Subresources

A Subresource is another way of declaring a resource that usually involves a more complex URI. In API Platform you can declare as many ApiResource as you want on a PHP class creating Subresources.

Subresources work very well by implementing your own state providers or processors. In API Platform we provide a working Doctrine layer for subresources providing you add the correct configuration for URI Variables.

URI Variables Configuration

URI Variables are configured via the uriVariables node on an ApiResource. It’s an array indexed by the variables present in your URI, /companies/{companyId}/employees/{id} has two uri variables companyId and id. For each of these, we need to create a Link between the previous and the next node, in this example the link between a Company and an Employee.

If you’re using the Doctrine implementation, queries are automatically built using the provided links.

Answer to a Question

For this example we have two classes, a Question and an Answer. We want to find the Answer to the Question about the Universe using the following URI: /question/42/answer.

Let’s start by defining the resources:

<?php
// api/src/Entity/Answer.php
namespace App\Entity;

use ApiPlatform\Metadata\ApiResource;
use Doctrine\ORM\Mapping as ORM;

#[ORM\Entity]
#[ApiResource]
class Answer
{
    #[ORM\Id, ORM\Column, ORM\GeneratedValue]
    private ?int $id = null;

    #[ORM\Column(type: 'text')]
    public string $content;

    #[ORM\OneToOne]
    public Question $question;

    public function getId(): ?int
    {
        return $this->id;
    }

    // ...
}

// api/src/Entity/Question.php
namespace App\Entity;

use ApiPlatform\Metadata\ApiResource;
use Doctrine\ORM\Mapping as ORM;

#[ORM\Entity]
#[ApiResource]
class Question
{
    #[ORM\Id, ORM\Column, ORM\GeneratedValue]
    private ?int $id = null;

    #[ORM\Column(type: 'text')]
    public string $content;

    #[ORM\OneToOne]
    #[ORM\JoinColumn(referencedColumnName: 'id', unique: true)]
    public Answer $answer;

    public function getId(): ?int
    {
        return $this->id;
    }

    // ...
}
# api/config/api_platform/resources.yaml
resources:
    App\Entity\Answer: ~
    App\Entity\Question: ~
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<!-- api/config/api_platform/resources.xml -->

<resources xmlns="https://api-platform.com/schema/metadata/resources-3.0"
        xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
        xsi:schemaLocation="https://api-platform.com/schema/metadata/resources-3.0
        https://api-platform.com/schema/metadata/resources-3.0.xsd">
    <resource class="App\Entity\Question"/>
    <resource class="App\Entity\Answer"/>

</resources>

Now to create a new way of retrieving an Answer we will declare another resource on the Answer class. To make things work, API Platform needs information about how to retrieve the Answer belonging to the Question, this is done by configuring the uriVariables:

```php use ApiPlatform\Metadata\ApiResource; use ApiPlatform\Metadata\Link; use Doctrine\ORM\Mapping as ORM;

#[ORM\Entity] #[ApiResource] #[ApiResource( uriTemplate: ‘/questions/{id}/answer’, uriVariables: [ ‘id’ => new Link( fromClass: Question::class, fromProperty: ‘answer’ ) ], operations: [new Get()] )] class Answer { // … }


```yaml
# api/config/api_platform/resources.yaml
resources:
    App\Entity\Answer:
        uriTemplate: /questions/{id}/answer
        uriVariables:
            id:
                fromClass: App\Entity\Question
                fromProperty: answer
        operations:
            ApiPlatform\Metadata\Get: ~

    App\Entity\Question: ~
<resources xmlns="https://api-platform.com/schema/metadata/resources-3.0"
           xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
           xsi:schemaLocation="https://api-platform.com/schema/metadata/resources-3.0
        https://api-platform.com/schema/metadata/resources-3.0.xsd">
    
    <resource class="App\Entity\Question"/>

    <resource class="App\Entity\Answer"/>

    <resource class="App\Entity\Answer" uriTemplate="/questions/{id}/answer">
        <uriVariables>
            <uriVariable parameterName="id" fromClass="App\Entity\Question" fromProperty="answer"/>
        </uriVariables>

        <operations>
            <operation class="ApiPlatform\Metadata\Get"/>
        </operations>
    </resource>
</resources>    

In this example, we instructed API Platform that the Answer we retrieve comes from the class Question from the property answer of that class.

URI Variables are defined using Links (ApiPlatform\Metadata\Link). A Link can be binded either from or to a class and a property.

If we had a relatedQuestions property on the Answer we could retrieve the collection of related questions via the following definition:

#[ApiResource(
    uriTemplate: '/answers/{id}/related_questions.{_format}',
    uriVariables: [
        'id' => new Link(fromClass: Answer::class, fromProperty: 'relatedQuestions')
    ], 
    operations: [new GetCollection()]
)]
# api/config/api_platform/resources.yaml
resources:
    App\Entity\Question:
        uriTemplate: /answers/{id}/related_questions.{_format}
        uriVariables:
            id:
                fromClass: App\Entity\Answer
                fromProperty: relatedQuestions
        operations:
            ApiPlatform\Metadata\GetCollection: ~
<resource class="App\Entity\Question" uriTemplate="/answers/{id}/related_questions.{_format}">
    <uriVariables>
        <uriVariable parameterName="id" fromClass="App\Entity\Answer" fromProperty="relatedQuestions"/>
    </uriVariables>

    <operations>
        <operation class="ApiPlatform\Metadata\GetCollection"/>
    </operations>

</resource>

Company Employee’s

Note that in this example, we declared an association using Doctrine only between Employee and Company using a ManyToOne. There is no inverse association hence the use of toProperty in the URI Variables definition.

The following declares a few subresources: - /companies/{companyId}/employees/{id} - get an employee belonging to a company - /companies/{companyId}/employees - get the company employee’s

<?php
// api/src/Entity/Employee.php
namespace App\Entity;

use ApiPlatform\Metadata\ApiResource;
use ApiPlatform\Metadata\Link;
use ApiPlatform\Metadata\Get;
use ApiPlatform\Metadata\Post;
use ApiPlatform\Metadata\GetCollection;
use Doctrine\ORM\Mapping as ORM;

#[ORM\Entity]
#[ApiResource(
    operations: [ new Post() ]
)]
#[ApiResource(
    uriTemplate: '/companies/{companyId}/employees/{id}',
    uriVariables: [
        'companyId' => new Link(fromClass: Company::class, toProperty: 'company'),
        'id' => new Link(fromClass: Employee::class),
    ],
    operations: [ new Get() ]
)]
#[ApiResource(
    uriTemplate: '/companies/{companyId}/employees',
    uriVariables: [
        'companyId' => new Link(fromClass: Company::class, toProperty: 'company'),
    ],
    operations: [ new GetCollection() ]
)]
class Employee
{
    #[ORM\Id, ORM\Column, ORM\GeneratedValue]
    public ?int $id;

    #[ORM\Column]
    public string $name;

    #[ORM\ManyToOne(targetEntity: Company::class)]
    public ?Company $company;

    public function getId()
    {
        return $this->id;
    }
}

Now let’s add the Company class:

<?php
// api/src/Entity/Company.php
namespace App\Entity;

use ApiPlatform\Metadata\ApiResource;
use ApiPlatform\Metadata\Get;
use ApiPlatform\Metadata\Link;
use ApiPlatform\Metadata\Post;
use Doctrine\ORM\Mapping as ORM;

#[ORM\Entity]
#[ApiResource]
class Company
{
    #[ORM\Id, ORM\Column, ORM\GeneratedValue]
    public ?int $id;

    #[ORM\Column]
    public string $name;

    /** @var Employee[] */
    #[Link(toProperty: 'company')]
    public $employees = []; // only used to set metadata as GraphQl always needs to work from both sides of the association
}

We did not define any Doctrine annotation here and if we want things to work properly with GraphQL, we need to map the employees field as a Link to the class Employee using the property company.

As a general rule, if the property we want to create a link from is in the fromClass, use fromProperty, if not, use toProperty.

For example, we could add a subresource fetching an employee’s company. The company property belongs to the Employee class we can use fromProperty:

<?php 
#[ApiResource(
    uriTemplate: '/employees/{employeeId}/company',
    uriVariables: [
        'employeeId' => new Link(fromClass: Employee::class, fromProperty: 'company'),
    ],
    operations: [
        new Get()
    ]
)]

class Company {
    // ...
}

You can also help us improve the documentation of this page.

Made with love by

Les-Tilleuls.coop can help you design and develop your APIs and web projects, and train your teams in API Platform, Symfony, Next.js, Kubernetes and a wide range of other technologies.

Learn more

Copyright © 2023 Kévin Dunglas

Sponsored by Les-Tilleuls.coop