Local config files and Zend_Application – Rob Allen's DevNotes


A friend of mine recently had a requirement where she wanted to have two config files loaded into Zend_Application, so that the specific settings for the server were not stored in the version control system.

Hence she has two config files: application.ini and local.ini where local.ini is different on each server.

As takeshin points out with ZF 1.10 or later, an easier solution to this is to pass both ini files into Zend_Application:
$application = new Zend_Application(
'config' => array(
APPLICATION_PATH . '/configs/application.ini',
APPLICATION_PATH . '/configs/local.ini'

Original content:

The obvious way to approach this problem is to load the two files within index.php, merge them and then pass the merged config file to Zend_Application.

The code to do this looks like this:

require_once 'Zend/Application.php';
require_once 'Zend/Config/Ini.php';

$config = new Zend_Config_Ini(APPLICATION_PATH . '/configs/application.ini', APPLICATION_ENV,
$localConfig = new Zend_Config_Ini(APPLICATION_PATH . '/configs/local.ini', APPLICATION_ENV);

// Create application, bootstrap, and run
$application = new Zend_Application(

I've included the require_once 'Zend/Application.php'; call for context.

As you can see, we create two Zend_Config objects, one for application.ini and one for local.ini and we load up the correct APPLICATION_ENV section in both cases. This means that local.ini must have the same set of "master" environment sections that application.ini has.

For application.ini, we set the option "allowModifications' so that we can then use the merge() method to override the $config with the new data within $localConfig.

Having merged the local config into the main one, we can then setReadOnly() to ensure that the config isn't changed anymore.

Finally, when we instantiate Zend_Application, we pass in our $config object rather than the name of the config file and then Zend_Application does the right thing.