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Bundle that helps solving the Serializer/Form component API missmatch. It leads to non-reusable code in controllers, bloating every application by reimplementing everything over and over again.

It allows to implement serializers for objects, using form types. For deserializing it uses the exact same API as "usual" form requests.

Currently its nearly impossible to re-use REST-API calls and HTML/Form-based submits in the same controller action. Additionally all the current serializer components share a common flaw: They cannot deserialize (update) into existing object graphs. Updating object graphs is a problem the Form component already solves (perfectly!).

The Form component is a very good serialization library, but up to now it only had one implementation: HTML Forms. This bundle adds support for hooking the Serializer Encoders into this process, XML and JSON supported by default.

Another use-case could be mapping file uploads (CSV, XML) onto form types.


Take a usual form, extended with some details about serialization:

namespace Acme\DemoBundle\Form\Type;

use Symfony\Component\Form\AbstractType;
use Symfony\Component\Form\FormBuilderInterface;
use Symfony\Component\OptionsResolver\OptionsResolverInterface;

class UserType extends AbstractType
    public function buildForm(FormBuilderInterface $builder, array $options)
            ->add('username', 'text')
            ->add('email', 'email')
            ->add('country', 'entity', array('serialize_link_relations' => array('self' => array('route' => 'country_view', 'type' => ';text/xml'))))
            ->add('addresses', 'collection', array('type' => 'address', 'serialize_xml_entry' => 'address'))
            ->add('created', 'datetime', array('serialize_only' => true))

    public function getName()
        return 'user';

    public function setDefaultOptions(OptionsResolverInterface $options)
            'data_class' => 'Acme\DemoBundle\Entity\User',
            'serialize_xml_root' => 'user',
            'serialize_json_root' => 'user',
            'serialize_link_relations' => array('self' => 'user_view', 'type' => 'vnd.myapp.user;text/xml')

Using the serializer:

$serializer = $this->get('form_serializer');
$data       = $serializer->serialize($user, new UserType(), 'xml');


    <country key="de" label="Deutschland" />
            <street>Foostreet 1</street>

Or if you use JSON:

    "user": {
        "username": "beberlei",
        "email": "",
        "country": {"key": "de", "label": "Deutschland"},
        "addresses": [
            {"street": "Foostreet 1"}
        "created": "2012-07-10"

Deserializing will look familiar:

class UserController extends Controller
    public function editAction(Request $request)
        $em = $this->get('doctrine.orm.default_entity_manager');

        $user = $em->find('Acme\DemoBundle\Entity\User', $request->get('id'));
        $form = $this->createForm(new UserType(), $user);

        if ($request->getMethod() !== 'POST') {
            return $this->renderFormFailure("MyBundle:User:edit.html.twig", $form, array('user' => $user));


        if ( ! $form->isValid()) {
            return $this->renderFormFailure("MyBundle:User:edit.html.twig", $form, array('user' => $user));

        // do some business logic here


        return $this->formRedirect($form, $this->generateUrl('user_show', array('id' => $user->getId()), 201);

    /* either render the form errors as xml/json or the html form again based on " _format" */
    public function renderFormFailure($template, FormInterface $form, $parameters)

    /* redirect OR 201 created, based on the "_format" */
    public function formRedirect()

This looks almost like a out of the book form request. The only thing different is that we have to use the "renderFormView" and "formRedirect" methods to generate response objects.

  • renderFormView will decide based on the response format, what operation to perform.
    1. show a form, when format is html
    2. show a HTTP 405 error, when the passed form wasn't bound yet
    3. show a HTTP 412 pre-condition failed with the form errors serialized into xml or json.
  • formRedirect will decide based on the response format:
    1. to redirect to the given url if its html (or config option use_forwards = false)
    2. to forward to the route if its xml or json (and config option use_fowards = true)