Minimal extension

Kickstart a minimal extension with the Sitepackage Builder

Learn how to create a minimal extension that contains a single PHP class.

Video - "Tech Tip - Minimal Extension"

The following video was produced in 2018 on TYPO3 v9. While some details have changed since then, most parts remain the same. See the step-by-step guide below.

Minimal extension - step-by-step

  1. Create a new sitepackage

    Head over to the Site Package Builder.

    Choose your desired TYPO3 version and Fluid Styled Content as a base package.

    Fill in the other fields. Download the site package stub.

    You can find the code as it was produced at the time this tutorial was written for TYPO3 v11 at speeddemo v1.0.0.

  2. Install the extension locally

    See Extension installation.

  3. Remove all the fluff

    The sitepackage builder creates many files that you don't need for this simple extension.

    You can delete the directories Build and Configuration. Delete all sub folders of Classes. Delete all files and folders within Resources except Resources/Public/Icons/Extension.svg.

    Delete all files on root level except composer.json and ext_emconf.php. See what is left at speeddemo v1.1.0.

  4. The namespace and PSR-4 autoloading

    TYPO3 features PSR-4 autoloading. If a PHP class is withing the correct namespace and path it will be available automatically.

    Now what is the correct namespace for your extension? Look for the keyword "autoload" in the composer.json of your extension. You will find something like this:

    EXT:speeddemo/composer.json
    {
        "name": "typo3-documentation-team/speeddemo",
        "type": "typo3-cms-extension",
        "...": "...",
        "autoload": {
            "psr-4": {
                "Typo3DocumentationTeam\\Speeddemo\\": "Classes/"
            }
        },
    }
    

    The key in the array "psr-4" is your namespace: Typo3DocumentationTeam\Speeddemo. Note: the backspace needs to be escaped by another backspace in json.

  5. Create a PHP class

    It is recommended, but not enforced, to put your class in a thematic subfolder. We will create a subfolder called Classes/UserFunctions.

    In this folder we create a class in file MyClass.php.

    The class in the file must have the same name as the file, otherwise it will be not found by autoloading. It must have a namespace that is a combination of the namespace defined in step 4 and its folder name(s). The complete class would look like this so far:

    EXT:speeddemo/Classes/UserFunctions/MyClass.php
    <?php
    
    declare(strict_types=1);
    
    namespace Typo3DocumentationTeam\Speeddemo\UserFunctions;
    
    class MyClass
    {
    
    }
    

    The extension now looks like speeddemo v1.2.0.

    Note

    It is recommended to always use strict types for new PHP classes. You can achieve this by adding the line declare(strict_types=1); right after the opening PHP tag. The downside is in this case you have to make sure to always use correct types in PHP.

  6. Add a simple method to the class

    For demonstration reasons we add a simple method to the class that returns a string:

    EXT:speeddemo/Classes/UserFunctions/MyClass.php
    class MyClass
    {
        public function myMethod(): string
        {
            return 'Here I go again on my own';
        }
    }
    

    The extension now looks like speeddemo v1.3.0.

  7. Get the result of the function displayed

    Add some TypoScript to your sitepackage's TypoScript setup or the main TypoScript Template if you still keep your TypoScript in the backend (not recommended anymore).

    EXT:my_sitepackage/TypoScript/Setup/Page.typoscript
    page = PAGE
    // ...
    page.1 = USER
    page.1.userFunc = Typo3DocumentationTeam\Speeddemo\UserFunctions\MyClass->myMethod
    

    The string used in the property userFunc is the fully qualified name (FQN) of the class. That is the namespace followed by a backslash and then the classname. To this we append the name of the method to be called with a minus and greater-than sign (->).

    It is unnecessary to tell TYPO3 where the file of the class is located. If the namespace and location of the PHP file are correct as described above, the class will be found automatically.

    In rare cases composer autoloading might have a hiccup, then you can try to regenerate the autoloading files:

    Execute on your projects root level
    composer dump-autoload
    

Bonus: make the extension available for v12

At the time of writing this tutorial, the sitepackage builder was not available for TYPO3 v12 yet. However, as no deprecated functionality was used in creating this extension, it should be straightforward to update.

You would use the same process if you need to update your extension for a future TYPO3 version.

We can remove the requirements typo3/cms-rte-ckeditor and typo3/cms-fluid-styled-content from the composer.json as they are not needed by our extension.

The remaining requirement is typo3/cms-core. We now define that not only TYPO3 v11.5.x is allowed but also v12.x:

EXT:speeddemo/composer.json
{
    "name": "typo3-documentation-team/speeddemo",
    "type": "typo3-cms-extension",
    "...": "...",
    "require": {
        "typo3/cms-core": "^11.5 || ^12.0"
    },
}

Now we change the requirements in the file ext_emconf.php. This way the extension could also be installed manually in legacy TYPO3 installations:

EXT:speeddemo/ext_emconf.php
$EM_CONF[$_EXTKEY] = [
    'title' => 'speeddemo',
    // ...
    'constraints' => [
        'depends' => [
            'typo3' => '11.5.0-12.4.99',
        ],
    ],
]

The extension now looks like speeddemo v1.4.0 and can be installed in both TYPO3 v11 and v12.

Next steps

You don't have a sitepackage yet? Have a look at the Sitepackage Tutorial.

If you want to display lists and single views of data, or maybe even manipulate the data in the frontend, have a look at Extbase.

If you need a script that can be executed from the command line or from a cron job, have a look at Symfony console commands (cli).