Symfony2 Bundle for loading fixture data with the Alice library.

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0.5.1 2015-04-13 19:29 UTC

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Last update: 2024-04-13 12:32:50 UTC


A Symfony2 bundle for flexible usage of nelmio/alice and fzaninotto/Faker in Symfony2.

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This Bundle should be considered "Work-In-Progress". Every version < 1.0 can and will change. This also means, if you have a fundamental idea for a change, feel free to contribute. Contributions in any form are always welcome!


The aim of this bundle is to provide a new way of working with data fixtures detached from the common Doctrine DataFixtures. Loading of fixtures should be decoupled and easy to integrate where needed. This bundle offers loading Fixtures from yaml and php files, also dropping and recreating the ORM Schema. Next to Doctrine/ORM, also Doctrine/MongoDB-ODM is supported for recreating schema and persisting fixtures.

If you are searching for a Bundle that provides a way to integrate Alice with Doctrine DataFixtures, have a look at hautelook/AliceBundle.

This bundle is also capable of recreating the ORM schema. This means all tables managed by Doctrine will be dropped and recreated. A data loss will appear, you have been warned.


Simply require the bundle by its name with composer:

$ php composer.phar require h4cc/alice-fixtures-bundle

Follow the 'dev-master' branch for latest dev version. But i recommend to use more stable version tags if available.

After that, add the Bundle to your Kernel, most likely in the "dev" or "test" environment.

// app/AppKernel.php

public function registerBundles()
    $bundles = array(
        // ...

    if (in_array($this->getEnvironment(), array('dev', 'test'))) {
        // ...
        $bundles[] = new h4cc\AliceFixturesBundle\h4ccAliceFixturesBundle();

Keep in mind, that this bundle is capable of removing whole databases, so be careful when using in production!


You can globally configure the Seed for random values, the Locale for Faker and a global flag do_flush, if ORM flushes of entities should be omitted or not.

A custom 'schema_manager' service id can be defined, the Entity or ObjectManagers from Doctrine will be determined by current objects class and mapping.

In case you want to use the default services for either doctrine/orm or doctrine/mongodb-odm, set the "doctrine" value accordingly, which can be either "orm" or "mongodb-odm". This setting will just adjust the service-ids for ManagerRegistry and 'schema_manager' accordingly, if you have not set them on your own.

A simple configuration using a single default manager:

# app/config/config_dev.yml

    locale: en_US                               # default
    seed: 1                                     # default
    do_flush: true                              # default

    schema_tool: null                           # default
    doctrine: orm                               # default

Or you can use many managers:

# app/config/config_dev.yml

    default_manager: orm
            locale: en_US                               # default
            seed: 1                                     # default
            do_flush: true                              # default

            schema_tool: null                           # default
            doctrine: orm                               # default
            locale: en_US
            seed: 1
            do_flush: true

            schema_tool: null
            doctrine: mongodb-odm

Check out this command for a always up-to-date configuration reference:

$ php app/console config:dump-reference h4cc_alice_fixtures



Fixtures are defined in YAML or PHP Files like nelmio/alice describes it. The two alice default loaders 'Yaml' and 'Base' are already available. If you want to integrate own loaders, patch the Loader Factory service for your needs ('h4cc_alice_fixtures.loader.factory').

Loading the entities from single fixture files can be done with the FixtureManagerInterface::loadFiles(array $files, $type='yaml');. Persisting them can be done with FixtureManagerInterface::persist(array $entities, $drop=false);.


$files = array(__DIR__.'/fixtures/Users.yml', __DIR__.'/fixtures/Articles.yml');
// Or use $manager = $this->get('h4cc_alice_fixtures.[my_manager_name]_manager'); to use an other manager.
$manager = $this->get('h4cc_alice_fixtures.manager');

// Step 1, load entities.
$objects = $manager->loadFiles($files, 'yaml');

// Manipulate or add own objects here ...

// Step 2, persist them.
$manager->persist($objects, true);

Fixture Sets

A more advanced way of loading fixtures is using "FixtureSets". Look at it like a fixture configuration object for multiple fixture files and options.


$manager = $this->getContainer()->get('h4cc_alice_fixtures.manager');

// Get a FixtureSet with __default__ options.
$set = $manager->createFixtureSet();
$set->addFile(__DIR__.'/fixtures/Users.yml', 'yaml');
$set->addFile(__DIR__.'/fixtures/Articles.yml', 'yaml');

// Change locale for this set only.
// Define a custom random seed for "predictable randomness".
// Enable persisting of objects
// Enable dropping and recreating current ORM schema.

return $set;


There are some commands for loading fixtures included in this bundle. They are also divided in loading plain files or FixtureSets.

  h4cc_alice_fixtures:load:files        Load fixture files using alice and faker.
  h4cc_alice_fixtures:load:sets         Load fixture sets using alice and faker.

By default, all fixture files or sets will share their references. This way a Bundle can reference the fixtures from another bundles.

Example for loading single files using all available options:

$ php app/console h4cc_alice_fixtures:load:files --manager=default --type=yaml --seed=42 --local=de_DE --no-persist --drop src/Acme/DemoBundle/Fixtures/Users.yml src/Acme/DemoBundle/Fixtures/Articles.yml

Example command for loading the given FixtureSet:

$ php app/console h4cc_alice_fixtures:load:sets src/Acme/DemoBundle/Fixtures/UsersAndArticlesSet.php

When your FixtureSets are stored at the default path 'DataFixtures/Alice/' and are named ending in ...'Set.php', they can be found automaticaly. Like the fixtures in Doctrine Datafixtures do. To load the default fixture sets, simply execute this command:

$ php app/console h4cc_alice_fixtures:load:sets

The order in which the bundles are loaded is defined by the order in which they are defined in AppKernel. A customization to that can be done using the "order" value in your fixture sets. Default is '1' and lower order values will be taken first.

Example for a Preconfigured FixtureSet:


// Creating a fixture set with own configuration,
$set = new h4cc\AliceFixturesBundle\Fixtures\FixtureSet(array(
    'locale' => 'de_DE',
    'seed' => 42,
    'do_drop' => true,
    'do_persist' => true,
    'order' => 5

$set->addFile(__DIR__.'/Users.yml', 'yaml');
$set->addFile(__DIR__.'/Articles.yml', 'yaml');

return $set;

Such a file has to return a Object with the FixtureSetInterface Interface.

FixtureSets from different Bundles

When using multiple bundles like MyCommonBundle and MyUserBundle, there are a few things to do and know:

  • The order in which h4cc_alice_fixtures:load:sets will load FixtureSets will be the same order as in `AppKernel::registerBundles().
  • All FixtureSets will use a global state of references. This way the MyUserBundle can use entities from MyCommonBundle.
  • A circular-reference between FixtureSets is not possible, because only already loaded entities can be referenced.

Demo Application

There is a Demo Application showing some ways to use this bundle: https://github.com/h4cc/AliceDemo

Feel free to add some more demos if you like.


If needed, the fixtures can also be loaded in a PHPUnit test. Accessing the needed container in a Symfony2 environment is described here: http://symfony.com/doc/current/book/testing.html#accessing-the-container


// Ensuring the same fixtures for each testcase.
public function setUp()
    // This may be slow ... have an eye on that.
    $client = static::createClient();
    $manager = $client->getContainer()->get('h4cc_alice_fixtures.manager');


This flexible way of handling data fixtures offers a easy way to work with selenium/behat/mink. For example could you create a controller behind a development route, that is called by selenium to ensure a specific dataset.

Adding own Providers for Faker

A provider for Faker can be any class, that has public methods. These methods can be used in the fixture files for own testdata or even calculations. To register a provider, create a service and tag it.


        class: YourProviderClass
            -  { name: h4cc_alice_fixtures.provider }

Adding own Processors for Alice

A alice processor can be used to manipulate a object before and after persisting. To register a own processor, create a service and tag it.


        class: YourProcessorClass
            -  { name: h4cc_alice_fixtures.processor }


This bundle is licensed under MIT.