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Fieldtype Select External Option

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Get the last version:

From the first view a simple select dropdown Fieldtype. But what is different?
Rather than the option field in the modul settings you will find some setting fields to define a source (datatable or field) from where you can pull the options (value and label).

I found this very useful when I had to put 250 options in a select field (which I provide in frontend too) and needed this connected and congruent to another more complex table. So now I can make changes in the main table and the select field will take over these changes.

You can define the following in the settings:

  • datatable
  • tablecolumn for (value) should be integer
  • tablecolumn for (label)
  • dependance (value or label)
  • order ascending or descending

Here we go:
(updated 10.03.15 Version 1.0.2 with Multiselect Option)
(updated 11.03.15 Version 1.0.3 with Select Inputfields in Settings)

Edited by kixe
added links to github and modules directory
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Very cool - definitely has some similarities with: https://processwire.com/talk/topic/8803-module-fieldtypeselectrelation/ but the ability to draw from any type of DB table is super cool and really flexible - I love it and can see several uses for it already :)

Any thoughts of making it support ASM multiselect?

This could then replace http://modules.processwire.com/modules/fieldtype-templates/ and https://processwire.com/talk/topic/9167-create-a-field-for-selecting-fields/?p=88679

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Thaks for your remarks. Since I pull the options directly from the database table it is a bit different from the other stuff.
I added MultiSelect Fields. :)


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Awesome to have the multi options.

A couple of things. 

  • Instances of page_id should be pages_id
  • Are the defaults supposed to work if not entered? They don't seem to - even if I change $value = 'page_id' to $value = 'pages_id' in the getExtOptions function, it still gives me "Column doesn't exist in table"
  • With this new version I am getting "TemplateFile: SQLSTATE[42S22]: Column not found: 1054 Unknown column 'sort' in 'order clause'

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Thanks for this...

Do you have the project somewhere on Github?

Just an observation: In your $db query, Although you are properly escaping and sanitizing values, maybe you should consider using prepared statements too?

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Thanks for your help.

  • Yes it should be 'pages_id'. Anyway it was ment more like a placeholder. Maybe I will leave it out.
  • Yes in general the defaults should work. :)  I will check this.
  • It was a bit tricky to prevent from SQL Error exception, but I solved this with checking against an array of column names.
    And this beautiful API: $this->db->getTables()
  • You receive this SQL Error maybe if you didn't deleted the field where you have set the fieldtype. Since the module extends FieldtypeMulti the DatabaseSchema has changed. You should solve this by creating a new field. Tell me if it is working then.

thanks for your post.

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Aah...how could I miss that :-), thanks.

As for prepared statements, here's a couple of posts. 




You can also grep 'prepare' in core files to see how Ryan does it. You can also have a look in my Matrix module.

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You receive this SQL Error maybe if you didn't deleted the field where you have set the fieldtype. Since the module extends FieldtypeMulti the DatabaseSchema has changed. You should solve this by creating a new field. Tell me if it is working then.


That fixed it!


Everything seems to be working again now - just a pesky notice:

Notice: Object of class WireArray could not be converted to int in /site/modules/FieldtypeSelectExtOption/FieldtypeSelectExtOption.module on line 105

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Version 1.0.3
seems to work proper now. Changed all Inputfields in Fieldsettings to select.

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Awesome enhancements - this is very cool!

Still getting one notice:

Notice: Undefined variable: v in /site/modules/FieldtypeSelectExtOption/FieldtypeSelectExtOption.module on line 109

Can I make one suggestion - if the option label field is blank, could the label use the value field?

PS Is there any reason for the "type (int)" part of this description "Choose a column of type (int)." ? Why can't I use a text field? I am guessing it is just suggestion, and while it is generally a good idea, there are often reasons this is not convenient.

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many thanks for your interest and help. I pushed Version 1.0.4 on github and a readme.md too. Should work stable now.

your remarks

  • I forgot to define an array. Its done.
  • Your suggestion:
    I disabled a preselection but field defaults of 'Option Value' and 'Option Table' are for both the first column of the selected table even if nothing is selected.
  • Yes there is a reason. The Class extends FieldtypeMulti. In the Database Schema of FieldtypeMulti values are defined as type (int). I don't want to change this. One of the intention I had when I started was to store the values as slim as possible. Now it is easy to create any database table with more than 2 columns to process the input in the way you want it. No need to run in problems by changing the database schema.

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Now another new notice:

Notice: Undefined index: option_table in /site/modules/FieldtypeSelectExtOption/FieldtypeSelectExtOption.module on line 145

You really need to turn on debug mode, or at least check your php error log :)

I see why you went with integers for the value - it makes sense to stay with the schema of FieldtypeMulti - I hadn't thought of that. But when using a non-PW DB table, when outputting the label of the selected value on the front end of your website, how are you going to get the value you want to display? This will require an SQL query to retrieve, right? For some devs this is no problem, but for others it may be too technical. Do you think you could include a method for rendering the label on the front end, based on the stored value?

I am thinking that you should be able to do:

echo $page->selectextoption;

and get the label of the selected value, rather than the stored value. What do you think?

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Stupid me. I turned on debug mode in wire instead of site folder. :P

For my use it is enough because I need only a unique ID for further processing. But in general you are completely right. There should be an api variable to get both value and label from external tables. I will try to solve this.

Access tables depending to PW is easy. For example if you choose 'templates' as source table the API is like:


Returns a string if InputfieldSelect in use and array for InputfieldAsmSelect and InputfieldSelectMultiple.

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Yep - I see that it totally works with PW tables. Thanks for looking into an option for non PW tables.

I am actually wondering if you might be able to do something like:


and be able to return the value from any field (column) for the row that contains the selected integer ID value? This could work with both PW and non PW tables. Some examples of what you could return with this.

PW fields table:

$page->selectextoption->id = 1
$page->selectextoption->name = title
$page->selectextoption->label = Title
$page->selectextoption->flags = 13

a non PW table (maybe a list of country codes):

$page->selectextoption->num_code = 276
$page->selectextoption->iso3 = DEU
$page->selectextoption->name = Germany

I think this would be much more powerful than just returning the value and label fields.

I think it might also be nice to be able to magically return the selected value and label without knowing what the fields are, so:

$page->selectextoption = 1
$page->selectextoption->selectedLabel = Title (assuming the field I chose for the label was the title field)

Of course you can't use "Label" in this last example because "Label" is a field name in some PW tables, hence my use of "selectedLabel", but there might be a better option. Does that make sense?

Thanks for your hard work on this - it's going to be very useful!

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Ups, this looks strange  $page->selectextoption returns always the fields value (string or array in case of InputfieldAsmSelect and InputfieldSelectMultiple). I cannot follow. ???

I found another solution to access all values of all columns of the source table depending on the field value ($page->selectextoption) label included.

Use the following API

// call the module
$getdata = $modules->get('FieldtypeSelectExtOption')

// will find the first or only field of type SelectExtOption in your page

// will find a specific field of type SelectExtOption in your page, useful if more than one field of same type in template

// will find a specific field of type SelectExtOption in a page found by selector string

// will find the first or only field of type SelectExtOption in a page found by selector string

Output will be an Array with the stored value like ($page->selectextoption) as key and whole information about the row in the databasetable belonging to this value.

Field Settings

  • Inputfieldtype = 'InputfieldAsmSelect'
  • Source Table = 'pages'
  • Option Value = 'id'
  • Option Label = 'name'

Selected Values in Frontend

  • 'admin'
  • 'user'


array (size=2)
  2 => 
    array (size=10)
      'id' => string '2' (length=1)
      'parent_id' => string '1' (length=1)
      'templates_id' => string '2' (length=1)
      'name' => string 'admin' (length=5)
      'status' => string '1035' (length=4)
      'modified' => string '2015-01-29 06:37:43' (length=19)
      'modified_users_id' => string '41' (length=2)
      'created' => string '0000-00-00 00:00:00' (length=19)
      'created_users_id' => string '2' (length=1)
      'sort' => string '15' (length=2)
  29 => 
    array (size=10)
      'id' => string '29' (length=2)
      'parent_id' => string '28' (length=2)
      'templates_id' => string '2' (length=1)
      'name' => string 'users' (length=5)
      'status' => string '29' (length=2)
      'modified' => string '2011-04-05 00:39:08' (length=19)
      'modified_users_id' => string '41' (length=2)
      'created' => string '2011-03-19 19:15:29' (length=19)
      'created_users_id' => string '2' (length=1)
      'sort' => string '0' (length=1)

Does this help? It is working already. I will check a little bit and than upload to github.

New Version on github.

Edited by kixe

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Hey kixe - thanks for making progress on this. Maybe my example was confusing? When I wrote: $page->selectextoption, the "selectextoption" in my example is the name of my field.

I am not sure how your new code works, and I don't have much time today, but perhaps you can get some ideas from:

https://github.com/somatonic/FieldtypeDimension/blob/master/FieldtypeDimension.module or https://github.com/adrianbj/FieldtypePhone/blob/master/FieldtypePhone.module

or ProFields Table if you have access to it.

Then again it's early here and I need to get back to work so maybe I am not sure exactly how your new setup works.

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For single values ok, but what do you recommend in case of multiple values? Like this?

$page->selectextoption->3->id = 1
$page->selectextoption->3->name = title
$page->selectextoption->3->label = Title
$page->selectextoption->3->flags = 13

$page->selectextoption->29->id = 1
$page->selectextoption->29->name = title
$page->selectextoption->29->label = Title
$page->selectextoption->29->flags = 13

For now I prefer this

$data = $modules->get('FieldtypeSelectExtOption')->row(null,'id=245');

$data['29']['country'] = Germany

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I think I am maybe confused, but shouldn't it behave like other PW muilti fieldtypes. That is, you should be able to do:

foreach ($page->selectextoption as $selectedoption) {
    echo $selectedoption->id //returns 1
    echo $selectedoption->name // returns title



I don't really understand why you need to look up $data['29']. I am assuming 29 is the integer that has been stored and is what $page->selectextoption would currently return if using a single select field. In the case of a single one you would just return the corresponding db fields as properties of the field, like my example a couple of posts above. If it's a multi-select field, then it should return an array of results that you can foreach through or grab a specific index (first, eq, last).

Am I missing something?

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Adrian, thanks a lot for your interest and your comments.

$page->selectextoption = 1
$page->selectextoption->selectedLabel = Title (assuming the field I chose for the label was the title field)

I was a little bit confused about that. If selectextoption is a instance of WireData or any Helper Class how could this work?

Thanks for the hints with FieldtypeDimension and FieldtypePhone.
I find it a bit tricky to instantiate class objects with flexible properties. I will try. I am thinking about the following, depending on your recommendation.

// selectextoption is the name of our field

$page->selectextoption // returns WireData Object
$page->selectextoption->value // returns the stored integer value
$page->selectextoption->label // returns the label value

// to prevent a conflict between 'label' and a column in the datatable named 'label'
$page->selectextoption->data // returns array(columnname => rowvalue) of the datatable
// or better a class
$page->selectextoption->data->columnname // whereas columnname presents the name of any column in the datatable

What do you think?
I will put a dev branch on github for further development. But weekend first ...

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pushed Version 1.0.6 on github dev-branch.
Works now with the API Adrian recommended:

for single values
//selected value (int)
// selected label
// associative array with column => value of depending datatable row

muliple values can be called with WireArray API

To prevent conflicts with datatable column names like 'data' I decided to access the values via $page->myfield->row['data'] instead of $page->myfield->data. 'data' is an reserved property of  the WireData object.

Please check out and comment. Thanks

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This is getting cooler and cooler :)

A few more comments / suggestions.

In ASM Select mode, everything seems to be working fine, but I am getting this notice:

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in //site/modules/FieldtypeSelectExtOption/FieldtypeSelectExtOption.module on line 312

You should probable change your DB queries to use PDO and prepared statements. Here is a note from Ryan (https://processwire.com/talk/topic/3768-processwire-dev-branch/?p=36787) - at some point  procedural mysqli functions will no longer be supported - I am not sure when, but better to be ahead of things (I know there lots of modules out there that need updating).

The $page->myfield->row['land'] approach seems to work just fine. It's a shame it won't work as $page->myfield->land, but I as you mentioned, I guess the issue is $page->myfield->data, which would be a common requirement.

I haven't time to investigate right now to see if I can find a workaround, but I don't think it really matters - what you have is easy to use and an awesome way to access data from all sorts of DB tables - brilliant!

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I made some changes. Seems to work stable now. I didn't change DB queries to use PDO until now, but it is on the top of the list.

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Unfortunately this latest version results in nothing being saved for the field value, no matter whether I use single, multiple, or ASM :(

Some more new thoughts:

  • I think you need that note back that mentions that you need to save the page to populate the options dropdowns.
  • I'd love to see checkboxes and radio buttons added as Inputfieldtype options.

Thanks again for working on this!

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Adrian, thanks for your remarks and help to push this forward.

  • It doesn't work in the latest devs. It works until 2.5.16. not later! No problem with master 2.5.3. There are changes in InputfieldSelect.module where I hook in.
    The new setAttribute() method converts object values to string. I try to get a solution. Maybe Ryan should check this too.
    Edit 20-03-15: added PW Version Switcher to enable hook for older versions on dev branch.
  • I thought about adding a Javascript which will save the page after the datatable is selected. Maybe a note is enough for now.
  • I put this on the list. List is getting longer.... Hey you gave me a lot of homework. :P
Edited by kixe
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Hey - I just went to see if I could help you figure out a solution and I see your dev branch already has one and it is working great for me now on latest dev version.

Awesome job!

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