Data exports


As of 10.8.7, Preside comes with a data export API with a simple UI built in to admin data tables. This export UI has been implented for all data manager grids, website users and redirect rules grids. The feature is turned off by default but we expect to enable it by default in a future version.

The platform also offers a concept of custom data exporters. A data exporter consists of a single handler action and an i18n .properties file to describe it.

Enabling the feature

Enable the feature in your application's Config.cfc with:

settings.features.dataexport.enabled = true;

Note: read operation must be allowed for the object

Define default exporter

Add settings.dataExport.defaultExporter in your application's Config.cfc. Example:

settings.dataExport.defaultExporter = "Excel";

Configure save export permission key

As of Preside 10.16.0, the save export permission key can be configure by dataManagerSaveExportPermissionKey annotation (Default value is set to read)

 * @dataManagerSaveExportPermissionKey    saveExport
component {
	// ...

Customizing default export fields per object

Add the @dataExportFields annotation to your preside objects to supply an ordered list of fields that will be used as the default list of fields for exports:

 * @dataExportFields id,title,comment_count,datecreated,datemodifed
component {
	// ...

Adding the export feature to your custom admin grids

If you are making use of the core object based data grids (i.e. renderView( view="/admin/datamanager/_objectDataTable",...), you can add the allowDataExport flag to the passed args to allow default export behaviour:

#renderView( view="/admin/datamanager/_objectDataTable", args={
	  objectName      = "event_delegate"
	, useMultiActions = false
	, datasourceUrl   = event.buildAdminLink( linkTo="ajaxProxy", queryString="action=delegates.getDelegatesForAjaxDataTables", queryString="eventId=" & eventId )
	, gridFields      = [ "active", "login_id", "display_name", "email_address", "last_request_made" ]
	, allowDataExport = true
	, dataExportUrl   = event.buildAdminLink( linkTo="delegates.exportAction", queryString="eventId=" & eventId )
} )#

Notice also the dataExportUrl argument. Use this to set custom permissions checks and additional filters before proxying to the core admin.datamanager._exportDataAction method:

// in /handlers/admin/Delegates.cfc ...

function exportAction( event, rc, prc ) {
	var eventId = rc.eventId ?: "";

	_checkPermissions( event=event, key="export" );

		  event          = "admin.DataManager._exportDataAction"
		, prePostExempt  = true
		, private        = true
		, eventArguments = {
			  objectName   = "event_delegate"
			, extraFilters = [ { filter={ event=eventId } } ]

Using the export APIs directly

The DataExportService provides an API to generate a data export file. See the exportData() method for details. In addition to the documented arguments, the method will also accept any arguments that are acceptable by the PresideObjectService.selectData() method. For example:

var exporterDetail = dataExportService.getExporterDetails( "excel" );
var filename       = "Myexport." & exporterDetail.fileExtension;
var filePath       = dataExportService.exportData(
	  exporter     = "excel" // or "csv", or your customer exporter
	, objectName   = "event_booking"
	, selectFields = selectFieldsArray
	, fieldTitles  = { eventName="Event name", ... }
	, filter       = { booked_event=eventId }
	, autogroupby  = true

header name="Content-Disposition" value="attachment; filename=""#filename#""";
content reset=true file=filePath deletefile=true type=exporterDetail.mimeType;

The idea here is that you export a preside data object selectData() call directly to a file, using any fields and filters that you desire.

Creating custom data exporters

The core system comes with a CSV exporter and an Excel exporter. The exporter logic is responsible for accepting data and some metadata about the export and for then producing a file.

Step 1: Create exporter handler

All exporter handlers must live under /handlers/dataExporters/ folder. The name of the handler is considered the ID of the exporter. The CSV exporter, for example, lives at /handlers/dataExporters/CSV.cfc.

The handler must declare mime type and file extension in its component attributes and implement an export method. For example:

 * @exportFileExtension csv
 * @exportMimeType      text/csv
component {

	property name="csvWriter" inject="csvWriter";

	private string function export(
		  required array  selectFields
		, required struct fieldTitles
		, required any    batchedRecordIterator
		,          struct meta
	) {
		// create a tmp file and instantiate TAB delimited CSV writer
		var tmpFile = getTempFile( getTempDirectory(), "CSVEXport" );
		var writer  = csvWriter.newWriter( tmpFile, Chr( 9 ) );
		var row     = [];
		var data    = "";

		try {
			// create title row
			for( var field in arguments.selectFields ) {
				row.append( arguments.fieldTitles[ field ] ?: "?" );
			writer.writeNext( row );

			// repeatedly call batchedRecordIterator until
			// no data left, adding rows to our CSV
			do {
				data = arguments.batchedRecordIterator();
				for( var record in data ) {
					row  = [];
					for( var field in arguments.selectFields ) {
						row.append( record[ field ] ?: "" );
					writer.writeNext( row );
			} while( data.recordCount );

		} catch ( any e ) {
		} finally {

		// return filepath of file containing our CSV
		return tmpFile;
Arguments to the EXPORT method


An anonymous function that can be called repeatedly to get the next batch of data (a CFML query object). The function accepts no arguments. Example usage:

var data = "";
do {
	data = batchedRecordIterator();
	// ... your exporter logic for data
} while( data.recordCount );


An array of fieldnames in the data. The order of this array should be respected for table based exports.


A struct of human readable field titles that correspond to the field names in the selectFields array. For example:

selectFields = [ "field1", "field2", "field3" ];
fieldTitles  = {
	  field1 = "Field 1"
	, field2 = "Field 2"
	, field3 = "Field 3"


A struct of arbitrary metadata to do with the export. This may be used to embed in a document for example. Keys may include title, author, datecreated and so on. Individual exporters may wish to use this metadata in their exported documents.

Step 2: Create exporter .properties file

A corresponding .properties file should live at /i18n/dataExporters/{exporterId}.properties. Three keys are required, title, description and iconClass. e.g.

title=CSV File
description=Download data in plain text CSV (Character Separated Values)

Configuring CSV Export delimiter

The default delimiter used for CSV export is a comma. You can change this in Config.cfc by setting settings.dataExports.csv.delimiter:

// /application/config/Config.cfc
settings.dataExports.csv.delimiter = Chr( 9 ); // tab

Configuring Export Fields Permission

As of Preside 10.16.0, the export fields' permission can be controlled by limitToAdminRoles property attribute. It accepts multiple roles by comma delimiter list.

// /preside-objects/my_object.cfc
component {

    // ...
    property name="my_object_field" ... limitToAdminRoles="sysadmin,contentadmin";
    // ...