CakePHP3 Plugin for DataTables plug-in for jQuery
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This plugin implements the jQuery dataTables plugin ( in your CakePHP 3 application. In addition there was added a multiple column search with request delay to minimize the ajax requests.



The core templates are written in Twitter Bootstrap syntax and included FontAwesome icons but can be changed easily.


Step 1: Installation

Use composer to install this plugin. Add the following repository and requirement to your composer.json:

"require": {
    "fheider/cakephp-datatables": "dev-master"

Step 2: Include CakePHP Plugin and load Component and Helper

Load plugin in app/bootstrap.php:

Plugin::load('DataTables', ['bootstrap' => false, 'routes' => false]);

Include component and helper:

class AppController extends Controller
    public $helpers = [
        'DataTables' => [
            'className' => 'DataTables.DataTables'
    public function initialize()

Step 3: Include assets

Include jQuery and jQuery DataTables scripts first and then the dataTables logic:

echo $this->Html->script('*PATH*/jquery.min.js');
echo $this->Html->script('*PATH*/jquery.dataTables.min.js');
echo $this->Html->script('*PATH*/dataTables.bootstrap.min.js'); (Optional)
echo $this->Html->script('DataTables.cakephp.dataTables.js');

Include dataTables css:

echo $this->Html->css('PATH/dataTables.bootstrap.css');

Step 4: Add business logic in your controller

Use it simply like find:

$data = $this->DataTables->find('*TABLE*', [
    'contain' => []

    'data' => $data,
    '_serialize' => array_merge($this->viewVars['_serialize'], ['data'])

The array_merge is required because the component add multiple vars to view like recordsTotal, recordsFiltered, ... So your serialized data were added to this vars.

Step 5: Template / View

First display your table normal, so no additional request were sended by dataTables. The table foot is used for the multiple search fields. This could be input- or select-elements.

<table class="table table-striped table-bordered table-hover dataTable">
    <tr class="table-search info">
        <td><input type="text" placeholder="Search ..." class="form-control input-sm input-block-level" /></td>
        <td><select><option value="">---</option>...</select></td>
    <?php foreach($data as $item): ?>
        <td><?= $item->id ?></td>
        <td><?= $item->name ?></td>
    <?php endforeach; ?>

Then add the dataTables logic. The options are exaxt the options you get in the dataTables reference (

    'ajax' => [
        'url' => Router::url(['action' => 'index']),
    'deferLoading' => $recordsTotal,
    'delay' => 600,
    'columns' => [
            'name' => '*MODEL*.id',
            'data' => 'id'
            'orderable' => false
            'name' => '*MODEL*.name',
            'data' => 'name'

In draw method you set the selector of your table. Delay is an additional option for setting the delay for processing your search input. If delay is 0 on every key press a request will be sent.

Notes to columns settings

Every column contains 2 important informations:

name = name of your table and field like ''
data = name of the field in json response

The option name is needed for sorting and filtering. The option data is needed for processing the json response.
You also can easily add related data (e.g. a customer belongs to a customer group)

name =
data =

Please keep in mind!
It is important that the amount of your columns array is the same like your columns in your HTML-Table!