Add PDF export functionality in SonataAdminBundle

By default SonataAdminBundle doesn’t come with a PDF export functionality. Since this is a nice feature to have in your application here’s a way to add PDF export to the CRUD pages.

The example works with the standard Symfony2 installation and the AcmeDemoBundle. The PDF will be generated using KnpSnappyBundle (the installation process is not covered here).

The Doctrine Entity:


The Color Admin class:

Enable the PDF export link on list page

In order to add the PDF export option the “getExportFormats” method needs to be overridden in the ColorAdmin class:

The “pdf” options should now be displayed on the list page next to the default ones.

Create custom service to handle PDF export

First the default export service (identified by “sonata.admin.exporter”) needs to be overriden. Register the service in src/Acme/DemoBundle/Resources/config/services.xml and make it aware of the knpSnappyPdf. Also the template engine will be necessary.

Next extend the Sonata exporter class as defined in the overridden exporter service:

The last step is to add the Twig template used to render the PDF content, as specified in the custom exporter service.  For example:

Of course, there is room for improvement. You can do it “SonataAdmin” way with a custom PdfWriter class (similar with the built-in XlsWriter, CsvWriter or JsonWriter) to separate the PDF conversion code, instead of having the entire process in the custom Exporter class.

Doctrine entities in Twig templates

In a Symfony2 project, Doctrine entities can be used inside Twig templates with the help of Twig extensions.

The example works with the standard Symfony2 installation and the AcmeDemoBundle, and it is supposed to add a set of links on one of the demo pages. Each link represents a color, while the HEX code for that color is displayed when the link is clicked. The colors are retrieved from the database.

The example is using Twig functions, but an alternative which is using global variables is also presented.

The Doctrine entity:

This entity has a basic structure which should store the name and HEX code for a color.

The Twig extension:

The following list contains the most important remarks related to the Twig extension:

  • The string returned by the “getName”  method – “color_extension” will be used to register the extension;
  • The “getColors” method is the one which returns the entities, using the EntityManager;
  • In order to have access to the EntityManager, the Twig extension needs to be registered by specifying that the EntityManager service (identified as “doctrine.orm.entity_manager”) will be passed as argument;
  • The key “get_colors” from the array returned by the “getFunctions” method is the actual Twig function name which needs to be called in the Twig template to return the entities.

Twig extension registration:

In order to register the Twig extension the following piece of code needs to be added to src/Acme/DemoBundle/Resources/config/services.xml:

As previously mentioned, the “color_extension” string is used in the service id and the EntityManager service is sent as parameter for the Twig extension.

Everything should be set by now, the only thing that needs to be done is to call the “get_colors” function inside a Twig template. Here’s an example:

The global variables alternative.

Update the Twig extension (src/Acme/DemoBundle/Twig/Extension/ColorExtension.php) with the following code:

This means that the “colors” key will become a global variable and can be used in a Twig template.