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DHX Quick Tables. Pilot

December 8th, 2009

UPDATE: The new version of Quick Tables was released on November 5, 2010. To learn more, read this post or just download the latest package: Single PHP file installation or PHP/JavaScript sources.

It’s a first step in our attempt to get the DHTMLX library closer to people who do not want or do not know how to write the code, but need to have something for showing/updating the data they store in the database. Even programmers sometimes need this to minimize the time spent on routine tasks.

Wanna Get a Data Table Quickly?

The secret is in one file, which can be downloaded here. It is based on dhtmlxGrid Standard Edition, dhtmlxLayout, and dhtmlxConnector. The tool is distributed under GNU GPL for free. We call it… Well, we’re still choosing the name for the “baby”. I’ll call it DHX Quick Tables. After all, it creates tables really quickly…

So what can it be used for, and how does it work? Let’s say, for example, that you need a back end for your site, which is built on a database. Or maybe you want to show your price list on the site, or any other information stored in the database. You can spend some time building forms and linking them to the database. This is the usual way, but not always necessary. Our solution offers a simpler and faster alternative.

With Quick Tables, you get the necessary number of web pages with tables linked to the database records. Two access modes are available: for guests (just view the tables) and for the administrator (view, edit, add/delete pages). Thus, you can put Quick Tables on the back end of your database-driven site and be able to access and update data. Or you can show the resulting table on your website, if tabulated data is what you need.

Visitors will be able to navigate through a huge number of records (as we’ve added smart rendering to the page), then sort and filter the information. In the next build of the tool, we’ll also add printing and other nice features.

First Run

OK, first you need to download the installation file here and unpack install.php. This is the only file you need. Then upload it onto your site into some folder (PHP support is required, of course). The name of my folder is EH65DBN09G1DF100 (yes, it’s quite complicated), but you can choose any other name for the folder. It doesn’t matter. So put install.php there, and load it through the browser – like this:

The tool will be installed, and the wizard will be loaded right away.

Wizard Steps:

1. You need to connect the tool to your database. If you have the database, you definitely have connection parameters. So just enter them here:

Quick Tables - Grid Installation

Quick Tables - Grid Installation

2. If connection is successful, you’ll get the following screen:

Quick Tables - Installation

Quick Tables - Installation

When you continue, you’ll need to choose the name for the page and select the database table. Headers and footers are also allowed, but we’ll skip them for now. Also I’ll leave the checkbox not checked to choose the necessary table fields in the next step.

Quick Tables - Installation

Quick Tables - Installation

Now choose what fields to show in the table. I choose all, since I don’t have so many to choose from…

Quick Tables - Installation

Quick Tables - Installation

Now you define the title for each field, its position, sorting, filtering, and type (editable, read only, checkbox, etc.).

Quick Tables - Configuration

Quick Tables - Configuration

Generally, that is all you need to create a page. Click Save and Finish!, and you’ll get this:

Quick Tables - Application Created

Quick Tables - Application Created

The first link is for guests. Visitors can look, but not edit. You can use it for your site’s public side, for example (btw, a live example is here). To enter/update data, use the second link. Here is what you get:

Quick Tables - GridView

Quick Tables - GridView

Back to The Beginning

You can access pages through the tool’s control panel. Just browse to the directory you started at. In my example it is http://localhost/EH65DBN09G1DF100/). The control panel works in two modes: Guest (just view the data) and Admin (everything else):

Quick Tables - Control Panel

Quick Tables - Control Panel

To enter Admin mode, you’ll need to put the code into the text field. The code was shown in the second step. You can see it in conf/db_config.ini as well. So I entered the code, and now I’m in Admin mode:

Quick Tables - Admin Mode

Quick Tables - Admin Mode

As you can see, here we can add/delete pages, edit configuration file, or return to the Guest mode. And of course, we can open pages in Admin mode (add/delete/update records).

And again, the goal is to offer a way to build simple applications without needing to be a JavaScript guru or even a professional programmer. And this is the first step to the goal.

To try the generated pages in action, click here.

Posted by Inga Kravtsova

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  1. Bojan,
    December 16, 2009 at 7:38 am

    It’s almost everything I need.

    Is there possible that I can select a category for news (news(id_n, title, date, id_c), categories(id_c,title)) with select/option.


  2. Daniel,
    December 16, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Awesome. Excellent idea and implementation of a quick database editor. Already installed and sent to a client so they can edit a database when I’d been hesitant to give them access to PHPmyAdmin.

  3. ivan,
    December 16, 2009 at 10:01 am

    to Bojan: There is no such a possibility right now, but that’s only a prototype and we’re going to add this feature soon.

  4. Jean-Pierre Schutte,
    December 16, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    F-ing brilliant! :D Well done!!! Best thing since sliced bread! :D This quick tables is gonna come is great use! Thanks!

  5. mongkol,
    December 17, 2009 at 12:13 am

    this only mysql right

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    […] the help of DHX Quick Tables, you get necessary number of web pages with tables linked to the database records. Two entries are […]

  8. ivan,
    December 17, 2009 at 6:08 am

    to mongkol: Yes, currently it works with mysql only, but we’re already working on the support for postgres, mssql, and oracle.

  9. Bojan,
    December 20, 2009 at 3:36 am

    It’s awesome. I can’t wait for next version!

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    December 25, 2009 at 4:31 am
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    December 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    […] Datentabelle ins Web zu stellen ist keine Hexerei, kostet aber einige Stunden Arbeit. Mit DHX Quick Tables und etwas Routine schafft man es auch in einer halben Stunde, und das Ergebnis sieht erst noch sehr […]

  12. Connie,
    December 27, 2009 at 2:10 am

    Unfortunately it is not possible to print your website / tutorial
    your print stylesheet cuts after the first page

    direct printing also shows only the first page in Firefox, in Opera 10 it is ok

    what a shame! ;=(

  13. Connie,
    December 28, 2009 at 3:03 am


    After installing the script, I was astonished how easy it works.
    But for sure more and more demands arise:

    1. What is meant with “header” and “footer”, what to put there?
    2. How to define a codepage for the output, there is no charset defined, I need UTF-8


    Cheers and “snovim godom”, Connie

  14. ivan,
    January 4, 2010 at 6:54 am

    to Connie:

    Happy New Year!

    >1. What is meant with “header” and “footer”, what to put there?
    Custom text, which will be added to the top and bottom of the view, you can place any text there.

    >2. How to define a codepage for the output, there is no charset defined, I need UTF-8
    Currently it uses the default charset for html pages. The only way to set custom encoding – place necessary instruction into generated pages (the DB related part of code is using UTF-8 by default).

    > Unfortunately it is not possible to print your website / tutorial
    We’ll check what’s wrong with this. Thank you for reporting!

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    […] DHX Quick Tables is a 1 file PHP script that enables anyone to create a customized backend for MySQL databases with 2 screens: […]

  16. Dirk,
    January 5, 2010 at 4:07 am

    Great script!

    Do you plan to add a HTML-Editor for text fields?

  17. Stephan,
    January 5, 2010 at 4:53 am

    oh how I’ve been looking for something like this! question, though (and I haven’t installed it yet to try myself), is there a way to ‘port’ the results to other parts of your website, so for example all the admin stuff could exist in a different folder from the public pages?

  18. ivan,
    January 5, 2010 at 7:03 am

    to Dirk:
    No, we didn’t plan to add this feature.

    to Stephan:
    > is there a way to ‘port’ the results to other parts of your website, so for example all the admin
    > stuff could exist in a different folder from the public pages?
    While it will not work “out of the box”, it’s possible to copy generated pages to some different folder, so you will be able to access the same functionality in different locations.

  19. Manuel,
    January 5, 2010 at 12:33 pm


    first I thougt this one is just the one thing I’ve and now I don’t have to code it myself, but…

    1. I need utf-8, too. setting html header in generated php-file doesn’t work as it’s processed via other files.

    2. I am NOT able to change files, cause I’m not the owner. Changin owner fails, as I hafe no shell

    3. some files can be deleted and be uploaded again for “changing” owner – however I can’t delete *processor.js… and hey. A script, that’s cuts down my rights to delete files on my own webspace? come on.

    But, hey: still a nice idea

  20. uberVU - social comments,
    January 5, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by dhtmlx: DHX Quick Tables – working editable grid without single line of coding

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  22. Stephan,
    January 6, 2010 at 4:47 am

    @Manuel – see if your server is using suPHP, that will make sure the permissions are set as your hosting account username (not “nobody” or “root” or “apache”) which would allow for file deletion. I’m assuming of course you’re on a Unix box.

    @ivan – thanks for the tip, I’ll tinker with it once I install this.

  23. ivan,
    January 6, 2010 at 7:45 am

    to Manuel:
    (1) – we will add the ability to control encoding for sure;
    (2) – all files are created by php script, so the php script is the owner technically.

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  26. viet flex,
    January 13, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Very nice tool

  27. mahesh,
    January 14, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    This works nicely for mySQL. I was trying to integrate the pdf printing module on the blog with this, and it seems to fail. Is there a way to do this?

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  29. ivan,
    January 15, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Manesh, printing will be available by default in the next version. As for now it can be added by adding extra scripts from the mentioned articles and some kind of button which will call toPDF method.

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  31. Frank,
    January 19, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    OMG, this is exactly what i need!!! I am not a programmer but i am in dire need of an backend for ne of my sites with an complexe db…installed it(note to everybody, make sure your folder where the file is in has write permissions!)

    I just run in some little issues, i have a field in the table what reflects the first field (the ID) and this is not shown in the grid, i assume it has something to do with the fact that this field is set to auto increment, any idea anybody? Help is greatly appreciated



  32. Frank,
    January 19, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    OK guys, i just figured it out, i had to rename the first field id/name in the configuration ini(the first field in there was useless anyway) lol…

    I cannot wait for the next version, awesome job!!



  33. mahesh,
    January 22, 2010 at 10:04 am

    I am looking at the edit configuration file:

    It says sort = “na”

    I was hoping it would be like the grid where if you click on the top some autosorting occurs on that column. It place of this, what are my options for changing this part of the configuration file?

    sort= ‘[what can I put here]’ ?

    I was ablle to integrate this with the pdf scripts

  34. mahesh,
    January 22, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Problem solved: the other option in the config file is


  35. vola,
    January 26, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Nice tool, but I have two problems.
    1. The header and footer variables I set in the configure file are not in the html page.
    2. The loading of the page hang up when I starte the browser (firefox or IE) for the first time, after pressing the reload button the page is loading.

    Any solution for this problems?

    • ivan,
      January 28, 2010 at 5:04 am


      (1) this is a known issue, will be fixed in oncoming update;
      (2) unfortunately we can’t reconstruct the issue, if it still occurs – please drop an email to support (at) with the link, where it can be reconstructed.

      • vola,
        February 1, 2010 at 6:15 am

        (1) when will the update published?
        (2) ok, it is a problem on our side not a problem of the software.

        New question:
        to switch to the admin mode we enter the password in plain text likewise in the links to the pages in the adminmode the password is in plaintext. Is there a plan to use the password not in plain format?


        • ivan,
          February 3, 2010 at 3:38 am


          (1) End of february
          (3) Currently we do not have plans to add complex user-management functionality, with separate login and password storage. But we plan to update the code, so password will not be stored directly in links.

          • vola,
            March 4, 2010 at 7:31 am

            Hi Ivan.
            Is the new version now published?

  36. mahesh,
    January 31, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I just noticed the header and footer were not being printed as well.

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  38. 123doing,
    June 9, 2010 at 6:59 am

    It’s very good.
    I like this.
    Thanks for share.
    And I wrote something to introduce this project for my readers.
    You can find the post about this in my website.
    If something is wrong,pls figure it out.thanks.

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  40. josh,
    August 26, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Is there an update for this nice tool (that works with mssql/…) or is this a dead project??

    • ivan,
      August 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm

      There no update yet, but we’re working on it. If there wont be more urgent/important tasks, the update will be released in September-October.

  41. Adi,
    October 13, 2010 at 12:40 am

    I appreciate very much your work there, keep it this way for both users and your own benefits.
    Still, i found that the zip file was moved from
    or it’s exactly the upload moment now?

  42. Massimo,
    November 23, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Great – super tool!!
    exactly, what i was long searching for.

    Thanks a lot


  43. dinah,
    January 14, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I have a PHP website file with SQL files, is not installed the install. PHP files, how should pack the website?
    How to put the SQL database file keyword inside? Thank you !

  44. sina,
    July 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    What abou š đ č ć ž or Š Đ Č Ć Ž character how I can change encoding

  45. Ron W.,
    November 5, 2011 at 12:48 am

    I’m glad I saw that the Zip file had been moved!! The updates following this latest one will make life a lot easier.

  46. Robin Remedio,
    December 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    is already available to oracle?

  47. Marius Tietz,
    February 4, 2012 at 1:26 am

    Are you planning a possibility to enter own more complex MySQL selects (with JOINS and MySQL functions)?

  48. Alain,
    April 25, 2012 at 11:17 am

    very nice tool – I like it.

    I have one concern and this is regarding the db_config.ini. The db access information’s are stored as plain text. Therefore it is possible with a web page sucker program to retreve these data’s and have then access to the database. Will these datas in a next update be encrypted?

  49. Elias,
    May 28, 2012 at 2:23 am

    I want what Marius Tietz wants.

  50. Sergio,
    October 10, 2012 at 3:39 am

    Hello, great tool but I have one major issue. Installed successfully and able to view rows in chrome and firefox but when I run it using IE 8 nothing comes up! Blank page.

    Try it with Chrome and works fine. Please help!! how can i get this to work using Internet Explorer?

    Thank you!!

  51. john williamson,
    November 1, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Great tool but is there a way to ADD export to EXCEL ?? Pls provide step by step on how to do this. GREATLY appreciated.

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