When I needed to develop a website that featured complex dependencies, I discovered that I did not have the tools for the task. Although I had access to plenty of great plugins, they could not provide what I was looking for. As a result, I had to program the missing parts myself, including a form that had several features from different data structures connected to one another.
The idea was to develop a simple data manager that can generate information structures that allow for simple data processing and data dependencies. Here’s the process I used.
1. The first step was to define the structure that will hold the data that the user wants to manage. Each data structure will be stored on different tables behind the scenes. At this stage, you could define the permissions and default for each event, such as adding, saving and filtering data.
2. The next step is to define the necessary features for the data. Each feature needs to have a backend data type and a front end input type. These will allow the user to define each feature’s functionality, value sources, connection to other features and more.
3. The third step is create displays that will allow you to operate the data. This is the part where you define display functionality, including Add, Filter, Update – Group Display or declare a connection between different displays that interact with one another. Moreover, you also have the option of adding a new display or a popup display on the admin menu.
4. Finally, you can add a default query on your group displays. You can also filter these by user data, block data or a query parameter through a link.
Now that we’ve discussed the process, let’s go through the features by looking at a simple example: A Simple Business Directory.
Stage One – Create A Data Source
We will use default settings, open permissions.
We will use the default settings, and set open permissions.
We will then create a few simple features, including Business Name, Business Description and Business Link.
We will then add 4 displays: Adding, Filter, Group Display and Display Connections. Here’s what they do.
The Adding Display
The Adding Display allows for new business items to be added. Using a simple HTML editor, you can either add each input control or its label in wanted order by identifying the feature name and pressing the select short code underneath it.
Also, you can choose where the Adding button will be located, or use “Show” as a regular display to arrange the display inline.
The Filter Group Display allows you to filter businesses by name.
The Group Display allows you to display all the businesses. It also allows you to decide if the display will be arranged inline or if there’s going to be a list with links that open each business.
Connecting display will connect these displays together.
Now that we’ve discussed the different displays, the only thing left to do is to is to test the directory. This will require us to add the directory to the page or post that we want to work with.
In this particular case, we use the Elegant Violet design to generate the various displays. However, feel free to edit the HTML however you like. you can also choose your own CSS in style.
There are plenty of other options that you can experiment with. We will continue to invest our time developing this project.