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This document contains information about a future release and not the current stable version (4). Be aware that information on this page may change and API's may not be stable for production use.

Forms

The HTML Form is the most used way to interact with a user. SilverStripe provides classes to generate forms through the Form class, FormField instances to capture data and submissions through FormAction.

See the Forms Tutorial for a step by step process of creating a Form

Creating a Form

Creating a Form has the following signature.

:::php
$form = new Form(
    $controller, // the Controller to render this form on 
    $name, // name of the method that returns this form on the controller
    FieldList $fields, // list of FormField instances 
    FieldList $actions, // list of FormAction instances
    $required // optional use of RequiredFields object
);

In practice, this looks like:

mysite/code/Page.php

<?php

use SilverStripe\CMS\Controllers\ContentController;
use SilverStripe\Forms\FieldList;
use SilverStripe\Forms\Form;
use SilverStripe\Forms\FormAction;
use SilverStripe\Forms\RequiredFields;
use SilverStripe\Forms\TextField;

class PageController extends ContentController
{   
    private static $allowed_actions = array(
        'HelloForm'
    );

    public function HelloForm()
    {
        $fields = new FieldList(
            TextField::create('Name', 'Your Name')
        );

        $actions = new FieldList(
            FormAction::create('doSayHello')->setTitle('Say hello')
        );

        $required = new RequiredFields('Name');

        $form = new Form($this, 'HelloForm', $fields, $actions, $required);

        return $form;
    }

    public function doSayHello($data, Form $form)
    {
        $form->sessionMessage('Hello ' . $data['Name'], 'success');

        return $this->redirectBack();
    }
}

mysite/templates/Page.ss

$HelloForm

The examples above use FormField::create() instead of the new operator (new FormField()). These are functionally equivalent, but allows PHP to chain operations like setTitle() without assigning the field instance to a temporary variable.

When constructing the Form instance (new Form($controller, $name)) both controller and name are required. The $controller and $name are used to allow SilverStripe to calculate the origin of the Form object. When a user submits the HelloForm from your contact-us page the form submission will go to contact-us/HelloForm before any of the FormAction. The URL is known as the $controller instance will know the 'contact-us' link and we provide HelloForm as the $name of the form. $name needs to match the method name.

Because the HelloForm() method will be the location the user is taken to, it needs to be handled like any other controller action. To grant it access through URLs, we add it to the $allowed_actions array.

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

Form actions (doSayHello), on the other hand, should not be included in $allowed_actions; these are handled separately through Form::httpSubmission().

Adding FormFields

Fields in a Form are represented as a single FieldList instance containing subclasses of FormField. Some common examples are TextField or DropdownField.

SilverStripe\Forms\TextField::create($name, $title, $value);

A list of the common FormField subclasses is available on the Common Subclasses page.

The fields are added to the FieldList fields property on the Form and can be modified at up to the point the Form is rendered.

$fields = new FieldList(
    TextField::create('Name'),
    EmailField::create('Email')
);

$form = new Form($controller, 'MethodName', $fields, ...);

// or use `setFields`
$form->setFields($fields);

// to fetch the current fields..
$fields = $form->getFields();

A field can be appended to the FieldList.

$fields = $form->Fields();

// add a field
$fields->push(TextField::create(/* ... */));

// insert a field before another one
$fields->insertBefore(TextField::create(/* ... */), 'Email');

// insert a field after another one
$fields->insertAfter(TextField::create(/* ... */), 'Name');

// insert a tab before the main content tab (used to position tabs in the CMS)
$fields->insertBefore(Tab::create(/* ... */), 'Main');
// Note: you need to create and position the new tab prior to adding fields via addFieldToTab()

Fields can be fetched after they have been added in.

$email = $form->Fields()->dataFieldByName('Email');
$email->setTitle('Your Email Address');

Fields can be removed from the form.

$form->getFields()->removeByName('Email');

Forms can be tabbed (such as the CMS interface). In these cases, there are additional functions such as addFieldToTab and removeFieldByTab to ensure the fields are on the correct interface. See Tabbed Forms for more information on the CMS interface.

Modifying FormFields

Each FormField subclass has a number of methods you can call on it to customise its' behavior or HTML markup. The default FormField object has several methods for doing common operations.

Most of the set operations will return the object back so methods can be chained.

$field = new TextField(..);

$field
    ->setMaxLength(100)
    ->setAttribute('placeholder', 'Enter a value..')
    ->setTitle('');

Custom Templates

The Form HTML markup and each of the FormField instances are rendered into templates. You can provide custom templates by using the setTemplate method on either the Form or FormField. For more details on providing custom templates see Form Templates

$form = new Form(..);

$form->setTemplate('CustomForm');

// or, for a FormField
$field = new TextField(..);

$field->setTemplate('CustomTextField');
$field->setFieldHolderTemplate('CustomTextField_Holder');

Adding FormActions

FormAction objects are displayed at the bottom of the Form in the form of a button or input tag. When a user presses the button, the form is submitted to the corresponding method.

FormAction::create($action, $title);

As with FormField, the actions for a Form are stored within a FieldList instance in the actions property on the form.

public function MyForm()
{
    $fields = new FieldList(/* .. */);

    $actions = new FieldList(
        FormAction::create('doSubmitForm', 'Submit')
    );

    $form = new Form($controller, 'MyForm', $fields, $actions);

    // Get the actions
    $actions = $form->Actions();

    // As actions is a FieldList, push, insertBefore, removeByName and other
    // methods described for `Fields` also work for actions.

    $actions->push(
        FormAction::create('doSecondaryFormAction', 'Another Button')
    );

    $actions->removeByName('doSubmitForm');
    $form->setActions($actions);

    return $form
}

public function doSubmitForm($data, $form)
{
    //
}

public function doSecondaryFormAction($data, $form)
{
    //
}

The first $action argument for creating a FormAction is the name of the method to invoke when submitting the form with the particular button. In the previous example, clicking the 'Another Button' would invoke the doSecondaryFormAction method. This action can be defined (in order) on either:

  • One of the FormField instances.
  • The Form instance.
  • The Controller instance.

If the $action method cannot be found on any of those or is marked as private or protected, an error will be thrown.

The $action method takes two arguments:

  • $data an array containing the values of the form mapped from $name => $value
  • $form the submitted Form instance.
<?php

use SilverStripe\CMS\Controllers\ContentController;
use SilverStripe\Forms\EmailField;
use SilverStripe\Forms\FieldList;
use SilverStripe\Forms\Form;
use SilverStripe\Forms\FormAction;
use SilverStripe\Forms\TextField;

class PageController extends ContentController
{
    private static $allowed_actions = array(
        'MyForm'
    );

    public function MyForm()
    {
        $fields = new FieldList(
            TextField::create('Name'),
            EmailField::create('Email')
        );

        $actions = new FieldList(
            FormAction::create('doSubmitForm', 'Submit')
        );

        $form = new Form($controller, 'MyForm', $fields, $actions);

        return $form
    }

    public function doSubmitForm($data, $form)
    {
        // Submitted data is available as a map.
        echo $data['Name'];
        echo $data['Email'];

        // You can also fetch the value from the field.
        echo $form->Fields()->dataFieldByName('Email')->Value();

        // Using the Form instance you can get / set status such as error messages.
        $form->sessionMessage('Successful!', 'good');

        // After dealing with the data you can redirect the user back.
        return $this->redirectBack();
    }
}

Validation

Form validation is handled by the Validator class and the validator property on the Form object. The validator is provided with a name of each of the FormFields to validate and each FormField instance is responsible for validating its' own data value.

For more information, see the Form Validation documentation.

$validator = new SilverStripe\Forms\RequiredFields(array(
    'Name',
    'Email'
));

$form = new Form($this, 'MyForm', $fields, $actions, $validator);

API Documentation

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