Best Symfony IDE: Eclipse PDT + Symfoclipse + Clay

The Symfony project is growing every day, both in dimension and number of developers.

I think that Symfony is the best PHP 5 Framework, but the elements that converts a framework to THE FRAMEWORK are not only a lot of features seamlessly integrated together, but also the IDE tools that helps the programmer and the analist to develop with more simplicity.

My favourite IDE is Eclipse PDT.

It is open-source, it offers typical IDE features, it integrates the WTP platform for web applications and it can take advantage of the thousands of available Eclipse plugins.


Furthermore, an additional reason to choose Eclipse PDT is for Symfoclipse, the eclipse plugin that simplifies the development of web application. This goal has been reached thanks also to Symfony Framework.

It includes:

  • Command line actions from within Eclipse. ( pake tasks )
  • A YAML editor and validator for the YAML format.


In this article i will explain how to install a symfony project in Eclipse PDT, how to use Symfoclipse to develop with more efficiency and simplicity and, moreover, I will present you another useful plugin: Clay.

A Symfoclipse license for commercial use costs 20 Euro and can be purchased by paypal transfer to anoy[at]arti-shock[dot]com mentioning your name and email address. The license is for version 1.0.0 - 1.xx.xx.



Mauro Casula


1. ECLIPSE PDT Installation

Eclipse PDT features:

* Code Completion
* Templates
* File/Project Class Inspection in File Explorer
* Code Folding
* Refactoring



You must add the symfony project as a Library

  • Open the PHP Navigator
  • Right-click on your project
  • Select “Configure Include Path”
  • Select the “Libaries” tab
  • Click “Add External Folder”
  • Navigate to “\route\to\PEAR\symfony”


You must simply:

  • Copy your application folder in the Eclipse workspace folder
  • Insert a new PHP Project
  • Choose as Project contents Directory your application folder

2. Symfoclipse plugin installation

Symfoclipse is a plugin for the Eclipse platform that ease the development process of web applications using the Symfony framework.

Symfoclipse includes two plugins:

  • Symfony Command line actions plugin
  • Symfoclipse YAML editor plugin

The YAML editor is Wonderful. Finally form validation will not be a stressful job.You can install and update Symfoclipse automatically by defining a new remote site in eclipse’s ‘find and install’ menu using this URL:

If you want to use the Command Line actions plugin, you must set the symfony.bat path in your PATH environment variable.
If you are using more than one sf_sandbox project you can simply set one of the symfony.bat project directory, the plugin will run without problems. If you are using a Symfony as PEAR package… set symfony pear directory in your PATH.

3. Clay: a database design tool

Another usefull Eclipse plugin, is Clay.

Clay is a database design tool.
With Clay its possible to:

  • graphically design a dabase model
  • create a database model from an existing database
  • generate the SQL ( DDL ) code for your database.

I will talk about this plugin and others database tools in another dedicated post.

If you want to try Clay, download and install it from here:

Bye All.

Mauro Casula.

19 Responses to “Best Symfony IDE: Eclipse PDT + Symfoclipse + Clay”

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  1. Dec11

    Andreas Stephan

    Said this at 10:23pm:

    I haven’t used Clay yet, but it sounds interesting, I will give it a try.
    For PDT and symfonclipse I completely agree, they are just great.
    I would also add the Aptana IDE Eclipse plugin to the list. It’s awesome for JavaScript and CSS.

  2. Dec11


    Said this at 11:41pm:

    Short and useful… thx you i will that that out.
    Go Symfo !!!

  3. Dec11

    Alexey Kupershtokh

    Said this at 11:55pm:

    Hi. Glad to see like-minded people to me :)

    1) I don’t use Clay. Does it support working with data as well?
    2) I use Subclipse for SVN. It’s not ideal, so I often use TortoiseSVN or just console one as well.
    3) I have a build.xml Apache ANT file, it handles most tasks (more complex that just running pake tasks) that I need.
    For example it performs deployment via ssh in one click: it disables an app on hosting via ssh, then rsync to hosting, then enable the app again. Very useful. I’m thinking about how could I make it more abstract from my project and then publish it.

  4. Dec12


    Said this at 12:10am:

    For Andreas:
    > I have just installed Aptana IDE Eclipse plugin and is just fantastic.
    > I will add this info in this post! Thank you very much…

    For Alexey:
    > 1) I dont use Clay for working with data. Clay is very usefull when you have to project a database schema.
    > 2) I use TortoiseSVN…
    > 3) I will write a post about my way of deploying a project.. Actually i’m using Phing tasks…

    Thanks all for comment and read my blog.
    Mauro Casula.

  5. Dec13


    Said this at 3:18pm:

    Eclipse + PDT + Symfoclipse is the best combination for developing with Symfony.
    Symfoclipse gives a great added value, it has the best yaml editor available and you don’t have to switch between ide and terminal anymore. I just purchased a license for 20 Euro.

  6. Dec13


    Said this at 3:31pm:

    I have installed the Aptana IDE Eclipse plugin..

    Its really usefull and cheaper than a license of Dreamweaver for css, js and html editing.

    I love Eclipse plugin system.

    Benz, I will purchase a Symfoclipse license too.

    The price is fixed ? There is no price in the plugin web site.

  7. Dec14

    Alon Noy

    Said this at 2:30pm:

    A Symfoclipse license for commercial use costs 20 Euro and can be purchased by paypal transfer to anoy[at]arti-shock[dot]com .Please mention your name and email address. The license is for version 1.0.0 - 1.xx.xx.

  8. Dec15

    Symfoclipse, el IDE para Symfony | Las pocas paranoias que se pueden expresar. | phpleo.Blog

    Said this at 5:14am:

    […] último post de mi amigo Mauro Casula ha sido muy interesante dándome a descubrir este plugin para Eclipse (en […]

  9. Dec17 » A week of symfony #50 (10->16 december 2007)

    Said this at 3:46am:

    […] Best Symfony IDE: Eclipse PDT + Symfoclipse + Clay […]

  10. Dec23 » Blog Archive » Una semana con Symfony #23 (10 - 16 diciembre 2007)

    Said this at 10:07pm:

    […] Best Symfony IDE: Eclipse PDT + Symfoclipse + Clay […]

  11. Jan17

    Christian Schaefer

    Said this at 12:24pm:

    hi all,

    in case you’re interested in getting your IDE more up to speed that the above howto you might want to take a look at my small guide to a flexible PHP IDE for symfony development.

    *note to self: add clay and symfoclipse!


  12. Apr2

    Faramarz Salehpour

    Said this at 1:07pm:

    It seems that the symfoclipse site is not working, any mirror sites?

  13. Apr6


    Said this at 9:40am:

    f you are using more than one sf_sandbox project you can simply set one of the symfony.bat project directory, the plugin will run without problems.

    can you pls guide where to get this option? I am new in Eclipse world and wantt o work on Symfony

  14. Apr15


    Said this at 7:36am:

    For all the people who use Subclipse, as some mentioned above: Maybe you’d like to take a look at Subversive, it offers much better Eclipse integration.

  15. Apr25


    Said this at 3:20pm:

    I’m using symfoclipse, but the command tool doesn’t seem to work…
    I don’t understand in which “path” I’m supposed to add symfony… In eclipse ? in my project ? in my OS ? (I’m on Mac OS X.5)
    Thanks !

    * *
    * Thank you for using Symfoclipse. *
    * Copyright (c) 2007, Alon Noy *
    * *
    * For professional web development *
    * you can contact the author of this plugin *
    * at [email protected] *
    * *
    symfony: not found

  16. May30


    Said this at 5:14am:


    I followed this setup for, however when I add the SF_SANDBOX as a project, eclipse is marking some code with errors. Some of them php file, bust must of them are .yml files under the ..\data\symfony\config. For instance the autoload.yml marks an error, with no details around the line:
    path: %SF_SYMFONY_LIB_DIR%

    The same for other variables that start with SF_*

    So I am assuming that maybe their declaration is not being found ?

    Any ideas on what I may be missing on my setup ?



  17. May30


    Said this at 7:23am:

    This happens in my configuration too.
    I don’t know the reason.
    I simply ignore that errors.

    If anyone know the reason or the solution.. please, post it here.

    Best regards.

    Mauro Casula.

  18. Jun4


    Said this at 8:39pm:


    i’m facing the same problem.

    Any suggestions?

  19. Jun6


    Said this at 11:30am:

    Fabio: I’ve created a symbolic link like this:

    sudo ln -s /path/to/symfony/data/bin/symfony /usr/bin/symfony

    and then it works! :)


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