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Diving into Databases with Droptables


Databases are not just a means to store data. In the right hands, databases are a treasure trove of information. They contain the numbers behind the content that you serve to your users. They afford a peek into the preferences of your audience. It makes sense to not only display this data, but to analyze and interpret it. Now, the updated Joomla! Droptables extension allows you to do more with the data at your fingertips.

Droptables is your go-to extension to display data in an intuitive manner on your Joomla! website. By organizing data in tables, it allows your audience to interpret the data with ease. And Droptables is a service tailored to you too, allowing you to understand and present your data better. With the latest update, Droptables lets you create tables from the data in your Joomla! website’s database, and display them in easy-to-understand charts.


Creating tables from your Joomla! database

Droptables’ newest addition is not just useful to webmasters, but also a smart addition. Database tables are ones created from the data in your Joomla! database, except that they are styled and filtered automatically. Moreover, you do not have to worry about updating the data yourself. In fact, as the content changes in your database, our database tables update on their own.



Database tables are separated from normal tables in the backend to eliminate confusion. The separation, however, is only skin-deep. For example, to create a new table from your Joomla! press the create new button from Droptables' main interface and then choose Database table, not Table.



The database table creation process will be especially intuitive if you have experience with relational databases. The process is linear, top-down, and follows SQL's SELECT–FROM–WHERE. First, therefore, you need to select the tables and, just below, the columns you want to display from the tables you chose.

If you only want to display columns from one table, then the process is over. If you have several tables, however, use the field that appears just below the list of columns to JOIN the tables. And if you want to apply filtering, group or sort the data, or use pagination you can scroll further.



The remaining options represent SQL's optional—but equally-convenient—features. You can use the first field to set display conditions, or filters, and the one next to it to group rows by a certain column's values. Below, you can also sort data using a column of your choice.

On the right are Droptables' more creative options. You can activate pagination if you are displaying a lot of data, in which case you would not want your Joomla! users overwhelmed. And below, you can limit the number of rows to display, best used in conjunction with filtering or sorting to show only the most important data.


Charts from database tables

Once you have finished personalizing the data, preview the table to ensure that the data appears as intended. If you are satisfied, create the table and get ready to share your data! Database tables function exactly like any other table created by Droptables. The only difference is that they import existing data from your databases, thus allowing you to focus on what matters most: interpreting their content.

If there is one thing that is more expressive than numbers, it has to be pictures. In particular, charts allow you to visualize data in a way that is more intuitive, allowing you to highlight the results that truly matter in the best possible way.

Charts are not new to Joomla!’s Droptables, but now they can also be used with database tables, and the process is the same as it has always been! From Droptables' main interface, in the Joomla! administration backend, find your newly-created database table and simply click on it to enter the table editor.



First of all, highlight some columns and rows. One of the columns or rows should only contain numbers. Then, press the add a new chart button to visualize your data. You can use all of the pre-existing chart types with database tables, including bar charts and pie charts.

Of course, you can use all other table formatting options with database tables, and not just charts. You can, for example, choose from one of six available themes from the Theme menu. From the same menu, you can also apply alternate colors to database tables.



From the other menus, you can customize database tables further. From the Format menu, you can set up the table's responsive views, filter data and change column types. You can even add custom CSS to personalize the table. 


JU Translations

One final introduction to Joomla!’s Droptables is the integration of the JU Translations with the extension. JU Translations is a tool for WordPress and Joomla! extensions that allows you to translate and maintain your components’ languages.



JU Translations is accessible from the Droptables’ configuration page. From the Translations tab you can install, update or tweak translation files, among other options.

Raw numbers can be difficult to access and interpret. Droptables allows you to display them in tables for easier interpretation. And if that still does not do the trick, you can illustrate your points with charts, because there is no obstacle too great to overcome.

Cannot live without databases? Then you cannot live without Droptables. Check out our Joomla! plugin here.

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Comments 1 on Wednesday, April 26 2017 15:22

Thanks, found this useful.

Thanks, found this useful.
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