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Rendering data to a template

Templates do nothing on their own. Rather, they are used to render a particular object. All of the <% if %>, <% loop %> and other variables are methods or parameters that are called on the current object in scope. All that is necessary is that the object is an instance of ViewableData (or one of its subclasses).

The following will render the given data into a template. Given the template:

mysite/templates/Coach_Message.ss

<strong>$Name</strong> is the $Role on our team.

Our application code can render into that view using renderWith. This method is called on the ViewableData instance with a template name or an array of templates to render.

mysite/code/Page.php

$arrayData = new ArrayData(array(
    'Name' => 'John',
    'Role' => 'Head Coach'
));

echo $arrayData->renderWith('Coach_Message');

// returns "<strong>John</strong> is the Head Coach on our team."
Most classes in SilverStripe you want in your template extend `ViewableData` and allow you to call `renderWith`. This includes Controller, FormField and DataObject instances.
$controller->renderWith(array("MyController", "MyBaseController"));

Member::currentUser()->renderWith('Member_Profile');

renderWith can be used to override the default template process. For instance, to provide an ajax version of a template.

<?php

class Page_Controller extends ContentController {

    private static $allowed_actions = array('iwantmyajax');

    public function iwantmyajax() {
        if(Director::is_ajax()) {
            return $this->renderWith("AjaxTemplate");
        } else {
            return $this->httpError(404);
        }
    }
}

Any data you want to render into the template that does not extend ViewableData should be wrapped in an object that does, such as ArrayData or ArrayList.

<?php

class Page_Controller extends ContentController {

    ..

    public function iwantmyajax() {
        if(Director::is_ajax()) {
            $experience = new ArrayList();
            $experience->push(new ArrayData(array(
                'Title' => 'First Job'
            )));

            return $this->customise(new ArrayData(array(
                'Name' => 'John',
                'Role' => 'Head Coach',
                'Experience' => $experience
            )))->renderWith("AjaxTemplate");
        } else {
            return $this->httpError(404);
        }
    }
}

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