Silverstripe module offering DataFormatters to export DataObjects in Excel format.

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0.2.2 2020-07-29 03:53 UTC

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Last update: 2020-09-25 17:37:53 UTC


This Silverstripe module makes it easy to export a set of Silverstripe DataObjects to:

  • Excel 2007 (XLSX)
  • Excel 5 (XLS)
  • CSV

This module is built by extending the standard SilverStripe DataFormatter.




Install the module through composer:

composer require firebrandhq/silverstripe-excel-export

Exporting your DataObjects

There's 3 ways you can export your data to a spread sheet.

Programmatically by calling the DataFormatter directly

3 DataFormatters are provided:

  • ExcelDataFormatter for XLSX
  • OldExcelDataFormatter for XLS
  • CsvDataFormatter for CSV

You can manually instantiate them to convert a list of DataObjects or a single DataObject.

$formatter = new ExcelDataFormatter();

// Will return an Excel Spreadsheet as a string for a single user
$filedata = $formatter->convertDataObject($user);

// Will return an Excel Spreadsheet as a string for a list of user
$filedata = $formatter->convertDataObjectSet(Member::get());

convertDataObjectSet() and convertDataObject() will automatically set the Content-Type HTTP header to an appropriate Mime Type.

You can also retrieve the underlying PHPExcel object and export your DataObject set to whatever format supported by PHPExcel.

// Get your Data
$formatter = new ExcelDataFormatter();
$excel = $formatter->getPhpExcelObject(SiteTree::get());

// Set up a writer
$writer = PHPExcel_IOFactory::createWriter($excel, 'HTML');

// Save the file somewhere on the server

// Output the results back to the browser

// Output the file to a variable
$fileData = ob_get_clean();

Add the GridFieldExcelExportButton to a GridField

The GridFieldExcelExportButton allows your CMS users to easily export the data from a GridField to a spreadsheet.

$rowEntryConfig = GridFieldConfig_RecordEditor::create();
$rowEntryConfig->addComponent(new GridFieldExcelExportButton());
$rowEntryDataGridField = new GridField(
    "Content Row Entry",
$fields->addFieldToTab('Root.Main', $rowEntryDataGridField);

The above code snippet will display a split button allowing the user to export the GridField list to the format of their choice.

Unlike the SilverStripe GridFieldExportButton, the GridFieldExcelExportButton will export all the fields of the provided DataObjects ... not just the summary fields.

You can also use the GridFieldExcelExportAction component. This button is added to each row and allows you to export individual records one at a time. Out of the box, GridFieldExcelExportAction will export to xlsx, but you can get it to export to xls or csv (e.g.: new GridFieldExcelExportAction('csv')).

GridFieldExcelExportAction and GridFieldExcelExportButton can be used in conjunction if you want to give both options to your users.

Call via the SilverStripe RestfulServer Module

The SilverStripe RestfulServer Module allows you to turn any SilverStripe website into a RESTFul Server.

If you use the SilverStripe RestfulServer Module in conjunction with the Silverstripe Excel Export module, you'll be able to dynamically export any DataObject set just by entering the right URL in your browser.

Access control

Obviously, you don't want everyone to be able to download any data off your website. The SilverStripe RestfulServer Module will only return results for DataObject with the $api_access property set.

private static $api_access = true;

Additionally, access to individual DataObjects is controlled by the canView function.

Configuration the SilverStripe RestfulServer Module

Getting to the data

Exporting your data is just as easy as entering a URL.

SilverStripe RestfulServer Module Supported operations

Customising the output

There's 2 ways you can control the output:

  • Choose which fields to output ;
  • Choose to use field label instead of fields names in the headers.

Choose which fields to output

Because the ExcelDataFormatter extends DataFormatter, you can use methods like setCustomFields(), setCustomAddFields() or setRemoveFields() to control what fields will be present in the spread sheet.

$formatter = new ExcelDataFormatter();

// This formatter instead of returning every field of a DataObject, will only return 3 fields.
$formatter->setCustomFields(['ID', 'Title', 'LastEdited']);

// If youe DataObject has dynamic properties, you can reference them using setCustomAddFields().

Defining a default column set

You can customise the default column set that will be return for a specific DataObject class by defining a getExcelExportFields() method on your DataOject class.

This getExcelExportFields() method should return an array of fields following the same format used by DataObject::inheritedDatabaseFields():

return [
    'ID' => 'Int',
    'Name' => 'Varchar',
    'Address' => 'Text'

You may also reference relationships in this array or dynamic properties:

return [
    'Owner.Name' => 'Varchar',
    'Category.Title' => 'Varchar',
    'ChildrenCount' => 'Int',

This will also allow you to control the order the fields appear in the Spread Sheet. Note that ID will always be the first field and cannot be removed.

This behavior can be overriden for specific instances of ExcelDataFormatter by calling the setCustomFields() method.

Use field labels or field names as column headers

Out of the box, the actual field names will be used as column header. (e.g.: FirstName rather than First Name).

You can customise this behavior and use the Field Labels as define on your DataObject class instead. When generating the header row, ExcelDataFormatter will call the fieldLabel() method on your Data Object to decide what string to use in each header.

Change the default for all ExcelDataFormatter

In you YML config, you can use the following syntax to change the default headers.

  UseLabelsAsHeaders: true

Override the default for a specific instance

You may change the default behavior for a specific instance.