Yii extension to save and restore model values in user session.

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Type: yii-extension

1.1.0 2013-03-29 14:10 UTC


This is a behavior for CModel (CFormModel, CActiveRecord) which allows to save the set of current attribute values as defaults for the current user and restore them at a later time.


Should work with any 1.1.x version. Not tested with 1.0.x.


When this behavior is attached to a model, the current model values can be saved as default values with a simple command:


This will save all configured attributes in user state (session). To load these defaults back into the model you can use:


It's also possible to save or load only some attributes:

// Will merge with already saved defaults


To only load attributes that are safe in the current scenario, you can override the configured value of safeOnly (see below):

// true indicates that only safe attributes should be loaded

Finally to clear the saved default values use:

$model->resetDefaults();       // Reset all defaults
$model->resetDefaults('name'); // Reset specific attribute


Like all behaviors this extension has to be configured in the behaviors() method of a model:

public function behaviors()
    return array(

All attributes that should be saved with saveAsDefaults() must be listed in the attributes property of the behavior.

The complete list of configuration options is:

  • attributes : list of attribute names that can be saved / loaded
  • safeOnly : if true, only attributes that are safe in the current scenario will be loaded with loadDefaults(). Default is false.
  • stateKeyPrefix : prefix for the user state key that is used to store defaults. Actual key name will be prefix + model class name. Defaults to default_.

If loadDefaults() is called before any values where ever saved with saveAsDefaults() the model is scanned for a method attributeDefaults(). If this method is found the returned values (name/value pairs) will be set as default. If no such method is available, loadDefaults() will do nothing in this case.

Since Version 1.1.0 resetDefaults() can be used to clear all attributes, one attribute or a list of attributes default values.

If YII_DEBUG is true, this behavior will trace some messages under the category application.behavior.defaultpersister.


One scenario where this behavior can come in handy is e.g. when a model is used as complex filter model for a datagrid. Think of a backend area with pages for users and projects, each showing a filter form and a datagrid. Changes in the filter form trigger a AJAX grid update. Whenever backend personnel accesses such a page the last filter settings should be restored for convenience.

A controller action for this could look like:

public function actionUserList()
    $filter=new User('filter');

    // Set filter attributes on Ajax request and save them as default
    if (($isAjax=isset($_GET['ajax'])) && isset($_GET['User']))
        if (!$filter->validate())   // Invalid filter settings!

    // Similar to the search() method in Yii's default CRUD models,
    // this method creates a CActiveDataProvider from the current
    // attribute values:

    if ($isAjax)
        // render only the partial for the data grid:
        // render complete view with filter and data grid



  • Fixed: Model defined attributes that are not in DB will also be set in AR
  • Added resetDefaults() method

1.0.0 - initial release