Home » Commands » Export to CSV in the Form Reports of Sitecore’s Web Forms for Marketers

Export to CSV in the Form Reports of Sitecore’s Web Forms for Marketers

Sitecore Technology MVP 2016
Sitecore MVP 2015
Sitecore MVP 2014

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The other day I was poking around Sitecore.Forms.Core.dll — this is one of the assemblies that comes with Web Forms for Marketers (what, you don’t randomly look at code in the Sitecore assemblies? 😉 ) — and decided to check out how the export functionality of the Form Reports work.

Once I felt I understood how the export code functions, I decided to take a stab at building my own custom export: functionality to export to CSV, and built the following class to serve as a pipeline processor to wedge Form Reports data into CSV format:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;

using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Form.Core.Configuration;
using Sitecore.Form.Core.Pipelines.Export;
using Sitecore.Forms.Data;
using Sitecore.Jobs;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Form.Core.Pipelines.Export.Csv
    public class ExportToCsv
        public void Process(ExportArgs args)
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(args, "args");
            args.Result = GenerateCsv(args.Packet.Entries);

        protected virtual void LogInfo()
            Job job = Context.Job;
            if (job != null)

        private string GenerateCsv(IEnumerable<IForm> forms)
            return string.Join(Environment.NewLine, GenerateAllCsvRows(forms));

        protected virtual IEnumerable<string> GenerateAllCsvRows(IEnumerable<IForm> forms)
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(forms, "forms");
            IList<string> rows = new List<string>();
            foreach (IForm form in forms)
                string row = GenerateCsvRow(form);
                if (!string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(row))

            return rows;

        protected virtual string GenerateCsvHeader(IForm form)
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(form, "form");
            return string.Join(",", form.Field.Select(field => field.FieldName));

        protected virtual string GenerateCsvRow(IForm form)
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(form, "form");
            return string.Join(",", form.Field.Select(field => field.Value));

There really isn’t anything magical happening in the code above. The code creates a string of comma-separated values for each row of entries in args.Packet.Entries, and puts these plus a CSV header into a collection of strings.

Once all rows have been placed into a collection of strings, they are munged together on the newline character ultimately creating a multi-row CSV string. This CSV string is then set on the Result property of the ExportArgs instance.

Now we need a way to invoke a pipeline that contains the above class as a processor, and the following command does just that:

using System.Collections.Specialized;

using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Forms.Core.Commands.Export;
using Sitecore.Form.Core.Configuration;
using Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Forms.Core.Commands.Export
    public class Export : ExportToXml
        protected override void AddParameters(NameValueCollection parameters)
            parameters["filename"] = FileName;
            parameters["contentType"] = MimeType;

        public override void Execute(CommandContext context)

        private void SetProperties(CommandContext context)
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(context, "context");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(context.Parameters, "context.Parameters");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(context.Parameters["fileName"], "context.Parameters[\"fileName\"]");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(context.Parameters["mimeType"], "context.Parameters[\"mimeType\"]");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(context.Parameters["exportPipeline"], "context.Parameters[\"exportPipeline\"]");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(context.Parameters["progressDialogTitle"], "context.Parameters[\"progressDialogTitle\"]");
            FileName = context.Parameters["fileName"];
            MimeType = context.Parameters["mimeType"];
            ExportPipeline = context.Parameters["exportPipeline"];
            ProgressDialogTitle = context.Parameters["progressDialogTitle"];

        protected override string GetName()
            return ProgressDialogTitle;

        protected override string GetProcessorName()
            return ExportPipeline;

        private string FileName { get; set; }

        private string MimeType { get; set; }

        private string ExportPipeline { get; set; }

        private string ProgressDialogTitle { get; set; }

I modeled the above command after Sitecore.Forms.Core.Commands.Export.ExportToExcel in Sitecore.Forms.Core.dll: this command inherits some useful logic of Sitecore.Forms.Core.Commands.Export.ExportToXml but differs along the pipeline being invoked, the name of the export file, and content type of the file being created.

I decided to make the above command be generic: the name of the file, pipeline, progress dialog title — this is a heading that is displayed in a modal dialog that is launched when the data is being exported from the Form Reports — and content type of the file are passed to it from Sitecore via Sheer UI buttons (see below).

I then registered all of the above in Sitecore via the following patch configuration file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
      <command name="forms:export" type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Forms.Core.Commands.Export.Export, Sitecore.Sandbox" />
        <processor type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Form.Core.Pipelines.Export.Csv.ExportToCsv, Sitecore.Sandbox" />
        <processor type="Sitecore.Form.Core.Pipelines.Export.SaveContent, Sitecore.Forms.Core" />

Now we must wire the command to Sheer UI buttons. This is how I wired up the export ‘All’ button (this button is available in a dropdown of the main export button in the Form Reports):


I then created another export button which is used when exporting selected rows in the Form Reports:


Let’s see this in action!

I opened up the Form Reports for a test form I had built for a previous blog post, and selected some rows (notice the ‘To CSV’ button in the ribbon):


I clicked the ‘To CSV’ button — doing this launched a progress dialog (I wasn’t fast enough to grab a screenshot of it) — and was prompted to download the following file:


As you can see, the file looks beautiful in Excel 😉 :


If you have any thoughts on this, or ideas for other export data formats that could be incorporated into the Form Reports of Web Forms for Marketers, please share in a comment.

Until next time, have a Sitecoretastic day!



  1. Yogesh says:

    Hello My requirement is I want to export data on front end. I have created a button on sub-layout and now i want to export on click of this button. Is it possible?

    • Yes, this is possible.

      You will have to get the form records using a Sitecore.Forms.Data.DataProviders.WFMDataProvider instance.

      • Yogesh says:

        Can you please share some code if you have, so I can get idea how I can implement this.

  2. Contrecoup says:

    Thanks Mike! This article was a very helpful reference point for my own customization of the WFFM export.

  3. Sean says:

    How would you deal with commas in the input fields? For instance, I have a ‘comments’ field, and when a user enters a comma in that field and submits the form it will cause the CSV export to skip a column. I’ve searched around and haven’t found a way to replace characters in wffm fields.


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