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Collecting Tabular Input

Sometimes we want to collect user input in a batch mode. That is, the user can enter the information for multiple model instances and submit them all at once. We call this tabular input because the input fields are often presented in an HTML table.

To work with tabular input, we first need to create or populate an array of model instances, depending on whether we are inserting or updating the data. We then retrieve the user input data from the $_POST variable and assign it to each model. A slight difference from single model input is that we retrieve the input data using $_POST['ModelClass'][$i] instead of $_POST['ModelClass'].

public function actionBatchUpdate()
    // retrieve items to be updated in a batch mode
    // assuming each item is of model class 'Item'
        foreach($items as $i=>$item)
            $valid=$item->validate() && $valid;
        if($valid)  // all items are valid
            // ...do something here
    // displays the view to collect tabular input

Having the action ready, we need to work on the batchUpdate view to display the input fields in an HTML table.

<div class="form">
<?php echo CHtml::beginForm(); ?>
<?php foreach($items as $i=>$item): ?>
<td><?php echo CHtml::activeTextField($item,"[$i]name"); ?></td>
<td><?php echo CHtml::activeTextField($item,"[$i]price"); ?></td>
<td><?php echo CHtml::activeTextField($item,"[$i]count"); ?></td>
<td><?php echo CHtml::activeTextArea($item,"[$i]description"); ?></td>
<?php endforeach; ?>
<?php echo CHtml::submitButton('Save'); ?>
<?php echo CHtml::endForm(); ?>
</div><!-- form -->

Note in the above that we use "[$i]name" instead of "name" as the second parameter when calling CHtml::activeTextField.

If there are any validation errors, the corresponding input fields will be highlighted automatically, just like the single model input we described earlier on.

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