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Generates documentation for your REST API from annotations
Tag: 2.0.1

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The NelmioApiDocBundle bundle allows you to generate a decent documentation for your APIs.

Important: This bundle is developed in sync with symfony's repository. For Symfony 2.0.x, you need to use the 1.* version of the bundle.


Add this bundle to your composer.json file:

    "require": {
        "nelmio/api-doc-bundle": "dev-master"

Register the bundle in app/AppKernel.php:

// app/AppKernel.php
public function registerBundles()
    return array(
        // ...
        new Nelmio\ApiDocBundle\NelmioApiDocBundle(),

Import the routing definition in routing.yml:

# app/config/routing.yml
    resource: "@NelmioApiDocBundle/Resources/config/routing.yml"
    prefix:   /api/doc

Enable the bundle's configuration in app/config/config.yml:

# app/config/config.yml
nelmio_api_doc: ~


The main problem with documentation is to keep it up to date. That's why the NelmioApiDocBundle uses introspection a lot. Thanks to an annotation, it's really easy to document an API method.

The ApiDoc() annotation

The bundle provides an ApiDoc() annotation for your controllers:


namespace Your\Namespace;

use Nelmio\ApiDocBundle\Annotation\ApiDoc;

class YourController extends Controller
     * This the documentation description of your method, it will appear
     * on a specific pane. It will read all the text until the first
     * annotation.
     * @ApiDoc(
     *  resource=true,
     *  description="This is a description of your API method",
     *  filters={
     *      {"name"="a-filter", "dataType"="integer"},
     *      {"name"="another-filter", "dataType"="string", "pattern"="(foo|bar) ASC|DESC"}
     *  }
     * )
    public function getAction()

     * @ApiDoc(
     *  description="Create a new Object",
     *  input="Your\Namespace\Form\Type\YourType",
     *  return="Your\Namespace\Class"
     * )
    public function postAction()

The following properties are available:

  • resource: whether the method describes a main resource or not (default: false);

  • description: a description of the API method;

  • filters: an array of filters;

  • input: the input type associated to the method, currently this supports Form Types, and classes with JMS Serializer metadata, useful for POST|PUT methods, either as FQCN or as form type (if it is registered in the form factory in the container)

  • return: the return type associated with the response. Specified and parsed the same way as input.

  • statusCodes: an array of HTTP status codes and a description of when that status is returned; Example:


class YourController
     * @ApiDoc(
     *     statusCodes={
     *         200="Returned when successful",
     *         403="Returned when the user is not authorized to say hello"},
     * )
    public function myFunction()
        // ...

Each filter has to define a name parameter, but other parameters are free. Filters are often optional parameters, and you can document them as you want, but keep in mind to be consistent for the whole documentation.

If you set input, then the bundle automatically extracts parameters based on the given type, and determines for each parameter its data type, and if it's required or not.

For Form Types, you can add an extra option named description on each field:

For classes parsed with JMS metadata, description will be taken from the properties doc comment, if available.


class YourType extends AbstractType
     * {@inheritdoc}
    public function buildForm(FormBuilder $builder, array $options)
        $builder->add('note', null, array(
            'description' => 'this is a note',

        // ...

The bundle will also get information from the routing definition (requirements, pattern, etc), so to get the best out of it you should define strict _method requirements etc.

Documentation on-the-fly

By calling an URL with the parameter ?_doc=1, you will get the corresponding documentation if available.

Web Interface

You can browse the whole documentation at:


A command is provided in order to dump the documentation in json, markdown, or html.

php app/console api:doc:dump [--format="..."]

The --format option allows to choose the format (default is: markdown).

For example to generate a static version of your documentation you can use:

php app/console api:doc:dump --format=html > api.html

By default, the generated HTML will add the sandbox feature if you didn't disable it in the configuration. If you want to generate a static version of your documentation without sandbox, use the --no-sandbox option.


You can specify your own API name:

# app/config/config.yml
    name:   My API

This bundle provides a sandbox mode in order to test API methods. You can configure this sandbox using the following parameters:

# app/config/config.yml
        authentication: # default null, if set, the value of the api key is read from the query string and appended to every sandbox api call
            name: access_token
            delivery: query # only query delivery is supported for now
        enabled:  true # default: true, you can set this parameter to `false` to disable the sandbox
        endpoint: # default: /app_dev.php, use this parameter to define which URL to call through the sandbox

The bundle provides a way to register multiple input parsers. The first parser that can handle the specified input is used, so you can configure their priorities via container tags. Here's an example parser service registration:

        class: MyBundle\Parser\CustomDocParser;
            - {name: nelmio_api_doc.extractor.parser, priority: 2}


The design is heavily inspired by the swagger-ui project.

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