If you think about the best IDE you will probably think about eclipse with the PDT-Plugin, Netbeans or Kommodo. None of them has special support for the Symfony-Framework. As I wrote in an earlier post I’m using eclipse for my daily work. With some enhancements it is a pretty good IDE for Symfony-Development. Netbeans catched up with the last releases an there is a special Symfony-Support planned in one of the future releases.
Last week there was a new release of the Windows-PHP-IDE PHPEdit. Since Version 3.2 there is an excellent Symfony support in this IDE. A bunch of features makes the development with Symfony a lot more productive. I couldn’t resist and took a deeper look at this software. It was the first time that I used PHPEdit an I’m surprised on how good it is.
PHPEdit has a lot of wizards for creating Symfony-Projects and different Symfony artifacts (i.e. modules, actions…). For developers who dont know all of the symfony command line tasks and all of their parameters, these wizards are a great help.
PHPEdit installs a plugin that allows the IDE to get information about all tasks of the current project. The context menu of the project is file-sensitive. So you will get other tasks in the context menu when clicking on a application than clicking on a module or project. All Symfony tasks are available via context menu. Most of them with an upcoming wizard in which you can set the parameters by mouse clicks
Code Completion and Editor
The Editor has everything you can think of and support for all neccessary file formats (i.e. YAML) are included. Code-Folding,Line-Numbers, Smart Idention and others are available. Plus you have a great IntelliSense support. The Editor knows even the Symfony-Framework functions of the classes. You can jump between Actions and View-Template what is solving one of the most annoying problems if you are working on a large project and have a lot of action.class.php files open.
The makers of PHPEdit did a wunderful job. The symfony support is how I it should be in every IDE
Beside of this Framework-Specific features there is all you need for PHP-Development. A good PHP-Editor with IntelliSense and PHP-Debugging, Project management, everything is on board and pretty good. The only drawback is that PHPEdit is not freely available. It has a commercial license starting with 89.- Euros for the basic feature edition. If you are not using windows another drawback is that PHPEdit is only available for windows.
I’m still surprised why I never used this IDE before because it has everything you need for PHP development. Maybe it was because of its commercial license. For now it is the best Symfony IDE. The Framework-Support is outstanding. Lets see how the planned Symfony-Support in Netbeans can compete with this.