So I have a custom module that imports entities from various sources (CSV, XML, API).

At the moment, it's working perfectly fine, however I would like to improve user experience with the module by making it use the Magento DataFlow Import view:

enter image description here

I know some 3rd party modules are using it so I'm wondering how can I do to use it ?

I didn't posted any code as I simply expect a good explanation on how this view works and how the data are being dealt between this view and the controller handling the data import (I assume that's how it works).

  • Hi Raphael...can you give me any idea to start working on to work on this? Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 5:49
  • @PriyaPonnusamy Hi, unfortunately I haven't got any answers on how to do it yet. Still not sure which way to go Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 7:02
  • @PriyaPonnusamy I managed to get it working, see my answer Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 14:29
  • @Raphel thanks a lot for your answer..il use your code and let you know Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 10:36

1 Answer 1


Here's how I ended up doing it.

Let's assume my dataflow pge is accessed via vendor/module/dataflow

My controller has got the following:

public function dataflowAction()

Then in my adminhtml layout file I have:

    <remove name="root"/>
    <block type="adminhtml/page" name="convert_root" output="toHtml" template="page.phtml">
        <block type="adminhtml/page_head" name="convert_root_head" as="head" template="page/head.phtml">
            <action method="addJs"><script>prototype/prototype.js</script></action>
            <action method="addJs"><script>prototype/validation.js</script></action>
            <action method="addJs"><script>varien/js.js</script></action>
            <action method="addJs"><script>mage/translate.js</script></action>
            <action method="addJs"><script>mage/adminhtml/tools.js</script></action>
        <block type="adminhtml/template" name="dataflow" template="vendor/module/dataflow.phtml" output="toHtml"/>

In my vendor/module/dataflow.phtml I implemented the following:

<style type="text/css" >
    ul { list-style-type:none; padding:0; margin:0; }
    li { margin-left:0; border:1px solid #ccc; margin:2px; padding:2px 2px 2px 2px; font:normal 12px sans-serif; }
    img { margin-right:5px; }

<ul id="processRows"></ul>

<script type="text/javascript">
    tplRowSuccess = new Template('<li style="background-color:#DDF;"><img src="<?php echo $this->getSkinUrl('images/fam_bullet_success.gif');?>" class="v-middle" /> #{text}</li>');
    tplRowWait = '<li class="wait"><img src="<?php echo $this->getSkinUrl('images/rule-ajax-loader.gif');?>" class="v-middle" /></li>';
    tplRowDone = '<li class="wait"><img src="<?php echo $this->getSkinUrl('images/note_msg_icon.gif');?>" class="v-middle" /> <?php echo $this->__('Done, redirecting in 5 seconds') ?></li>';

    function runProcess(data) {
        $$('.wait').each(function(el) {

        Element.insert($("processRows"), tplRowSuccess.evaluate(data));

        if (data.redirect) {
            Element.insert($("processRows"), tplRowDone);
                window.location = data.url;
            return true;

        Element.insert($("processRows"), tplRowWait);

        var url = "";
        if (data.url.indexOf("form_key") != -1) {
            url = data.url;
        } else {
            url = data.url + "&form_key=" + window.FORM_KEY;

        new Ajax.Request(url, {
                method: "get",
                onSuccess: function(transport) {
                    if (transport.responseText.isJSON()) {
    runProcess({'text':'<?php echo $this->__('Starting catalog refresh...') ?>', 'url':'<?php echo $this->getUrl('*/*/refresh/', array('id' =>  $this->getRequest()->getParam('id'))) ?>?isAjax=true'});

Finally, in order to be able to get the results I implemented the following in my controller:

public function refreshAction()
    try {
         // The code here should process 100 entities and return an array with the number of entities processed at the 'current' key as well as the total number of entities at the 'total' key
                // Response array
                $response = array();

                if (array_key_exists('total', $result)
                    && $result['total']
                    && array_key_exists('current', $result)
                    && $result['current']
                ) {
                    // Processing the results
                    $response['text'] = $this->__('Total %1$s, processed %2$s records (%3$s%%)...', $result['total'], $result['current'], round($result['current']*100/$result['total'], 2));

                    if ($result['current'] < $result['total']) {
                        // We keep refreshing while we didn't reach the total
                        $response['url'] = $this->getUrl('*/*/refresh/', $result) . "?isAjax=true";
                    } else {
                        // We redirect when it's done
                        $response['url'] = $this->getUrl('*/*/edit/', array('id' => $id));
                        $response['redirect'] = true;
                    return $this;
    catch(Exception $e)
    $response['url'] = $this->getUrl('*/*/edit/', array('id' => $this->getRequest()->getParam('id')));
    $response['redirect'] = true;
    return $this;

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