Component: AutoMapper


Jane AutoMapper is an experimental library that generate AutoMapper class which allows to automap values from Class to Class.

Taken from AutoMapper/AutoMapper:

AutoMapper is a simple little library built to solve a deceptively complex problem - getting rid of code that mapped one object to another. This type of code is rather dreary and boring to write, so why not invent a tool to do it for us?

In PHP libraries and application mapping from one object to another is fairly common:

  • ObjectNormalizer / GetSetMethodNormalizer in symfony/serializer
  • Mapping request data to object in symfony/form
  • Hydrate object from SQL results in Doctrine
  • Migrating legacy data to new model
  • Mapping from database model to DTO objects (API / CQRS / …)
  • And even more…

The goal of this component is to offer an abstraction on top of this subject. For that goal it provides an unique interface (other code is only implementation detail):

interface AutoMapperInterface
     * Map data from to target.
     * @param array|object        $source  Any data object, which may be an object or an array
     * @param string|array|object $target  To which type of data, or data, the source should be mapped
     * @param Context             $context Options mappers have access to
     * @return array|object The mapped object
    public function map($source, $target, Context $context = null);

The source is from where the data comes from, it can be either an array or an object. The target is where the data should be mapped to, it can be either a string (representing a type: array or class name) or directly an array or object (in that case construction of the object is avoided).

Current implementation handle all of those possiblities at the exception of the mapping from a dynamic object (array / stdClass) to another dynamic object.

Using AutoMapper

Basic usage

Someone who wants to map an object will only have to do this:

// With class name
$target = $automapper->map($source, Foo::class);
// With existing object
$target = new Foo();
$target = $automapper->map($source, $target);
// To an array
$target = $automapper->map($source, 'array');
// From an array
$source = ['a' => 'b'];
$target = $automapper->map($source, Foo::class);

With custom context

Context object allow to pass options for the mapping:

// Using context
$context = new Context();
$target = $automapper->map($source, Foo::class, $context);

// Groups (serializer annotation), will only map value that match those group in source and target
$context = new Context(['groupA', 'groupB']);
// Allowed attributes, will only map specific properties (exclude others), allow nesting for sub mapping like the serializer component
$context = new Context(null, ['propertyA', 'propertyB', 'foo' => ['fooPropertyA']]);
// Ignored attributes, exclude thos propreties include others
$context = new Context(null, null, ['propertyA', 'propertyB', 'foo' => ['fooPropertyA']]);
// Set circular reference limit
// Set circular reference handler
$context->setCircularReferenceHandler(function () { ... });


Nested Mapping

This component map nested class when it’s possible.

Circular Reference

Default circular reference implementation is to keep them during mapping, which means somethings like:

$foo = new Foo();

$target = $this->automapper->map($foo, 'array');

Will produce an array where the foo property will be a reference to the parent.

Having that allow using this component as a DeepCloning service by mapping to the same object:

$foo = new Foo();

$deepClonedFoo = $this->automapper->map($foo, Foo::class);

Max Depth

This component understand the Max Depth Annotation of the Serializer component and will not map after it’s reached.

Name Converter

Default implementation allows you to pass a Name Converter when converting to or from an array to change the property name used.

Discriminator Mapping

This component understand the Discriminator Mapping Annotation of the Serializer component and should correctly handle construction of object when having inheritance.

Type casting

This component will try to correctly map scalar values (going from int to string, etc).

Transformer extension

Sometimes you have to convert special objects (such as \Money\Money from moneyphp\money package), to do that you should create a custom TransformerFactory and its Transformers. We made an example in the AutoMapper tests files that you can look at.

To use a custom TransformerFactory class, you have to do as following:

$autoMapper->bindTransformer(new TransformerFactory());

With the Symfony bundle, you have to tag your TransformerFactory class with a jane_auto_mapper.transformer_factory tag. This will use automatically the TransformerFactory.

Skip null values

This context option allows us to ignore null values from source attributes. So if we use that option and our target object has a value, it will keep it.

Here is a quick example:

class Input
  public ?string $name = null;

class MyEntity
  private string $name;
  public function setName(string $name) {
    $this->name = $name;
  public function getName() {
    return $this->name;

$myEntity = new MyEntity();
$input = new Input();

$autoMapper->map($input, $myEntity, ['skip_null_values' => true]);
echo $myEntity->getName(); // "foobar"


Default implementation use code generation for mapping, it reads once the metadata needed to build the mapper then write PHP code, after this, no metadata reading or analysis is done, only the generated mapper is used.

This allow for very fast mapping, here is some benchmarks using the library:

And here is an example of generated code

Symfony Bundle

If you want to use the AutoMapper with Symfony, you can require the related bundle:

composer require jane-php/automapper-bundle

Then you have to add the bundle class in your config/bundles.php file:

return [
    // ...
    Jane\Bundle\AutoMapperBundle\JaneAutoMapperBundle::class => ['all' => true],

Then configure the bundle to your needs thanks to config/packages/jane.yaml file, for example:

  normalizer: false
  name_converter: ~
  cache_dir: '%kernel.cache_dir%/automapper'
  date_time_format: !php/const \DateTimeInterface::RFC3339_EXTENDED
  hot_reload: '%kernel.debug%'

Possible configuration fields:

  • normalizer (default: false): A boolean which indicate if we inject the AutoMapperNormalizer;
  • name_converter (default: null): A NameConverter based on your needs;
  • cache_dir (default: %kernel.cache_dir%/automapper): This settings allows you to customize the output directory for generated mappers;
  • date_time_format (default: \DateTime::RFC3339): This option allows you to change the date time format used to transform strings to \DateTime;
  • hot_reload (default: %kernel.debug%): Will reload the AutoMapper registry every time you try to load new Mapper class, we recommend to put this option at false in production.

Extending the bundle

The AutoMapper comes with multiple elements to make it work, but you can custom many of them, this section will describe each of these customizable elements.

Mapper configuration

During automapping, we will build metadata about source & target data. Most of the time this process will be handled by one of our builtin extractor or the Symfony PropertyInfo component.

But you can customize this with a MapperConfigurationInterface. For example if you have an in input array as following:

['name' => 'Jane Doe', 'age' => 25]

And we want to automap this array to an object that has a property yearOfBirth. With no configuration, this property will be skipped since there is no matching field in the array, but we can make a custom Mapper configuration to fill it.

We want to calculate this field based on the current year minus the age field. Here is a custom Mapper configuration definition following our example:

use Jane\Bundle\AutoMapperBundle\Configuration\MapperConfigurationInterface;

class UserMapperConfiguration implements Configuration\MapperConfigurationInterface
    public function getSource(): string
        return 'array';

    public function getTarget(): string
        return \Jane\Component\AutoMapper\Tests\Fixtures\UserDTO::class;

    public function process(MapperGeneratorMetadataInterface $metadata): void
        $metadata->forMember('yearOfBirth', function (array $user) {
            return ((int) date('Y')) - ((int) $user['age']);

This example will map the yearOfBirth field as stated!

If you are using the Bundle, any class implementing the MapperConfigurationInterface interface will be autoconfigured and linked to the AutoMapper instance.


Sometimes we need to manage more complex objects that need specific behavior during mapping. For example the Money\Money object from the Money PHP library has a lot of properties we don’t want to manage and can confuse the AutoMapper since it will try to map any properties.

For this kind of objects we need a custom TransformerFactory, you can see such a class in our test suite. You also need to implement the TransformerFactoryInterface interface in order to autoregister this factory in the AutoMapper.


As in Symfony, we have the possibility to overload the property names with NameConverter (see. related serializer documentation).

We can use the same behavior in the AutoMapper thanks to the name_converter configuration field. You have to give a service implementing the AdvancedNameConverterInterface interface.