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A flexible framework for connecting other content sources to a SilverStripe site.

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1.1.1 2016-09-28 11:16 UTC

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Last update: 2024-03-29 02:21:43 UTC


The External Content module forms a framework for displaying and migrating content from external sources.

Maintainer Contact

Marcus Nyeholt

<marcus (at) silverstripe (dot) com (dot) au>


  • SilverStripe 3
  • FileSystem Connector module (for a default connector implementation)
  • PHP MB String module (should be default on most systems)

Note: For a SilverStripe 2.4 compatible module, please check the 1.0.0 branch


This article assumes that you have installed the FileSystem Connector module, which provides access to content from a filesystem path.

Connecting to the content source

  • Extract the module to your silverstripe root directory in a directory called "external-content"
  • Browse to http://localhost/external-content/admin and login
  • Create a new FileSystemContentSource from the tree on the left menu. Set the following field values:
  • name - File System Content
  • Folder Path - The folder to retrieve content from (in the form /path/to/content)
  • Once saved, you will need to reload the External Content page for content to start coming through the connector

Accessing content on the frontend

  • Navigate to the "Site Content" tab
  • Create a new 'External Content Page' in your site tree
  • Change the External Content Source value to the source created earlier
  • Save and view the page on the frontend; its url should look something like http://localhost/extcon/view?ID=1 or similar
  • You can also link to external content directly in the WYSIWYG content areas by selecting "External Content" as the "Link To" option when the Insert Link toolbar is displayed

Importing content

  • First, make sure you have an empty folder called "Incoming" created in the "Files & Images" section
  • Navigate back to the External Content section, and expand the "File System Content" node created earlier.
  • Navigate to a folder that contains some files and click on its name, then click on the Migrate tab.
  • Select the "Incoming" folder, then click the "Include Selected Item in Migration" option.
  • Click the Migrate button down the bottom. An alert box will shortly appear when the migrate is complete.
  • Navigate to the "Files and Images" section and click the "Incoming" folder.
  • The uploaded files should appear in the right hand listing when you select the imported folder



A generic method for calling methods with parameters where the method is actually found on a remote URL, and the return type of that method call can be easily converted to an appropriate object. For example, imagine that there is a "login" method that can be called on a particular URL with some parameters, with an XML return type. A definition of this method would look like

'login' => array(
	'url' => '/api/login',
	'return' => 'xml',
	'params' => array('u', 'pw'),
	'cache' => false,

When the WebApiClient is created, it is passed a 'baseUrl' and a list of method definitions like the above. Then, it is simply a matter of calling

$apiClient->call('login', array('u' => 'user', 'pw' => 'pass'))

and getting a SimpleXML object as the return type. This mechanism is used by the AlfrescoSeaMistRepository, so refer to that module for further details.


If you're having trouble viewing pages when opening an ExternalContentPage directly via the backend, make sure there's not two ? characters in the URL. The SS backend assumes that a URL for an item won't have a URL in it, but at the moment URLs are constructed in this way.