Doctrine Annotations offers to implement custom annotation functionality for PHP classes.

class Foo
     * @MyAnnotation(myProperty="value")
    private $bar;

Annotations aren't implemented in PHP itself which is why this component offers a way to use the PHP doc-blocks as a place for the well known annotation syntax using the @ char.

Annotations in Doctrine are used for the ORM configuration to build the class mapping, but it can be used in other projects for other purposes too.


You can install the Annotation component with composer:

$ composer require doctrine/annotation

Create an annotation class

An annotation class is a representation of the later used annotation configuration in classes. The annotation class of the previous example looks like this:

 * @Annotation
final class MyAnnotation
    public $myProperty;

The annotation class is declared as an annotation by @Annotation.

Read more about custom annotations.

Reading annotations

The access to the annotations happens by reflection of the class containing them. There are multiple reader-classes implementing the Doctrine\Common\Annotations\Reader interface, that can access the annotations of a class. A common one is Doctrine\Common\Annotations\AnnotationReader:

$reflectionClass = new ReflectionClass(Foo::class);
$property = $reflectionClass->getProperty('bar');

$reader = new AnnotationReader();
$myAnnotation = $reader->getPropertyAnnotation($property, 'bar');

echo $myAnnotation->myProperty; // result: "value"

A reader has multiple methods to access the annotations of a class.

Read more about handling annotations.

IDE Support

Some IDEs already provide support for annotations: