Introduction -- What can I do with Structures_DataGrid?


Structures_DataGrid is a package with the purpose of rendering a data set into a tabular structure in a specific output format. Possible output formats are (X)HTML, XML, XUL, Excel .xls spreadsheets, CSV, or console tables.

The input data format is independent of the underlying data storage layer: It does not matter if the data has been selected from a database, has been harvested from plain text files or converted from a web service call. The data can be sorted and paged, and each cell of the table can have a custom look by using CSS for the HTML output.

Example data: Some examples in the following sections use data from the world database, available on the MySQL homepage. (Setup Instructions for MySQL; should work similar for other database systems.)

Where to start

So to begin, you will want to find a datasource, commonly you might use a Database like MySQL or an XML document. You can then easily bind this datasource to the datagrid, to do so you have 3 options. The first, is to fetch your data into a 2 dimension array and pass it into the bind method. The second way is to bind a record set that is not already an array, such as a DB_DataObject or a DB_Result object. To do so, you can use the bindDataSource method by creating a DataSource object. The third way is to loop through your record set and add each record individually, this practice is the least efficient.

Note: If you bind the datagrid to a datasource that is an object such as a DB_DataObject, you do not need to fetch the data as the DataGrid will handle that for you.

Render the output

Once your datagrid has been populated with your records, you have many options on how to manipulate what is to be shown. You can sort the data, choose to show only a certain amount of data per page and also choose what format the data should be rendered into. You can render the datagrid in many formats including HTML.

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