How to save multiple related models in Yii [Complete Solution]

You are in a situation where you have two related tables a Parent and a child table. You need to create a user experience in which user presses Save button only once, meaning by, user enters all the data in parent model fields, then enters data in all child model fields, optionally generates more child model fields and then presses the save button.
Continue reading “How to save multiple related models in Yii [Complete Solution]”

Yii 1.1: Behaviors & Events

Behaviors & Events provide endless possibilities and unbelievable flexibility, but as current Yii documentation does not give more than a few examples, it might be difficult to fully understand their internals and requirements.

It should be noted that they do mostly the same thing. You can attach behaviors and event handlers to components to modify the components’ behavior.


It is useful when you want to interrupt the normal application flow without extending base classes.

For example, enabling gzip compression on the output could be done via extending CWebApplication. But because there are entry points for event handlers, one can do this:

Yii::app()->onBeginRequest = create_function('$event', 'return ob_start("ob_gzhandler");');
Yii::app()->onEndRequest = create_function('$event', 'return ob_end_flush();');

You can create an event handler — which is simply a method in some class with a specific signature — and attach it to the event of an object. You can add as many event handlers as you wish, from as many objects as you wish. If the event handler is, effectively static, then you can create the object as you assign it:

$test_comp->onSomethingGoesOn = array(new SomeClass, 'eventHandler1');
$test_comp->onSomethingGoesOn = array(new SomeOtherClass, 'eventHandler2');
$test_comp->onSomethingGoesOn = array(new YetAnotherClass, 'eventHandler3');

As long as you have a handle on the object, then you can add an event handler to it.

At some point, you can then raise the event with something like one of these:

$test_comp->onSomethingGoesOn(new CEvent($this));
$test_comp->onSomethingGoesOn(new CEvent());

So, basically, it allows you to build a list of function calls that can later be executed, in the order they were added. It can save you passing around a lot of object refs and building conditional code, since you can still raise the event, even if it doesn’t do anything.


Behaviors are simply a way of adding methods to an object.

Take this scenario: You have 2 classes: MySuperClass1, MySuperClass2. There might be lots of methods from MySuperClass1 & 2 that you want in some new class, say MyBoringClass. Unfortunately, php does not allow for this:

class MyBoringClass extends MySuperClass1, MySuperClass2 {

This is where behaviors come in. Instead, you can go:

class MyBoringClass extends MySuperClass1 {

$classInstance = new MyBoringClass();
$classInstance->attachbehavior('uniqueName', new MySuperClass2);

Now $classInstance has all the methods from MySuperClass1 and MySuperClass2. Since MySuperClass2 is being used as a behavior, it has to extend CBehavior. The only caveat to this is an attached behavior cannot override any class methods of the component it is being attached to. If a method already exists, if it be from the original class or already added by a previously attached behavior, it will not be overwritten.

In an OO language like Ruby, it’s quite possible to start with a completely empty object and simply build its behavior as you go along. Yii provides this behavior with a little magic. The key is that the class you wish to add the behavior from must extend Cbehavior.

class SomeClass extends CBehavior
    public function add($x, $y) { return $x + $y; }

Then use with:

$test_comp = new TestComponent();
$test_comp->attachbehavior('blah', new SomeClass);
$test_comp->add(2, 5);

So, in this case, you are extending the functionality of an object with functionality of another object.

Originally posted at

Yii password, repeat password fields

Yii framework has awesome input validation mechanism, one of the many validation rules is “compare” rule. You can utilize it for creating confirmation fields to verify user input. Its a good practice to get password input twice while creating signup and change password forms. Continue reading “Yii password, repeat password fields”

Switch Yii layout based on user role

You can assign different layouts to different users using following filter class

1. Add LayoutFilter.php to your protected/components/ folder

class LayoutFilter extends CFilter
    protected function preFilter($filterChain)
        // logic being applied before the action is executed
        $roles = Yii::app()->user->getState('roles');
        if (!is_array($roles))
            $roles = array();
        if (in_array(User::ROLE_ADMIN, $roles))
            $filterChain->controller->layout = 'admin/column2';
        } else
            $filterChain->controller->layout = '//layouts/column2';
        return parent::preFilter($filterChain);
    protected function postFilter($filterChain)
    // logic being applied after the action is executed
        return parent::postFilter($filterChain);

2. Update protected/components/Controller.php and add following filters

public function filters()
    return array(

3. Update all controllers and add following filters

public function filters()
    return parent::filters() + array(
        'postOnly + delete', // we only allow deletion via POST request