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Micro Applications

With Phalcon you can create “Micro-Framework like” applications. By doing this, you only need to write a minimal amount of code to create a PHP application. Micro applications are suitable to implement small applications, APIs and prototypes in a practical way.


$app = new Phalcon\Mvc\Micro();

$app->get('/say/welcome/{name}', function ($name) {
    echo "<h1>Welcome $name!</h1>";


Creating a Micro Application

Phalcon\Mvc\Micro is the class responsible for implementing a micro application.


$app = new Phalcon\Mvc\Micro();

Defining routes

After instantiating the object, you will need to add some routes. Phalcon\Mvc\Router manages routing internally. Routes must always start with /. A HTTP method constraint is optionally required when defining routes, so as to instruct the router to match only if the request also matches the HTTP methods. The following example shows how to define a route for the method GET:


$app->get('/say/hello/{name}', function ($name) {
    echo "<h1>Hello! $name</h1>";

The “get” method indicates that the associated HTTP method is GET. The route /say/hello/{name} also has a parameter {$name} that is passed directly to the route handler (the anonymous function). Handlers are executed when a route is matched. A handler could be any callable item in the PHP userland. The following example shows how to define different types of handlers:


// With a function
function say_hello($name) {
    echo "<h1>Hello! $name</h1>";

$app->get('/say/hello/{name}', "say_hello");

// With a static method
$app->get('/say/hello/{name}', "SomeClass::someSayMethod");

// With a method in an object
$myController = new MyController();
$app->get('/say/hello/{name}', array($myController, "someAction"));

//Anonymous function
$app->get('/say/hello/{name}', function ($name) {
    echo "<h1>Hello! $name</h1>";

Phalcon\Mvc\Micro provides a set of methods to define the HTTP method (or methods) which the route is constrained for:


//Matches if the HTTP method is GET
$app->get('/api/products', "get_products");

//Matches if the HTTP method is POST
$app->post('/api/products/add', "add_product");

//Matches if the HTTP method is PUT
$app->put('/api/products/update/{id}', "update_product");

//Matches if the HTTP method is DELETE
$app->put('/api/products/remove/{id}', "delete_product");

//Matches if the HTTP method is OPTIONS
$app->options('/api/products/info/{id}', "info_product");

//Matches if the HTTP method is PATCH
$app->patch('/api/products/update/{id}', "info_product");

//Matches if the HTTP method is GET or POST
$app->map('/repos/store/refs')->via(array('GET', 'POST'));

Routes with Parameters

Defining parameters in routes is very easy as demonstrated above. The name of the parameter has to be enclosed in brackets. Parameter formatting is also available using regular expressions to ensure consistency of data. This is demonstrated in the example below:


//This route have two parameters and each of them have a format
$app->get('/posts/{year:[0-9]+}/{title:[a-zA-Z\-]+}', function ($year, $title) {
    echo "<h1>Title: $title</h1>";
    echo "<h2>Year: $year</h2>";

Starting Route

Normally, the starting route in an application is the route /, and it will more frequent to be accessed by the method GET. This scenario is coded as follows:


//This is the start route
$app->get('/', function () {
    echo "<h1>Welcome!</h1>";

Rewrite Rules

The following rules can be used together with Apache to rewrite the URis:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php?_url=/$1 [QSA,L]

Working with Responses

You are free to produce any kind of response in a handler: directly make an output, use a template engine, include a view, return a json, etc.:


//Direct output
$app->get('/say/hello', function () {
    echo "<h1>Hello! $name</h1>";

//Requiring another file
$app->get('/show/results', function () {
    require 'views/results.php';

//Returning a JSON
$app->get('/get/some-json', function () {
    echo json_encode(array("some", "important", "data"));

In addition to that, you have access to the service “response”, with which you can manipulate better the response:


$app->get('/show/data', function () use ($app) {

    //Set the Content-Type header

    //Print a file


Making redirections

Redirections could be performed to forward the execution flow to another route:


//This route makes a redirection to another route
$app->post('/old/welcome', function () use ($app) {

$app->post('/new/welcome', function () use ($app) {
    echo 'This is the new Welcome';

Generating URLs for Routes

Phalcon\Mvc\Url can be used to produce URLs based on the defined routes. You need to set up a name for the route; by this way the “url” service can produce the corresponding URL:


//Set a route with the name "show-post"
$app->get('/blog/{year}/{title}', function ($year, $title) use ($app) {

    //.. show the post here


//produce a url somewhere
$app->get('/', function() use ($app) {

    echo '<a href="', $app->url->get(array(
        'for' => 'show-post',
        'title' => 'php-is-a-great-framework',
        'year' => 2012
    )), '">Show the post</a>';


Interacting with the Dependency Injector

In the micro application, a Phalcon\DI\FactoryDefault services container is created implicitly; additionally you can create outside the application a container to manipulate its services:


$di = new \Phalcon\DI\FactoryDefault();

$di->set('config', function() {
    return new \Phalcon\Config\Adapter\Ini("config.ini");

$app = new Phalcon\Mvc\Micro();


$app->get('/', function () use ($app) {
    //Read a setting from the config
    echo $app->config->app_name;

$app->post('/contact', function () use ($app) {
    $app->flash->success('Yes!, the contact was made!');

The array-syntax is allowed to easily set/get services in the internal services container:


$app = new Phalcon\Mvc\Micro();

//Setup the database service
$app['db'] = function() {
    return new \Phalcon\Db\Adapter\Pdo\Mysql(array(
        "host" => "localhost",
        "username" => "root",
        "password" => "secret",
        "dbname" => "test_db"

$app->get('/blog', function () use ($app) {
    $news = $app['db']->query('SELECT * FROM news');
    foreach ($news as $new) {
        echo $new->title;

Not-Found Handler

When a user tries to access a route that is not defined, the micro application will try to execute the “Not-Found” handler. An example of that behavior is below:


$app->notFound(function () use ($app) {
    $app->response->setStatusCode(404, "Not Found")->sendHeaders();
    echo 'This is crazy, but this page was not found!';

Models in Micro Applications

Models can be used transparently in Micro Applications, only is required an autoloader to load models:


$loader = new \Phalcon\Loader();

    __DIR__ . '/models/'

$app = new \Phalcon\Mvc\Micro();

$app->get('/products/find', function(){

    foreach (Products::find() as $product) {
        echo $product->name, '<br>';



Micro Application Events

Phalcon\Mvc\Micro is able to send events to the EventsManager (if it is present). Events are triggered using the type “micro”. The following events are supported:

Event Name Triggered Can stop operation?
beforeHandleRoute The main method is just called, at this point the application doesn’t know if there is some matched route Yes
beforeExecuteRoute A route has been matched and it contains a valid handler, at this point the handler has not been executed Yes
afterExecuteRoute Triggered after running the handler No
beforeNotFound Triggered when any of the defined routes match the requested URI Yes
afterHandleRoute Triggered after completing the whole process in a successful way Yes

In the following example, we explain how to control the application security using events:


//Create a events manager
$eventManager = \Phalcon\Events\Manager();

//Listen all the application events
$eventManager->attach('micro', function($event, $app) {

    if ($event->getType() == 'beforeExecuteRoute') {
        if ($app->session->get('auth') == false) {

            $app->flashSession->error("The user isn't authenticated");

            //Return (false) stop the operation
            return false;


$app = new Phalcon\Mvc\Micro();

//Bind the events manager to the app

Middleware events

In addition to the events manager, events can be added using the methods ‘before’, ‘after’ and ‘finish’:


$app = new Phalcon\Mvc\Micro();

//Executed before every route executed
$app->before(function() use ($app) {
    if ($app['session']->get('auth') == false) {

        $app['flashSession']->error("The user isn't authenticated");

        //Return false stops the normal execution
        return false;

$app->after(function() use ($app) {
    //This is executed after the route is executed

$app->finish(function() use ($app) {
    //This is executed when is the request has been served

You can call the methods several times to add more events of the same type. The following table explains the events:

Event Name Triggered Can stop operation?
before Before executing the handler. It can be used to control the access to the application Yes
after Executed after the handler is executed. It can be used to prepare the response No
finish Executed after sending the response. It can be used to perform clean-up No

Returning Responses

Handlers may return raw responses using Phalcon\Http\Response or a component that implements the relevant interface.


$app = new Phalcon\Mvc\Micro();

//Return a response
$app->get('/welcome/index', function() {

    $response = new Phalcon\Http\Response();

    $response->setStatusCode(401, "Unauthorized");

    $response->setContent("Access is not authorized");

    return $response;

Rendering Views

Phalcon\Mvc\View can be used to render views, the following example shows how to do that:


$app = new Phalcon\Mvc\Micro();

$app['view'] = function() {
    $view = new \Phalcon\Mvc\View();
    return $view;

//Return a rendered view
$app->get('/products/show', function() use ($app) {

    // Render app/views/products/show.phtml passing some variables
    echo $app['view']->getRender('products', 'show', array(
        'id' => 100,
        'name' => 'Artichoke'


Creating a Simple REST API is a tutorial that explains how to create a micro application to implement a RESTful web service.