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Add custom eav customer attribute in Magento

Recently i needed to create a custom field that would save a customer's industry on signup I wanted to achieve this with as little custom code as possible and this is how.

In my module i have created a setup script with the following:

$installer = $this;


try {  
    $setup = new Mage_Eav_Model_Entity_Setup('core_setup');

            'group'                => 'General',
            'type'                 => 'int',
            'label'                => 'Industry',
            'input'                => 'select',
            'source'               => 'mymodule_custom/config_source_items',
            'global'               => Mage_Catalog_Model_Resource_Eav_Attribute::SCOPE_STORE,
            'required'             => 1,
            'default'              => null,
            'visible_on_front'     => 1,
            'used_for_price_rules' => 0,
            'adminhtml_only'       => 0,

        ->getAttribute('customer', 'industry')
        ->setData('used_in_forms', array('adminhtml_customer', 'customer_account_create'))

catch (Exception $e) {  


There are some points to know with the setup script:

  • type: As we are using the customer eav attribute there are only limited types:

    • int
    • text
    • varchar
  • input: This is the frontend type e.g selectbox, radio etc.

  • source: I'm using my own source model to get the values to save. I created a source model: app/code/local/MyModule/Custom/Model/Config/Source/Items.php

Inside this Source model I'm returning a collection of items stored in the database

class MyModule_Custom_Model_Config_Source_Items extends Mage_Eav_Model_Entity_Attribute_Source_Abstract  

     * Get options in "key-value" format
     * @return array
    public function getAllOptions()
        return Mage::getModel('mymodule_custom/item')->getCollection()->toOptionArray();


Another thing to note in the setup script is the following:

  ->getAttribute('customer', 'industry')
  ->setData('used_in_forms', array('adminhtml_customer', 'customer_account_create'))

Settings the data for used_in_forms allows your custom customer attribute to be used on forms.

If you look at mage/core/customer/controllers/AccountController.php method _getCustomerForm() this method calls $customerForm->setFormCode('customer_account_create'); when rendering forms it checks all the eav customer attributes against customer_form_attribute to see if it can be rendered on that form.

And that's it, no custom code required! :)