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Creating Action

Once we have a model, we can start to write logic that is needed to manipulate the model. We place this logic inside a controller action. For the login form example, the following code is needed:

public function actionLogin()
    $model=new LoginForm;
        // collects user input data
        // validates user input and redirect to previous page if validated
    // displays the login form

In the above, we first create a LoginForm model instance; if the request is a POST request (meaning the login form is submitted), we populate $model with the submitted data $_POST['LoginForm']; we then validate the input and if successful, redirect the user browser to the page that previously needed authentication. If the validation fails, or if the action is initially accessed, we render the login view whose content is to be described in the next subsection.

Tip: In the login action, we use Yii::app()->user->returnUrl to get the URL of the page that previously needed authentication. The component Yii::app()->user is of type CWebUser (or its child class) which represents user session information (e.g. username, status). For more details, see Authentication and Authorization.

Let's pay special attention to the following PHP statement that appears in the login action:


As we described in Securing Attribute Assignments, this line of code populates the model with the user submitted data. The attributes property is defined by CModel which expects an array of name-value pairs and assigns each value to the corresponding model attribute. So if $_POST['LoginForm'] gives us such an array, the above code would be equivalent to the following lengthy one (assuming every needed attribute is present in the array):


Note: In order to let $_POST['LoginForm'] to give us an array instead of a string, we stick to a convention when naming input fields in the view. In particular, for an input field corresponding to attribute a of model class C, we name it as C[a]. For example, we would use LoginForm[username] to name the input field corresponding to the username attribute.

The remaining task now is to create the login view which should contain an HTML form with the needed input fields.

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