1
June
2021
Tutorial

Build a CMS for Your Company in Under an Hour

0
 minutes

by Adeyinka Adegbenro

A content management system (CMS) is software used to manage the creation and editing of content, usually formatted articles containing images and videos. A very popular example of a CMS is the WordPress CMS. CMSs are very important tools for managing content because they make it easy to create, update, and delete data without any coding knowledge.

Appsmith is an open-source framework that helps developers build dashboards, workflows, pages, and CRUD apps very quickly. Appsmith allows you to build tools with little or no code, with the ability to connect to APIs or databases such as MongoDB, PostGreSQL, or MYSQL, as the case may be. You also get access to charts, widgets, and other customization tools for building a UI. Appsmith has more flexibility than off-the-shelf options, and it’s fast to build and easy to maintain.

In this article, you will learn how to set up Appsmith locally, create a new application, connect an API to it, and build a content management system using widgets and pages.

Setting Up the Application and Database

This section will focus on how to create a CMS as an Appsmith application, as well as how to set up and connect a SQL database for use in Appsmith.

Create an Appsmith App

For the purpose of this tutorial, you’re going to create a local instance of Appsmith using Docker. Read Appsmith’s documentation to set this up for your operating system.

After going through those steps, visit http://localhost/ in your browser to see the local version of Appsmith. Create a local account to log in. Next, click the Create New button to create a new application and name it CMS. This takes you to an empty workspace with a sidebar. On the sidebar, you should see items such as Pages, API, and DB Queries.

Connect to a Database

To work with Appsmith, you need a data source. This can be in the form of an API or a database. Appsmith supports MongoDB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL among others.

In this tutorial, you’ll connect to a local PostgreSQL database. To create the data models required for the CMS, go into the PostgreSQL command line, and create the database:

CREATE DATABASE appsmith_cms;

Connect to the database and create a DB table called Author:

CREATE TABLE AUTHOR(
   AUTHOR_ID SERIAL PRIMARY KEY NOT NULL,
   NAME TEXT NOT NULL,
   PROFILE_PICTURE TEXT,
   ABOUT_ME TEXT,
   LINKEDIN TEXT,
   GITHUB TEXT
);

Create a table, Article:

CREATE TABLE ARTICLE(
   ARTICLE_ID SERIAL PRIMARY KEY NOT NULL,
   TITLE TEXT NOT NULL,
   SUBTITLE TEXT,
   CONTENT TEXT,
   IMAGE TEXT,
   AUTHOR_ID INTEGER NOT NULL REFERENCES AUTHOR(AUTHOR_ID),
   DATE_UPDATED DATE NOT NULL DEFAULT CURRENT_DATE
);

Create a table, Tag:

CREATE TABLE TAG (
    TAG_ID SERIAL PRIMARY KEY NOT NULL,
    NAME TEXT NOT NULL
);

Create a table, Article_Tag:

CREATE TABLE ARTICLE_TAG(
    ARTICLE_ID INTEGER REFERENCES ARTICLE(ARTICLE_ID),
    TAG_ID INTEGER REFERENCES TAG(TAG_ID),
    PRIMARY KEY (ARTICLE_ID, TAG_ID)
);

By now, you should have a standard database with the tables Author, Article, Tag, and Article_Tag on it. Next, insert some data into the database tables by running the following queries, so you can view it when you build your user interface:

INSERT into author (name, profile_picture, about_me, linkedin, github) VALUES ( 'Achebe', 'https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinua_Achebe', 'i am cool', 'https://www.linkedin.com/', 'https://github.com/');

INSERT into author (name, profile_picture, about_me, linkedin, github) VALUES ( 'Chimamanda', 'https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimamanda_Ngozi_Adichie', 'i am cool', 'https://www.linkedin.com/', 'https://github.com/');


INSERT INTO "article" ( "title", "subtitle", "content", "image", "author_id") VALUES
( 'Hello', 'hi', 'Hello world', 'img.me', '1');


INSERT INTO "tag" ("name") VALUES
('food');

INSERT INTO "tag" ("name") VALUES
('tech');

INSERT INTO "tag" ("name") VALUES
('fashion');

INSERT INTO "tag" ("name") VALUES
('beauty');

To connect to the appsmith_cms database from within Appsmith, go to the application sidebar. Click the plus icon near DB Queries, then click New Datasource, select PostgreSQL, and enter the connection details for your database.

Since you are on localhost, set the host address as host.docker.internal and the database name as appsmith_cms. Add your PostgreSQL username and password to the Authentication section and click Connect. Once connected, rename the new datasource as CMS.

Your App’s First Page: Create an Article

In this section, you’ll create the first UI view of your CMS application. It will be a form with several fields, for title, content, cover image, and a URL. These form fields will take in all the necessary data for creating an article.

On the sidebar, under Pages, a new page called Page1 already exists. Rename it as create_article_page.

Prepare the Data

Before building the form, prepare the queries necessary for creating an article.

Click the plus icon near DB Queries and click the New Query button near the CMS Datasource to create a new query. Rename it fetch_authors from the default name Query1. This will be useful in displaying all the available authors in your database. Paste the following code in the query box and run it:

SELECT * FROM author;

Create a new query called fetch_tags. This will be useful for displaying all available tags in your database. Paste the following code in the box and run it:

SELECT * FROM tag;

Create a new query called submit_article. This will be used to create a new article entry in the database.

INSERT INTO "article" ( "title", "subtitle", "content", "image", "author_id") 
VALUES
('{{create_article_form.data.title}}', 
'{{create_article_form.data.subtitle}}', 
'{{create_article_form.data.content}}', 
'{{create_article_form.data.cover_image}}', 
{{create_article_form.data.author}}
) returning "article_id"
;

Create a new query called create_article_tag. This will be used to create a new article_tag entry that associates a tag with an article.

INSERT INTO article_tag
  ("article_id", "tag_id")
VALUES
  (
    '{{submit_article.data[0].article_id}}', 
    '{{create_article_form.data.tags}}'
  );

Build the Page

Go to create_article_page > Widgets, and add a form to the page by clicking the plus icon. Drag and drop a Form widget to the page’s workspace. Click the settings gear to configure the form. Change the form name from form1 to create_article_form.

Next, let’s add a few fields along with labels.

To begin, add a Text widget and label it Title:, then drag the Input widget in front of it and change its name from input1 to title.

Below that, add a Text widget and label it Subtitle:, then drag the Input widget in front of it and change its name from input1 to subtitle.

Add a Text widget and label it Content:, then drag the Rich Text Editor widget in front of it and change its name from RichTextEditor1 to content. Delete the default text.

Add a Text widget and label it Cover Image:, then drag the Input widget in front of it and change its name from input1 to cover_image.

Add a Text widget and label it Author, then drag the Dropdown widget in front of it and change its name from Dropdown1 to author. In the options settings for this dropdown, add the following code:

{{
fetch_authors.data.map(
  (row)=>{

    return {label: row.name, value: row.author_id}
  }
)
}}

Add a Text widget and label it Tags:, then drag the Dropdown widget in front of it and change its name from Dropdown1 to tags. In the options settings for this dropdown, add the following code:

  {{
fetch_tags.data.map(
  (row)=>{

    return {label: row.name, value: row.tag_id}
  }
)
}}

Go to the onClick section of the Submit button’s settings, and select Execute a DB Query, choose the submit_article query, then in the onSuccess section, select Execute a DB Query > create_article_tag query. This creates an article entry in the database, and then creates the article_tag entry that links the tag and article together.

To test that it works, fill in the form with some test data and submit it. In the Article table in your database, you should see the new article row with data you just filled in.

The create_article_form

Your App’s Second Page: View Articles

Create a new page called all_articles_page. This page will be used to display all the articles available in the database.

Prepare the Query

Add a new query called fetch_articles and run it. This query will fetch all the articles in the database, as well the authors who wrote them.

SELECT art.*, aut.name as author FROM article art 
join author aut on aut.author_id = art.author_id;

Build the UI

On the all_articles_page, drag a table widget to the page and rename it articles_table. In the Table Data section of the table settings, set the value to {{fetch_articles.data}}. This will use data from the fetch_articles query defined above. By now, the table should be populated with a list of all the articles. The table automatically comes with search, pagination, and filter features.

Next, add a new column to the table and call it View. In the settings for View, set the Column Type as a button, label it View, and set the value for onClick as {{navigateTo('view_article_page', {"key": currentRow.article_id})}} after setting it to JS mode.

This means that when View is clicked, a user will go to the view_article_page.

Create a new page and name it view_article_page. Create a new query, get_article, and fill it as:

select art.*, tag.name as tag_name, tag.tag_id, auth.name as author from article art join
author auth on auth.author_id = art.author_id
left join article_tag at on at.article_id = art.article_id
left join tag on tag.tag_id = at.tag_id
where art.article_id = {{ appsmith.URL.queryParams.key }};
The all_articles_page

Go back to the view_article_page and add the following widgets and settings:

  1. Add a Text widget for the title and set the value of Text to {{get_article.data[0].title}}.
  2. Add another Text widget for the subtitle and set the value of Text to {{get_article.data[0].subtitle}}.
  3. Add an Image widget for the cover image and set the value of Image to {{get_article.data[0].image}}.
  4. Add a Text widget for the article content and set the value of Text to {{get_article.data[0].content}}.
  5. Add a Text widget for the article’s author and set the value of Text to Written By {{get_article.data[0].author}}
  6. To test that the configuration works, go to the all_articles_page and click View on any of the rows. This should take you to the view_articles_page with the actual article loaded.
The view_article_page

Your App’s Third Page: Edit an Article

On the all_articles_page, add a new column to the table. Then add a button called Edit to the column. In the settings for Edit, set the onClick section to JS and add {{navigateTo('edit_article_page',{"key": currentRow.article_id})}} as its value.

The new Edit button

Create a new page and name it edit_article_page. On this page, you’ll add a form to edit existing articles. You'll also make sure that the form is prefilled with the details of the article you want to edit.

Prepare the Data

Go to view_article_page > DB Queries > get_article and copy the get_article query to edit_article_page.

Go to the queries under the create_articles_page, click the three dots near fetch_authors, and select Copy to Page and then edit_article_page. Copy the query fetch_tags to the edit_article_page as well. Under the edit_article_page, you should see all the copied queries. Make sure that the getArticlesCopy ends with { appsmith.URL.queryParams.key }}; instead of {{ }};.

Create a new query edit_article_query and add:

 update article 
SET title = '{{edit_article_form.data.title}}',
    subtitle = '{{edit_article_form.data.subtitle}}',
    content = '{{edit_article_form.data.content}}',
    image = '{{edit_article_form.data.cover_image}}',
    author_id = {{edit_article_form.data.author}}
  WHERE article_id = {{ get_articleCopy.data[0].article_id }};

Create a new query, new_article_tag_query, and add:

INSERT INTO article_tag
  (article_id, tag_id)
VALUES
  (
    '{{ get_articleCopy.data[0].article_id }}',
    '{{ edit_article_form.data.tag }}'
  );

Create a new query, delete_old_article_tags, and add:

DELETE FROM article_tag 
WHERE article_id = {{get_articleCopy.data[0].article_id}};

Build the Page

To build the edit_article_page page, add a Form widget to the page, click the settings gear, and rename the form edit_article_form. Change the form label to Edit an Article.

Add six text widgets to the form and label them Title, Subtitle, Content, Cover Image, Author, and Tag respectively, just like you did on the create_article_page.

Drag the Input widget in front of Title and Subtitle and change their names from input1 to title and subtitle respectively. Open the title widget and set default text as {{get_articleCopy.data[0].title}}. Also set default text for Subtitle as {{get_articleCopy.data[0].subtitle}}.

Drag the Rich Text Editor widget in front of the Content label and change its name from input1 to content. Set the widget's default text as {{get_articleCopy.data[0].content}}.

Drag the Input widget in front of the Cover Image label. Rename the widget cover_image. Set the default text as {{get_articleCopy.data[0].image}}.

Drag a dropdown widget in front of both the Author and Tag labels. For Author, change its name from Dropdown1 to author and set the default text as the following:

{{
  fetch_authorsCopy.data.map(
  (row)=>{

    return {label: row.name, value: row.author_id.toString()}
  }
  )
}}

And the Default Option as {{get_articleCopy.data[0].author_id}}.

For the Tag field, change its name from Dropdown2 to tag and set the options as:

  {{
    fetch_tagsCopy.data.map(
    (row)=>{

      return {label: row.name, value: row.tag_id.toString()}
    }
    )
  }}

And the Default Option as {{get_articleCopy.data[0].tag_id}}.

In the Submit button's settings, go to the onClick section and click JS. Set the value as:

 {{edit_article_query.run(() => delete_old_article_tags.run(() => new_article_tag_query.run(() => get_articleCopy.run()) ), () => {})}}

To test that the configuration works, go to the all_articles_page and click the Edit button on one of the rows. This should bring you to the edit_article_page, with the form prefilled with the selected row's data.

From here you can edit the article and then submit. Confirm that the article got edited successfully from the all_articles_page by looking up the row to see if the data changed.

The edit_article_form

Your App’s Fourth Page: Manage Tags and Authors

Create a new page called authors_and_tags_page. On this page, you'll be able to view all the Authors and Tags. You'll also add the ability to remove and add tags.

Prepare the Queries

Go to the create_article_page > DB Queries and copy fetch_authors and fetch_tag to authors_and_tags_page.

Create a new query, create_tag_query, and paste in the following:

INSERT INTO tag
  (name)
VALUES
  (
    '{{create_tag_modal.data.tag_name}}'
  );

Create a new query, delete_article_tag_query, and paste in the following:

INSERT INTO tag
 DELETE FROM article_tag 
WHERE tag_id = {{tags_table.selectedRow.tag_id}};

Create another query, delete_tag, and add the following code:

DELETE FROM tag WHERE tag_id= {{tags_table.selectedRow.tag_id}}

Build the Page UI

To start building the page UI, add a text widget and name it Authors. Underneath, add a table widget and rename it author_table. Set the Table Data as {{fetch_authorsCopy.data}}. Reload the page.

Add a new column called Action. Go to Action's settings, set its column type as Button, and label the button as View. In the onClick section, set it as JS, and the value as {{showModal('view_author_modal')}}.

You just created a button on the table called View. When this button is clicked, you want it to open a modal called view_author_modal.

The Authors table

To create view_author_modal, drag a Modal widget to the page and rename it view_author_modal. Change the Modal Title text to View Author, set the Modal Type as a Form Modal, and delete the buttons in the modal. Dismiss the modal and click one of the View buttons on the Authors table. This should open up the modal.

Now add a Text widget and set the Text value to {{author_table.selectedRow.name}} in the settings.

Add an Image widget and give it an Image value of {{author_table.selectedRow.profile_picture}}.

Add a Text widget and label it LinkedIn:. In front of it, add another Text widget and give it a Text value of {{author_table.selectedRow.linkedin}}.

Add a Text widget and label it GitHub:. In front of it, add another Text widget and give it a Text value of {{author_table.selectedRow.github}}.

At this point, you should see all of the Author's information rendered on the modal.

Screenshot of the view_article_modal

Next, you need to create a table to display all the tags. Start by adding a Text widget and labeling it Tags. Underneath, add a Table widget and rename it tags_table. Set the Table Data as {{fetch_tagsCopy.data}} and reload the page.

Add a new column called Action. Go to Action's settings, set its column type as Button, and label it as remove. Set the button to Red as well. In the onClick section, enable JS and paste the value as {{delete_article_tag_query.run(() => delete_tag.run(), () => {})}}.

You can test deleting a tag by clicking one of the remove buttons on the Tags table.

Add a Button widget in the bottom right corner underneath the Tags table and label it Add Tag. Next, in the button's onClick settings, click JS and paste the value {{navigateTo('create_tag_page','SAME_WINDOW')}}. Here you’ve configured the Add Tag button to open a new page called create_tag_page.

The Tags table

Create a new page called create_tag_page. When the Add Tag button is clicked, it should go to this new page.

Go to DB Queries and create a new query called create_tag_query. Paste in the following:

INSERT INTO tag
(name)
VALUES
(
  '{{create_tag_form.data.tag_name }}'
);

Go back to the create_tag_page, and drag a Form widget into the workspace. Rename it create_tag_form. Then inside the form, add a Text widget and label it Add Tag.

Underneath, add a Text widget and label it Name:. In front of it add an input widget and rename it tag_name.

Go to the onClick section of the Submit button settings and select Execute a DB Query. Choose the create_tag_query. In the onSuccess section, select Navigate to, and for Page Name enter authors_and_tags_page. This means you want to navigate to the Tags page once a new tag has been created.

Test creating a new tag and checking that it is present on the Tags table.

The create_tag_page

Conclusion

You've seen how easy and fast it is to build a content management system on Appsmith. You’ve connected to a database and built pages and made them interactive. You’ve experimented with how Appsmith’s widgets work, and you’ve learned to customize them for your purposes.

If you’re looking for a fast way to create a CMS or some other internal tool with minimal need for developer hours, consider building it with Appsmith.

Build a CMS for Your Company in Under an Hour

Share this

by Adeyinka Adegbenro

A content management system (CMS) is software used to manage the creation and editing of content, usually formatted articles containing images and videos. A very popular example of a CMS is the WordPress CMS. CMSs are very important tools for managing content because they make it easy to create, update, and delete data without any coding knowledge.

Appsmith is an open-source framework that helps developers build dashboards, workflows, pages, and CRUD apps very quickly. Appsmith allows you to build tools with little or no code, with the ability to connect to APIs or databases such as MongoDB, PostGreSQL, or MYSQL, as the case may be. You also get access to charts, widgets, and other customization tools for building a UI. Appsmith has more flexibility than off-the-shelf options, and it’s fast to build and easy to maintain.

In this article, you will learn how to set up Appsmith locally, create a new application, connect an API to it, and build a content management system using widgets and pages.

Setting Up the Application and Database

This section will focus on how to create a CMS as an Appsmith application, as well as how to set up and connect a SQL database for use in Appsmith.

Create an Appsmith App

For the purpose of this tutorial, you’re going to create a local instance of Appsmith using Docker. Read Appsmith’s documentation to set this up for your operating system.

After going through those steps, visit http://localhost/ in your browser to see the local version of Appsmith. Create a local account to log in. Next, click the Create New button to create a new application and name it CMS. This takes you to an empty workspace with a sidebar. On the sidebar, you should see items such as Pages, API, and DB Queries.

Connect to a Database

To work with Appsmith, you need a data source. This can be in the form of an API or a database. Appsmith supports MongoDB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL among others.

In this tutorial, you’ll connect to a local PostgreSQL database. To create the data models required for the CMS, go into the PostgreSQL command line, and create the database:

CREATE DATABASE appsmith_cms;

Connect to the database and create a DB table called Author:

CREATE TABLE AUTHOR(
   AUTHOR_ID SERIAL PRIMARY KEY NOT NULL,
   NAME TEXT NOT NULL,
   PROFILE_PICTURE TEXT,
   ABOUT_ME TEXT,
   LINKEDIN TEXT,
   GITHUB TEXT
);

Create a table, Article:

CREATE TABLE ARTICLE(
   ARTICLE_ID SERIAL PRIMARY KEY NOT NULL,
   TITLE TEXT NOT NULL,
   SUBTITLE TEXT,
   CONTENT TEXT,
   IMAGE TEXT,
   AUTHOR_ID INTEGER NOT NULL REFERENCES AUTHOR(AUTHOR_ID),
   DATE_UPDATED DATE NOT NULL DEFAULT CURRENT_DATE
);

Create a table, Tag:

CREATE TABLE TAG (
    TAG_ID SERIAL PRIMARY KEY NOT NULL,
    NAME TEXT NOT NULL
);

Create a table, Article_Tag:

CREATE TABLE ARTICLE_TAG(
    ARTICLE_ID INTEGER REFERENCES ARTICLE(ARTICLE_ID),
    TAG_ID INTEGER REFERENCES TAG(TAG_ID),
    PRIMARY KEY (ARTICLE_ID, TAG_ID)
);

By now, you should have a standard database with the tables Author, Article, Tag, and Article_Tag on it. Next, insert some data into the database tables by running the following queries, so you can view it when you build your user interface:

INSERT into author (name, profile_picture, about_me, linkedin, github) VALUES ( 'Achebe', 'https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinua_Achebe', 'i am cool', 'https://www.linkedin.com/', 'https://github.com/');

INSERT into author (name, profile_picture, about_me, linkedin, github) VALUES ( 'Chimamanda', 'https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimamanda_Ngozi_Adichie', 'i am cool', 'https://www.linkedin.com/', 'https://github.com/');


INSERT INTO "article" ( "title", "subtitle", "content", "image", "author_id") VALUES
( 'Hello', 'hi', 'Hello world', 'img.me', '1');


INSERT INTO "tag" ("name") VALUES
('food');

INSERT INTO "tag" ("name") VALUES
('tech');

INSERT INTO "tag" ("name") VALUES
('fashion');

INSERT INTO "tag" ("name") VALUES
('beauty');

To connect to the appsmith_cms database from within Appsmith, go to the application sidebar. Click the plus icon near DB Queries, then click New Datasource, select PostgreSQL, and enter the connection details for your database.

Since you are on localhost, set the host address as host.docker.internal and the database name as appsmith_cms. Add your PostgreSQL username and password to the Authentication section and click Connect. Once connected, rename the new datasource as CMS.

Your App’s First Page: Create an Article

In this section, you’ll create the first UI view of your CMS application. It will be a form with several fields, for title, content, cover image, and a URL. These form fields will take in all the necessary data for creating an article.

On the sidebar, under Pages, a new page called Page1 already exists. Rename it as create_article_page.

Prepare the Data

Before building the form, prepare the queries necessary for creating an article.

Click the plus icon near DB Queries and click the New Query button near the CMS Datasource to create a new query. Rename it fetch_authors from the default name Query1. This will be useful in displaying all the available authors in your database. Paste the following code in the query box and run it:

SELECT * FROM author;

Create a new query called fetch_tags. This will be useful for displaying all available tags in your database. Paste the following code in the box and run it:

SELECT * FROM tag;

Create a new query called submit_article. This will be used to create a new article entry in the database.

INSERT INTO "article" ( "title", "subtitle", "content", "image", "author_id") 
VALUES
('{{create_article_form.data.title}}', 
'{{create_article_form.data.subtitle}}', 
'{{create_article_form.data.content}}', 
'{{create_article_form.data.cover_image}}', 
{{create_article_form.data.author}}
) returning "article_id"
;

Create a new query called create_article_tag. This will be used to create a new article_tag entry that associates a tag with an article.

INSERT INTO article_tag
  ("article_id", "tag_id")
VALUES
  (
    '{{submit_article.data[0].article_id}}', 
    '{{create_article_form.data.tags}}'
  );

Build the Page

Go to create_article_page > Widgets, and add a form to the page by clicking the plus icon. Drag and drop a Form widget to the page’s workspace. Click the settings gear to configure the form. Change the form name from form1 to create_article_form.

Next, let’s add a few fields along with labels.

To begin, add a Text widget and label it Title:, then drag the Input widget in front of it and change its name from input1 to title.

Below that, add a Text widget and label it Subtitle:, then drag the Input widget in front of it and change its name from input1 to subtitle.

Add a Text widget and label it Content:, then drag the Rich Text Editor widget in front of it and change its name from RichTextEditor1 to content. Delete the default text.

Add a Text widget and label it Cover Image:, then drag the Input widget in front of it and change its name from input1 to cover_image.

Add a Text widget and label it Author, then drag the Dropdown widget in front of it and change its name from Dropdown1 to author. In the options settings for this dropdown, add the following code:

{{
fetch_authors.data.map(
  (row)=>{

    return {label: row.name, value: row.author_id}
  }
)
}}

Add a Text widget and label it Tags:, then drag the Dropdown widget in front of it and change its name from Dropdown1 to tags. In the options settings for this dropdown, add the following code:

  {{
fetch_tags.data.map(
  (row)=>{

    return {label: row.name, value: row.tag_id}
  }
)
}}

Go to the onClick section of the Submit button’s settings, and select Execute a DB Query, choose the submit_article query, then in the onSuccess section, select Execute a DB Query > create_article_tag query. This creates an article entry in the database, and then creates the article_tag entry that links the tag and article together.

To test that it works, fill in the form with some test data and submit it. In the Article table in your database, you should see the new article row with data you just filled in.

The create_article_form

Your App’s Second Page: View Articles

Create a new page called all_articles_page. This page will be used to display all the articles available in the database.

Prepare the Query

Add a new query called fetch_articles and run it. This query will fetch all the articles in the database, as well the authors who wrote them.

SELECT art.*, aut.name as author FROM article art 
join author aut on aut.author_id = art.author_id;

Build the UI

On the all_articles_page, drag a table widget to the page and rename it articles_table. In the Table Data section of the table settings, set the value to {{fetch_articles.data}}. This will use data from the fetch_articles query defined above. By now, the table should be populated with a list of all the articles. The table automatically comes with search, pagination, and filter features.

Next, add a new column to the table and call it View. In the settings for View, set the Column Type as a button, label it View, and set the value for onClick as {{navigateTo('view_article_page', {"key": currentRow.article_id})}} after setting it to JS mode.

This means that when View is clicked, a user will go to the view_article_page.

Create a new page and name it view_article_page. Create a new query, get_article, and fill it as:

select art.*, tag.name as tag_name, tag.tag_id, auth.name as author from article art join
author auth on auth.author_id = art.author_id
left join article_tag at on at.article_id = art.article_id
left join tag on tag.tag_id = at.tag_id
where art.article_id = {{ appsmith.URL.queryParams.key }};
The all_articles_page

Go back to the view_article_page and add the following widgets and settings:

  1. Add a Text widget for the title and set the value of Text to {{get_article.data[0].title}}.
  2. Add another Text widget for the subtitle and set the value of Text to {{get_article.data[0].subtitle}}.
  3. Add an Image widget for the cover image and set the value of Image to {{get_article.data[0].image}}.
  4. Add a Text widget for the article content and set the value of Text to {{get_article.data[0].content}}.
  5. Add a Text widget for the article’s author and set the value of Text to Written By {{get_article.data[0].author}}
  6. To test that the configuration works, go to the all_articles_page and click View on any of the rows. This should take you to the view_articles_page with the actual article loaded.
The view_article_page

Your App’s Third Page: Edit an Article

On the all_articles_page, add a new column to the table. Then add a button called Edit to the column. In the settings for Edit, set the onClick section to JS and add {{navigateTo('edit_article_page',{"key": currentRow.article_id})}} as its value.

The new Edit button

Create a new page and name it edit_article_page. On this page, you’ll add a form to edit existing articles. You'll also make sure that the form is prefilled with the details of the article you want to edit.

Prepare the Data

Go to view_article_page > DB Queries > get_article and copy the get_article query to edit_article_page.

Go to the queries under the create_articles_page, click the three dots near fetch_authors, and select Copy to Page and then edit_article_page. Copy the query fetch_tags to the edit_article_page as well. Under the edit_article_page, you should see all the copied queries. Make sure that the getArticlesCopy ends with { appsmith.URL.queryParams.key }}; instead of {{ }};.

Create a new query edit_article_query and add:

 update article 
SET title = '{{edit_article_form.data.title}}',
    subtitle = '{{edit_article_form.data.subtitle}}',
    content = '{{edit_article_form.data.content}}',
    image = '{{edit_article_form.data.cover_image}}',
    author_id = {{edit_article_form.data.author}}
  WHERE article_id = {{ get_articleCopy.data[0].article_id }};

Create a new query, new_article_tag_query, and add:

INSERT INTO article_tag
  (article_id, tag_id)
VALUES
  (
    '{{ get_articleCopy.data[0].article_id }}',
    '{{ edit_article_form.data.tag }}'
  );

Create a new query, delete_old_article_tags, and add:

DELETE FROM article_tag 
WHERE article_id = {{get_articleCopy.data[0].article_id}};

Build the Page

To build the edit_article_page page, add a Form widget to the page, click the settings gear, and rename the form edit_article_form. Change the form label to Edit an Article.

Add six text widgets to the form and label them Title, Subtitle, Content, Cover Image, Author, and Tag respectively, just like you did on the create_article_page.

Drag the Input widget in front of Title and Subtitle and change their names from input1 to title and subtitle respectively. Open the title widget and set default text as {{get_articleCopy.data[0].title}}. Also set default text for Subtitle as {{get_articleCopy.data[0].subtitle}}.

Drag the Rich Text Editor widget in front of the Content label and change its name from input1 to content. Set the widget's default text as {{get_articleCopy.data[0].content}}.

Drag the Input widget in front of the Cover Image label. Rename the widget cover_image. Set the default text as {{get_articleCopy.data[0].image}}.

Drag a dropdown widget in front of both the Author and Tag labels. For Author, change its name from Dropdown1 to author and set the default text as the following:

{{
  fetch_authorsCopy.data.map(
  (row)=>{

    return {label: row.name, value: row.author_id.toString()}
  }
  )
}}

And the Default Option as {{get_articleCopy.data[0].author_id}}.

For the Tag field, change its name from Dropdown2 to tag and set the options as:

  {{
    fetch_tagsCopy.data.map(
    (row)=>{

      return {label: row.name, value: row.tag_id.toString()}
    }
    )
  }}

And the Default Option as {{get_articleCopy.data[0].tag_id}}.

In the Submit button's settings, go to the onClick section and click JS. Set the value as:

 {{edit_article_query.run(() => delete_old_article_tags.run(() => new_article_tag_query.run(() => get_articleCopy.run()) ), () => {})}}

To test that the configuration works, go to the all_articles_page and click the Edit button on one of the rows. This should bring you to the edit_article_page, with the form prefilled with the selected row's data.

From here you can edit the article and then submit. Confirm that the article got edited successfully from the all_articles_page by looking up the row to see if the data changed.

The edit_article_form

Your App’s Fourth Page: Manage Tags and Authors

Create a new page called authors_and_tags_page. On this page, you'll be able to view all the Authors and Tags. You'll also add the ability to remove and add tags.

Prepare the Queries

Go to the create_article_page > DB Queries and copy fetch_authors and fetch_tag to authors_and_tags_page.

Create a new query, create_tag_query, and paste in the following:

INSERT INTO tag
  (name)
VALUES
  (
    '{{create_tag_modal.data.tag_name}}'
  );

Create a new query, delete_article_tag_query, and paste in the following:

INSERT INTO tag
 DELETE FROM article_tag 
WHERE tag_id = {{tags_table.selectedRow.tag_id}};

Create another query, delete_tag, and add the following code:

DELETE FROM tag WHERE tag_id= {{tags_table.selectedRow.tag_id}}

Build the Page UI

To start building the page UI, add a text widget and name it Authors. Underneath, add a table widget and rename it author_table. Set the Table Data as {{fetch_authorsCopy.data}}. Reload the page.

Add a new column called Action. Go to Action's settings, set its column type as Button, and label the button as View. In the onClick section, set it as JS, and the value as {{showModal('view_author_modal')}}.

You just created a button on the table called View. When this button is clicked, you want it to open a modal called view_author_modal.

The Authors table

To create view_author_modal, drag a Modal widget to the page and rename it view_author_modal. Change the Modal Title text to View Author, set the Modal Type as a Form Modal, and delete the buttons in the modal. Dismiss the modal and click one of the View buttons on the Authors table. This should open up the modal.

Now add a Text widget and set the Text value to {{author_table.selectedRow.name}} in the settings.

Add an Image widget and give it an Image value of {{author_table.selectedRow.profile_picture}}.

Add a Text widget and label it LinkedIn:. In front of it, add another Text widget and give it a Text value of {{author_table.selectedRow.linkedin}}.

Add a Text widget and label it GitHub:. In front of it, add another Text widget and give it a Text value of {{author_table.selectedRow.github}}.

At this point, you should see all of the Author's information rendered on the modal.

Screenshot of the view_article_modal

Next, you need to create a table to display all the tags. Start by adding a Text widget and labeling it Tags. Underneath, add a Table widget and rename it tags_table. Set the Table Data as {{fetch_tagsCopy.data}} and reload the page.

Add a new column called Action. Go to Action's settings, set its column type as Button, and label it as remove. Set the button to Red as well. In the onClick section, enable JS and paste the value as {{delete_article_tag_query.run(() => delete_tag.run(), () => {})}}.

You can test deleting a tag by clicking one of the remove buttons on the Tags table.

Add a Button widget in the bottom right corner underneath the Tags table and label it Add Tag. Next, in the button's onClick settings, click JS and paste the value {{navigateTo('create_tag_page','SAME_WINDOW')}}. Here you’ve configured the Add Tag button to open a new page called create_tag_page.

The Tags table

Create a new page called create_tag_page. When the Add Tag button is clicked, it should go to this new page.

Go to DB Queries and create a new query called create_tag_query. Paste in the following:

INSERT INTO tag
(name)
VALUES
(
  '{{create_tag_form.data.tag_name }}'
);

Go back to the create_tag_page, and drag a Form widget into the workspace. Rename it create_tag_form. Then inside the form, add a Text widget and label it Add Tag.

Underneath, add a Text widget and label it Name:. In front of it add an input widget and rename it tag_name.

Go to the onClick section of the Submit button settings and select Execute a DB Query. Choose the create_tag_query. In the onSuccess section, select Navigate to, and for Page Name enter authors_and_tags_page. This means you want to navigate to the Tags page once a new tag has been created.

Test creating a new tag and checking that it is present on the Tags table.

The create_tag_page

Conclusion

You've seen how easy and fast it is to build a content management system on Appsmith. You’ve connected to a database and built pages and made them interactive. You’ve experimented with how Appsmith’s widgets work, and you’ve learned to customize them for your purposes.

If you’re looking for a fast way to create a CMS or some other internal tool with minimal need for developer hours, consider building it with Appsmith.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

  • xvcmbmvkmnkmbknmbkmlnj
  • A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

  1. A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

ksnopirirfnb [aorewmb[oiewsn b[opebr
  1. then connect a rich text

dfbstjsrykmsry

Square
Try Appsmith
Debugging your apps in Appsmith with the Appsmith Debugger, part 2
27
September
2022
Product

Debugging your apps in Appsmith with the Appsmith Debugger, part 2

Debugging your apps in Appsmith with the Appsmith Debugger, part 2
Ayush Pahwa
0
 minutes ↗
#
product
#
errors
#
troubleshooting
#
debugger
Product
Meet the sidekicks, Logs and Inspect Entity

The first part of this teardown helped you see how the Error pane can save you hours in debugging and build better internal apps. In this one, let’s meet two seemingly innocuous features that can give you debugging super-powers when used right.

Logs

The Logs pane shows you everything logged by Appsmith and, like Errors, in lockstep with the sequence of code execution in your build. Borrowing from the experience of showing logs in general—in the browser console, from a shell, or on your favorite IDE—the Logs pane has four views for specific debugging use cases.

Post_5.jpg (1920×1080)

All Logs

This view shows you all logs timestamped by when we saw them in your Appsmith session. Updated a widget’s property? Wrote a new action to your GraphQL datasource? Ran a JS Object to concat two queries? It all gets logged, including the errors you see in the Errors pane, in a separate view called Error Logs. You will see how that can be useful in a GIF, pun intended.

The All Logs view can be a little overwhelming, though, and a bit of work when you have been at your build for a while. For easier tracking of relevant logs, use one of the three options below.

Post_6.gif (1440×810)

Errors Logs

Everything you learned about the Errors pane applies to this view, too, but there’s more to this view. Here's a likely scenario to show that.

State #1

You have a button to reload a table, presumably to refresh the data from your datasource.

Condition #1

You use the Button property, onClick, which runs the query to fetch the latest data into the table.

Scenario #1

Your query fails.

- On just the Error pane

  • You see just the error for the failing query. Although helpful, it doesn’t offer context for the before and after of the error.

- On the Error Logs pane under Logs

  1. You see logs for the Button click and the executed onClick event .
  2. Because the onClick property is binded to queries and JS Objects, you see the ones that are successfully executed and those that fail.
Error_Logs__Appsmith.gif (1440×810)

The triaging in our example above is especially useful when you have nested queries, several dependent bindings, and a more complex workflow overall.

Console Logs

console.log_in_the_Editor__Appsmith.jpg (1920×1080)

Just introduced in the Debugger, console methods in Appsmith help you see statements for just JS Objects and JavaScript bindings so much better than in the browser sub-window.

Set points in your code that you want to log statements at, view tabular data, or see groups for repeated errors.

System Logs

Post_7.jpg (1920×1080)

Automatically tracking all your interactions with Appsmith during build, System Logs show a helpful trail of activity by descending order of timestamp, especially useful when you want to go back in time or pivot from a point of failure to everything that led to it.

They show up for different situations and interactions for the type of entity you are working with.

With widgets, you see a log when you

  • Drag-and-drop a new widget on the canvas.
  • Update the widget’s properties
    Updating a property also updates all its dependent properties which then show up in System Logs.
Dependent_properties_updates_in_system_logs__Appsmith.gif (1280×720)
For example, when you update the tableData property, you also see its dependent properties like selectedRowIndex, filters, triggeredRowIndex, and so on.
  • Trigger events with an end-user action.
Trigger_events_with_an_end-user_action__Appsmith.gif (1280×720)
For example, when you are using an end-user action to store a value with storeValue or when you want a click-action to trigger an operation like an update or delete and are using onClick, you see them show up in System Logs.
  • Delete a widget from the canvas

With actions, you see them when you

  • Create a new datasource or a query
  • Update query properties like queryName, queryBody, queryConfiguration, and queryProperties.
  • Execute a query
Execute_a_query.gif (1440×810)
This can be either from query pane, running a plain REST API query, a JS Object, or via a widget’s bindings.
  • Delete a query

With JS Objects, you’ll see system logs when you

  • Create and update code inside JS Objects
  • Execute JS Objects
Execute_JS_Objects.gif (1440×810)

Just like errors, system logs are native to entities and have four parts to them.

Parts_of_a_system_log_line__Appsmith.jpg (1920×1080)

The timestamp

Logged as your entities are created, updated and deleted, these little breadcrumbs help you track back from when the error occurred to when it was last A-Okay.

Timestamped_logs_in_System_Logs.gif (1440×810)

The message

Useful during build, the message of the log answers two questions— what were you doing with an entity—creating it, updating it, deleting it—and what happened with your action—success or failure.

  • With widgets, outside of CRUD information, you also see event-specific info like onClick and showAlert linked to those widgets.
  • Queries and JS Objects are straightforward with start and end points that indicate if they were updated, ran, and failed.

The source

Like errors, a system log has two parts to its source—the entity’s name.the type of entity, e.g., SELECT1.TABLE1.WIDGET.

Redirect_from_an_Inspect_Entity_sub-window.gif (1440×810)
👌🏽 Appsmith Experience plug

Clicking the source from the logs takes you to the associated entity anywhere in Appsmith, be it a widget, a query, or a JS Object. Noice!

The response

This doesn’t always show, but when it does, it can be useful confirmation of a binding working, a query running successfully, or a JS Object executing completely.

  • For widgets, you see which properties are updated when you are configuring them and how.
    Say you’re updating the text widget’s background property and you don’t see it change on the canvas. Track the log to the response for a quick confirmation of that and troubleshoot the canvas next.
  • For queries, you’ll see two different logs—the start of a query run and the status of its execution.
    The first type of log will show you configuration details of the query—helpful to verify if the config matches the request.        

{
    "timeoutInMillisecond":10000
    "paginationType":"NONE"
    "encodeParamsToggle":true
    "body":"SELECT * FROM public."users" LIMIT 10;"
    "pluginSpecifiedTemplates":[
        0:{
            "value":true
        }
    ]
}

  • The second type will throw an error if the run fails. When the query runs successfully, it shows all the parameters that the query ran with and the time taken for the response.

{
	"response" : [...],
	"request" : {
		"actionId" "6321c1193668£71e£7caala2"
		"requestedAt" : 1663912830.640344
		"requestParams": {...}
}

  • With JS Objects, you see the response from the function as a JSON after an object is successfully run. This shows you how Appsmith handles the function while evaluating and running it and can be useful for spotting conflicts, undefined references, or troublesome variables.

Inspect Entity

Borrowing from a modern browser’s Inspect Element feature, Inspect Entity lets you see incoming and outgoing entities for any widget. These entities can be queries, JS Objects, or even other widgets.

Group_8480.png (1920×1080)
  • Incoming entities are those that fetch data from the datasource into the widget.
    For example, if the data on a table is populated by a Postgres query, you’ll see the query name under the Incoming entities column.
  • Outgoing entities are those that can specify the data that’s to be sent to the datasource in a typical CUD operation and then send it to your datasource.
    Say, a text widget is binded to a table's selectedRow property, you will see the text widget’s name under the Outgoing entities column.

The Inspect Entity pane lets you see dependencies for all your widgets on the canvas, especially useful if you have a medium-complex app with several widgets working off of each other. For example, when you have a parent widget or query that controls bindings on other dependent widgets---call them children widgets---, Inspect Entity can show you all those children when you click the parent and quickly take you to any one of them directly.

In combination with Errors, Logs and Inspect Entity round out the Debugger for several scenarios during build and save you hours in building an app end-users love. Try out the Debugger and let us know how you like it, what it's missing, and what we can improve. Our Discord is the best place for that feedback.

The Appsmith Debugger now supports Console methods
23
September
2022
Announcement

The Appsmith Debugger now supports Console methods

The Appsmith Debugger now supports Console methods
Rishabh Rathod
0
 minutes ↗
#
debugger
#
troubleshooting
#
console-methods
Announcement

For a while now, you have used and loved the Appsmith Debugger, nearly complete with a Error pane, system and error logs, and an entity inspector. We say nearly complete because it was missing one of the most popular debugging tools in a dev’s toolkit—console methods.

We are happy to announce the availability of console methods for both cloud users and self-hosters on v1.8.0.

“But, what is the Appsmith Debugger?”

Image_1.png (1920×1080)

Think of the Appsmith Debugger as a set of Chrome DevTools—like for Appsmith. It lives on the familiar 🐞 everywhere in Appsmith and

  • shows helpful error messages for bindings, queries, and variables
  • lets you inspect entity relationships
  • filters system and user logs

All of this is helpful when debugging unexpected API responses or app viewer experiences. Should you care to learn more, this post breaks down the debugger by each one of its features.

“Okay, and console methods are…”

Just one of the most popular ways of print debugging in modern browsers, console methods, exposed by the console API, are a set of functions that help you log the values of variables at set points in your code, messages, or even tabular data so you can investigate them in your browser’s debugging console.

Before today, you could use all supported browser console methods, but only in the browser’s dev tools sub-window. To any developer with their hands dirty with front-end code, the browser debugging subwindow is a necessary evil—a thousand lines of errors, messages, values, and steps that you would have to sift through. We are not going to say, “Looking for the literal needle in the haystack”, but you know you are thinking it.

“And the Appsmith Debugger has a console now?”

Yes! 🥳

So, instead of something like,

you now see,

Image_3.png (1920×1080)

Sweet? This gets sweeter.

Supported methods

  • log

Almost synonymous with console, the .log() method is one of the most popular ways to log a message or the values of variables defined in your Javascript.

It can also be used to show helpful messages or comments, say, the entry and exit points of functions.

Example


getUUID: () => {
		console.log("entry - getUUID function");
		let prefix;
		
		let d = new Date().getTime();
		console.log("new date created -", d);
		d += (parseInt(Math.random() * 100)).toString();
		console.log(d, "random number generated by getUUID")
		if (undefined === prefix) {
			prefix = 'uid-';
		}
		d = prefix + d;
		console.log("UUID created -", d);
		console.log("exit - getUUID function")
		return d;
	}

Result

Image_4.png (1920×1080)
  • error

the .error() method logs an error message to the Appsmith console, be it a a string like, “This is an error message” or the value of a function.

Say you've written a function and you suspect it’s returning an error., but you don’t know what kind. For unknown unknowns like this, `error` comes handy.

Example


checkTextWidget: () => {
		const element = Text1.text;
		if (element == "") {
			console.error("There is an error. The Text property is empty ");
		}
		return element;
	}

Result

Image_5.png (1920×1080)
  • warn

Jus as .error() aids error investigations, .warn() shows, well, warnings for known knowns. Some situations this can come in handy are,- When the evaluated value of binded data on a widget is not using the same datatype as the expected value- When widgets continue to use deprecated queries or functions- When the timezone used in a datetime functions doesn't match the browser’s

Example


selectDefaultValue: () => {
	 const defaultValue = Select1.selectedOptionValue;
		if (defaultValue == ""){
			console.warn("No values selected on Select1 widget ")
		}
		return defaultValue;
}

Result

Image_6.png (1920×1080)
  • table

table (.) just does what it says—logs a Table widget’s data in key-value pairs for rows as objects. While we support this in Appsmith, we are still working on a browser console-like table, especially as we make the Table feature-richer.

Example


table1DataFunc: () =>{
		const data = Table1.tableData;
		console.table(data)
}

Result

Image_7.png (1920×1080)

That’s it! You now have the power of the console right within in Appsmith. There are other useful views available under Logs and we'll talk about them in a follow-up to the Debugger teardown soon. Bookmark this page. Thank us later.

Debugging your app in Appsmith with the Appsmith Debugger, Part 1
20
September
2022
Product

Debugging your app in Appsmith with the Appsmith Debugger, Part 1

Debugging your app in Appsmith with the Appsmith Debugger, Part 1
Ayush Pahwa
0
 minutes ↗
#
product
#
errors
#
troubleshooting
#
debugger
Product

That title is a tongue twister, innit? Almost.

Here’s a meme that isn’t. It’s just the painful truth.

Debugging_is_like_being_lost_in_a_deser.jpg (749×500)

There is no perfect code, so you know debugging is inevitable, but it’s still a chore and is as crushing often times as the meme claims it is.

But, while debugging is inevitable, making it painful is optional, especially when you have the Appsmith Debugger. We have claimed we champion developer experience as many times as we could before without being brazen about it. We think. So, we thought some more and said, “Let’s prove the claim, too.”

“Wait, wait. What is the Appsmith Debugger?”

In 2021, we shipped the Appsmith Debugger, a set of Chrome DevelTools-like features that have helped you investigate and resolve errors in Appsmith.

We recorded a video for it in a series about the Debugger, talked about it in our docs, and referenced it enough times to make you groan about our obsession with errors. If this is the first you are hearing of it, get on our Discord so we can tell you some more about it.

Why we did this

Browser dev tools are as helpful as a magnet when looking for iron fillings in a pristine haystack. To the untrained eye, they can be downright criminal, too.

Browser_debugger.jpeg (960×506)
Source: Reddit

Sure, sure, they nest groups of errors and there are separate tabs for the console and the debugger, but meh! There’s a sea of error messages, system logs, console logs, and then there’s you swimming in it.

Before we shipped the debugger, you saw,

  • errors inside a widget's Property pane that floated on your canvas which probably already had several widgets
  • the Editor’s Response pane, which clubbed legit responses with errors

The Debugger solved several of those problems.

Post_8.jpg (1920×1080)

What’s the Debugger have

Available on app.appsmith.com and our self-hosted release images, it can be called by toggling the debug icon—the one that looks like a bug—on the bottom-right corner of your Appsmith screen or with CTRL/CMD +D.

Inside the Debugger, live three panes, Errors, Logs, and Inspect Entity, each with their own uses. In the first part of this two part post, we will break the Error pane down for you and see how it can save you hours over browser dev tools in debugging.

If you would much rather just learn about Logs and Inspect Entity, bookmark this post. We will link to Part 2 in five days. :-)

Errors

Borrowing from a browser’s dev tools sub-window but improving on it radically, the Error pane lists all errors that we see when you are building inside Appsmith. Familiar examples include syntax errors from JavaScript bindings, reference errors from queries, and datatype mismatch errors.

Errors in the pane are specific to an Appsmith entity. Translated from Appsmithlish, it means you see helpful error messages about a faulting widget, a rogue query, or a stubborn JS Object.

Untitled.gif (1440×810)
Example of a faulting widget and the error beaconing it
Untitled.gif (1440×810)
A JS Object error

  • These errors get logged to the pane in lockstep with the sequence of code execution in Appsmith.
  • The Error pane is the default view when working with widgets—most noticeable if you have the Debugger sub-window resized as in the pictures in purple—so you know what’s going wrong and where in real-time.
  • The Editor's Error Pane is smarter. It doesn’t automatically switch to the Error pane—Response is the default on this screen—when an error occurs. Instead, the Debug icon lights up in red with a numeric notification that’s like a running ticker for the number of errors the Debugger sees with your queries or JS Objects. Click it to open the Error pane.
  • Every error you see in the pane follows a template with a few helpful pieces of info to help you debug.
image_high.jpeg (1920×1080)
Numbers on this image correspond to bullets below. Images in sub-bullets below show what the sub-bullet talks about.

The timestamp

Logged as your code executes or a value evaluates with your widgets, these little breadcrumbs help you track back from when the error occurred to when last it was A-Okay.

The issue

Depending on the error type, you will see a couple different kinds of issues.

  1. With widgets, you’ll see the faulting widget property’s name. An example of this is the commonplace The value at tableData is invalid, occurring when the property tableData expects an Array<Object> datatype but you have an Array<List> instead.
  2. With queries, you see more specific errors, often specific to the datasource you are running your queries to, often indicated by status codes returned by your failing requests.
  3. With JS Objects, we straight-up level with you about the parseability of your functions. Parseability probably isn’t a word, but you know what we mean.

The source

This has two parts to it—the entity’s name.the type of entity the troublesome one is, e.g., SELECT1.WIDGET. As is obvious and has been to you, SELECT1 is the entity’s name and WIDGET is the entity type.

👌🏾 Appsmith Experience plug: Clicking the source takes you to the faulting entity anywhere in Appsmith, be it a widget, a query, or a JS Object. Noice!

The message

This is the most helpful part of the message, beginning with Error and ending with a helpful bit of text or a number.

  1. Because widgets bind to queries or JS Objects using JavaScript, quite a few errors you see are the same as familiar JavaScript errors like SyntaxError or TypeError. Some other errors show is not defined. This is when a variable, a query, or a JS Object isn’t defined, but you have specified it in the Property pane.
  2. In the Editor, these messages go a step further and call out the line number in the editor that has the faulting code. For example, Line 2: Unrecognized token '$'. This type of message has three parts to it.
Post_9.jpg (1920×1080)

1. The type: Error

2. The string: relation “public.user” does not exit

3. The line number: Position 15

😻 Appsmith Experience plug: Clicking the message will open our in-app docs finder and run a helpful search to show you top docs matching the error.

Response from queries or bindings

This doesn’t always show, but when it does, it can show you helpful responses with query params or evaluated values of data bindings.

Post_10.jpg (1920×1080)
  1. With widgets, you’ll see the evaluated value from the bindings.
  2. With queries, you’ll see the payload from the API you are querying.

“How does all of this help?”

Consider two situations we have painfully drawn for you.

State #1

You have several queries and widgets on your way to a complete build.

Condition #1

You have nested queries inside JS Objects. Meaning, these queries are binded to multiple widgets via JavaScript transformations and have dependent parameters with each other.

Scenario #1

A query fails and returns an error.

Without the Appsmith Debugger

You decide to sift through the browser dev tools sub-window, trying to locate the faulty query in something that looks like ↓.

The_browser_console.png (1920×1080)

When you find the first problem query, you’re hoping against hope this is your patient zero.

  1. If so, congratulations aren’t quite in order yet. You’re still going to have to surgery the query to see what went wrong where.
  2. With browser tools, may you be lucky and find a fix in the first hour.

Most times, though, Murphy’s Law applies.

  1. Meaning, you will need to find the last problem query.
  2. Repeat steps #1 and #2 with all the sub-steps in between

If you have a friend who’s on Appsmith, you hear them say, “Good morning. Do you have a ready app? No? Try the Debugger. 🙄”

With the Appsmith Debugger

You see all the errors from all the failed queries In the Error pane and nothing else to crowd your investigation.

  1. You quickly scan by the type of errors.
  2. Errors are listed in the sequence of query execution.
Post_11.jpg (1920×1080)
So you can simply scroll to the first failed query, and investigate further.

  1. The error message tells you what failed with the params in which line, neatly indented neatly for you.

Don’t remember the query’s name? Pfft! We got it. Click the error message, and go right to the error source.

Trouble troubleshooting? Click the error message and find super-relevant docs in Appsmith’s doc finder.

At the end of it, you save a whole night’s hair-pulls, wake up bright and fresh, sip your coffee, and wonder why some people still use browser dev tools. 🤔 Maybe you should refer them to us.

State #2

You have the data from a REST API and the table for your dashboard, but you have left the chart for the very end. You are sensible like that. Charts are tricky things in general.

Condition #2

You have to bind the chart widget from Fusion Charts or one of our defaults with a query that should output the format Array<{ x: string, y: number Required }> as input to the widget. This will need JavaScript transformations.

Scenario #2

You get a datatype mismatch error.

Without the Appsmith Debugger

You toggle around the floating EXPECTED STRUCTURE, EXPECTED STRUCTURE - EXAMPLE, and EVALUATED VALUE panes to understand the chart widget’s configuration.

You have a JS Object for the transformation, so you now switch back and forth between the canvas and the JS Editor for each possible fix in the JS code.

  1. By now, you have console.loged your way to the browser tools sub-window. Magnet, meet Iron Fillings In A Haystack.
  2. Forgot the change you made to the JS Object five tries ago? Yeah, well, no System Logs, so what can you do, right? Maybe note each change on Sublime or VS Code from this point on.

With the Appsmith Debugger

Post_12.jpg (1920×1080)

Right after you run the transformation, you see the floating-pane-that-we-don’t have-a-name-for-yet show you some red and the Error pane light up with all your errors, timestamped and sequenced by the order of code execution.

  1. You see the type of error and the evaluated value for the faulting entity. Stick to this without worrying about the unnamed floating pane.
  2. Your query has trouble getting a response from your datasource, so you see that error, but hey, you also see the binding failure of that same query with the widget.
  3. No hunting for the query or the widget you want to troubleshoot. One click from the Debugger and you are transported to the associated entity.
Debugger_with_click-actions__JS_Editor.jpg (1920×1080)

You see all the errors from the transformation in one pane with click-actions for each one of them.

Docs_finder_from_Response__Appsmith.gif (1440×810)

Error messages not enough? Click the error and choose, Browse code snippets, and voila! You now now search for the chart + the query right there and see some of our helpful docs.

Made it to here? Your life inside Appsmith is going to change.

Also, this is just part one of this two-part breakdown. What’s next?

https://media.giphy.com/media/3kIGmlW0lvpnmF3bGy/giphy.gif

Better than post-credits. A whole other movie featuring Logs and Inspect Entity. Meanwhile, here’s a few things you can do.

Until the next Debugger post, Appsmiths.

P.S.: We love you.