\Workflow\DefaultWorkflowFactory;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\ValueObject\ImportConfiguration;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\LocalFileStorage;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Storage\Format\CsvFormat;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Importer\ImporterRepository;

$import = ...

$importRunner = new ImportRunner(new DefaultWorkflowFactory(new EventDispatcher()));

//sneak peak a row
$previewData = $importRunner->preview($import);

//dont really write, just validate
$importRun = $importRunner->dryRun($import);

//do the import
$importRun = $importRunner->run($import);

ImportRun statistics

If you use the DefaultWorkflowFactory with your ImportRunner you get basic statistics from dryRun() and run() invocations.

$importRun = ...
$importRunner = ...

$stats = $importRun->getStatistics();

    [processed] => 1
    [written] => 1
    [skipped] => 0
    [invalid] => 0


You can interact with the running import via the Symfony Eventdispatcher.

use Symfony\Component\EventDispatcher\EventDispatcher;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Import\Run\ImportRunner;
use Mathielen\DataImport\Event\ImportProcessEvent;
use Mathielen\DataImport\Event\ImportItemEvent;
use Mathielen\ImportEngine\Import\Workflow\DefaultWorkflowFactory;

$myListener = function ($event) {
    if ($event instanceof ImportItemEvent) {
    	$currentResult = $event->getCurrentResult(); //readonly access to current result in the process (might be false)

$eventDispatcher = new EventDispatcher();
$eventDispatcher->addListener(ImportProcessEvent::AFTER_PREPARE, $myListener);
$eventDispatcher->addListener(ImportItemEvent::AFTER_READ, $myListener);
$eventDispatcher->addListener(ImportItemEvent::AFTER_FILTER, $myListener);
$eventDispatcher->addListener(ImportItemEvent::AFTER_CONVERSION, $myListener);
$eventDispatcher->addListener(ImportItemEvent::AFTER_CONVERSIONFILTER, $myListener);
$eventDispatcher->addListener(ImportItemEvent::AFTER_VALIDATION, $myListener);
$eventDispatcher->addListener(ImportItemEvent::AFTER_WRITE, $myListener);
$eventDispatcher->addListener(ImportProcessEvent::AFTER_FINISH, $myListener);

$workflowFactory = new DefaultWorkflowFactory($eventDispatcher);
$importRunner = new ImportRunner($workflowFactory);

$import = ...


Import-Engine is released under the MIT license. See the LICENSE file for details.