Use cases
HTTP applications

Serverless HTTP applications

Bref deploys HTTP applications to run on AWS Lambda with API Gateway (opens in a new tab):

On AWS Lambda there is no Apache or Nginx, API Gateway acts as the webserver. Our code is invoked only when there is an HTTP request, and we pay only for the request and the execution time of our code.

Bref takes care of setting up everything so that your code runs the same way as on a traditional server with Apache or Nginx.


HTTP applications is the default use case with Bref. That's why there is (almost) no documentation here.

Instead, head to the Getting started guide for your framework:

How it works

Bref sets up API Gateway with AWS Lambda and the PHP-FPM runtime. This is done via the php-xx-fpm runtime and the httpApi event:

        handler: public/index.php
        runtime: php-81-fpm
            - httpApi: '*'

This configuration deploys an API Gateway that forwards all routes (* is a wildcard) to AWS Lambda.

On Lambda, the php-81-fpm runtime starts PHP-FPM and forwards all requests to it. PHP-FPM then runs the PHP code.

This is perfect for most use-cases: PHP works like on any server with PHP-FPM. HTTP routing based on the URL is done by the application/the framework.

The handler is the entrypoint of the application, usually public/index.php in most frameworks. That entrypoint kicks off the framework/your application, which does the routing and invokes the controllers, as usual. All the usual environment variables (like $_GET, $_SERVER, etc.) and functions (header(), etc.) work.

That works well with frameworks like Symfony or Laravel that have a single entrypoint (e.g. public/index.php).

Read the PHP-FPM runtime documentation to learn more.