How to Manage EAV Attributes Including interface/source/backend Structure in Magento 2

Nov 12, 2018511Igor Rain
How to Manage EAV Attributes Including interface/source/backend Structure in Magento 2

Backend Model performs the loading, saving, deleting, validation of the attribute value. Source Model provides a list of attribute values, which is used for the dropdown/multiselect attributes. Frontend Model performs attribute mapping on the frontend.

Here is a list of questions that we will consider in this article:

How to add dropdown/multiselect attributes

You can create attributes through the setup script (Vendor\Module\Setup\InstallData or Vendor\Module\Setup\UpgradeData) or in the admin panel (for products only). In order to create the dropdown/multiselect attributes, you must specify the frontend_input attribute as “select” or “multiselect” for a single or multiple choice respectively. Additionally, you must specify the source model, which will point to a list of possible values. If the source model is Magento\Eav\Model\Entity\Attribute\Source\Table, then in the ‘’option’’ property when creating an attribute through the setup script, you can specify the possible values of this attribute.

Here is an example:

How to Manage EAV Attributes Including interface/source/backend Structure in Magento 2

Other possibilities for adding an attribute (to a product, for example)

The EAV attribute contains several properties that we can specify.

The Magento\Eav\Model\Entity\Setup\PropertyMapper class contains the conversion of property names in the setup script to the names of the EAV attribute properties in the database.

Setup script property

Database property

Default property

attribute_model attribute_model null
backend backend_model null
type backend_type varchar
table backend_table null
frontend frontend_model null
input frontend_input text
label frontend_label null
frontend_class frontend_class null
source source_model null
required is_required 1
user_defined is_user_defined 0
default default_value null
unique is_unique 0
note note null
global is_global \Magento\Eav\Model\Entity\Attribute\ScopedAttributeInterface::SCOPE_GLOBAL

You can also specify:

  • sort_order — attribute position, recorded in eav_entity_attribute;
  • group — adds an attribute to a specific group;
  • option — a list of values for the dropdown/multiselect attributes.

Additionally, Magento/Catalog contains the following properties (according to \Magento\Catalog\Model\ResourceModel\Setup\PropertyMapper):

Setup script property

Database property Default property
input_renderer frontend_input_renderer null
global is_global \Magento\Eav\Model\Entity\Attribute\ScopedAttributeInterface::SCOPE_GLOBAL
visible is_visible 1
searchable is_searchable 0
filterable is_filterable 0
comparable is_comparable 0
visible_on_front is_visible_on_front 0
wysiwyg_enabled is_wysiwyg_enabled 0
is_html_allowed_on_front is_html_allowed_on_front 0
visible_in_advanced_search is_visible_in_advanced_search 0
filterable_in_search is_filterable_in_search 0
used_in_product_listing used_in_product_listing 0
used_for_sort_by used_for_sort_by 0
apply_to apply_to null
position position null
used_for_promo_rules is_used_for_promo_rules 0
is_used_in_grid is_used_in_grid 0
is_visible_in_grid is_visible_in_grid 0
is_filterable_in_grid is_filterable_in_grid


How to implement the interface for attribute frontend models and the purpose of this interface. How to render attribute value on the frontend

To create a Frontend model, you need to create a class that is inherited from Magento\Eav\Model\Entity\Attribute\Frontend\AbstractFrontend and to override the getValue method.

Then you need to specify the frontend_model of the attribute as the name of the created class.

The purpose of the interface is to reduce the dependence of the code (dependency inversion principle).

Identify the purpose and describe how to implement the interface for attribute source models

The model is used to provide a list of attribute values for the dropdown/multiselect attributes. Here is an example of the source model implementation:

How to specify and manipulate the list of options for a given dropdown/multiselect attribute

If the source model is the Magento\Eav\Model\Entity\Attribute\Source\Table class or it is inherited from it, then the values are stored in the eav_attribute_option_value table. You can add them when creating an attribute in the option property, or call the Magento\Eav\Setup\EavSetup->addAttributeOption($option) method.

If the source model is not inherited from Magento\Eav\Model\Entity\Attribute\Source\Table, then in order to change the list of values you can:

  • create a plugin on the getAllOptions method in the source model;
  • create a new source model that is inherited from the modified class, change the behavior of the getAllOptions method and specify a new source model in the attributes.

How to implement the interface for attribute backend models. How to create a backend model for an attribute

The purpose of creating a backend model is to change the loading/saving/deleting/validating the attribute value.

Here is an example of validating an attribute value:

How to create and customize attributes. How to add a new attribute to the product, category, or customer entities. The difference between adding a new attribute and modifying an existing one

Vendor\Module\Setup\InstallData and Vendor\Module\Setup\UpgradeData setup scripts are used for creating/modifying an attribute.

Attributes for products can also be created through the admin panel.

To add an attribute, use the Magento\Eav\Setup\EavSetup->addAttribute($entityTypeId, $code, $attr) method, to change and attribute, use the Magento\Eav\Setup\EavSetup->updateAttribute($entityTypeId, $id, $field, $value = null, $sortOrder = null) method. However, if the addAttribute method is called and the attribute already exists, the updateAttribute method will be called automatically. Thus, there is no particular difference between adding a new attribute and changing an existing one, if you use the addAttribute method.

That is what managing attributes in Magento 2 looks like, thank you for reading. You can learn more about EAV model on our blog in the EAV in Magento 2 article.

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