sfAssetsLibraryPlugin - 0.8.3

Full-featured multimedia asset library plugin

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sfAssetsLibrary plugin

The sfAssetsLibraryPlugin is a full-featured multimedia asset library plugin. Not only does it allow you to upload and organize your media files (images, PDF documents, Flash objects, and so on) via a web interface, it also stores metadata about each file for easy retrieval or automated copyright and legend inclusion. It is the perfect companion for rich text editors like TinyMCE.


sfAssetsLibraryList.png sfAssetsLibraryEdit.png


This plugin for symfony 1.0 needs a two other components to work:

Note: If ImageMagick is installed (no need for the PEAR Imagick package, the plugin calls the convert script of the basic Image Magic library), then the image thumbnails will be of better quality. See the "Configuration" section below for the way to activate ImageMagick support in the plugin.


1 - Install the plugin.

The easiest way to install sfAssetsLibraryPlugin is to use the symfony command line:

> php symfony plugin-install http://plugins.symfony-project.com/sfAssetsLibraryPlugin

Alternatively, if you don't have PEAR installed, you can download the latest package attached to this plugin's wiki page and extract it under your project's plugins/ directory. You can also refer to the plugin's Subversion repository by doing a checkout or an svn:externals of http://svn.symfony-project.com/plugins/sfAssetsLibraryPlugin.

If you use one of these alternative methods, you must copy or symlink the contents of the myproject/plugins/sfAssetsLibraryPlugin/web/ directory into a myproject/web/sfAssetsLibraryPlugin/ directory.

2 - Build the data structures

Rebuild the model and generate the SQL code for the new tables:

> php symfony propel-build-model
> php symfony propel-build-sql

Create the new tables in your database. Use the generated data/sql/plugins.sfAssetsLibraryPlugin.lib.model.schema.sql file for that. For instance, with MySQL:

> mysql -uroot -p mydb < data/sql/plugins.sfAssetsLibraryPlugin.lib.model.schema.sql

3 - Configure your project to use the plugin features

Enable the sfAsset module in your backend application, via the settings.yml file.

// in myproject/apps/backend/config/settings.yml
   enabled_modules:        [default, sfAsset]

Configure the path to the root assets directory in the app.yml file:

// in myproject/config/app.yml
    upload_dir:               media

In the above example, uploaded files will be stored under the web/media directory.

4 - Clear the cache to enable the autoloading to find the new classes:

> php symfony cc

5 - Use the bundled sfassetlibrary-create-root pake task (or sfalcr to go fast) to initialize the root asset directory in the filesystem and in the database. The name of the root asset directory will be read from the app.yml configuration you just defined:

> php symfony sfassetlibrary-create-root backend

Note: *nix users must call this command with the same user group as the http server, because it will need write access to this directory.

6 - You can now start using the plugin by browsing to the backend module's default page:



You can modify the plugin settings by way of the configuration. Here is a list of the settings you can change in your application's app.yml:

# in apps/backend/config/app.yml
    upload_dir:       media                  # Asset library root, under the web/ dir
    check_type:       false                  # Set to true if you want to restrict the type of assets
    types:            ['image', txt, archive, pdf, xls, doc, ppt]  # Accepted asset types if check_type is true
    thumbnail_dir:    thumbnail              # Where the image thumbnails are stored
    use_ImageMagick:  false                  # Set to true if you have the convert command
    thumbnails:                              # Name and size (in pixels) of the thumbnails created at upload
      small:                                 # Displayed in the list page
        width: 84
        height: 84
        shave: true                          # Cut strips to constraint the image size
      large:                                 # Displayed in the details page
        width: 194
        height: 152
    search_pager_size: 20                    # Number of resuts per page
    mass_upload_size:  5                     # Number of file upload controls displayed in the mass upload form

The sfAsset module

The sfAsset module provides four main features:

  • Browse through your media files like in a filesystem.
  • Read or change metadata for a particular file
  • Perform usual filesystem operztions on your files and folder (add, move, rename, delete)
  • Search for a particular media file from its filename, description, author, etc.

The module has two main views (list and edit) that you can easily customize by using your own CSS or overriding some of their numerous partials in your application. The templates are organized the same way as the admin generated modules, so applying your own look and feel to the sfAssetsLibrary should be easy.

The module is fully i18n'ed, and the plugin comes with English and French translations.

Using the assets from the library in your applications

Uploaded assets end up under the sfConfig::get('sf_web_root').sfConfig::get('app_sfAssetsLibrary_upload_dir') directory. The path to a particular media file appears in its details page fo the sfAsset module, so if you need to use it somewhere in your application, just copy this path. Alternatively, if you need to include an image tag to an asset you retrieved from the database, you can use the asset_image_tag() helper:

<?php use_helper('sfAsset') ?>
<?php echo asset_image_tag($sf_asset) ?>

Importing assets from an existing library

Whether you want to add assets to your library from an existing sfMediaLibrary(/plugins/sfMediaLibraryPlugin sfMediaLibrary), or to cleanup your database of removed files, you will probably need to synchronize the assets database with a directory.

Fortunately, the plugin comes with a pake task to do just that: sfassetlibrary-synchronize (or sfals to go fast):

> php symfony sfassetlibrary-synchronize [app] [dirname] --notVerbose --removeOrphanAssets --removeOrphanFolders

For instance, to import an existing Media Library under web/uploads/media to the sfAssetsLibrary, just type:

> php symfony sfassetlibrary-synchronize backend /path/to/project/web/uploads/media --removeOrphanAssets --removeOrphanFolders

You can call this task as many times you want, since it only performs database and filesystem operations when the two sources are not in sync.

Using the assets library with TinyMCE

If you want to use the sfAssetsLibrary plugin as a replacement for tinyMCE's file browser for image insertion, you must first initiate the plugin with a helper in the template:

<?php use_helper('sfAsset') ?>
<?php echo init_asset_library() ?>

The next thing to do is to pass a special JavaScript callback function to the TinyMCE object at initialization. This is done with the tinymce_options option of the textarea_tag() helper:

<?php echo textarea_tag('content', '', array(
      'rich' => true,
      'tinymce_options' => 'file_browser_callback:"sfAssetsLibrary.fileBrowserCallBack"'
    )) ?>

That's it, the TinyMCE file browser is now the sfAssetsLibrary's one.

Tip: For use with an admin generated module, place the init_asset_library() call in the _edit_header.php partial in the templates/ directory of the module. To define the callback in a generator.yml, do as follows:

  class:              sfPropelAdminGenerator
    model_class:      Post
    theme:            default

        content: { params: rich=true tinymce_options=\'file_browser_callback:"sfAssetsLibrary.fileBrowserCallBack"\' }

Using the Assets Library input_file helper

Traditionally, when an asset has to be referenced in a form, a file input is used (<input type='file'>). It allows the user to upload a file from his computer to the server, and this file can be further embedded in a rich text content.

Using the sfAssetsLibraryPlugin, you can change this control into some sort of file input that refers to the assets library, or, to put it differently, to the files located on the server in web/media. The plugin comes with a special helper for that purpose, the input_sf_asset_tag(). Use is just like a regular input_tag():

<?php use_helper('sfAsset') ?>
<?php echo form_tag('foo/bar') ?>
  <?php echo input_sf_asset_tag('my_asset_field', '') ?>

This input is not a real file input tag, meaning that the chosen asset file will not be posted with the request. Instead, the action will be able to retrieve the asset file path relative to the web root, exactly what is needed to display it. Incidentally, this means that your form doesn't need to be set multipart.

Optionally, you can restrict the choice of possible assets in this input to images only, as follows:

<?php echo input_sf_asset_tag('my_asset_field', '', array('images_only' => true)) ?>


  • Check Windows compatibility
  • Make list of ignored files and folders configurable in synchronize task
  • 100% model coverage for unit tests
  • Make thumbnails for PDF files (if ImageMagick is installed)
  • Drag and drop manipulation for file and folders
  • Screencast to show installation and usage


2009-03-16 | 0.8.3 Stable

  • francois: Converted README to Markdown
  • francois: Added missing file in package.xml

2008-06-23 | 0.8.2 Beta

  • francois: Fixed missing layout file in package
  • francois: Fixed layout inclusion in Windows

2008-06-12 | 0.8.1 Beta

  • francois: Fixed initialization task
  • francois: Translated remaining strings
  • francois: Fixed helper declaration problems
  • francois: Added mass upload
  • francois: Fixed popup layout

2008-06-11 | 0.8.0 Beta

  • wgarcia, blacksun, francois: Initial version