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Forms

Introduction

Form is the base class of all forms in a sapphire application. Forms in your application can be created either by instantiating the Form class itself, or by subclassing it.

Instantiating a form

Creating a form is a matter of defining a method to represent that form. This method should return a form object. The constructor takes the following arguments:

  • $controller: This must be the controller that contains the form.
  • $name: This must be the name of the method on that controller that is called to return the form. The first two fields allow the form object to be re-created after submission. It's vital that they are properly set - if you ever have problems with form action handler not working, check that these values are correct.
  • $fields: A FieldSets that make up the editable portion of the form.
  • $actions: A FieldSets that make up the control portion of the form - the buttons at the bottom.
  • $validator: An optional Validator for more information.

Example:

function MyCustomForm() {
    $fields = new FieldSet(
        new EmailField("Email"),
        new EncryptField("Password")
    );
    $actions = new FieldSet(new FormAction("login", "Log in"));
    return new Form($this, "MyCustomForm", $fields, $actions);
}

Subclassing a form

It's the reponsibility of your subclass' constructor to call

parent::__construct()

with the right parameters. You may choose to take $fields and $actions as arguments if you wish, but $controller and $name must be passed - their values depend on where the form is instantiated.

class MyForm extends Form {
    function __construct($controller, $name) {
        $fields = new FieldSet(
            new EmailField("Email"),
            new EncryptedField("Password")
        );
        $actions = new FieldSet(new FormAction("login", "Log in"));
        
        parent::__construct($controller, $name, $fields, $actions);
    }
}

The real difference, however, is that you can then define your controller methods within the form class itself.

Form Field Types

There are many classes extending FormField. Some examples:

Full overview at form-field-types

Using Form Fields

To get these fields automatically rendered into a form element, all you need to do is create a new instance of the class, and add it to the fieldset of the form.

$form = new Form(
        $controller = $this,
        $name = "SignupForm",
        $fields = new FieldSet(
            new TextField(
                $name = "FirstName", 
                $title = "First name"
            ),
            new TextField("Surname"),
            new EmailField("Email", "Email address"),
         ), 
        $actions = new FieldSet(
            // List the action buttons here
            new FormAction("signup", "Sign up")
        ), 
        $requiredFields = new RequiredFields(
            // List the required fields here: "Email", "FirstName"
        )
);

You'll note some of the fields are optional.

Implementing the more complex fields requires extra arguments.

$form = new Form(
        $controller = $this,
        $name = "SignupForm",
        $fields = new FieldSet(
            // List the your fields here
            new TextField(
                $name = "FirstName", 
                $title = "First name"
            ),
            new TextField("Surname"),
            new EmailField("Email", "Email address")
            new DropdownField(
                 $name = "Country",
                 $title = "Country (if outside nz)",
                 $source = Geoip::getCountryDropDown(),
                 $value = Geoip::visitor_country()
            )
        ), new FieldSet(
            // List the action buttons here
            new FormAction("signup", "Sign up")
 
        ), new RequiredFields(
            // List the required fields here: "Email", "FirstName"
        )
);

Readonly

Readonly on a Form

$myForm->makeReadonly();

Readonly on a FieldSet

$myFieldSet->makeReadonly();

Readonly on a FormField

$myReadonlyField = $myField->transform(new ReadonlyTransformation());
// shortcut
$myReadonlyField = $myField->performReadonlyTransformation();

Using a custom template

Required Silverstripe 2.3 for some displayed functionality

You can use a custom form template to render with, instead of Form.ss

It's recommended you only do this if you've got a lot of presentation text, graphics that surround the form fields. This is better than defining those as LiteralField objects, as it doesn't clutter the data layer with presentation junk.

First of all, you need to create your form on it's own class, that way you can define a custom template using a forTemplate() method on your Form class.

class MyForm extends Form {

   function __construct($controller, $name) {
      $fields = new FieldSet(
         new TextField('FirstName', 'First name'),
         new EmailField('Email', 'Email address')
      );

      $actions = new FieldSet(
         new FormAction('submit', 'Submit')
      );

      parent::__construct($controller, $name, $fields, $actions);
   }

   function forTemplate() {
      return $this->renderWith(array(
         $this->class,
         'Form'
      ));
   }

   function submit($data, $form) {
      // do stuff here
   }

}

forTemplate() tells the Form class to render with a template of return value of $this->class, which in this case is MyForm, the name of the class. If the template doesn't exist, then it falls back to using Form.ss

MyForm.ss should then be placed into your templates/Includes directory for your project. Here is an example of basic customisation:

<form $FormAttributes>
   <% if Message %>
      <p id="{$FormName}_error" class="message $MessageType">$Message</p>
   <% else %>
      <p id="{$FormName}_error" class="message $MessageType" style="display: none"></p>
   <% end_if %>
   
   <fieldset>
      <div id="FirstName" class="field text">
         <label class="left" for="$FormName_FirstName">First name</label>
         $dataFieldByName(FirstName)
      </div>

      <div id="Email" class="field email">
         <label class="left" for="$FormName_Email">Email</label>
         $dataFieldByName(Email)
      </div>

      $dataFieldByName(SecurityID)
   </fieldset>

   <% if Actions %>
      <div class="Actions">
         <% control Actions %>$Field<% end_control %>
      </div>
   <% end_if %>
</form>

$dataFieldByName(FirstName) will return the form control contents of Field() for the particular field object, in this case TextField->Field() or EmailField->Field() which returns an <input> element with specific markup for the type of field. Pass in the name of the field as the first parameter, as done above, to render it into the template.

To find more methods, have a look at the Form class, as there is a lot of different methods of customising the form templates, for example, you could use <% control Fields %> instead of specifying each field manually, as we've done above.

Securing forms against Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

SilverStripe tries to protect users against Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) by adding a hidden SecurityID parameter to each form. See secure-development for details.

Remove existing fields

If you want to remove certain fields from your subclass:

class MyCustomForm extends MyForm {
    function __construct($controller, $name) {
        parent::__construct($controller, $name);
        
        // remove a normal field
        $this->fields->removeByName('MyFieldName');
        
        // remove a field from a tab
        $this->fields->removeFieldFromTab('TabName', 'MyFieldName');
    }
}

Working with tabs

Adds a new text field called FavouriteColour next to the Content field in the CMS

$fields->addFieldToTab('Root.Content.Main', new TextField('FavouriteColour'), 'Content');

API Documentation

Form

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