sfAssetsLibraryPlugin - 0.9.7

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 1.4 depends on sfThumbnailPlugin to create thumbnails of image files. If this plugin is not yest installed, the symfony plugin dependency system will install it when you install sfAssetsLibraryPlugin.

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 sfAssetsLibraryPlugin

Alternatively, if you don't have PEAR installed, you can download the latest package attached to this 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/branches/1.3.

If you use one of these alternative methods, you must enable the plugin in your ProjectConfiguration.class.php file and publish the plugin assets by calling the plugin:publish-assets symfony task.

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-forms
> php symfony propel:build-filters
> php symfony propel:build-sql

Create the new tables in your database.

> php symfony propel:insert-sql

3 - Configure your project to use the plugin features

Enable the sfAssetsLibraryPlugin and the sfThumbnailPlugin in the project configuration (unless you installed using plugin:install)

// in myproject/config/ProjectConfiguration.class.php
class ProjectConfiguration extends sfProjectConfiguration
  public function setup()
    $this->enablePlugins(array('sfPropelPlugin', 'sfAssetsLibraryPlugin', 'sfThumbnailPlugin'));

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 asset:create-root task 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 asset:create-root

*nix users must call this command with the same user group as the http server, because it will need write access to this directory. Alternatively, chmod 777 or chgrp can be used.

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:                               # Accepted asset types if check_type is true
      image:   image
      txt:     txt
      archive: archive
      pdf:     pdf
      xls:     xls
      doc:     doc
      ppt:     ppt
    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 operations 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, French, Italian, and German translations.

It's very important that you point the main module from your links (e.g. a navigation menu) to the route @sf_asset_library_root. Skipping this passage could lead to problems with layout, since the popup layout is different from the "standard" one.

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, 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 task asset:synchronize to do just that:

> php symfony asset: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 asset: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 use_javascript('tiny_mce/tiny_mce') /* must point to your actual path of tinyMCE */ ?>
<?php use_javascript('tiny_mce/setup) /* you must create setup.js, see below */ ?>
<?php echo init_asset_library() ?>

You need to create a setup.js file in tiny_mce directory (you can name this file as you prefer and store it whenever you want, as long as you point it correctly). This is an example of its content:

  theme : "advanced",
  mode: "textareas",
  editor_selector : "rich",
  relative_urls: false,
  file_browser_callback : 'sfAssetsLibrary.fileBrowserCallBack'

Please refer to official documentation for more detailed configuration.

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

For use with an admin generated module, place the init_asset_library() call in the _assets.php partial in the templates/ directory of the module. If you miss that template, just copy it from the cache auto-generated module. To add class in a generator.yml, do as follows:

# ...
  # ...
        foo: { attributes: { class: rich, rows: 5, cols: 70 } }

Using the assets library with CK Editor

Then you must initiate the plugin with a helper in the template:

<?php use_helper('sfAsset') ?>
<?php use_javascript('ckeditor/ckeditor') /* must point to your actual path of CKEditor */ ?>

For example if id of textarea is myrich then somewhare under this field we need to put

<script type="text/javascript">
CKEDITOR.replace( 'myrich',
        filebrowserBrowseUrl : '<?php echo get_asset_url() ?>',
        filebrowserUploadUrl : '<?php echo get_asset_url() ?>'

Please refer to official documentation for more detailed configuration.

For use with an admin generated module, place JavaScript with CKEDITOR.replace in the _form_footer.php partial in the templates/ directory of the module. To add id in a generator.yml, do as follows:

For use with an admin generated module:

# ...
  # ...
        foo: { attributes: { id: myrich, rows: 5, cols: 70 } }

To use ckeditor for all textareas in form globaly use CKEDITOR.replaceAll() Please refer to official documentation for more detailed configuration.

Using the form's widget

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 widget for that purpose, the sfWidgetFormAssetInput. Use is just like a regular widget:

public function configure()
  $this->widgetSchema['asset_id'] = new sfWidgetFormAssetInput();
  // usually you don't need to define validator, it should be already defined in generated form
  $this->validatorSchema['asset_id'] = new sfValidatorPropelChoice('model' => 'sfAsset');

If not in admin generator, remember to use use_javascripts_for_form($form) in your form's template.

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:

$this->widgetSchema['asset_id'] = new sfWidgetFormAssetInput(array('asset_type' => 'image'))

Thumbnails of PDF files

If you use ImageMagick, a nice thumbnail of PDF file is generated and used instead of default type icon. Thumbnail could be wrong in some limited cases. Please check this ticket to know more about the issue.


  • Make list of ignored files and folders configurable in synchronize task
  • 100% model coverage for unit tests
  • Drag and drop manipulation for file and folders
  • Screencast to show installation and usage