Handling tabular data loading and validation in Yii 2

  1. Problem Statement
  2. Solution

Problem Statement

How do you read and handle tabular data submission via form in Yii framework 2.0? 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.


If you are coming over from Yii 1 - the concepts of tabular data handling remain the same as mentioned in the Yii 1.x guide - collecting tabular input section.

The only differences in Yii 2 is that its much simpler due to available functions in the Model class for loading and validating models.


You can use a prebuilt solution to render and manage tabular data. You can use the TabularForm widget or yii2-dynamicform.


You can use the same concepts as mentioned in the guide link mentioned before - here are the changes you need to do for Yii 2:

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'].

Batch Update Controller Action
use yii\base\Model;
public function actionBatchUpdate()
    // retrieve items to be updated in a batch mode assuming each item 
    // is of model class 'Item'. 
    // Note the getItemsToUpdate method is an example method, where you 
    // fetch the valid models to update in your tabular form. You need
    // to write such a method OR directly call your code to get the models.
    if (Model::loadMultiple($items, Yii::$app->request->post()) && 
        Model::validateMultiple($items)) {
        $count = 0;
        foreach ($items as $item) {
           // populate and save records for each model
            if ($item->save()) {
                // do something here after saving
        Yii::$app->session->setFlash('success', "Processed {$count} records successfully.");
        return $this->redirect(['index']); // redirect to your next desired page
    } else {
        return $this->render('update', [
            'items' => $items,   
Your View File Sample
<div class="form">
    <?php $form = ActiveForm::begin(); ?>
        <?php foreach($items as $i=>$item): ?>
                <td><?= $form->field($item,"[$i]name"); ?></td>
                <td><?= $form->field($item,"[$i]price"); ?></td>
                <td><?= $form->field($item,"[$i]count"); ?></td>
                <td><?= $form->field($item,"[$i]description"); ?></td>
        <?php endforeach; ?>
    <?= Html::submitButton('Save'); ?>
    <?php ActiveForm::end(); ?>
</div><!-- form -->