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A/B Smartly SDK

A/B Smartly PHP SDK


The A/B Smartly PHP SDK is compatible with PHP versions 7.4 and later. For the best performance and code readability, PHP 8.1 or later is recommended. This SDK is being constantly tested with the nightly builds of PHP, to ensure it is compatible with the latest PHP version.

Getting Started

Install the SDK

A/B Smartly PHP SDK can be installed with composer:

composer require absmartly/php-sdk

Import and Initialize the SDK

Once the SDK is installed, it can be initialized in your project.

You can create an SDK instance using the API key, application name, environment, and the endpoint URL obtained from A/B Smartly.

use \ABSmartly\SDK\SDK;

$sdk = SDK::createWithDefaults(  
  endpoint: $endpoint,
  apiKey: $apiKey,
  environment: $environment,
  application: $application

Note that the above example uses named parameters introduced in PHP 8.0. Although it is strongly recommended to use the latest PHP version, PHP 7.4 is supported as well. On PHP 7.4, parameters are only passed in their order, as named parameters are not supported.


use \ABSmartly\SDK\SDK;

$sdk = SDK::createWithDefaults(  
  $endpoint, $apiKey, $environment, $application, 

The above is a short-cut that creates an SDK instance quickly using default values. If you would like granular choice of individual components (such as a custom event logger), it can be done as following:

use ABSmartly\SDK\Client\ClientConfig;  
use ABSmartly\SDK\Client\Client;  
use ABSmartly\SDK\Config;  
use ABSmartly\SDK\SDK;  
use ABSmartly\SDK\Context\ContextConfig;
use ABSmartly\SDK\Context\ContextEventLoggerCallback;
$clientConfig = new ClientConfig('', '', '', '');  
$client = new Client($clientConfig);  
$config = new Config($client);  
$sdk = new SDK($config);  
$contextConfig = new ContextConfig();
$contextConfig->setEventLogger(new ContextEventLoggerCallback(  
    function (string $event, ?object $data) {  
        // Custom callback

$context = $sdk->createContext($contextConfig);  

SDK Options

Config Type Required? Default Description
endpoint string undefined The URL to your API endpoint. Most commonly ""
apiKey string undefined Your API key which can be found on the Web Console.
environment "production" or "development" undefined The environment of the platform where the SDK is installed. Environments are created on the Web Console and should match the available environments in your infrastructure.
application string undefined The name of the application where the SDK is installed. Applications are created on the Web Console and should match the applications where your experiments will be running.
retries int 5 The number of retries before the SDK stops trying to connect.
eventLogger \ABSmartly\SDK\Context\ContextEventLogger null, See Using a Custom Event Logger below A callback function which runs after SDK events.

Using a Custom Event Logger

The A/B Smartly SDK can be instantiated with an event logger used for all contexts. In addition, an event logger can be specified when creating a particular context in the ContextConfig.

use ABSmartly\SDK\Client\ClientConfig;
use ABSmartly\SDK\Context\ContextEventLoggerCallback;

$contextConfig = new ContextConfig();
$contextConfig->setEventLogger(new ContextEventLoggerCallback(  
    function (string $event, ?object $data) {  
        // Custom callback

Alternately, it is possible to implement \ABSmartly\SDK\Context\ContextEventLogger interface with handleEvent() method that receives the Context object itself, along with a ContextEventLoggerEvent object as shown below:

use \ABSmartly\SDK\Context\ContextEventLoggerCallback;  
class CustomLogger implements ContextEventLogger {
    public function handleEvent(Context $context, ContextEventLoggerEvent $event): void {  
        // Process the log event
        // e.g
        // myLogFunction($event->getEvent(), $event->getData());
$contextConfig = new ContextConfig();  

The data parameter depends on the type of event. Currently, the SDK logs the following events:

eventName when data
"Error" Context receives an error Exception object thrown
"Ready" Context turns ready ContextData object used to initialize the context
"Refresh" Context->refresh() method succeeds ContextData used to refresh the context
"Publish" Context->publish() method succeeds PublishEvent data sent to the A/B Smartly event collector
"Exposure" Context->getTreatment() method succeeds on first exposure Exposure data enqueued for publishing
"Goal" Context->Track() method succeeds GoalAchivement goal data enqueued for publishing
"Close" Context->lose() method succeeds the first time null

Create a New Context Request


$contextConfig = new ContextConfig(); 
$contextConfig->setUnit('session_id', 'session_id5ebf06d8cb5d8137290c4abb64155584fbdb64d8'); // a unique id identifying the user

$context = $sdk->createContext($contextConfig);

With Prefetched Data

$contextConfig = new ContextConfig(); 
$contextConfig->setUnit('session_id', 'session_id5ebf06d8cb5d8137290c4abb64155584fbdb64d8'); // a unique id identifying the user

$context = $sdk->createContext($contextConfig);

$anotherContextConfig = new ContextConfig();
$anotherContextConfig->setUnit('session_id', 'session_id5ebf06d8cb5d8137290c4abb64155584fbdb64d8'); // a unique id identifying the user

$anotherContext = $sdk->createContextWithData($anotherContextConfig, $context->getContextData());

Refreshing the Context with Fresh Experiment Data

For long-running contexts, the context is usually created once when the
application is first started. However, any experiments being tracked in your production code, but started after the context was created, will not be triggered.

To mitigate this, we can use the Context->refresh() method on the Context.


The Context->refresh() method pulls updated experiment data from the A/B Smartly collector and will trigger recently started experiments when Context->getTreatment is called again.

Setting Extra Units

You can add additional units to a context by calling the Context->setUnit or Context->setUnits methods. These methods may be used, for example, when a user logs in to your application, and you want to use the new unit type in the context.

Please note, you cannot override an already set unit type as that would be a change of identity and would throw an exception. In this case, you must create a new context instead. The Context->setUnit and
Context->setUnits methods can be called before the context is ready.

$context->setUnit('user_id', 143432);

Basic Usage

Selecting A Treatment

$treatment = $context->getTreatment('exp_test_experiment');

if ($treatment === 0) {
    // user is in control group (variant 0)
else {
    // user is in treatment group

Treatment Variables

$defaultButtonColorValue = 'red';
$buttonColor = $context->getVariableValue('button.color');

Peek at Treatment Variants

Although generally not recommended, it is sometimes necessary to peek at a treatment or variable without triggering an exposure. The A/B Smartly SDK provides a Context->peekTreatment() method for that.

$treatment = $context->peekTreatment('exp_test_experiment');

if ($treatment === 0) {
    // user is in control group (variant 0)
else {
    // user is in treatment group

Peeking at variables

$buttonColor = $context->peekVariableValue('button.color', 'red');

Overriding Treatment Variants

During development, for example, it is useful to force a treatment for an
experiment. This can be achieved with the Context->setOverride() and/or Context->setOverrides() methods. These methods can be called before the context is ready.

$context->setOverride("exp_test_experiment", 1); // force variant 1 of treatment

        'exp_test_experiment' => 1,
        'exp_another_experiment' => 0,


Context Attributes

Attributes are used to pass meta-data about the user and/or the request.
They can be used later in the Web Console to create segments or audiences.
They can be set using the Context->setAttribute() or Context->setAttributes() methods, before or after the context is ready.

$context->setAttribute('session_id', \session_id());
        'customer_age' => 'new_customer'

Custom Assignments

Sometimes it may be necessary to override the automatic selection of a variant. For example, if you wish to have your variant chosen based on data from an API call. This can be accomplished using the Context->setCustomAssignment() method.

$chosenVariant = 1;
$context->setCustomAssignment("experiment_name", $chosenVariant);

If you are running multiple experiments and need to choose different custom assignments for each one, you can do so using the Context->setCustomAssignments() method.

$assignments = [
    "experiment_name" => 1,
    "another_experiment_name" => 0,
    "a_third_experiment_name" => 2



Sometimes it is necessary to ensure all events have been published to the A/B Smartly collector, before proceeding. You can explicitly call the Context->publish() method.



The close() method will ensure all events have been published to the A/B Smartly collector, like Context->publish(), and will also "seal" the context, throwing an error if any method that could generate an event is called.


Tracking Goals

    (object) ['item_count' => 1, 'total_amount' => 1999.99]


A/B Smartly php-sdk






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