What is difference between DropDownList and ActiveDropDownList

Started working on Yii recently. Would someone please explain what are the differences between DropDownList and ActiveDropDownList? Could not understand from the documentation. Is it possible to use these in combination to dynamically update the list available in a dropdown list when an option is selected in another dropdown list? Perhaps you may also throw some light on the application of checkbox and activecheckbox.


The “Active” refers to active record or form model and you use the “Active” form elements when you want to reference an underlying model class’ attribute for the data to be captured/displayed by the element. The signatures for each are




Both will create a basic HTML dropdown element type, but the latter will "bind" a specific model attribute to the value that is chosen in the dropdown and captured when a form using such a dropdown is submitted. The "Actve" form elements are very useful when building UI forms for CRUD operations using model classes.