Join tables - Cascading lists

Working with categories and sub-categories is a very common action in data intensive applications. It can be useful both for the programmer (i.e. you!) in terms of data manipulation and for the end user's conceptual model of the data. Categories are easy with Editor's select option - simply populate it with data and the end user can select from it. Sub-categories require a little more interaction since the options available depend on the value the user has selected for the main category.

This example demonstrates how Editor's dependent() method can be used to retrieve values for the select element based on the selection of another field. A blog post explains in detail how this example is constructed.

Name Continent Country
Name Continent Country
  • Javascript
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Ajax
  • Server-side script
  • Comments

The Javascript shown below is used to initialise the table shown in this example:

var editor; // use a global for the submit and return data rendering in the examples $(document).ready(function() { editor = new $.fn.dataTable.Editor( { ajax: "../php/cascadingLists.php", table: "#example", fields: [ { label: "Name:", name: "" }, { label: "Continent:", name: "team.continent", type: "select" }, { label: "Country:", name: "", type: "select" } ] } ); editor.dependent( 'team.continent', '../php/countries.php' ); $('#example').DataTable( { dom: "Bfrtip", ajax: { url: "../php/cascadingLists.php", type: 'POST' }, columns: [ { data: "" }, { data: "" }, { data: "" } ], select: true, buttons: [ { extend: "create", editor: editor }, { extend: "edit", editor: editor }, { extend: "remove", editor: editor } ] } ); } );

In addition to the above code, the following Javascript library files are loaded for use in this example:

The HTML shown below is the raw HTML table element, before it has been enhanced by DataTables:

This example uses a little bit of additional CSS beyond what is loaded from the library files (below), in order to correctly display the table. The additional CSS used is shown below:

The following CSS library files are loaded for use in this example to provide the styling of the table:

This table loads data by Ajax. The latest data that has been loaded is shown below. This data will update automatically as any additional data is loaded.

The script used to perform the server-side processing for this table is shown below. Please note that this is just an example script using PHP. Server-side processing scripts can be written in any language, using the protocol described in the DataTables documentation.

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