Version 5 supported

SearchFilter modifiers

The filter(), exclude(), and other related methods on DataList, ArrayList, and EagerLoadedList specify exact matches by default. However, when calling these methods, there are a number of suffixes that you can put on field names to change this behavior. These are represented as SearchFilter subclasses and include:

See SilverStripe\ORM\Filters in the API docs for a full list of SearchFilter classes available in silverstripe/framework.

An example of a SearchFilter in use:

// fetch any player whose first name starts with the letter 'S' and has a PlayerNumber greater than 10
$players = Player::get()->filter([
    'FirstName:StartsWith' => 'S',
    'PlayerNumber:GreaterThan' => '10',

// fetch any player whose name contains the letter 'z'
$players = Player::get()->filterAny([
    'FirstName:PartialMatch' => 'z',
    'LastName:PartialMatch' => 'z',

Notice the syntax - to invoke a SearchFilter in the filter()/filterAny()/find() or exclude()/excludeAny() methods, you add a colon after the field name, followed by the name of the filter (excluding the actual word "filter"). e.g. for a StartsWithFilter: 'FieldName:StartsWith'

Developers can define their own SearchFilter if needing to extend the ORM filter and exclude behaviors.


SearchFilters can also take modifiers. The modifiers currently supported are ":not", ":nocase", and ":case" (though you can implement custom modifiers on your own SearchFilter implementations). These negate the filter, make it case-insensitive and make it case-sensitive, respectively.

The default comparison uses the database's default case sensitivity. For MySQL and MSSQL, this is case-insensitive. For PostgreSQL, this is case-sensitive. But you can declare the default case sensitivity for your project by setting the default_case_sensitive configuration property on SearchFilter like so:

  default_case_sensitive: false

Though note that for backwards compatibility reasons, ArrayList is explicitly case sensitive by default. To change that, you must set ArrayList.default_case_sensitive to false.

  default_case_sensitive: false
// Fetch players that their FirstName is exactly 'Sam'
// Caution: This might be case in-sensitive if MySQL or MSSQL is used
$players = Player::get()->filter([
    'FirstName:ExactMatch' => 'Sam',

// Fetch players that their FirstName is exactly 'Sam' (force case-sensitive)
$players = Player::get()->filter([
    'FirstName:ExactMatch:case' => 'Sam',

// Fetch players that their FirstName is exactly 'Sam' (force NOT case-sensitive)
$players = Player::get()->filter([
    'FirstName:ExactMatch:nocase' => 'Sam',

By default the :ExactMatch filter is applied, so we can shorthand the above to:

// Default DB engine behaviour
$players = Player::get()->filter('FirstName', 'Sam');
// case-sensitive
$players = Player::get()->filter('FirstName:case', 'Sam');
// NOT case-sensitive
$players = Player::get()->filter('FirstName:nocase', 'Sam');

Note that all search filters (e.g. :PartialMatch) refer to services registered with Injector within the DataListFilter. prefixed namespace. New filters can be registered using the below yml config:

    class: MyVendor\Search\CustomMatchFilter

The following is a query which will return everyone whose first name starts with "S", either lowercase or uppercase:

$players = Player::get()->filter([
    'FirstName:StartsWith:nocase' => 'S',

// use :not to get everyone whose first name does NOT start with "S"
$players = Player::get()->filter([
    'FirstName:StartsWith:not' => 'S',

You can combine :not and either :nocase or :case. Note that the order doesn't matter - these two calls are equivalent:

$players = Player::get()->filter([
    'FirstName:StartsWith:nocase:not' => 'S',
$players = Player::get()->filter([
    'FirstName:StartsWith:not:nocase' => 'S',

Related lessons

API documentation