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Connect a Symfony application to PlanetScale

Spin up a PlanetScale MySQL database in seconds and connect to a Symfony application


In this tutorial, you'll learn how to connect a Symfony application to a PlanetScale MySQL database using a sample Symfony starter app.


Set up the Symfony app

This guide will integrate a simple Symfony app with PlanetScale that will display a list of products stored in the database. If you have an existing application, you can also use that.

  1. Clone the starter Symfony application:

    git clone
  2. Enter into the folder and install the dependencies:

    cd symfony-example
    composer install
  3. Rename the .env.example file to .env.local:

    mv .env.example .env.local

    Once you deploy to production, don't forget to update .env.local to .env.

  4. Start the application:

    symfony serve

You can view the application at http://localhost:8000.

Set up the database

Next, you need to set up your PlanetScale database and connect to it in the Symfony application.

You can create a database either in the PlanetScale dashboard or from the PlanetScale CLI. This guide will use the CLI, but you can follow the database setup instructions in the PlanetScale quickstart guide if you prefer the dashboard.

  1. Authenticate the CLI with the following command:

    pscale auth login
  2. Create a new database with a default main branch with the following command:

    pscale database create <DATABASE_NAME> --region <REGION_SLUG>

This tutorial uses symfony_example for DATABASE_NAME, but you can use any name with lowercase, alphanumeric characters, or underscores. You can also use dashes, but we don't recommend them, as they may need to be escaped in some instances.

For REGION_SLUG, choose a region closest to you from the available regions or leave it blank.

That's it! Your database is ready to use. Next, let's connect it to the Symfony application and then add some data.

Connect to the Symfony app

There are two ways to connect to PlanetScale:

  • With an auto-generated username and password
  • Using the PlanetScale proxy with the CLI

Both options are covered below.

These instructions show you how to use the PlanetScale CLI to generate a set of credentials.

You can also get these exact values to to copy/paste from your PlanetScale dashboard. In the dashboard, click on the database > "Connect" > "Generate new password" > "General" dropdown > "Symfony". If the password is blurred, click "New password". Skip to step 3 once you have these credentials.

  1. Create a username and password with the PlanetScale CLI by running:

    pscale password create <DATABASE_NAME> <BRANCH_NAME> <PASSWORD_NAME>

    A default branch, main, is created when you create the database, so you can use that for BRANCH_NAME.


    The PASSWORD_NAME value represents the name of the username and password being generated. You can have multiple credentials for a branch, so this gives you a way to categorize them. To manage your passwords in the dashboard, go to your database dashboard page, click "Settings", and then click "Passwords".

    Take note of the values returned to you, as you won't be able to see this password again.

  2. Open the .env.local file in your Symfony app, find the database connection section, and replace the existing DATABASE_URL value with:


Fill in USERNAME, PASSWORD, ACCESS HOST URL and DATABASE_NAME with the appropriate values from the CLI output above.

Refresh your Symfony homepage and you should see the message that you're connected to your database!

Option 2: Connect with the PlanetScale proxy

To connect with the PlanetScale proxy, you'll need the PlanetScale CLI.

  1. Open a connection by running the following:

    pscale connect <DATABASE_NAME> <BRANCH_NAME>

    If you're following this guide exactly and haven't created any branches, you can use the default branch, main.

  2. A secure connection to your database will be established and you'll see a local address you can use to connect to your application.

  3. Open the .env.local file in your Symfony app and update it as follows:

    DB_PORT=3306 # Get this from the output of the previous step

    The connection uses port 3306 by default, but if that's being used, it will pick a random port. Make sure you paste in whatever port is returned in the terminal. Fill in the database name as well.

  4. Open up config/packages/doctrine.yaml. Under option, you'll see a line for the SSL certificate that was used to connect with username and password:

    !php/const:PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_SSL_CA: /etc/ssl/cert.pem

Delete that line and save.

Refresh your Symfony homepage and you should see the message that you're connected to your database!

Run migrations and seeder

Now that you're connected, let's add some data to see it in action. The sample application comes with a migration file at migrations/Version20220120102247.php that will create category and product tables in the database.

There are also two seeder files, src/DataFixtures/CategoryFixtures.php and src/DataFixtures/ProductFixtures.php, that will add ten random categories and products to the category and product tables, respectively. Let's run those now.

  1. Make sure your database connection has been established. You'll see the message "You are connected to your-database-name" on the Symfony app homepage if everything is configured properly.

  2. In your terminal in the root of the Symfony project, run the following to run the migrations:

    symfony console doctrine:migrations:migrate

    You will get a message asking you to confirm. Type "yes" and hit enter to proceed.

  3. Next, seed the database by running:

    symfony console doctrine:fixtures:load

    This will purge your database and load the placeholder data into it.

  4. Refresh your Symfony homepage and you'll see a list of products and their category printed out.

The templates/product/index.html.twig file pulls this data from the product table with the help of the src/Controller/ProductController.php file.

Add data manually

If you want to continue to play around with adding data on the fly, you have a few options:

The first two options are covered below.

Add data with PlanetScale CLI

You can use the PlanetScale CLI to open a MySQL shell to interact with your database.

You may need to install the MySQL command line client if you haven't already.

Run the following command in your terminal:


This will open up a MySQL shell connected to the specified database and branch.


A branch, main, was automatically created when you created your database, so you can use that for BRANCH_NAME.

Add a record to the product table:

INSERT INTO `store_product` (name, description, image, category_id)
VALUES ('Spaceship', 'Get ready for the trip of a lifetime', '', 2);

The value id will be filled with a default value.

You can verify it was added in the PlanetScale CLI MySQL shell with:

select * from product;

Type exit to exit the shell.

You can now refresh the Symfony homepage to see the new record.

Add data with PlanetScale dashboard console

If you don't care to install MySQL client or the PlanetScale CLI, another quick option using the MySQL console built into the PlanetScale dashboard.

By default, web console access to production branches is disabled to prevent accidental deletion. From your database's dashboard page, click on the "Settings" tab, check the box labelled "Allow web console access to production branches", and click "Save database settings".

  1. Go to your PlanetScale dashboard and select your Symfony database.

  2. Click on the "Branches and select the main branch.

  3. Click on "Console"

  4. Add a new record to the product table with:

    INSERT INTO `store_product` (name, description, image, category_id)
    VALUES ('Spaceship', 'Get ready for the trip of a lifetime', '', 2);
  5. You can confirm that it was added by running:

    select * from product;

You can now refresh the Symfony homepage to see the new record.

What's next?

Once you're done with initial development, you can enable safe migrations on your main production branch to protect it against direct schema changes and enable zero-downtime schema migrations.

Learn more about how PlanetScale allows you to make non-blocking schema changes to your database tables without locking or causing downtime for production databases.

Need help?

Get help from the PlanetScale support team, or join our GitHub discussion board to see how others are using PlanetScale.

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