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Create deeplinks for your Contao modules in the backend menu.

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1.0.2 2013-10-15 15:16 UTC

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Last update: 2022-02-01 12:27:32 UTC


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Contao does not support backend menu items that are deeplinks to special functions or deep links to specific records. The deeplinks extension make it possible to define menu items, that work as deep links and also highlighted as active, if the link is opened.

Define deep links

You define deep links in the global $GLOBALS['BE_MOD'] array, like normal menu items.

$GLOBALS['BE_MOD']['my_module']['my_deeplink'] = array(
	'icon'       => 'system/modules/my_module/assets/images/my_deeplink.png',
	'deeplink'   => 'do=my_menu&id=1',
	'search'     => 'do=my_menu&table=tl_my_table&id=1',
	'deepsearch' => true,
	'priority'   => 10,

$GLOBALS['BE_MOD']['my_module']['my_menu'] = array(
	'tables'     => array('tl_my_table', 'tl_my_sub_table'),
	'icon'       => 'system/modules/my_module/assets/images/my_menu.png',

As you can see in the my_deeplink menu item, the deeplink property define the query string for the deep link. If you click on the menu item, you will be redirected to /contao/main.php?<?= $GLOBALS['BE_MOD']['my_module']['my_deeplink']['deeplink']; ?>.

The search property is required to find the correct deep link in the menu. If no search property is defined, the deeplink property will be used. The parameters from search will be matched against the GET-Parameters. If all parameters match, the deep link is supposed to be active.

Hint: The table parameter is special here, if no $_GET['table'] is defined, the algorithm search the menu item that match the $_GET['do'] parameter (in the example above, it will be $GLOBALS['BE_MOD']['my_module']['my_menu']) and use the first table (tl_my_table) of it in replacement of the $_GET['table'] parameter.

Hopefully you can see now, why there is a difference between deeplink and search. search is usually only needed, if deeplink does not contain a table parameter.

The deepsearch property tell the algorithm to search from child tables up to the top tables. That means, if the table tl_my_sub_table is a child table of tl_my_table, the algorithm search through the records in the parent-child tables, until the table defined in search is found or there is no more parent table defined. The deep search require a correct ptable/ctable definition in the DCA. Currently DC_Table is the only supported DataContainer type.

By default deepsearch is enabled!

The priority property give you control over the matching priority, if you have more deeplinks that compete. By default the algorithm will go up-down through the menu items and break on the first menu item, that match. But if you have two compete items, a "deeper" item that is below the less-deep item, the less-deep item may shown as active, even if the deeper item match "better".

$GLOBALS['BE_MOD']['my_module']['my_deeplink'] = array(
	'icon'       => 'system/modules/my_module/assets/images/my_deeplink.png',
	'deeplink'   => 'do=my_menu&id=1',
	'search'     => 'do=my_menu&table=tl_my_table&id=1',
	'priority'   => 10,
$GLOBALS['BE_MOD']['my_module']['my_deeplink_edit'] = array(
	'icon'       => 'system/modules/my_module/assets/images/my_deeplink.png',
	'deeplink'   => 'do=my_menu&act=edit&id=1',
	'search'     => 'do=my_menu&act=edit&table=tl_my_table&id=1',
	'priority'   => 11,

In this example my_deeplink and my_deeplink_edit will match on the url main.php?do=my_menu&id=1&act=edit. But the priority of my_deeplink_edit is higher, so even if my_deeplink match the search and is the first matching item, my_deeplink_edit will be supposed to be active.

By default priority is set to 10!

Dynamic deep links

Deep links make more sense, if you create them dynamically. For this you can use the deeplinks-create event, that is dispatched in an early system initialisation state.

To listen on the event, put the following into your config.php:

$GLOBALS['TL_EVENTS']['deeplinks-create'][] = array('MyClass', 'eventShortcutsCreate');

Then create a class MyClass:

class MyClass
	static public function eventShortcutsCreate()
		$database = \Database::getInstance();

		// fetch items from database and create
		// the items in $GLOBALS['BE_MOD'] dynamically

Hint: It is not necessary to use the deeplinks-create. You can define the items in $GLOBALS['BE_MOD'] everywhere and everytime you want. But if you create your items after the deeplinks-create event, you need to define the callback by yourself!

$GLOBALS['BE_MOD']['my_module']['my_deeplink'] = array(
	'callback' => 'Bit3\Contao\Deeplinks\Deeplinks',

For all items defined before the deeplinks-create event, the callback will be added dynamically.