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how to download pdf file ?

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10 Posts   6117 Views


Community Member, 102 Posts

19 July 2011 at 5:54am

Edited: 19/07/2011 7:13am

> I really don't thinkit's necessary to start throwing HTTP headers for a PDF download

The problem is if the PDF files are big and/or the server is slow, the browser gives no progress indication, so after 5 seconds, people give up and click Back. If it's a download, then they get a pop-up as soon as they click, then they get progress indication. Far more users see the download through to completion.

> send_file() is a function on HTTPRequest not HTTPResponse.

True, SS_HTTPRequest::send_file works for me.

OK, here's a working example, using SilverStripe 2.4.5

I have multiple DataObject classes that have a file field called Document (among other fields of course)...

class NewsObject extends DataObject {

   public static $has_one = array(
       'Document' => 'File'

   public function getCMSFields_forPopup() {
         new FileIFrameField('Document', 'File', null, null, null, self::$defaultFileFolder)

In the Page_Controller, I add a download action for each of the DataObject classes...

class Page_Controller extends ContentController {

   public static $allowed_actions = array (
      'downloadevent', 'downloadnews'


   private function download($classname) {

      $id = intval( Director::URLParam('ID') );
      $object = $id ? DataObject::get_one($classname, 'ID=' . $id ) : null;
      $document = $object ? $object->Document() : null;

      if ( $document )
         return SS_HTTPRequest::send_file(file_get_contents($document->getFullPath()), $document->getFilename() );
         return $this->httpError(404);
   public function downloadevent() {
      return $this->download('EventObject');
   public function downloadnews() {
      return $this->download('NewsObject');
   function BaseUrl() {
      return Director::baseURL() . $this->URLSegment;
} all page types inherit the download functionality, and the download actions can be used in any .ss file...

   <% control NewsObjects %>
      <a href="$Top.BaseUrl/downloadnews/$ID">
   <% end_control %>

   <% control EventObjects %>
      <a href="$Top.BaseUrl/downloadevent/$ID">
   <% end_control %>


Community Member, 532 Posts

23 July 2011 at 8:02am

FYI soon this will all become redundant. A download property is being added the a element in html5


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