Blog

On the DataTables blog you will find news, announcements and tutorials about DataTables and its suite of extensions. New posts are published monthly, with additional news items in between.

24th Jul 2017

Deep linking into DataTables

A question that comes up relatively frequently in the forums is "how do I deep link into a DataTable?" This is usually asked in the context of SEO where you want to ensure that all of the data in the table is indexable, but it can also be appropriate in applications where you want to show a table with a specific search term pre-set.

Typically the answer to such a question is to use the initialisation parameters to set whatever option is required from the search string, but it is such a common thing to want to do, it is sensible that we generalise it. To that end, here I present a short script that can be used to extract parameters from a search string and use them to populate a DataTable.

Let's see it in action first - follow the links below to observe the behaviour on the demonstration table:

NamePositionOfficeAgeStart dateSalary
NamePositionOfficeAgeStart dateSalary
Tiger NixonSystem ArchitectEdinburgh612011/04/25$320,800
Garrett WintersAccountantTokyo632011/07/25$170,750
Ashton CoxJunior Technical AuthorSan Francisco662009/01/12$86,000
Cedric KellySenior Javascript DeveloperEdinburgh222012/03/29$433,060
Airi SatouAccountantTokyo332008/11/28$162,700
Brielle WilliamsonIntegration SpecialistNew York612012/12/02$372,000
Herrod ChandlerSales AssistantSan Francisco592012/08/06$137,500
Rhona DavidsonIntegration SpecialistTokyo552010/10/14$327,900
Colleen HurstJavascript DeveloperSan Francisco392009/09/15$205,500
Sonya FrostSoftware EngineerEdinburgh232008/12/13$103,600
Jena GainesOffice ManagerLondon302008/12/19$90,560
Quinn FlynnSupport LeadEdinburgh222013/03/03$342,000
Charde MarshallRegional DirectorSan Francisco362008/10/16$470,600
Haley KennedySenior Marketing DesignerLondon432012/12/18$313,500
Tatyana FitzpatrickRegional DirectorLondon192010/03/17$385,750
Michael SilvaMarketing DesignerLondon662012/11/27$198,500
Paul ByrdChief Financial Officer (CFO)New York642010/06/09$725,000
Gloria LittleSystems AdministratorNew York592009/04/10$237,500
Bradley GreerSoftware EngineerLondon412012/10/13$132,000
Dai RiosPersonnel LeadEdinburgh352012/09/26$217,500
Jenette CaldwellDevelopment LeadNew York302011/09/03$345,000
Yuri BerryChief Marketing Officer (CMO)New York402009/06/25$675,000
Caesar VancePre-Sales SupportNew York212011/12/12$106,450
Doris WilderSales AssistantSidney232010/09/20$85,600
Angelica RamosChief Executive Officer (CEO)London472009/10/09$1,200,000
Gavin JoyceDeveloperEdinburgh422010/12/22$92,575
Jennifer ChangRegional DirectorSingapore282010/11/14$357,650
Brenden WagnerSoftware EngineerSan Francisco282011/06/07$206,850
Fiona GreenChief Operating Officer (COO)San Francisco482010/03/11$850,000
Shou ItouRegional MarketingTokyo202011/08/14$163,000
Michelle HouseIntegration SpecialistSidney372011/06/02$95,400
Suki BurksDeveloperLondon532009/10/22$114,500
Prescott BartlettTechnical AuthorLondon272011/05/07$145,000
Gavin CortezTeam LeaderSan Francisco222008/10/26$235,500
Martena MccrayPost-Sales supportEdinburgh462011/03/09$324,050
Unity ButlerMarketing DesignerSan Francisco472009/12/09$85,675
Howard HatfieldOffice ManagerSan Francisco512008/12/16$164,500
Hope FuentesSecretarySan Francisco412010/02/12$109,850
Vivian HarrellFinancial ControllerSan Francisco622009/02/14$452,500
Timothy MooneyOffice ManagerLondon372008/12/11$136,200
Jackson BradshawDirectorNew York652008/09/26$645,750
Olivia LiangSupport EngineerSingapore642011/02/03$234,500
Bruno NashSoftware EngineerLondon382011/05/03$163,500
Sakura YamamotoSupport EngineerTokyo372009/08/19$139,575
Thor WaltonDeveloperNew York612013/08/11$98,540
Finn CamachoSupport EngineerSan Francisco472009/07/07$87,500
Serge BaldwinData CoordinatorSingapore642012/04/09$138,575
Zenaida FrankSoftware EngineerNew York632010/01/04$125,250
Zorita SerranoSoftware EngineerSan Francisco562012/06/01$115,000
Jennifer AcostaJunior Javascript DeveloperEdinburgh432013/02/01$75,650
Cara StevensSales AssistantNew York462011/12/06$145,600
Hermione ButlerRegional DirectorLondon472011/03/21$356,250
Lael GreerSystems AdministratorLondon212009/02/27$103,500
Jonas AlexanderDeveloperSan Francisco302010/07/14$86,500
Shad DeckerRegional DirectorEdinburgh512008/11/13$183,000
Michael BruceJavascript DeveloperSingapore292011/06/27$183,000
Donna SniderCustomer SupportNew York272011/01/25$112,000

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30th Jun 2017

Always visible editing panel

When you are working with a software library, you want it to fit into your site and design - not have it force you to its way of thinking. This philosophy is deeply engrained into both DataTables and Editor, as shown by their ability to be styled by various popular CSS frameworks. Editor in particular is designed from the ground up to be flexible and fit into your applications.

The default mode of editing a form in Editor is with a modal window (also sometime referred to as a lightbox). This can be a useful interface paradigm for the end user as it provides separation between the data access and data writing - it quite literally looks like different layers. The downside is that because the form overlays the rest of the page you can loose the context of the data you are editing. This isn't always an issue, but in complex applications it can be useful for the user to refer to other data points when editing a row.

To that end, one common question for Editor is, if it has the ability to show its form in a dedicated area on the page, not in a modal, but rather alongside other content. Absolutely, this is possible! An example is shown below. In this post I'll describe how this example was put together.

Example

Name Salary
Name Salary

Select a row
to edit or delete

Or add a new row

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31st May 2017

Iterators in DataTables

By its fundamental nature DataTables operates with repeating data. As developers we naturally want to be able to access and work with that data, processing each item one at a time or manipulating them in some way. This we term iterating or looping over the items. DataTables has a number of built in iteration methods, but if you are new to the DataTables API, it isn't always necessarily obvious which method you should use.

In this post I want to take some time delve into the API and explain the iterators that are built into DataTables and when it is best to use each one. I'll also discuss if there are any penalties for using each iterator (hint - yes, there is usually a trade-off between ease of use and performance).

There are three main iterators in DataTables:

There are also a number of helper methods which can make accessing data from a repeating array like structure easier, such as reduce() and map(). These will be covered at the end, but in less depth.

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