A Useful Error Controller Class For Zend Framework Applications

One useful function of any application is to report on any errors that occurred. Zend Framework comes with a nice error controller system that you can activate by creating an ErrorController class.

The following is an ErrorController class that I use. It detects what sort of error occurred and displays a message to the user. It will also email a detailed report of the error to the server admins.

class ErrorController extends Zend_Controller_Action
  public function errorAction()
    // Ensure the default view suffix is used so we always return good
    // content
    // Grab the error object from the request
    $errors = $this->_getParam('error_handler');
    switch ($errors->type) {
      case Zend_Controller_Plugin_ErrorHandler::EXCEPTION_NO_CONTROLLER:
      case Zend_Controller_Plugin_ErrorHandler::EXCEPTION_NO_ACTION:
        // 404 error -- controller or action not found
        $this->view->message = 'Page not found';
        $this->view->code  = 404;
        if ($errors->type == Zend_Controller_Plugin_ErrorHandler::EXCEPTION_NO_CONTROLLER) {
          $this->view->info = sprintf(
                      'Unable to find controller "%s" in module "%s"',
        if ($errors->type == Zend_Controller_Plugin_ErrorHandler::EXCEPTION_NO_ACTION) {
          $this->view->info = sprintf(
                      'Unable to find action "%s" in controller "%s" in module "%s"',
      case Zend_Controller_Plugin_ErrorHandler::EXCEPTION_NO_ACTION:
        // application error
        $this->view->message = 'Application error';
        $this->view->code  = 500;
        $this->view->info  = $errors->exception;
    // send a mail to let someone know that there was a problem!
    $config = Zend_Registry::get('configuration');
    $tr = new Zend_Mail_Transport_Smtp($config->smtp);
    $mail = new Zend_Mail();
    $emailBody = "An error occurred in the system. The error message contained the following output:\n\n";
    $emailBody .= $this->view->message." (".$this->view->code.")\n\n";
    $emailBody .= "Zend Error Type: ".$errors->type."\n\n";
    $emailBody .= "REQUEST_URI: ".$_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']."\n\n";
    if ( isset($_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER']) ) {
      $emailBody .= "HTTP_REFERER: ".$_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER']."\n\n";
    $emailBody .= "Stack trace: \n\n". $errors->exception->getTraceAsString()."\n\n";
    // find the user to blame!
    $username = Zend_Auth::getInstance()->getIdentity();
    $emailBody .= "This error was created by ".$username.".";
    $mail->setFrom('[email protected]', '');
    $mail->addTo($config->adminEmail, $config->adminName);
    $mail->setSubject('An Error Occured');
    // Email
    $this->view->title = 'Error!';
    $this->view->heading = 'Error!';
    // pass the environment to the view script so we can conditionally
    // display more/less information
    $this->view->env     = $this->getInvokeArg('env');
    // pass the actual exception object to the view
    $this->view->exception = $errors->exception;
    // pass the request to the view
    $this->view->request   = $errors->request;

This error controller relies on certain options that have been set up in your configuration file. Add the following options to your configuration file to get these options working.

smtp = my.smtpserver.com
adminEmail = [email protected]
adminName = 'Your name'

To enable this just call the throwExceptions() function of the Zend_Controller_Front and pass it a value of false. This will cause the framework to look for an error controller rather than try to print out things.

Finally, you need to add a view so that your errors will be displayed nicely. This will display more if the environment is set to 'test'.

<h3>Error has happened. Inside this application. Sorry about that.</h3>
<p><?=$this->message ?> (<?=$this->code ?>) </p>
if( $this->env == 'test' ) {
 if ( isset($this->info ) ) { ?>
<? if ( 404 == $this->code ) { ?>
  <p><b>Reason:</b> <?= $this->info ?></p>
<? } elseif (500 == $this->code) { ?>
  <p>Bad server, naughty server!<br />No donut for you!</p>
  <p><img src="<?=$this->baseUrl();?>/images/donut.jpg" /></p>
  <h4>Exception information:</h4>
 <p><b>Message:</b> <?= $this->info->getMessage() ?></p>
 <h4>Stack trace:</h4>
 <pre><?= $this->info->getTraceAsString() ?></pre>
<? } ?>
<? } ?>
<? } ?>



Nice! The only comment I'd make is that you probably do not want emails for most 404s; I'd personally restrict the email functionality to your 500 errors.
Very true, but it depends on what sort of application you make. For the purposes that I made this for I wanted to know about 404 errors as these would definitely be mistakes.
Philip Norton
Keep working ,great job! :)

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