New in Symfony 6.1: Serializer Context Builders

Contributed by
Mathias Arlaud

in #43973.

The Serializer component allows you to pass some context information to the
serializing and deserializing process. For example, to ignore certain attributes
when serializing, you can use the following code:

$serializer->serialize($person, ‚json‘, [‚ignored_attributes‘ => [‚age‘]]);

// Symfony also defines public constants for the names of all context options
$serializer->serialize($person, ‚json‘, [AbstractNormalizer::IGNORED_ATTRIBUTES => [‚age‘]]);

In Symfony 6.1 we’re improving the definition of serialization contexts with the
introduction of Context Builders. Instead of having to deal with plain arrays,
these objects allow you to define the context using a fluent interface which
provides autocompletion, validation and documentation.

As shown in this example, you can mix both arrays and builder objects and you
can even merge these context objects between them:

use SymfonyComponentSerializerContextEncoderCsvEncoderContextBuilder;
use SymfonyComponentSerializerContextNormalizerObjectNormalizerContextBuilder;

$initialContext = [
‚custom_key‘ => ‚custom_value‘,

$contextBuilder = (new ObjectNormalizerContextBuilder())
->withGroups([‚group1‘, ‚group2‘]);

$contextBuilder = (new CsvEncoderContextBuilder())

$serializer->serialize($something, ‚csv‘, $contextBuilder->toArray());

If you need the context as a plain array (e.g. to pass it to serialize()
method) call to the toArray() method:

$this->serializer->serialize($data, ‚csv‘, $contextBuilder->toArray());

When building your own context builder, consider using the
SymfonyComponentSerializerContextContextBuilderTrait to reuse some
common methods:

// src/Serializer/LegacyContextBuilder
namespace AppSerializer;

use SymfonyComponentSerializerContextContextBuilderInterface;
use SymfonyComponentSerializerContextContextBuilderTrait;

final class LegacyContextBuilder implements ContextBuilderInterface
use ContextBuilderTrait;

public function withNullableDates(bool $nullable = true): static
return $this->with(‚zero_datetime_to_null‘, $nullable);

// you can now use this context builder as follows:
// $context = (new LegacyContextBuilder())->withNullableDates();

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