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How to build a Symfony admin panel

Symfony is a popular PHP framework that is widely used for building web applications, and that offers a wide range of tools and bundles that can be used to build an admin panel. That being said, not all admin panels are equal.

How to build a Symfony admin panel

In today's digital world, a company’s success is inevitably tied to the way it manages data. From startups to big corporations, the ability to handle business behind screens with the relevant internal tools is key.

Now, the ways to do it may vary from one company to another, but the core is always the same: you need a powerful and versatile admin panel that gives you general oversight on what’s happening. Whether your tech teams work with Symfony, Django, or else, the need remains the same.

Symfony is a popular PHP framework that is widely used for building web applications, and that offers a wide range of tools and bundles that can be used to build an admin panel. That being said, not all admin panels are equal.

Easy Admin, Sonata, and Forest Admin are all different options available to developers looking to build an admin panel in Symfony.

Each of these options has its own set of features, benefits, and drawbacks.

Let’s get to it.

Easy Admin vs Symfony admin panel

EasyAdmin is a bundle for Symfony that provides a simple and fast way to build an admin panel for your business.

With 12,1k recorded users on their GitHub repository, it stands as the most popular option as it allows you to create an admin interface in a matter of minutes.

It requires minimal configuration and it's easy to set up and use. Additionally, EasyAdmin provides a lot of built-in features such as pagination, filters, and a search bar, which can help you to manage your data easily.

To install and configure EasyAdmin in a Symfony project, you can follow the steps as described in the EasyAdmin documentation on Symfony’s official website, or watch this video.

Once installed, you can configure your entities as admin classes and define the fields and actions available in the admin interface. After that, you can customize the layout and appearance of the admin panel by overriding the templates provided by the EasyAdmin bundle.

EasyAdmin is a good option for developers who want to build an admin panel quickly and easily. Its simplicity and built-in features make it a sensible choice for small to medium-sized projects that do not require a lot of customization.

Sonata vs Symfony admin panel

SonataAdminBundle is the second most popular bundle for building an admin panel in Symfony, with 5.7k users recorded on their GitHub repository.

It provides a built-in admin interface for your entities, which allows developers to perform CRUD operations rather easily.

Additional to the features it offers, Sonata has a large community that provides support and documentation.

To install and configure Sonata in a Symfony project, you need to follow the steps as explained on their installation page.

Sonata gives you the ability to customize the layout and appearance of the admin interface at will to meet your needs.

Overall, Sonata is a viable option for developers who want to build an admin panel using a built-in admin interface and take advantage of a large community.

Its built-in features and customization options make it a great choice for medium to large-sized projects.

The Elephant in the room with admin panels

The major problem with going with any of the previous options is resource allocation. How much time and money are you willing to spend on it?

From ideation, to initiating the project, developing it, testing it, implementing it and finally learning from it – not to mention the time needed to scale later on as your business grows – designing and developing your own admin panel is a risky bet.

It is of course more customizable than other paid options, but think about it: if we were to compare the resource needed for it, versus how much you’d pay for a solution out of the box? Are you certain that you will save resources by doing it on your own? We doubt it.

No solution you come up with can be as good as one that dozens of developers work on day-in, day-out to constantly improve, along with customer experience teams that gather feedback daily from other dozen use cases like yours, to help perfect the solution.

So now, let’s get into why we wanted you here: how to build an admin panel on Symfony, with Forest Admin.

Forest Admin: easier than Symfony admin panel?

If you're looking for a low-code solution that packs a punch without breaking the bank, Forest Admin should be top of your list.

As an admin panel generator for web applications – including Symfony applications – our UI helps you generate a highly customizable admin panel that handles your entities in endless ways.

To get started, create a free account here. Name your project, and choose how you wish to install your admin panel.

Now, pick PHP from the list of frameworks and data sources.

Then, pick Symfony.

Now, follow these 6 quick steps from the onboarding instructions.

You will be able to copy and paste the code when you log in to the app.

The installation command to setup Forest Admin on a Symfony project.

If you need any assistance, the Forest Admin developer community forum is there to help.

What now?

Forest Admin offers a UI that is dynamically filled with information from your database. It includes various functions such as executing CRUD operations, filtering and searching data, defining roles and permissions, displaying data in tables and summaries, and exporting data. All of these capabilities are pre-built and readily available.

Customize your management tool now! The layout editor and collection settings allow you to arrange, rename, and sort the data in your collection.

Get even more customization options with the Forest Admin User Guide.

For advanced workflows that can't be accomplished using the layout editor, Forest Admin offers complete customization of your admin panel, giving you complete control over your data and business logic.

Creating a map view instead of a table view, for instance, is effortless with Forest Admin Smart Views.

Need to validate documents or approve/reject website content? Moderation Views make it easy to build this type of functionality.

These are a few examples of how to customize Forest Admin.

Find additional advanced functionality in our Developer Guide.

After customizing your Symfony admin panel, grant access to team members through Roles, Teams, and Scopes.

Want to provide your team with a fully-functional custom management tool without investing time in design, development, and maintenance?

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