Date control module allowing separation of formats for View and Model for Yii Framework 2.0

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Type: yii2-extension

v1.9.3 2015-07-19 05:01 UTC


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The Date Control module allows controlling date formats of attributes separately for View and Model for Yii Framework 2.0. It thus allows an easy way to work with dates when displaying to users in one way (format / timezone) but saving it in the database in another way (format / timezone).

NOTE: Version 1.5.0 has BC breaking changes. This release now adds supports for both ICU and PHP date format patterns. By default the format will be parsed as a ICU date pattern. In order to pass a PHP Date format - prepend your format pattern with the string php:.

Why Date Control?

Version 1.9.4 has been released. Refer CHANGE LOG for details.

When working with the great Yii Framework, one of the most common observations I had was the need to have a proper control on the date settings. The date settings for each Yii application, are unique to each application and region. Most Yii developers or users almost always need an option of displaying date and time in ONE specific format, but save them to database in ANOTHER format. So to summarize, the problem statement was:

  • Lack of a single configuration method to display date & times to user (or VIEW) in ONE format
  • Lack of a configuration method to save date & times in database (or MODEL) in ANOTHER format

Most existing Yii solutions try to overcome the above by setting the format in model->afterFind, present in view, then unformat it in model->setAttribues or model->beforeValidate. This was still an issue when one had many models and views in the application and changes in development cycle, had to be replicated in many places (more complex scenarios being multi-regional formats).

This module helps overcome this large gap by addressing all of these at the presentational level. The module enables one to configure the date and time settings separately for DISPLAY and SAVE. This can be setup either globally or individually at each DateControl widget level. And if this is not useful enough, it automatically enables any date/time picker widgets to be used in conjunction with this.

How this magic works, is that the extension just alters this at the presentational layer (VIEW). It automatically sets the base model input to hidden and displays a mirror input in the display format one has set. Then on each edit of the display input, the extension traps the change event, and overrwrites the hidden base model input as per the desired save format. The other good thing is, that the extension automatically triggers the javascript change event for the base model input as well. Thus all client model validations and other jquery events needed by Picker widgets are automatically triggered.

NOTE: All date and time formats used across this module follow one standard - i.e. PHP Date Time format strings. The extension automatically provides three widgets to display and control the date-time inputs.


The extension has been created as a module to enable access to global settings for your application. In addition, it allows you to read and format date times between client and server using PHP DateTime object. The DateControl widget uses ajax processing to convert display (view) format to model (save) format.

use kartik\datecontrol\Module;
'modules' => [
   'datecontrol' =>  [
        'class' => 'kartik\datecontrol\Module',

        // format settings for displaying each date attribute (ICU format example)
        'displaySettings' => [
            Module::FORMAT_DATE => 'dd-MM-yyyy',
            Module::FORMAT_TIME => 'HH:mm:ss a',
            Module::FORMAT_DATETIME => 'dd-MM-yyyy HH:mm:ss a', 

        // format settings for saving each date attribute (PHP format example)
        'saveSettings' => [
            Module::FORMAT_DATE => 'php:U', // saves as unix timestamp
            Module::FORMAT_TIME => 'php:H:i:s',
            Module::FORMAT_DATETIME => 'php:Y-m-d H:i:s',

        // set your display timezone
        'displayTimezone' => 'Asia/Kolkata',

        // set your timezone for date saved to db
        'saveTimezone' => 'UTC',

        // automatically use kartik\widgets for each of the above formats
        'autoWidget' => true,

        // use ajax conversion for processing dates from display format to save format.
        'ajaxConversion' => true,

        // default settings for each widget from kartik\widgets used when autoWidget is true
        'autoWidgetSettings' => [
            Module::FORMAT_DATE => ['type'=>2, 'pluginOptions'=>['autoclose'=>true]], // example
            Module::FORMAT_DATETIME => [], // setup if needed
            Module::FORMAT_TIME => [], // setup if needed

        // custom widget settings that will be used to render the date input instead of kartik\widgets,
        // this will be used when autoWidget is set to false at module or widget level.
        'widgetSettings' => [
            Module::FORMAT_DATE => [
                'class' => 'yii\jui\DatePicker', // example
                'options' => [
                    'dateFormat' => 'php:d-M-Y',
                    'options' => ['class'=>'form-control'],
        // other settings

Params Configuration

The extension allows configuration of dateControlDisplay and dateControlSave settings at Yii application params level. The params configuration will override the settings at the module level. This configuration is useful when one wants to dynamically change these params settings at runtime. The settings can be overridden at DateControl widget level.

Refer the defaulting rules documentation for details.


The main widget for rendering each date control on your views. Many settings will be defaulted from the module setup, but can be overridden at the widget level. An usage example with ActiveForm and using \kartik\widgets\DateTimePicker is shown below. Note you can pass date-time formats as supported by ICU or PHP. To set a PHP date time format - prepend the format string with php: as shown below.

echo $form->field($model, 'datetime_2')->widget(DateControl::classname(), [
    'displayFormat' => 'php:d-M-Y H:i:s',

NOTE: With version v1.2.0 this extension can use the new Krajee jQuery library php-date-formatter to perform client side date format conversion instead of using ajax, for basic date formats (without timezone). The extension can thus now easily read date & time stamps consistently in ONE format (PHP DateTime) across the client and server. However, it is recommended to use ajaxConversion if you need seamless integration with PHP DateTime functions like timezone support.


You can see detailed documentation and usage and a demonstration on the extension.


The preferred way to install this extension is through composer.

Note: Check the composer.json for this extension's requirements and dependencies. Read this web tip /wiki on setting the minimum-stability settings for your application's composer.json.

Either run

$ php composer.phar require kartik-v/yii2-datecontrol "@dev"

or add

"kartik-v/yii2-datecontrol": "@dev"

to the require section of your composer.json file.


use kartik\datecontrol\Module;
use kartik\datecontrol\DateControl;


yii2-datecontrol is released under the BSD 3-Clause License. See the bundled LICENSE.md for details.