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Use in PHP {#flatbuffers_guide_use_php}

Before you get started

Before diving into the FlatBuffers usage in PHP, it should be noted that the [Tutorial](@ref flatbuffers_guide_tutorial) page has a complete guide to general FlatBuffers usage in all of the supported languages (including PHP). This page is specifically designed to cover the nuances of FlatBuffers usage in PHP.

You should also have read the [Building](@ref flatbuffers_guide_building) documentation to build flatc and should be familiar with [Using the schema compiler](@ref flatbuffers_guide_using_schema_compiler) and [Writing a schema](@ref flatbuffers_guide_writing_schema).

FlatBuffers PHP library code location

The code for FlatBuffers PHP library can be found at flatbuffers/php. You can browse the library code on the FlatBuffers GitHub page.

Testing the FlatBuffers JavaScript library

The code to test the PHP library can be found at flatbuffers/tests. The test code itself is located in [phpTest.php](https://github.com/google/ flatbuffers/blob/master/tests/phpTest.php).

You can run the test with php phpTest.php from the command line.

Note: The PHP test file requires PHP to be installed.

Using theFlatBuffers PHP library

Note: See [Tutorial](@ref flatbuffers_guide_tutorial) for a more in-depth example of how to use FlatBuffers in PHP.

FlatBuffers supports both reading and writing FlatBuffers in PHP.

To use FlatBuffers in your own code, first generate PHP classes from your schema with the --php option to flatc. Then you can include both FlatBuffers and the generated code to read or write a FlatBuffer.

For example, here is how you would read a FlatBuffer binary file in PHP: First, include the library and generated code (using the PSR autoload function). Then you can read a FlatBuffer binary file, which you pass the contents of to the GetRootAsMonster function:

  // It is recommended that your use PSR autoload when using FlatBuffers in PHP.
  // Here is an example:
  function __autoload($class_name) {
    // The last segment of the class name matches the file name.
    $class = substr($class_name, strrpos($class_name, "\\") + 1);
    $root_dir = join(DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR, array(dirname(dirname(__FILE__)))); // `flatbuffers` root.

    // Contains the `*.php` files for the FlatBuffers library and the `flatc` generated files.
    $paths = array(join(DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR, array($root_dir, "php")),
                   join(DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR, array($root_dir, "tests", "MyGame", "Example")));
    foreach ($paths as $path) {
      $file = join(DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR, array($path, $class . ".php"));
      if (file_exists($file)) {

  // Read the contents of the FlatBuffer binary file.
  $filename = "monster.dat";
  $handle = fopen($filename, "rb");
  $contents = $fread($handle, filesize($filename));

  // Pass the contents to `GetRootAsMonster`.
  $monster = \MyGame\Example\Monster::GetRootAsMonster($contents);

Now you can access values like this:

  $hp = $monster->GetHp();
  $pos = $monster->GetPos();

Text Parsing

There currently is no support for parsing text (Schema's and JSON) directly from PHP.