Faster, better, and more efficient type hinting for PHP Storm with service locators

I have been looking for a way to do this for months. I am one of those developers that loves autocompletion. For every Service Locator call in zend framework 2 I type hint with the following:

Without global hinting file
/** @var \Module\Service\SuperService $superService */ 
$superService => $this->getServiceLocator()>get('\Module\Service\SuperService');

This works, but the code can get messy when you start getting 2-4 Services in a single Controller. I am trying to find a better way to use PHP Storm and type hinting for service locator calls


While this doesn't help you now, it's useful for you to know that we are close to supporting this out of the box, with a few provisos:

  1. The container needs to implement the Container Interop project's Container\Interop\ContainerInterface which ZF2's ServiceManager already does.

  2. You need to use the ::class super-global-hyper-magic-contant to name and retrieve your classes. In your case, simply replace the string in your get call with Module\Service\SuperService::class (available from PHP 5.4 and above).

I'm expecting this functionality to be available in our next release, PhpStorm 2016.2 which is due around the summer.


About a month ago PHP Storm released a new feature that allows for a static file to be used for type hinting. I personally use this just for the service locator but it can be used for many other things that PHP Storm can't follow because it's not magic.

With global hinting file
$superService = $this->getServiceLocator()->get('\Module\Service\SuperService');

This does a few things for us as developers:

  • Teamwork (others will be able to see all services at once from all modules)
  • Coding
  • Speed
  • Code neatness
  • Code Standards
  • Click to go to the class faster
What to do

In the project ROOT (same place as composer.json), there should (create if not) be a file called .phpstorm.meta.php This file contains the static hinting and which instance they use.

To add your own, simply toss it inside the existing file

WARNING - If you declare the wrong class, you will end up writing the code wrong, and confused... it has happened to me a bunch

I am including my current Config which is personal to my project but gives more of an understanding of what to do.

namespace PHPSTORM_META {
        \Zend\ServiceManager\ServiceLocatorInterface::get('') => [

             * Common services
            'doctrine.entitymanager.orm_default' instanceof \Doctrine\ORM\EntityManager,
            'Zend\Db\Adapter\Adapter' instanceof \Zend\Db\Adapter\AdapterServiceFactory,

            /** Custom to Project */
            'RiotAdapter' instanceof \GameService\Service\RiotAdapter,
            'SmiteAdapter' instanceof \GameService\Service\SmiteAdapter,
            'GameService' instanceof \GameService\Service\GameService,


If you would like more information on this, you can look @ a confluence post from PHP Storm here

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