Zend Framework Code Generator With Scaffolding: ZFcodo

Update: This project is now hosted at my GitHub account.

While I am a huge fan of Zend Framework, I miss having the code generation that is bundled with other frameworks I use. Since my favorite codegen/ORM is from the Qcubed project, I decided to take the Qcubed code generator and customize it for Zend Framework.

A little background on Qcubed: Qcubed is a framework branched off of the Qcodo project. Qcubed code generation connects to your already built database and generates your models, views, and controllers based on your database schema. Qcubed has a built-in ORM that uses the Active Record model and also a custom querying language similar to Doctrine ORM. (Go here for more information on the Qcubed project)

The advantage to using Qcubed over Doctrine is that I have it generating not only my models, but also basic forms, controllers, and views. I will also be running some benchmark tests because I think that out of the box, Qcubed ORM performs better than Doctrine. I have dubbed this project “ZFcodo”, which references the origins of the Qcubed project: Qcodo. So far I have a hacked together proof of concept that I think is interesting. Here is what I have with some example code so you can see why this will save you time setting up your Zend Framework Projects.

To get this going, I started with a basic Zend Framework application structure. Then I copied the entire Qcubed project into my custom library folder ZFcodo. I stripped out anything I could see from Qcubed that was specifically for the framework, and not related to the ORM or code generation and altered some files a little to match a Zend Framework application. I then created a ZFcodo manager file that would set all the constants needed and added the following to /application/configs/application.ini:

; ---
; Database and ZFcodo settings
; ---

zq.db.host = "localhost"
zq.db.username = "sample"
zq.db.password = "sample"
zq.db.name = "sample"

; ZFcodo Model Settins
zq.modelFolder = "/models"
zq.modelBaseFolder = "/Base"

; ZFcodo Form Settings
zq.generateForms = 0
zq.formFolder = "/forms"

; ZFcodo Controller Settings
zq.generateControllers = 0
zq.controllerFolder = "/controllers"

My next step was to add an init function to my /application/Bootstrap.php file that initialized the ZFcodo ORM:

protected function _initQcubed()
    require APPLICATION_PATH . '/../library/ZFcodo/Codegen/Manager.php';

    $zqConfig = $this->getOption('zq');
    $manager = new Zcodo_Manager($zqConfig);

And finally, I modified the Qcubed code generation PHP script to work from a CLI and put it into /application/scripts/zf-codo.php.

Now I can run zf-codo.php from the command line and it generates my models (including base models), basic controllers, basic views, and basic forms.

ZFcodo Code Generation From Command Line

For my example, I created a simple “customer” table with “first name” and “last name”. The code generator added the following files for the table:


Then to list the customers, all I do is go to http://projectlocation/customer/list and I see this page:

Zend Framework Code Generator

The codegen alone can get you off to a great start on your next ZF project, but with the built-in ORM, you can save hours on your project. ZFcodo will turn the 8020 rule into the 9010 rule… :-)

Right now this is more of a proof of concept (a nice way of saying it is a hack job) but I will continue to work on this, and if there seems to be a demand for this, I will work on it even more. I have implemented the ORM into a few live projects already and it seems to be working great.

You can get the entire project source code here: Zend Framework ORM

Update: This project is now hosted at my GitHub account

To use it, just edit the application.ini file with your database info, and then run the script application/scripts/zcodo.php from the CLI.

That easy…

The future plans for this project are to:

– organize the directory structure the Zend way

– add Zend_Paginator ability to the ORM

– style the generated forms

– and allow module based codegen

Let me know if you have any questions.

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