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Unique filenames when uploading using Zend_Filter_File_Rename (Zend Framework)

07 July 2012

I came across a scenario today where I needed to ensure that files uploaded always had a unique name and wouldn’t over-write a file which has the same name. ZF provides this facility but it’s not particularly well documented and I had some troubles using a couple of examples I found across the web. Alas, here is the solution.

Create a new form element

Whether you do this in a new instance of Zend_Form or one you instantiate in your controller is up to you. My example adds it to an instance of Zend_Form:

$element = new Zend_Form_Element_File('screenshot');
$element->setLabel(null)->setDestination(APPLICATION_PATH . '/path/to/uploads');
$element->addValidator('Count', false, 5);
$element->addValidator('Extension', false, 'jpg,png,gif');
$this->addElement($element, 'foo');

Handle the upload before the file is saved in your controller:

By getting access to Zend_File_Transfer_Adapter_Http we can intercept the file before it is moved to the already-defined destination path. At this point we apply a filter to the upload which will rename the file.

$post = $request->getPost(); // This contains the POST params
        if ($request->isPost()) {
            if ($form->isValid($post)) {
                $upload = new Zend_File_Transfer_Adapter_Http();
                $filename = $upload->getFilename();
                $filename = basename($filename);
                $uniqueToken = md5(uniqid(mt_rand(), true));
                $filterRename = new Zend_Filter_File_Rename(array('target' => '/path/to/uploads/' . $uniqueToken.$filename, 'overwrite' => false));
                if (!$upload->receive()) {
                    $this->view->message = 'Error receiving the file';
                $this->view->message = 'Screenshot(s) successfully uploaded';

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