Data Tables

Data tables are at the centre of FortressDB. The main focus is to provide secure data tables and files. FortressDB data tables are not stored in WordPress. Instead, they are stored on one of our servers. The FortressDB plugin lets WordPress sites connect to our servers, create data tables, and use them within the WordPress website.

There are 3 choices for server location. Later on we might add more locations if there is popular demand for them. The three locations are:

  • US – United States of America
  • EU – European Union (Germany)
  • UK – United Kingdom (England)

The main advantage of having different server locations is for data privacy laws, such as GDPR. You can choose where you want to store your data without having to move the location of your WordPress server.

Different Views

There are 5 different ways of viewing a data table in the FortressDB plugin, as follows:

  1. Admin Dashboard – Data View
  2. Admin Dashboard – Field Editor
  3. Admin Dashboard – Access Rights
  4. Admin Dashboard – Statistics
  5. Gutenberg Blocks

Data View

In the FortressDB plugin you can view the data stored in a table. FortressDB is capable of storing large number of data rows. We’ve created a million row demo table, which performs very quickly.

To view data, select FortressDB Plugin -> Data Tables -> Data, as follows:

Data View in FortressDB plugin for WordPress

It is also possible to do searches within a data table. In the following screenshot we have entered values for both “First Name” and “Age”. Note the number of pages listed at the bottom reduces from 66667 to 12.

Search within the Data View in FortressDB plugin for WordPress

Field Editor

The Field Editor can be used to add fields to a data table. It’s really easy to use, if you have created contact forms this should be pretty similar.

In a database there are different types of field. A simple example is comparing text string to a number. It’s possible numbers in a string, but then you can’t perform calculations or search on numeric values. Contact forms are similar, they have different types of field within a form.

The following field types are available in FortressDB:

  • String – this is for short text messages, such as name. It is about the same length as 2 Tweets.
  • Text – this is also for text, no surprise, but is much longer, and is suitable for long descriptions.
  • Integer – this is for whole numbers, both positive or negative. E.g. 1, but not 1.1.
  • Float- this is short for floating point, and just means numbers which include decimal points. So you could store PI, 3.141, for example. You can’t do this in an Integer.
  • Boolean – this is typically for developers, a boolean only has 2 possible values, 0 (zero) or 1 (one).
  • Date – As you’d expect, is stored dates, including time.
  • Time – just a time, not a date as well.
  • JSON – this is a data format used by developers. If you don’t know what JSON is, you probably don’t need it.
  • UUID – This is also for developers. It’s just a unique identification number for each data row.
  • File – this is really important. You can stored files in FortressDB. This is much more secure than storing them in WordPress, as they are hidden from search engines like Google.
  • Pick List – this is a list of options. A bit like a drop down menu. For example, you could have a list of colours, days of the week, or status of an enquiry. Users can create their own Pick Lists, view documentation here.

The following is a screenshot of the Field Editor.

FortressDB plugin for WordPress – Data Table Field Editor

Access Rights

FortressDB uses the existing user roles within WordPress to control who has access to a data table. E.g. subscriber, contributor, etc. Some plugins create custom user roles, for example Woo Commerce, these will also be available automatically within the user roles editor.

There are 4 standard access controls, normally referred to as CRUD. That’s sounds a little techincal, but it’s not. The 4 access types are:

  1. Create – this user role can create or add new data
  2. Read – this user role can read data
  3. Update – this user role can update or edit data
  4. Delete – this user role can delete data

These roles are applied to a data table throughout a WordPress website. They are particular for each data table, so different data tables within a website can have different user roles. Note we also have Gutenberg blocks, more detail later in this page, which also uses the user roles.

Most of the time we want to keep data private, but there are exceptions to this. You might have some data you want to share publicly, for this reason there is also a “Not Logged In” user role. Typically this will be read only, but the other options are available too.

The following screenshot shows this:

Access Rights – setting CRUD values to user roles in the FortressDB plugin for WordPress

Statistics

At the moment we have only added creation stats. E.g. we show a chart of when data is added to a data table. We are looking for user feedback for what other stats would be useful. Plead use the contact form on this site to let us know. We’re very keen to add useful stats.

Gutenberg Blocks

At the moment we have 2 types of of Gutenberg block:

  1. Data table block
  2. Chart block

We are keen to add more in the future. Again we are looking for user feedback to let us know what would be helpful for our clients. Use the contact form on this site to let us know.

Data Table Block

The data table block is as you would imagine. It lets you show a data table within a WordPress page. From the Gutenberg editor, search on “Table”.

Adding a data table Gutenberg block in the FortressDB plugin for WordPress

You can then select which table to show, and the default rows per page. It includes a preview of how the data table will appear once published.

Using the Data Table Gutenberg block for FortressDB within WordPress

This is how the data table block looks in a WordPress website:

Example of a FortressDB data table Gutenberg block

Chart Block

The chart block, again is as obvious as it sounds. It lets you chart data as a block in your website. To add a chart block, search on “Chart”, as follows:

There are some simple options, including which data table to chart, but also options for which fields to chart, labels, etc. It also includes a preview of how the chart will appear when published.

Using the Chart Gutenberg block for FortressDB within WordPress

The result looks like the following. There are some simple options, including which data table to chart, but also options for which fields to chart, labels, etc.

Example of a line chart Gutenberg block in the FortressDB plugin for WordPress

There are 4 chart types:

  1. Line
  2. Area
  3. Column
  4. Pie

For example, the same chart could look like this, if column is selected:

Example of a column chart Gutenberg block in the FortressDB plugin for WordPress

Updated on April 11, 2020

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