One of the common tasks the web application might be required to perform, especially the app using some kind of a CMS, is to save the history of data changes. Your client for sure will want the answer to this simple question - If I mess this up or delete by accident can we bring it back? Well, DB backup is one thing and quick recovery is another - let's talk about latter one.
So you want to use CForm (form builder), but need to preload dropdowns in a form? It's simpler than it seems.
You got your CFormModel, CForm and the actual Form, right?
Let's say you have the typical State -> City dependent dropdowns, so you would want to load the from with the State and City selected.