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Moderators: martimiz, Sean, Ed, biapar, Willr, Ingo, swaiba

Sapphire - Where to Get Started?

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9 Posts   2358 Views


Community Member, 2 Posts

6 April 2009 at 4:11am

Hi all, I'm really, really sorry if this is obvious, but I've searched all over but to no avail!

I just installed the latest version of Silverstripe CMS (v 2.3.1) and cannot begin to describe how impressed I am with it. The sheer usability of the whole thing is amazing. Miles ahead of the other Open Source CMS options out there. Top notch!

However, when I was browsing the Silverstripe site I also loved the look of Sapphire (at for the whole design side of things, and it looks like it runs perfectly in tandem with Silverstripe. As stated on the site it suggests installing Silverstripe first to get to grips with that side of the CMS thing, which I've done and have got around the custom whole template thing. Now that I'm enjoying what I've seen I would like to dabble in Sapphire, however I don't know where to begin to start even accessing Sapphire. I've seen the Sapphire files in the installation via FTP but I cannot find a way of using Sapphire! I'm sure the answer is going to embarrass me beyond belief but any help of where to begin or any pointers for Sapphire beginners would be much appreciated!

I'm experienced in XHTML/CSS and JavaScript and am becoming more and more comfortable with PHP (I'd say I'm a little more than intermediate with that language). Have also worked with Perl/CGI and a little ASP. I'm used to hand coding sites from start to finish using Notepad (never touch WYSIWYG's like Dreamweaver etc. - very fussy about neat code!). I design the front-ends too using Photoshop CS so would love it if Sapphire is for me as far as saving snippets of code for future projects and so forth, once site layout is done.

Thanks for taking the time to read this!



Forum Moderator, 4102 Posts

6 April 2009 at 5:06am

I'm in the same boat! I love the Sapphire framework and I'd love to build a custom application with it sometime. I usually use Symfony, but sometimes that just a little too much overhead for the size of the application. Has anyone built a standalone application with Sapphire? Something where Silverstripe is not involved at all? Is the framework truly decoupled from the CMS?


Community Member, 904 Posts

6 April 2009 at 9:12am

When it comes to building websites (as the OP stated), one should be perfectly fine with SilverStripe. It is built with/around sapphire and I don't know why you would want to strip the CMS part out for a Website. Web-Applications/RIA are a different matter though. I never used sapphire for that, but I can recommend the Zend Framework. I used it for several projects and it offers a lot of features which are very useful for Web-Applications and the like. From what I can tell it shares some similarities with sapphire but seems more mature overall.
Of course I would be very interested to hear about some sapphire use-cases and background information as well.


Community Member, 791 Posts

6 April 2009 at 9:58pm

I'm very interested in this as well ...



Community Member, 3 Posts

1 July 2009 at 3:51pm

I just posted a comment about web application development before finding this post.

Has anyone found more information on this?

I noticed on, the founding company has a sample in their portfolio that showcases a web app build for an client. It's exactly the type of project I am beginning work on. I like the setup that SS gives us and having the ability to add custom sections at the top (i even noticed a "reports" link) seems right inline with my project specs.


Administrator, 690 Posts

2 July 2009 at 12:23am

Sapphire isn't currently bundled separately from SilverStripe CMS. When we've made "sapphire apps", we've generally just turned the unnecessary CMS stuff off.

Releasing Sapphire separately is something we'd like to do at some stage, but we don't currently have any timeframes around that. There's still quite a bit of interconnection between sapphire and the CMS.

A good starting point for building non-CMS apps with SilverStripe/Sapphire is probably ModelAdmin.


Community Member, 5 Posts

30 October 2009 at 3:38am

Any new on this?

I might be interested in only using the framework to build web applications that is not in need of a CMS but is using it's own data models.

ModelAdmin seems like a good start, but I would not like to start using a framework that really isn't meant to be used standalone.

I've set up couple of websites in SilverStripe and it just seems like a good idea to use the same framwork for all we do.


Community Member, 541 Posts

30 October 2009 at 3:43am

Edited: 30/10/2009 3:51am

I personally find Django quite similar to Sapphire in a lot of ways. I prefer it to using any of the PHP frameworks I have tried.

Edit: TO make this slightly more on topic, I have tried decoupling the CMS. Sapphire does what you want it to do for the most part, but I noticed some annoying things. Biggest that I can remember was that URL's didn't auto direct to their class names. You had to write loads of director rules.


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