NetBeans IDE and Yii projects

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  1. Testing
  2. Code completion
  3. Debugging
  4. Got problems or questions?

This page is created to supply short directions and general tips for managing a Yii application in NetBeans IDE.


To run functional tests and unit tests in Yii, recommended is installing PHPUnit and SeleniumRC.

  • Install PHPUnit
  • Install SeleniumRC by getting the NetBeans plugin
    • Open "Tools > Plugins > Available Plugins"
    • Install "Selenium Module for PHP"
  • Configure project options
    • Open "File > Project properties > Sources" and set "Test Folder" to [PROJECT ROOT]/protected/tests (If the whole project testing doesn't work, try [PROJECT ROOT]/protected/tests/unit)
    • Open "File > Project properties > PHPUnit" and set "Use Bootstrap" to [PROJECT ROOT]/protected/tests/bootstrap.php, and "Use XML Configuration" to [PROJECT ROOT]/protected/tests/phpunit.xml
  • Test whole project: Alt+F6
  • Test single file: Shift-F6
  • Check code coverage (right click project > Code Coverage)

Code completion

To get context sensitive code completion, follow these steps:

  • Include Yii folder (outside project directory)
    • Open "File > Project properties > PHP Include Path" and add the Yii framework root path
  • Ignore yiilite.php to avoid doubled/missing documentation
    • Open "Tools > Options > Miscellaneous > Files"
    • Add to the front of "Files Ignored by the IDE" the file "^(yiilite\.php|CVS|SCCS|...."
    • Restart NetBeans
  • In your code, you'll most likely want to have code completion for class methods/properties for objects passed in the global namespace to "current" file your editing. For example, when a controller object is being passed into a view file. To have code completion in this case, you have to tell the IDE what's the class of this object. This is achieved by adding a simple comment line (a 1 line php doc block) declaring the class of the object. This comment should be placed in a line before using this object, with no new empty lines in between. For example, in the code section below, which is part of some view file, adding the comment makes the IDE think that $this is of type YourController, and adds code completion accordingly:
/* @var $this YourController */
$this->getSomeProValue(); // whatever method/prop.

For above and many more reasons, Yii core files should be kept outside project directory and anywhere outside any web-accessible directory. I.e. if you keep your project files in Apache's httpd directory, it is wise to create a new dir (called yii, framewore or sth. like that) in the same level of dirtree (inside Apache main folder, not in httpd dir!) and put Yii core files there. If you do that, you have to include Yii folder in Include Path, as it is written above.

  • Typing suggestions: Ctrl-Space
  • Show Function parameters: Ctrl-P
  • Comment your own code with PHPDoc style. Here's a good example.


  • Include the Xdebug extension for PHP (should already be available):
    • In php.ini enable (remove trailing comment semicolon sign - ;) these settings:
      zend_extension = "C:\xampp\php\ext\php_xdebug.dll"
         xdebug.remote_enable = 1
         xdebug.remote_handler = "dbgp"
         xdebug.remote_host = "localhost"
         xdebug.remote_port = 9000
  • Debug project: Ctrl-F5
  • Use breakpoints, walk through running code, and watch variables and objects in real-time. :)
  • If you want to stop the debugger from pausing on the first line for every request, simply turn that "feature" off by clicking: Tools > Options > PHP > Debugging > Stop at First Line (uncheck)

Got problems or questions?

Do NOT post a comment on this wiki page, but go to the forums:

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Viewed: 220 511 times
Version: Unknown (update)
Category: Tutorials
Written by: marcovtwout
Last updated by: marcovtwout
Created on: Sep 21, 2010
Last updated: 5 years ago
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