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Manages searching of properties on one or more DataObject types, based on a given set of input parameters. SearchContext is intentionally decoupled from any controller-logic, it just receives a set of search parameters and an object class it acts on.

The default output of a SearchContext is either a SQLQuery object for further refinement, or a DataObject instance.

In case you need multiple contexts, consider namespacing your request parameters by using FieldSet->namespace() on the $fields constructor parameter.

SearchContext is mainly used by ModelAdmin, our generic data administration interface. Another implementation can be found in generic frontend search forms through the [genericviews] module.


  • SilverStripe 2.3


Getting results


Defining fields on your DataObject

See DataObject::$searchable_fields.

Customizing fields and filters

In this example we're defining three attributes on our MyDataObject subclass: PublicProperty, HiddenProperty and MyDate. The attribute HiddenProperty should not be searchable, and MyDate should only search for dates after the search entry (with a GreaterThanFilter). Similiar to the built-in DataObject->getDefaultSearchContext() method, we're building our own getCustomSearchContext() variant.

class MyDataObject extends DataObject {
    static $db = array(
        'PublicProperty' => 'Text'
        'HiddenProperty' => 'Text',
        'MyDate' => 'Date'

    public function getCustomSearchContext() {
        $fields = $this->scaffoldSearchFields(array(
            'restrictFields' => array('PublicProperty','MyDate')
        $filters = array(
            'PublicProperty' => new PartialMatchFilter('PublicProperty'),
            'MyDate' => new GreaterThanFilter('MyDate')
        return new SearchContext(

Generating a search form from the context

class Page_Controller extends ContentController {
    public function SearchForm() {
        $context = singleton('MyDataObject')->getCustomSearchContext();
        $fields = $context->getSearchFields();
        $form = new Form($this, "SearchForm",
            new FieldSet(
                new FormAction('doSearch')
        return $form;
    public function doSearch($data, $form) {
        $context = singleton('MyDataObject')->getCustomSearchContext();
        $results = $context->getResults($data);
        return $this->customise(array(
            'Results' => $results


For paginating records on multiple pages, you need to get the generated SQLQuery before firing off the actual search. This way we can set the "page limits" on the result through setPageLimits(), and only retrieve a fraction of the whole result set.

function getResults($searchCriteria = array()) {
    $start = ($this->request->getVar('start')) ? (int)$this->request->getVar('start') : 0;
    $limit = 10;

    $context = singleton('MyDataObject')->getCustomSearchContext();
    $query = $context->getQuery($searchCriteria, null, array('start'=>$start,'limit'=>$limit));
    $records = $context->getResults($searchCriteria, null, array('start'=>$start,'limit'=>$limit));
    if($records) {
        $records->setPageLimits($start, $limit, $query->unlimitedRowCount());

    return $records;

notice that if you want to use this getResults function, you need to change the function doSearch for this one:

public function doSearch($data, $form) {
    $context = singleton('MyDataObject')->getCustomSearchContext();
    $results = $this->getResults($data);
    return $this->customise(array(
        'Results' => $results
    ))->renderWith(array('Catalogo_results', 'Page'));

The change is in $results = $this->getResults($data);, because you are using a custom getResults function.

Another thing you cant forget is to check the name of the singleton you are using in your project. the example uses MyDataObject, you need to change it for the one you are using

For more information on how to paginate your results within the template, see Tutorial: Site Search.

The Pagination Template

to show the results of your custom search you need at least this content in your template, notice that Results.PaginationSummary(4) defines how many pages the search will show in the search results. something like:

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<% if Results %>
        <% control Results %>
            <li>$Titulo, $Autor</li>
        <% end_control %>
<% else %>
    <p>Sorry, your search query did not return any results.</p>
<% end_if %>

<% if Results.MoreThanOnePage %>
    <div id="PageNumbers">
            <% if Results.NotFirstPage %>
                <a class="prev" href="$Results.PrevLink" title="View the previous page">Prev</a>
            <% end_if %>

                    <% control Results.PaginationSummary(4) %>
                    <% if CurrentBool %>
                    <% else %>
                        <% if Link %>
                            <a href="$Link" title="View page number $PageNum">$PageNum</a>
                        <% else %>
                        <% end_if %>
                    <% end_if %>
                <% end_control %>

            <% if Results.NotLastPage %>
                <a class="next" href="$Results.NextLink" title="View the next page">Next</a>
            <% end_if %>
<% end_if %>

Available SearchFilters

See SearchFilter API Documentation

API Documentation


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