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MVC Applications

All the hard work behind orchestrating the operation of MVC in Phalcon is normally done by Phalcon\Mvc\Application. This component encapsulates all the complex operations required in the background, instantiating every component needed and integrating it with the project, to allow the MVC pattern to operate as desired.

Single or Multi Module Applications

With this component you can run various types of MVC structures:

Single Module

Single MVC applications consist of one module only. Namespaces can be used but are not necessary. An application like this would have the following file structure:

single/
    app/
        controllers/
        models/
        views/
    public/
        css/
        img/
        js/

If namespaces are not used, the following bootstrap file could be used to orchestrate the MVC flow:

<?php

use Phalcon\Loader;
use Phalcon\Mvc\View;
use Phalcon\Mvc\Application;
use Phalcon\Di\FactoryDefault;

$loader = new Loader();

$loader->registerDirs(
    array(
        '../apps/controllers/',
        '../apps/models/'
    )
)->register();

$di = new FactoryDefault();

// Registering the view component
$di->set('view', function () {
    $view = new View();
    $view->setViewsDir('../apps/views/');
    return $view;
});

try {

    $application = new Application($di);

    $response = $application->handle();

    $response->send();

} catch (\Exception $e) {
    echo $e->getMessage();
}

If namespaces are used, the following bootstrap can be used:

<?php

use Phalcon\Loader;
use Phalcon\Mvc\View;
use Phalcon\Mvc\Dispatcher;
use Phalcon\Mvc\Application;
use Phalcon\Di\FactoryDefault;

$loader = new Loader();

// Use autoloading with namespaces prefixes
$loader->registerNamespaces(
    array(
        'Single\Controllers' => '../apps/controllers/',
        'Single\Models'      => '../apps/models/',
    )
)->register();

$di = new FactoryDefault();

// Register the default dispatcher's namespace for controllers
$di->set('dispatcher', function () {
    $dispatcher = new Dispatcher();
    $dispatcher->setDefaultNamespace('Single\Controllers');
    return $dispatcher;
});

// Register the view component
$di->set('view', function () {
    $view = new View();
    $view->setViewsDir('../apps/views/');
    return $view;
});

try {

    $application = new Application($di);

    $response = $application->handle();

    $response->send();

} catch (\Exception $e) {
    echo $e->getMessage();
}

Multi Module

A multi-module application uses the same document root for more than one module. In this case the following file structure can be used:

multiple/
  apps/
    frontend/
       controllers/
       models/
       views/
       Module.php
    backend/
       controllers/
       models/
       views/
       Module.php
  public/
    css/
    img/
    js/

Each directory in apps/ have its own MVC structure. A Module.php is present to configure specific settings of each module like autoloaders or custom services:

<?php

namespace Multiple\Backend;

use Phalcon\Loader;
use Phalcon\Mvc\View;
use Phalcon\DiInterface;
use Phalcon\Mvc\Dispatcher;
use Phalcon\Mvc\ModuleDefinitionInterface;

class Module implements ModuleDefinitionInterface
{
    /**
     * Register a specific autoloader for the module
     */
    public function registerAutoloaders(DiInterface $di = null)
    {
        $loader = new Loader();

        $loader->registerNamespaces(
            array(
                'Multiple\Backend\Controllers' => '../apps/backend/controllers/',
                'Multiple\Backend\Models'      => '../apps/backend/models/',
            )
        );

        $loader->register();
    }

    /**
     * Register specific services for the module
     */
    public function registerServices(DiInterface $di)
    {
        // Registering a dispatcher
        $di->set('dispatcher', function () {
            $dispatcher = new Dispatcher();
            $dispatcher->setDefaultNamespace("Multiple\Backend\Controllers");
            return $dispatcher;
        });

        // Registering the view component
        $di->set('view', function () {
            $view = new View();
            $view->setViewsDir('../apps/backend/views/');
            return $view;
        });
    }
}

A special bootstrap file is required to load a multi-module MVC architecture:

<?php

use Phalcon\Mvc\Router;
use Phalcon\Mvc\Application;
use Phalcon\Di\FactoryDefault;

$di = new FactoryDefault();

// Specify routes for modules
// More information how to set the router up https://docs.phalconphp.com/en/latest/reference/routing.html
$di->set('router', function () {

    $router = new Router();

    $router->setDefaultModule("frontend");

    $router->add(
        "/login",
        array(
            'module'     => 'backend',
            'controller' => 'login',
            'action'     => 'index'
        )
    );

    $router->add(
        "/admin/products/:action",
        array(
            'module'     => 'backend',
            'controller' => 'products',
            'action'     => 1
        )
    );

    $router->add(
        "/products/:action",
        array(
            'controller' => 'products',
            'action'     => 1
        )
    );

    return $router;
});

try {

    // Create an application
    $application = new Application($di);

    // Register the installed modules
    $application->registerModules(
        array(
            'frontend' => array(
                'className' => 'Multiple\Frontend\Module',
                'path'      => '../apps/frontend/Module.php',
            ),
            'backend'  => array(
                'className' => 'Multiple\Backend\Module',
                'path'      => '../apps/backend/Module.php',
            )
        )
    );

    // Handle the request
    $response = $application->handle();

    $response->send();

} catch (\Exception $e) {
    echo $e->getMessage();
}

If you want to maintain the module configuration in the bootstrap file you can use an anonymous function to register the module:

<?php

use Phalcon\Mvc\View;

// Creating a view component
$view = new View();

// Set options to view component
// ...

// Register the installed modules
$application->registerModules(
    array(
        'frontend' => function ($di) use ($view) {
            $di->setShared('view', function () use ($view) {
                $view->setViewsDir('../apps/frontend/views/');
                return $view;
            });
        },
        'backend' => function ($di) use ($view) {
            $di->setShared('view', function () use ($view) {
                $view->setViewsDir('../apps/backend/views/');
                return $view;
            });
        }
    )
);

When Phalcon\Mvc\Application have modules registered, always is necessary that every matched route returns a valid module. Each registered module has an associated class offering functions to set the module itself up. Each module class definition must implement two methods: registerAutoloaders() and registerServices(), they will be called by Phalcon\Mvc\Application according to the module to be executed.

Understanding the default behavior

If you’ve been following the tutorial or have generated the code using Phalcon Devtools, you may recognize the following bootstrap file:

<?php

use Phalcon\Mvc\Application;

try {

    // Register autoloaders
    // ...

    // Register services
    // ...

    // Handle the request
    $application = new Application($di);

    $response = $application->handle();

    $response->send();

} catch (\Exception $e) {
    echo "Exception: ", $e->getMessage();
}

The core of all the work of the controller occurs when handle() is invoked:

<?php

$response = $application->handle();

Manual bootstrapping

If you do not wish to use Phalcon\Mvc\Application, the code above can be changed as follows:

<?php

// Get the 'router' service
$router = $di['router'];

$router->handle();

$view = $di['view'];

$dispatcher = $di['dispatcher'];

// Pass the processed router parameters to the dispatcher
$dispatcher->setControllerName($router->getControllerName());
$dispatcher->setActionName($router->getActionName());
$dispatcher->setParams($router->getParams());

// Start the view
$view->start();

// Dispatch the request
$dispatcher->dispatch();

// Render the related views
$view->render(
    $dispatcher->getControllerName(),
    $dispatcher->getActionName(),
    $dispatcher->getParams()
);

// Finish the view
$view->finish();

$response = $di['response'];

// Pass the output of the view to the response
$response->setContent($view->getContent());

// Send the response headers
$response->sendHeaders();

// Print the response
echo $response->getContent();

The following replacement of Phalcon\Mvc\Application lacks of a view component making it suitable for Rest APIs:

<?php

// Get the 'router' service
$router = $di['router'];

$router->handle();

$dispatcher = $di['dispatcher'];

// Pass the processed router parameters to the dispatcher
$dispatcher->setControllerName($router->getControllerName());
$dispatcher->setActionName($router->getActionName());
$dispatcher->setParams($router->getParams());

// Dispatch the request
$dispatcher->dispatch();

// Get the returned value by the last executed action
$response = $dispatcher->getReturnedValue();

// Check if the action returned is a 'response' object
if ($response instanceof Phalcon\Http\ResponseInterface) {

    // Send the response
    $response->send();
}

Yet another alternative that catch exceptions produced in the dispatcher forwarding to other actions consequently:

<?php

// Get the 'router' service
$router = $di['router'];

$router->handle();

$dispatcher = $di['dispatcher'];

// Pass the processed router parameters to the dispatcher
$dispatcher->setControllerName($router->getControllerName());
$dispatcher->setActionName($router->getActionName());
$dispatcher->setParams($router->getParams());

try {

    // Dispatch the request
    $dispatcher->dispatch();

} catch (Exception $e) {

    // An exception has occurred, dispatch some controller/action aimed for that

    // Pass the processed router parameters to the dispatcher
    $dispatcher->setControllerName('errors');
    $dispatcher->setActionName('action503');

    // Dispatch the request
    $dispatcher->dispatch();
}

// Get the returned value by the last executed action
$response = $dispatcher->getReturnedValue();

// Check if the action returned is a 'response' object
if ($response instanceof Phalcon\Http\ResponseInterface) {

    // Send the response
    $response->send();
}

Although the above implementations are a lot more verbose than the code needed while using Phalcon\Mvc\Application, it offers an alternative in bootstrapping your application. Depending on your needs, you might want to have full control of what should be instantiated or not, or replace certain components with those of your own to extend the default functionality.

Application Events

Phalcon\Mvc\Application is able to send events to the EventsManager (if it is present). Events are triggered using the type “application”. The following events are supported:

Event Name Triggered
boot Executed when the application handles its first request
beforeStartModule Before initialize a module, only when modules are registered
afterStartModule After initialize a module, only when modules are registered
beforeHandleRequest Before execute the dispatch loop
afterHandleRequest After execute the dispatch loop

The following example demonstrates how to attach listeners to this component:

<?php

use Phalcon\Events\Manager as EventsManager;

$eventsManager = new EventsManager();

$application->setEventsManager($eventsManager);

$eventsManager->attach(
    "application",
    function ($event, $application) {
        // ...
    }
);

External Resources

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