How to: A custom CSVBulkLoader instance

A an implementation of a custom CSVBulkLoader loader. In this example. we're provided with a unique CSV file containing a list of football players and the team they play for. The file we have is in the format like below.

"SpielerNummer", "Name", "Geburtsdatum", "Gruppe"
11, "John Doe", 1982-05-12,"FC Bayern"
12, "Jane Johnson", 1982-05-12,"FC Bayern"
13, "Jimmy Dole",,"Schalke 04"

This data needs to be imported into our application. For this, we have two DataObjects setup. Player contains information about the individual player and a relation set up for managing the Team.


use SilverStripe\ORM\DataObject;

class Player extends DataObject 

   private static $db = [
      'PlayerNumber' => 'Int',
      'FirstName' => 'Text',
      'LastName' => 'Text',
      'Birthday' => 'Date'

   private static $has_one = [
      'Team' => 'FootballTeam'


use SilverStripe\ORM\DataObject;

class FootballTeam extends DataObject 
   private static $db = [
      'Title' => 'Text'

   private static $has_many = [
      'Players' => 'Player'

Now going back to look at the CSV, we can see that what we're provided with does not match what our data model looks like, so we have to create a sub class of CsvBulkLoader to handle the unique file. Things we need to consider with the custom importer are:

  • Convert property names (e.g Number to PlayerNumber) through providing a $columnMap.
  • Split a combined "Name" field into FirstName and LastName by calling importFirstAndLastName on the Name column
  • Prevent duplicate imports by a custom $duplicateChecks definition.
  • Create a Team automatically based on the Gruppe column and a entry for $relationCallbacks

Our final import looks like this.


use SilverStripe\Dev\CsvBulkLoader;

class PlayerCsvBulkLoader extends CsvBulkLoader 

   public $columnMap = [
      'Number' => 'PlayerNumber',
      'Name' => '->importFirstAndLastName',
      'Geburtsdatum' => 'Birthday',
      'Gruppe' => 'Team.Title',

   public $duplicateChecks = [
      'SpielerNummer' => 'PlayerNumber'

   public $relationCallbacks = [
      'Team.Title' => [
         'relationname' => 'Team',
         'callback' => 'getTeamByTitle'

   public static function importFirstAndLastName(&$obj, $val, $record) 
      $parts = explode(' ', $val);
      if(count($parts) != 2) return false;
      $obj->FirstName = $parts[0];
      $obj->LastName = $parts[1];

   public static function getTeamByTitle(&$obj, $val, $record) 
      return FootballTeam::get()->filter('Title', $val)->First();

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