Quick Start: Using the Skeleton + Installer

The easiest way to get started with Expressive is to use the skeleton application and installer. The skeleton provides a generic structure for creating your applications, and prompts you to choose a router, dependency injection container, template renderer, and error handler from the outset.

1. Create a new project

First, we'll create a new project, using Composer's create-project command:

$ composer create-project zendframework/zend-expressive-skeleton expressive

This will prompt you to choose:

  • A router. We recommend using the default, FastRoute.
  • A dependency injection container. We recommend using the default, Zend ServiceManager.
  • A template renderer. You can ignore this when creating an API project, but if you will be creating any HTML pages, we recommend installing one. We prefer Plates.
  • An error handler. Whoops is a very nice option for development, as it gives you extensive, browseable information for exceptions and errors raised.

2. Start a web server

The Skeleton + Installer creates a full application structure that's ready-to-go when complete. You can test it out using built-in web server.

From the project root directory, execute the following:

$ composer serve

This starts up a web server on localhost port 8080; browse to http://localhost:8080/ to see if your application responds correctly!

Next Steps

The skeleton makes the assumption that you will be writing your middleware as classes, and using configuration to map routes to middleware. It also provides a default structure for templates, if you choose to use them. Let's see how you can create first vanilla middleware, and then templated middleware.

Creating middleware

The easiest way to create middleware is to create a class that defines an __invoke() method accepting a request, response, and callable "next" argument (for invoking the "next" middleware in the queue). The skeleton defines an App namespace for you, and suggests placing middleware under the namespace App\Action.

Let's create a "Hello" action. Place the following in src/App/Action/HelloAction.php:

<?php
namespace App\Action;

use Psr\Http\Message\ResponseInterface;
use Psr\Http\Message\ServerRequestInterface;

class HelloAction
{
    public function __invoke(ServerRequestInterface $request, ResponseInterface $response, callable $next)
    {
        $query  = $request->getQueryParams();
        $target = isset($query['target']) ? $query['target'] : 'World';
        $target = htmlspecialchars($target, ENT_HTML5, 'UTF-8');

        $response->getBody()->write(sprintf(
            '<h1>Hello, %s!</h1>',
            $target
        ));
        return $response->withHeader('Content-Type', 'text/html');
    }
}

The above looks for a query string parameter "target", and uses its value to provide a message, which is then returned in an HTML response.

Now we need to inform the application of this middleware, and indicate what path will invoke it. Open the file config/autoload/routes.global.php. Inside that file, you should have a structure similar to the following:

return [
    'dependencies' => [
        /* ... */
    ],
    'routes' => [
        /* ... */
    ],
];

We're going to add an entry under routes:

return [
    /* ... */
    'routes' => [
        /* ... */
        [
            'name' => 'hello',
            'path' => '/hello',
            'middleware' => App\Action\HelloAction::class,
            'allowed_methods' => ['GET'],
        ],
    ],
];

Once you've added the above entry, give it a try by going to each of the following URIs:

  • http://localhost:8080/hello
  • http://localhost:8080/hello?target=ME

You should see the message change as you go between the two URIs!

Using templates

You likely don't want to hardcode HTML into your middleware; so, let's use templates. This particular exercise assumes you chose to use the Plates integration.

Templates are installed under the templates/ subdirectory. By default, we also register the template namespace app to correspond with the templates/app subdirectory. Create the file templates/app/hello-world.phtml with the following contents:

<?php $this->layout('layout::default', ['title' => 'Greetings']) ?>

<h2>Hello, <?= $this->e($target) ?></h2>

Now that we have a template, we need to:

  • Inject a renderer into our action class.
  • Use the renderer to render the contents.

Replace your src/App/Action/HelloAction.php file with the following contents:

<?php
namespace App\Action;

use Psr\Http\Message\ResponseInterface;
use Psr\Http\Message\ServerRequestInterface;
use Zend\Diactoros\Response\HtmlResponse;
use Zend\Expressive\Template\TemplateRendererInterface;

class HelloAction
{
    private $renderer;

    public function __construct(TemplateRendererInterface $renderer)
    {
        $this->renderer = $renderer;
    }

    public function __invoke(ServerRequestInterface $request, ResponseInterface $response, callable $next)
    {
        $query  = $request->getQueryParams();
        $target = isset($query['target']) ? $query['target'] : 'World';

        return new HtmlResponse(
            $this->renderer->render('app::hello-world', ['target' => $target])
        );
    }
}

The above modifies the class to accept a renderer to the constructor, and then calls on it to render a template. A few things to note:

  • We no longer need to escape our target; the template takes care of that for us.
  • We're using a specific response type here, from Diactoros, which is the default PSR-7 implementation Expressive uses. This response type simplifies our response creation.

How does the template renderer get into the action, however? The answer is dependency injection.

For the next part of the example, we'll be creating and wiring a factory for creating the HelloAction instance; the example assumes you used the default selection for a dependency injection container, Zend ServiceManager.

Let's create a factory. Create the file src/App/Action/HelloActionFactory.php with the following contents:

<?php
namespace App\Action;

use Interop\Container\ContainerInterface;
use Zend\Expressive\Template\TemplateRendererInterface;

class HelloActionFactory
{
    public function __invoke(ContainerInterface $container)
    {
        return new HelloAction(
            $container->get(TemplateRendererInterface::class)
        );
    }
}

With that in place, we'll now update our configuration. Open the file config/autoload/routes.global.php; it should have a structure similar to the following:

return [
    'dependencies' => [
        'invokables' => [
            /* ... */
        ],
    ],
    'routes' => [
        /* ... */
    ],
];

We're going to tell our application that we have a factory for our HelloAction class:

return [
    'dependencies' => [
        /* ... */
        'factories' => [
            /* ... */
            App\Action\HelloAction::class => App\Action\HelloActionFactory::class,
        ],
    ],
    'routes' => [
        /* ... */
    ],
];

Save that file, and now re-visit the URIs:

  • http://localhost:8080/hello
  • http://localhost:8080/hello?target=ME

Your page should now have the same layout as the landing page of the skeleton application!

Congratulations!

Congratulations! You've now created your application, and started writing middleware! It's time to start learning about the rest of the features of Expressive:

Found a mistake or want to contribute to the documentation? Edit this page on GitHub!