sajad torkamani

What is serialization?

Serialization is the process of converting a PHP object into a data format like JSON or XML. In PHP, It requires first normalizing the object into an array and then encoding the array into the target format. Serialization is the opposite of deserialization.

Serialization plays an essential part in building web services / REST APIs because you must be able to convert all sorts of incoming HTTP data (usually in JSON) to application-specific data types.

Serialize PHP objects using Symfony Serializer

How to serialize

Install dependencies

Install the Serializer component:

composer require symfony/serializer

Assuming you’ll use the ObjectNormalizer as your normalizer, install the PropertyAccess component that it depends on:

composer require symfony/property-access

Define entities

Now, if assuming you have a standard PHP entity class:


// src/Entity/Person.php

namespace App\Entity;

use DateTimeImmutable;

class Person
    private string $age;
    private string $name;
    private bool $isAlive;
    private DateTimeImmutable $createdAt;

    // Getters
    public function getName(): string
        return $this->name;

    public function getAge(): string
        return $this->age;

    public function getCreatedAt(): DateTimeImmutable
        return $this->createdAt;

    // Issers
    public function isAlive(): bool
        return $this->isAlive;

    // Setters
    public function setName(string $name): void
        $this->name = $name;

    public function setAge(int $age): void
        $this->age = $age;

    public function setIsAlive(bool $isAlive): void
        $this->isAlive = $isAlive;

    public function setCreatedAt(DateTimeImmutable $createdAt): void
        $this->createdAt = $createdAt;

Call the serializer

You can serialize it into a data format like JSON:


// src/serialize.php

use App\Entity\Person;
use Symfony\Component\Serializer\Encoder\JsonEncoder;
use Symfony\Component\Serializer\Encoder\XmlEncoder;
use Symfony\Component\Serializer\Normalizer\ObjectNormalizer;
use Symfony\Component\Serializer\Serializer;

require 'vendor/autoload.php';

$encoders = [new XmlEncoder(), new JsonEncoder()];
$normalizers = [new ObjectNormalizer()];

$serializer = new Serializer($normalizers, $encoders);

$person = new Person();

$jsonContent = $serializer->serialize($person, 'json');


Running this should output:



Tagged: Symfony