Yii2 Practical App yii2-app-practical   Tips

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NOTE: This extension depends on the kartik-v/yii2-krajee-base extension which in turn depends on the yiisoft/yii2-bootstrap extension. Check the composer.json for this extension's requirements and dependencies that may be updated by composer.

Yii 2 Practical Application Template is a skeleton Yii 2 application based on the yii2-advanced template best for developing complex Web applications with multiple tiers. The template allows a practical method to access the frontend from the app root.

The template includes three tiers: front end, back end, and console, each of which is a separate Yii application. The template is designed to work in a team development environment. It supports deploying the application in different environments.

Some Key Additions

  1. The template has some security preconfigured for users with Apache web servers. It has a default .htaccess security configuration setup.

  2. The template has prettyUrl enabled by default and the changes have been made to .htaccess as well as urlManager component config in the common config directory.

After installing a app in the yii2-advanced application you normally would access the frontend from http://domain/app/frontend/web.

However, in many practical scenarios (especially on single domain hosts) one would want their users to directly access frontend as:http://domain/app

The yii2-app-practical enables you to achieve just that by carefully moving and rearranging the bootstrap files and web components of frontend to work directly out of the app root. The frontend/web is entirely eliminated and one can directly access the application frontend from http://domain/app

All other aspects of the app configuration remain the same as the yii2-advanced app. The common, backend and console will remain as is. The frontend config, assets, models, controllers, views, widgets and components, will still reside within the frontend directory. It is just the web access that is moved out to app root.


This template benefits mostly developers running their apps on shared hosts, who do not have any access for running more than one web site on their account, or have any access to methods for URL rewrite like Apache Virtual Host etc. Apps running on dedicated hosts or hosts with root access would be able to do this differently using the default yii2-advanced-app.
    /                    contains the frontend entry script, favicon, and robots.txt.
    assets/              contains the frontend web runtime assets
    config/              contains shared configurations
    mail/                contains view files for e-mails
    models/              contains model classes used in both backend and frontend
    config/              contains console configurations
    controllers/         contains console controllers (commands)
    migrations/          contains database migrations
    models/              contains console-specific model classes
    runtime/             contains files generated during runtime
    assets/              contains backend application assets such as JavaScript and CSS
    config/              contains backend configurations
    controllers/         contains Web controller classes
    models/              contains backend-specific model classes
    runtime/             contains files generated during runtime
    views/               contains view files for the Web application
    web/                 contains the entry script and Web resources
    assets/              contains frontend application assets such as JavaScript and CSS
    config/              contains frontend configurations
    controllers/         contains Web controller classes
    models/              contains frontend-specific model classes
    runtime/             contains files generated during runtime
    views/               contains view files for the Web application
    widgets/             contains frontend widgets
vendor/                  contains dependent 3rd-party packages
environments/            contains environment-based overrides
tests                    contains various tests for the "practical" application
    codeception/         contains tests developed with Codeception PHP Testing Framework

The minimum requirement by this application template is that your Web server supports PHP 5.4.0.

Extract the archive file downloaded from GitHub to a directory named practical or your app name, that is directly under the Web root.


When using a archive file method, the vendor folder is not automatically created. You must extract the yii2-advanced vendor folder from here. Then you must copy this folder directly under the app root (i.e. practical directory).

After this is complete, follow the instructions given in the Getting Started section.

The preferred way to install this application template is through composer. If you do not have Composer, you may install it by following the instructions at getcomposer.org. You can then install the application using the following command:

php composer.phar global require "fxp/composer-asset-plugin:1.0.0-beta2"
php composer.phar create-project --prefer-dist --stability=dev kartik-v/yii2-app-practical practical

After you install the application, you have to conduct the following steps to initialize the installed application. You only need to do these once for all.

  1. Run command init to initialize the application with a specific environment.

  2. Create a new database and adjust the components['db'] configuration in common/config/main-local.php accordingly.

  3. Apply migrations with console command yii migrate. This will create tables needed for the application to work.

  4. Set document roots of your Web server:

    • for frontend /path/to/yii-application/ and using the URL http://frontend/

    • for backend /path/to/yii-application/backend/web/ and using the URL http://backend/

Frontend Access

Just navigate to http://yourdomain/practical (where practical is your app name folder under web root).

To login into the application, you need to first sign up, with any of your email address, username and password. Then, you can login into the application with same email address and password at any time.

Install additional composer packages:

  • php composer.phar require --dev "codeception/codeception: 1.8.*@dev" "codeception/specify: *" "codeception/verify: *"

This application boilerplate use database in testing, so you should create three databases that are used in tests:

  • yii2_practical_unit - database for unit tests;

  • yii2_practical_functional - database for functional tests;

  • yii2_practical_acceptance - database for acceptance tests.

To make your database up to date, you can run in needed test folder yii migrate, for example if you are starting from frontend tests then you should run yii migrate in each suite folder acceptance, functional, unit it will upgrade your database to the last state according migrations.

To be able to run acceptance tests you need a running webserver. For this you can use the php builtin server and run it in the directory where your main project folder is located. For example if your application is located in /www/practical all you need to is: cd /www and then php -S because the default configuration of acceptance tests expects the url of the application to be /practical/. If you already have a server configured or your application is not located in a folder called practical, you may need to adjust the TEST_ENTRY_URL in frontend/tests/_bootstrap.php and backend/tests/_bootstrap.php.

After that is done you should be able to run your tests, for example to run frontend tests do:

  • cd frontend

  • ../vendor/bin/codecept build

  • ../vendor/bin/codecept run

In similar way you can run tests for other application tiers - backend, console, common.

You also can adjust you application suite configs and _bootstrap.php settings to use other urls and files, as it is can be done in yii2-basic.

Follow the tests section README for further details on setting up the tests.

yii2-app-practical is released under the BSD 3-Clause License. See the bundled LICENSE.md for details.