HTML & CSS
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An Editable Grid with jQuery, Bootstrap, and Shield UI Lite

By David Johnson

In this short tip, I provide a few easy steps to set up an editable grid (or table) using Bootstrap and Shield UI Lite.

Shield UI Lite is an open source jQuery library that includes, among other components, a jQuery grid. The grid supports editing out-of-the-box, as well as sorting, grouping, and different column editors.

About Shield UI Lite

Shield UI is a web component development company that specializes in the design, development, and marketing of UI widgets for pure JavaScript development, as well as for development in ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, and Java Wicket. The company offers Data Visualization components, as well as a whole array of standard web development components, such as grids, barcodes – one and two dimensional, extended input components – such as numeric and masked textboxes, and many more.

The Shield UI Lite Suite is one of the newest open source libraries on the market and what is specific about it is that it contains a wealth of components, all of which are feature rich and mature. This includes the jQuery Grid, which supports all important web grid operations out-of-the-box. The component supports editing with either inline or standard edit form editing, as well as editing with an external form. Also supported is cell editing.

In addition to this, the Shield UI Grid has a built-in datasource component, which facilitates the binding to all types of data – from local JSON structures, to remote web services; the built-in DataSource also takes care of all delete, update and insert operations.

For data-heavy applications, the Shield UI jQuery widget offers an enhanced virtual scrolling feature significantly improves performance, even when working with millions of real data records. To see more examples of the component and its options, you can refer to the online demos or the documentation.

Using the Code

For the editable grid that we’ll be creating, I’m using a local data source in order to keep things simple. The source code for the libraries can be found on GitHub. The full sample code, along with all sample data used, as well as additional CSS is available in the CodePen demo.

The first step in setting up the layout is to use a standard Bootstrap container. In our case, this is a div with a Bootstrap panel nested inside. Since any standard web grid component usually hosts a lot of data, our layout spans the full width of the screen.

The code for this step is straightforward and looks like this:

<div class="col-md-12">
  <div class="panel panel-default">
    <div class="panel-heading">
      <h4 class="text-center">Bootstrap Editable jQuery Grid
      <span class="fa fa-edit pull-right bigicon"></span></h4>
    </div>
    <div class="panel-body text-center">
      <div id="grid"></div>
    </div>
  </div>
</div>

This is all the HTML needed to set up the sample. The next step is adding references to all the resources used in the sample, such as stylesheets, JavaScript files, and data.

The data used for the example is a standard JSON collection, which is loaded separately in order to be passed to the grid component. Using a local data source simplifies the setup. Additionally we need the stylesheet for the grid and the JavaScript for initializing it.

The inclusion of these resources is demonstrated below:

The CSS:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="shieldui-lite.min.css">

The scripts:

<script src="shieldui-lite-all.min.js"></script>
<script src="shortGridData.js"></script>

Setting up the Grid

The next step in the process is setting up the Shield UI Lite grid component. Once we have included the necessary resources, we can initialize it with some JavaScript in the document.ready handler.

There are two logical parts in describing the component. The first is handling the datasource for the data that will be visualized in the grid, and the other one is setting up the columns, which will be actually rendered, as well as any additional settings, such as sorting, hover effects, etc.

The Shield UI Lite Grid has a built-in dataSource property, which makes it easy to bind the widget to any data – local or remote. To link the dataSource to the JSON data, we use the data property and describe the fields, which will be fetched.

The code to achieve this is shown below:

dataSource: {
  data: gridData,
  schema: {
    fields: {
      id: { path: "id", type: Number },
      age: { path: "age", type: Number },
      name: { path: "name", type: String },
      company: { path: "company", type: String },
      month: { path: "month", type: Date },
      isActive: { path: "isActive", type: Boolean },
      email: { path: "email", type: String },
      transport: { path: "transport", type: String }
    }
  }
}

Enabling Editing

The next step in the process of setting up the application is choosing which properties will be available in the grid, as well as describing the columns, which will be rendered.

Each column can have additional properties, such as header text and width. The width property setting is not obligatory, but provides additional flexibility for distributing the overall layout.

The code for all the properties in the control is listed below:

rowHover: false,
columns: [
  { field: "name", title: "Person Name", width: "120px" },
  { field: "age", title: "Age", width:"80px" },
  { field: "company", title: "Company Name" },
  { field: "month", title: "Date of Birth", 
  format: "{0:MM/dd/yyyy}", width:"120px" },
  { field: "isActive", title: "Active" },
  { field: "email", title: "Email Address", width: "250px" },
  { field: "transport", title: "Custom Editor", width: "120px", editor: myCustomEditor },
  {
    width: "104px",
    title: "Delete Column",
    buttons: [
      { cls: "deleteButton", commandName: "delete", 
        caption: "<img src='source/delete.png' />
        <span>Delete</span>" }
    ]
  }
],
editing: {
  enabled: true,
  event: "click",
  type: "cell",
  confirmation: {
    "delete": {
      enabled: true,
      template: function (item) {
        return "Delete row with ID = " + item.id
      }
    }
  }
},

Setting Up a Custom Editor

The widget supports a number of handy editors out of the box. Once the control is put into edit mode, by clicking on any of the cells, the editor for the cell will be dependent on the type of values in this cell. For example, a numeric value will have a numeric input with increment and decrement buttons. A date column will have a Calendar input for easily picking a date.

There is also the option of supplying a custom editor for a column. For example, instead of having a standard textbox, we can have a dropdown with all the values for that column.

This can be achieved by attaching to the getCustomEditorValue event and passing a custom editor for each cell.

This is demonstrated in the following code snippet for the events:

events: {
  getCustomEditorValue: function (e) {
    e.value = $("#dropdown").swidget().value();
    $("#dropdown").swidget().destroy();
  }
}

And the custom editor:

function myCustomEditor(cell, item) {
  $('<div id="dropdown"/>')
  .appendTo(cell)
  .shieldDropDown({
    dataSource: {
      data: ["motorbike", "car", "truck"]
    },
    value: !item["transport"] ? null : item["transport"].toString()
  }).swidget().focus();
}

If you would like to review more information on the options in the grid widget, you can refer to this section of the documentation.

This completes our setup and the control is ready to use.

View the full working demo on CodePen

Be sure to click inside any of the content cells in the table/grid to see how the edit functionality works. You can view more examples on the usage of the Shield UI jQuery Grid component on the Shield UI website.

  • Vlad G

    Great article about a great framework!

  • Lyubomir

    Very usefull article!

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  • Ernesti Kyöstilä

    I could not find anything about data binding to the server end – I mean is there any ajax-based update/insert/delete functionality built-in. I could not find any “editing done” callback hooks, either. Maybe it is just too late in the evening…

  • freddy

    The example on CodePen seems to be mis-formatting the Date of Birth column: it is supposed to be mm/dd/yyyy

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