Creating an Extbase extension

Your first extension - step by step

First of all, you'll need to put aside your knowledge of piBase programming (which was the old method of writing TYPO3 extensions) to understand that programming in Extbase doesn't begin with code, but in discussions with the client. As a programmer, you need to be clear on the client's requirements. The more clarity you achieve at the concept stage, the better you can plan - and planning is the alpha and omega of programming for Extbase.

In the following process, you'll create a product overview. On the first page, a list of products, containing links to individual detail view pages. Because the number of products can vary a great deal, we'll make a page navigation to allow the website visitor to browse through the product catalogue.

Tip

To ensure that the extension can easily be translated from an English base, and in order to avoid issues with special characters, we'll create all of the database column names in English.

Install the Extension Builder

In order to create a new extension for Extbase, install the Extension Builder (extension_builder) extension using the Extension Manager. Once this extension has been activated, a new menu entry Extension Builder will appear in the backend menu. Click on the new menu entry and you'll be presented with the start page of the Extension Builder, which explains the first few basic points. At the top of this page, you can switch between the Introduction and the Domain Modelling pages, using the pull-down menu.

Information about your extension

Having switched to the Domain Modelling screen, you'll see a form on the left of the screen, which you can fill out with the information about the extension you want to create. To the right is a large, checkered area, which we'll explain in a moment.

For the extension we're working on here, add the following information to the form.

  • Name: Product Overview
  • Key: productoverview
  • Description: This extension shows a paginated product overview including a simple single view
  • Persons: [Add your own personal information.]
  • Frontend plugin:
    • Name: Products
    • Key: products

You'll find the plugin name later in the select box, when you're adding it as page content. The plugin key will be combined with the extension key by Extbase, in order to create a unique identifier: productoverview_products.

Create the domain model

You can collapse the extension configuration form using the small arrow (top right of the form) if you like. This will reduce the visible area to the checkered section of the page. Drag the small box New Model Object and drop it anywhere on the checkered background: this will create a new domain model for you to complete. (This is the basis of the data you'll be creating, which will contain information about the products you'll create later.)

Click on the text “click to edit” and give the domain model its name: Product. Open the Domain object settings section and activate the checkbox Is aggregate root?. The optional description can be completed too.

Close Domain object settings and open Default actions, then choose list and show. These are the different views you'll need for outputting the product information in the frontend of the website.

Add 2 new properties of type String: title and price.

So that the products can be categorised, you'll need to create a new relationship, which will connect the product with its categories. Beneath the option Relations, add a new entry with the name “categories”. Because the relationship may enable multiple categories for each products, choose the option “1:n”.

Create a new domain model by dragging and dropping New Model Object again, and call it “Category”. Optionally add a description, but don't activate the option Is aggregate root? this time. We won't need any “actions” for this domain object.

Add a new property of type String to the new domain model, named “category”.

You can now drag a line from the category property of the model Product to the model Category

Domainmodelling

Activate the extension

Go to the Extension Manager and activate the extension productoverview. Activating the extension will add the necessary fields to the database. (If you later deactivate the extension, the database fields and any data you've added won't be deleted auomatically.)

Add the plugin to a page

Add a new content element of type “General plugin” to a TYPO3 page, and select the option Product from the pulldown. If all is well, you'll see an empty table with the table headers title and price in the frontend.

Add a data record

In the TYPO3 backend, create a new page of type folder. You can create new Product records in this folder: most easily by switching to the backend List view.

So that the products appear in the frontend, you'll need to tell the plugin where your records are stored. Edit the plugin (content element) and switch to the Plugin tab - you can select the new page (of type folder) you've created in the record storage page field.

Your product entries will now appear in the frontend.

Have fun with your first Extbase extension!