29
April
2021
Tutorial

Building an Admin Panel with Appsmith


Admin panels are an important part of every organization. They are necessary to serve customers better and run business processes smoothly. They help reduce management and people overhead significantly. But on the other hand, they take a lot of time to build and are troublesome and expensive to maintain. As a result, it is not the choice of project for most developers.

Thankfully, there are a lot of options available to developers today to build complex admin panels and dashboards fairly easily while making maintenance easier. An example of such a framework that we have explored, React-admin. We’ve written an article on how to use it. It’s better than building an admin panel from scratch, but it is still cumbersome to move from a simple admin panel to an admin panel that behaves like an internal app.

And that’s one of the reasons why we built Appsmith. Building Admin panels and internal apps should be easy and, more importantly, fun. Appsmith offers a drag and drop interface for creating UI elements and provides the option to write code wherever you may need to. You can build dashboards a hundred times faster on Appsmith, and that’s not an exaggeration.

For this article, I’d like you to imagine it's 2005. Netflix doesn’t stream video yet. You run a local DVD store, and you need software to manage your rentals. You’re the only developer in the organization. How do you go about building one that is fast, scalable and easily maintainable? In this article, I’m going to show you how to build an admin panel using Appsmith to manage DVD rentals for your store.

The app would have two pages. The first page would have a table listing all registered members of the store. The second page will have a table that holds all rental records. From here, new rental entries can be created, and existing rentals can be updated i.e from borrowed to returned. We would also be able to click on a customer from the first page and then taken them to the rentals page to see his rental history.

Before we begin, I’d like to give you a quick overview of the dataset we’ll be making use of. We’ll be using a modified version of the Sakila dataset. The database of choice is MongoDB on MongoDB Atlas and here’s the schema for each collection

// Customer collection
{
  "store_id": String,
  "first_name": String,
  "last_name": String,
  "email": String,
  "address_id": String,
  "activebool": Boolean,
  "create_date": Date,
  "last_update": Date,
  "active": Number
}
// Film collection
{
  "title": String,
  "description": String,
  "release_year": Number,
  "language_id": String,
  "rental_duration": Number,
  "rental_rate": Number,
  "length": Number,
  "replacement_cost": Number,
  "rating": String,
  "last_update": Date,
  "special_features": String,
  "fulltext": String
}
// Rental collection
{
  "status": String,
  "rental_date": Date,
  "film_title": String,
  "customer_email": String,
  "return_date": Date,
  "staff_id": String,
  "last_update": Date
}

That’s the overview of everything. Now let us get started!

Oh, snap! I almost forgot. Here are some of the core Appsmith concepts we’re going to cover:

  • How to connect Appsmith directly to your database (eliminates the need for an API server)
  • How to create data-driven widgets
  • How to perform CURD operations
  • How to securely share your application (no auth required)
  • How to deploy your application

We can get started now!

Connecting to your data source

It’s quite important that our application is linked to a persisted data source because admin panels are almost always data-driven applications. This data can come from an API, a database, or a Google sheets table as we have the freedom to use any of these on Appsmith. We’ll be with the database route.

Create an Appsmith account if you do not have one yet and let’s begin to smith our application 😁

As highlighted earlier, our application would be based on a MongoDB database. Don’t despair if you would like to follow along and do not have a ready-to-go database. Here’s a database connection you can make use of. Mind you, it’s read-only (don’t forget to say thank you)

Username: article_reader

Password: 0HkfXpxVpvvSvUOx

Connection url: cloud.r4vra.mongodb.net

Database name: movie_store

Alright, we’ve removed all hurdles from the track, now let’s start racing!

Go ahead to create a new application from your Appsmith dashboard and give it a fancy name. Next, let’s connect to the mongo database. Click on the DB Queries button on the left panel on the page and select MongoDB from the list of supported databases. Now go in and supply the database credentials to the from, also give this data source a descriptive name i.e. movie_store or movie_store_db. I think I’ll go with movie_store. And lastly, hit the big green save button.

1-connecting to mongodb.png

Awesome! We’ve connected the application to the database. We can now do some querying and build data-driven widgets. Let’s move on to the next section.

Creating data-driven widgets

We now have a database connected to the application. The next thing we need to do is to create a widget that can be used to create, update and display data from the database. To achieve this, we need a way to fetch data from the database. This can be done on Appsmith by writing database queries.

Rolle up your sleeves because we’re going to be writing our first DB query! Click on the DB Queries section again, and you’ll see a button to create a new query on the MongoDB movie_store data source. Give the query a name i.e. get_customers, and select a read template from the list because we’re going to be reading documents from the Customer collection.

The get_customer query should find all customers in the Customer collection, sort them by email and return a fixed limit of customers. Your query should look like this.

// Customer collection
{
  "find": "Customer",
  "sort": {
    "email": 1
  },
  "limit": 10
}

Configure your query and hit the run button, and you’ll get a list of 10 customers. Sweet!

It would be much readable to display this data in a table. So let’s do exactly that. Click on the Add widget button just below the query editor, and you’ll get a new table widget on the canvas that has been automatically linked to the get_customers query. An alternative way would be to click on the Widgets section and drag a table widget to the canvas. Then, data from the query can be bound to the widget via the Table Data property on the widget’s configuration menu using moustache syntax.

// Customer collection
{{get_customers.data}}
It’s important you give the table a descriptive name. Consider changing the name from Table1 to customers_table
2-writing binding for customer table.png

Go ahead to customize the table by re-ordering the columns and hiding columns you don’t like. We’ll also need to paginate the table, so on the table’s config menu, turn on Server Side Pagination and configure the onPageChange action (in the Actions subsection of the menu) to execute a DB query and then select the get_customers query.

We’ll need to update the query and add a skip property that calculates a skip based on the current table page number to simulate pagination. The moustache syntax would be very handy in this case to perform quick evaluations, so let’s make use of it. Your updated get_customer query should look like mine.

{
  "find": "Customer",
  "sort": {
    "email": 1
  },
  "skip": {{(customers_table.pageNo - 1) * 10}},
  "limit": 10
}

As you may have noticed, we are accessing the table’s page number from within the {{}} through the object bearing the widget’s name (customers_table in this case). You can learn more about writing Javascript in Appsmith here.

Click on the page number on the table widget now fetches new records. We’ve been able to query the database, bind data to a widget and perform customization on the widget. Good job!

Now, we’re going to create a new page to manage rentals. Click on the plus button on the Pages section of the left-hand panel and create a new page. Call this the Rentals page and update the name of the home page to Customers. On this new page, you’re going to be building a table to display rentals like we just did for the Customers page. You’ll need a query (should be named get_rentals) and a table widget (should be named rentals_table) for this. Your query to get rentals should look like this.

{
  "find": "Rental",
  "sort": {
    "_id": 1
  },
  "skip": {{(rentals_table.pageNo - 1)*10}},
  "limit": 10
}

Where rentals_table is the name of your table widget on the Rentals page.

Good luck!

Creating new rentals

After completing the table on the Rentals page, the next feature we need to build in is the ability to create new rental records.

Here’s the game plan: We’re going to build a form that takes as input the status, rental data, film title, customer email, and return date. This form would be housed within a modal widget that would be triggered by clicking on a ‘Create new rental’ button. Now, you have a good overview, let’s get started!

On the Rentals page, head to the widget’s section and drag in a modal widget. In the modal’s config menu, update the name to create_rental_modal and set the Modal type to Form Modal. Now you see we have more space to work with.

With create_rental_modal open, drag in three dropdown widgets and two date picker widgets. The name of the first dropdown widget should be updated to customer_dropdown. Following this convention, go ahead and rename the other two dropdowns to film_dropdown and status_dropdown. For the two date pickers, their names should similarly be updated to rental_datepicker and return_datepicker. You should drag in a few text widgets to label these inputs.

4-create rental modal.png

We need a button on the UI to trigger the opening up of the modal. Let’s drag a button from the widgets section to the canvas. Give this button a new label i.e Create New Rental, and set the onClick action to Open Modal, then select create_rental_modal. Clicking on the button now opens up the modal.

Nice! We’ve completed the UI for the crate form. Now let’s wire it up with some queries.

The first query we’ll be writing for the create form would get all registered customers from the DB. We would use the returned data to build the options for the customer_dropdown. This query would be similar to the get_customers query from the Customers page.

Go ahead and create a new query named all_customers. It should be configured as shown below

{
  "find": "Customer",
  "sort": {
    "email": 1
  }
}

Now, we can use the data returned from this query to build the options of the customer_dropdown. Open up the create_new_rental modal and head to the config menu of the customer_dropdown. Now replace the content of the Options section with the snippet shown below.

{{all_customers.data.map(c => ({label: c.email, value: c.email}))}}

This returns an array of objects whose label and value are the email addresses of the customers from the all_customers query. You can play around with the dropdown and see that the options generated from the query. Sweet 🤩

Now you’re going to do the same thing for the film_dropdown. Create an all_films query and use the title field of each document to build the options for the dropdown. Your query should look like this.

{
  "find": "Film",
  "sort": {
    "title": 1
  }
}

Cool! For the status_dropdown, we can simply hard code the Options with this simple JSON array.

[
  { "label": "borrowed", "value": "borrowed" },
  { "label": "delayed", "value": "delayed" },
  { "label": "lost", "value": "lost" },
  { "label": "returned", "value": "returned" }
]
Don’t forget to set a default option for each dropdown widget The rental_datepicker and return_datepicker widgets do not require further configuration, and they are good to go. The last thing we need to do is to write a query that would create a new document on the ‘Rental’ collection using the data from the input widgets. Alright, go ahead and create a new query called create_rental and configure it this way.
{
  "insert": "Rental",
  "documents": [
    {
      "staff_id": "{{appsmith.user.email}}",
      "status": "{{status_dropdown.selectedOptionValue}}",
      "customer_email": "{{ customer_dropdown.selectedOptionValue }}",
      "film_title": "{{ film_dropdown.selectedOptionValue }}",
      "rental_date": "{{ rental_datepicker.selectedDate }}",
      "return_date": "{{ return_datepicker.selectedDate }}",
      "last_update": "{{moment().format()}}"
    }
  ]
}

Now we can go back to configure the big green Confirm button on the modal to run this query when it is clicked. We also want to close the modal and refresh the rental table when the button is clicked. Because what we want to do is a complex chain of actions, we can write some JavaScript to achieve this. Click on the JS button just beside the onClick button of the Confirm button and supply the bellow code snippet.

{
{create_rental.run(
  ()=> {
      closeModal("create_rental_modal");
    get_rentals.run();
  }
)}
}

Great Job! Go ahead, give it a spin and create a few new rentals.

Updating a rental

The flow for updating a rental is quite similar to that of creating a rental. We’ll need a modal that would be opened by clicking on a button. The modal would only contain form elements for updating the status and return date of the rental.

The only difference here is that we want the rental in question to be the one selected from the table. To do this, we need to head back to the config menu for the rentals_table and create a new column by clicking on the Add a new column button. Click on the gear icon of the newly created column and set the column name to Update. Also, set the Column type to button and set its Lebel property to Update. For its onClick action, it should be configured to open up the update_rental_modal which you’re going to build on your own.

And that all you need. Oh, you’ll also need to write a update_rental query too. It should look somewhat like this.

{
  "update": "Rental",
  "updates": [
    {
      "q": {
        "_id": "{{rentals_table.selectedRow._id}}"
      },
      "u": { 
        "$set": {
      "status": "{{ update_status_dropdown.selectedOptionValue }}", 
          "return_date": "{{update_return_date_datepicker.selectedDate}}",
          "last_update": "{{moment().format()}}"
     } 
      }
    }
  ]
}

Now you have everything you need to know. Go ahead and build the update flow.

Putting it all together

You’ve done a good job making it this far. I’m so proud of you that I’m going to leave the gif below. 🤗

We’ve been able to accomplish most of what we set out to do. We have a table on the Customers page to view all customers. On the Rentals page, we can view all rentals, create a new rental or update existing rentals. It was no small feat we accomplished.

I’ll like us to add one more feature. Let’s make it such that clicking on a customer on the customers_table takes us to the Rentals page, and then we can view all rentals made only by that customer.

We’ll need column buttons for each row like we did for the update flow. In this case, the onClick action of the custom column buttons would perform a navigation to the Rentals page and pass the selected customers’ email from the table as query params. Use the below snippet in the Query Params configuration for the navigation.

{{{customer_email: customers_table.selectedRow.email}}}

And lastly, we need to update the get_rentals query in the Rentals page to filter by customer_email coming in as a query param. We also add a fallback just in case no email is passed.

{
  "find": "Rental",
  "sort": {
    "customer_email": 1
  },
    "filter": {
    "customer_email": {
      "$regex": "{{appsmith.URL.queryParams.customer_email || ""}}"
      }
    },
 "skip": {{(rentals_table.pageNo - 1) * 10}},
  "limit": 10
}

And that’s it! You’ve completed the app. 🥳️🎉🎉

Sharing and deploying the app

It’s quite easy to hand off your application to the team that would make use of it i.e customer support. You don’t have to worry about an authentication/authorization flow; Appsmith does all the work for you.

There’s a SHARE button on the top right side of the page. You can easily use it to invite users to the application and set roles i.e app viewer or developer. No hassle is required!

Clicking on the ‘DEPLOY’ button to the right of the share button will publish all changes made in the editor to the hosted version of the application. Isn’t that cool?

Wrapping up

We set out to build an admin panel, and we’ve seen how we can do it very easily using Appsmith. Going this route will drastically reduce the development time and resources put into maintaining the app.

If you found this tutorial helpful, please consider giving us a star on Github.

Cover Photo Credits: Photo by Serpstat from Pexels

Building an Admin Panel with Appsmith


Admin panels are an important part of every organization. They are necessary to serve customers better and run business processes smoothly. They help reduce management and people overhead significantly. But on the other hand, they take a lot of time to build and are troublesome and expensive to maintain. As a result, it is not the choice of project for most developers.

Thankfully, there are a lot of options available to developers today to build complex admin panels and dashboards fairly easily while making maintenance easier. An example of such a framework that we have explored, React-admin. We’ve written an article on how to use it. It’s better than building an admin panel from scratch, but it is still cumbersome to move from a simple admin panel to an admin panel that behaves like an internal app.

And that’s one of the reasons why we built Appsmith. Building Admin panels and internal apps should be easy and, more importantly, fun. Appsmith offers a drag and drop interface for creating UI elements and provides the option to write code wherever you may need to. You can build dashboards a hundred times faster on Appsmith, and that’s not an exaggeration.

For this article, I’d like you to imagine it's 2005. Netflix doesn’t stream video yet. You run a local DVD store, and you need software to manage your rentals. You’re the only developer in the organization. How do you go about building one that is fast, scalable and easily maintainable? In this article, I’m going to show you how to build an admin panel using Appsmith to manage DVD rentals for your store.

The app would have two pages. The first page would have a table listing all registered members of the store. The second page will have a table that holds all rental records. From here, new rental entries can be created, and existing rentals can be updated i.e from borrowed to returned. We would also be able to click on a customer from the first page and then taken them to the rentals page to see his rental history.

Before we begin, I’d like to give you a quick overview of the dataset we’ll be making use of. We’ll be using a modified version of the Sakila dataset. The database of choice is MongoDB on MongoDB Atlas and here’s the schema for each collection

// Customer collection
{
  "store_id": String,
  "first_name": String,
  "last_name": String,
  "email": String,
  "address_id": String,
  "activebool": Boolean,
  "create_date": Date,
  "last_update": Date,
  "active": Number
}
// Film collection
{
  "title": String,
  "description": String,
  "release_year": Number,
  "language_id": String,
  "rental_duration": Number,
  "rental_rate": Number,
  "length": Number,
  "replacement_cost": Number,
  "rating": String,
  "last_update": Date,
  "special_features": String,
  "fulltext": String
}
// Rental collection
{
  "status": String,
  "rental_date": Date,
  "film_title": String,
  "customer_email": String,
  "return_date": Date,
  "staff_id": String,
  "last_update": Date
}

That’s the overview of everything. Now let us get started!

Oh, snap! I almost forgot. Here are some of the core Appsmith concepts we’re going to cover:

  • How to connect Appsmith directly to your database (eliminates the need for an API server)
  • How to create data-driven widgets
  • How to perform CURD operations
  • How to securely share your application (no auth required)
  • How to deploy your application

We can get started now!

Connecting to your data source

It’s quite important that our application is linked to a persisted data source because admin panels are almost always data-driven applications. This data can come from an API, a database, or a Google sheets table as we have the freedom to use any of these on Appsmith. We’ll be with the database route.

Create an Appsmith account if you do not have one yet and let’s begin to smith our application 😁

As highlighted earlier, our application would be based on a MongoDB database. Don’t despair if you would like to follow along and do not have a ready-to-go database. Here’s a database connection you can make use of. Mind you, it’s read-only (don’t forget to say thank you)

Username: article_reader

Password: 0HkfXpxVpvvSvUOx

Connection url: cloud.r4vra.mongodb.net

Database name: movie_store

Alright, we’ve removed all hurdles from the track, now let’s start racing!

Go ahead to create a new application from your Appsmith dashboard and give it a fancy name. Next, let’s connect to the mongo database. Click on the DB Queries button on the left panel on the page and select MongoDB from the list of supported databases. Now go in and supply the database credentials to the from, also give this data source a descriptive name i.e. movie_store or movie_store_db. I think I’ll go with movie_store. And lastly, hit the big green save button.

1-connecting to mongodb.png

Awesome! We’ve connected the application to the database. We can now do some querying and build data-driven widgets. Let’s move on to the next section.

Creating data-driven widgets

We now have a database connected to the application. The next thing we need to do is to create a widget that can be used to create, update and display data from the database. To achieve this, we need a way to fetch data from the database. This can be done on Appsmith by writing database queries.

Rolle up your sleeves because we’re going to be writing our first DB query! Click on the DB Queries section again, and you’ll see a button to create a new query on the MongoDB movie_store data source. Give the query a name i.e. get_customers, and select a read template from the list because we’re going to be reading documents from the Customer collection.

The get_customer query should find all customers in the Customer collection, sort them by email and return a fixed limit of customers. Your query should look like this.

// Customer collection
{
  "find": "Customer",
  "sort": {
    "email": 1
  },
  "limit": 10
}

Configure your query and hit the run button, and you’ll get a list of 10 customers. Sweet!

It would be much readable to display this data in a table. So let’s do exactly that. Click on the Add widget button just below the query editor, and you’ll get a new table widget on the canvas that has been automatically linked to the get_customers query. An alternative way would be to click on the Widgets section and drag a table widget to the canvas. Then, data from the query can be bound to the widget via the Table Data property on the widget’s configuration menu using moustache syntax.

// Customer collection
{{get_customers.data}}
It’s important you give the table a descriptive name. Consider changing the name from Table1 to customers_table
2-writing binding for customer table.png

Go ahead to customize the table by re-ordering the columns and hiding columns you don’t like. We’ll also need to paginate the table, so on the table’s config menu, turn on Server Side Pagination and configure the onPageChange action (in the Actions subsection of the menu) to execute a DB query and then select the get_customers query.

We’ll need to update the query and add a skip property that calculates a skip based on the current table page number to simulate pagination. The moustache syntax would be very handy in this case to perform quick evaluations, so let’s make use of it. Your updated get_customer query should look like mine.

{
  "find": "Customer",
  "sort": {
    "email": 1
  },
  "skip": {{(customers_table.pageNo - 1) * 10}},
  "limit": 10
}

As you may have noticed, we are accessing the table’s page number from within the {{}} through the object bearing the widget’s name (customers_table in this case). You can learn more about writing Javascript in Appsmith here.

Click on the page number on the table widget now fetches new records. We’ve been able to query the database, bind data to a widget and perform customization on the widget. Good job!

Now, we’re going to create a new page to manage rentals. Click on the plus button on the Pages section of the left-hand panel and create a new page. Call this the Rentals page and update the name of the home page to Customers. On this new page, you’re going to be building a table to display rentals like we just did for the Customers page. You’ll need a query (should be named get_rentals) and a table widget (should be named rentals_table) for this. Your query to get rentals should look like this.

{
  "find": "Rental",
  "sort": {
    "_id": 1
  },
  "skip": {{(rentals_table.pageNo - 1)*10}},
  "limit": 10
}

Where rentals_table is the name of your table widget on the Rentals page.

Good luck!

Creating new rentals

After completing the table on the Rentals page, the next feature we need to build in is the ability to create new rental records.

Here’s the game plan: We’re going to build a form that takes as input the status, rental data, film title, customer email, and return date. This form would be housed within a modal widget that would be triggered by clicking on a ‘Create new rental’ button. Now, you have a good overview, let’s get started!

On the Rentals page, head to the widget’s section and drag in a modal widget. In the modal’s config menu, update the name to create_rental_modal and set the Modal type to Form Modal. Now you see we have more space to work with.

With create_rental_modal open, drag in three dropdown widgets and two date picker widgets. The name of the first dropdown widget should be updated to customer_dropdown. Following this convention, go ahead and rename the other two dropdowns to film_dropdown and status_dropdown. For the two date pickers, their names should similarly be updated to rental_datepicker and return_datepicker. You should drag in a few text widgets to label these inputs.

4-create rental modal.png

We need a button on the UI to trigger the opening up of the modal. Let’s drag a button from the widgets section to the canvas. Give this button a new label i.e Create New Rental, and set the onClick action to Open Modal, then select create_rental_modal. Clicking on the button now opens up the modal.

Nice! We’ve completed the UI for the crate form. Now let’s wire it up with some queries.

The first query we’ll be writing for the create form would get all registered customers from the DB. We would use the returned data to build the options for the customer_dropdown. This query would be similar to the get_customers query from the Customers page.

Go ahead and create a new query named all_customers. It should be configured as shown below

{
  "find": "Customer",
  "sort": {
    "email": 1
  }
}

Now, we can use the data returned from this query to build the options of the customer_dropdown. Open up the create_new_rental modal and head to the config menu of the customer_dropdown. Now replace the content of the Options section with the snippet shown below.

{{all_customers.data.map(c => ({label: c.email, value: c.email}))}}

This returns an array of objects whose label and value are the email addresses of the customers from the all_customers query. You can play around with the dropdown and see that the options generated from the query. Sweet 🤩

Now you’re going to do the same thing for the film_dropdown. Create an all_films query and use the title field of each document to build the options for the dropdown. Your query should look like this.

{
  "find": "Film",
  "sort": {
    "title": 1
  }
}

Cool! For the status_dropdown, we can simply hard code the Options with this simple JSON array.

[
  { "label": "borrowed", "value": "borrowed" },
  { "label": "delayed", "value": "delayed" },
  { "label": "lost", "value": "lost" },
  { "label": "returned", "value": "returned" }
]
Don’t forget to set a default option for each dropdown widget The rental_datepicker and return_datepicker widgets do not require further configuration, and they are good to go. The last thing we need to do is to write a query that would create a new document on the ‘Rental’ collection using the data from the input widgets. Alright, go ahead and create a new query called create_rental and configure it this way.
{
  "insert": "Rental",
  "documents": [
    {
      "staff_id": "{{appsmith.user.email}}",
      "status": "{{status_dropdown.selectedOptionValue}}",
      "customer_email": "{{ customer_dropdown.selectedOptionValue }}",
      "film_title": "{{ film_dropdown.selectedOptionValue }}",
      "rental_date": "{{ rental_datepicker.selectedDate }}",
      "return_date": "{{ return_datepicker.selectedDate }}",
      "last_update": "{{moment().format()}}"
    }
  ]
}

Now we can go back to configure the big green Confirm button on the modal to run this query when it is clicked. We also want to close the modal and refresh the rental table when the button is clicked. Because what we want to do is a complex chain of actions, we can write some JavaScript to achieve this. Click on the JS button just beside the onClick button of the Confirm button and supply the bellow code snippet.

{
{create_rental.run(
  ()=> {
      closeModal("create_rental_modal");
    get_rentals.run();
  }
)}
}

Great Job! Go ahead, give it a spin and create a few new rentals.

Updating a rental

The flow for updating a rental is quite similar to that of creating a rental. We’ll need a modal that would be opened by clicking on a button. The modal would only contain form elements for updating the status and return date of the rental.

The only difference here is that we want the rental in question to be the one selected from the table. To do this, we need to head back to the config menu for the rentals_table and create a new column by clicking on the Add a new column button. Click on the gear icon of the newly created column and set the column name to Update. Also, set the Column type to button and set its Lebel property to Update. For its onClick action, it should be configured to open up the update_rental_modal which you’re going to build on your own.

And that all you need. Oh, you’ll also need to write a update_rental query too. It should look somewhat like this.

{
  "update": "Rental",
  "updates": [
    {
      "q": {
        "_id": "{{rentals_table.selectedRow._id}}"
      },
      "u": { 
        "$set": {
      "status": "{{ update_status_dropdown.selectedOptionValue }}", 
          "return_date": "{{update_return_date_datepicker.selectedDate}}",
          "last_update": "{{moment().format()}}"
     } 
      }
    }
  ]
}

Now you have everything you need to know. Go ahead and build the update flow.

Putting it all together

You’ve done a good job making it this far. I’m so proud of you that I’m going to leave the gif below. 🤗

We’ve been able to accomplish most of what we set out to do. We have a table on the Customers page to view all customers. On the Rentals page, we can view all rentals, create a new rental or update existing rentals. It was no small feat we accomplished.

I’ll like us to add one more feature. Let’s make it such that clicking on a customer on the customers_table takes us to the Rentals page, and then we can view all rentals made only by that customer.

We’ll need column buttons for each row like we did for the update flow. In this case, the onClick action of the custom column buttons would perform a navigation to the Rentals page and pass the selected customers’ email from the table as query params. Use the below snippet in the Query Params configuration for the navigation.

{{{customer_email: customers_table.selectedRow.email}}}

And lastly, we need to update the get_rentals query in the Rentals page to filter by customer_email coming in as a query param. We also add a fallback just in case no email is passed.

{
  "find": "Rental",
  "sort": {
    "customer_email": 1
  },
    "filter": {
    "customer_email": {
      "$regex": "{{appsmith.URL.queryParams.customer_email || ""}}"
      }
    },
 "skip": {{(rentals_table.pageNo - 1) * 10}},
  "limit": 10
}

And that’s it! You’ve completed the app. 🥳️🎉🎉

Sharing and deploying the app

It’s quite easy to hand off your application to the team that would make use of it i.e customer support. You don’t have to worry about an authentication/authorization flow; Appsmith does all the work for you.

There’s a SHARE button on the top right side of the page. You can easily use it to invite users to the application and set roles i.e app viewer or developer. No hassle is required!

Clicking on the ‘DEPLOY’ button to the right of the share button will publish all changes made in the editor to the hosted version of the application. Isn’t that cool?

Wrapping up

We set out to build an admin panel, and we’ve seen how we can do it very easily using Appsmith. Going this route will drastically reduce the development time and resources put into maintaining the app.

If you found this tutorial helpful, please consider giving us a star on Github.

Cover Photo Credits: Photo by Serpstat from Pexels

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Build a Payment Link Generator App with Stripe APIs
29
April
2022
Resources

Build a Payment Link Generator App with Stripe APIs

Build a Payment Link Generator App with Stripe APIs
Vihar Kurama
0
 minutes ↗
#
stripe
#
guide
#
dashboard
Resources

Stripe is one of the most prominent developer tools for integrating payments into your website or application. The service allows you to start accepting payments from users in 14 countries and 24 currencies, and all this is relatively easy to set up! However, not every business needs a full-fledged website for collecting payments from their customers. In this short tutorial, we'll be building an app on Appsmith that will generate Stripe payment links for you directly from your dashboard. You can create as many payment links as you like and make them available via email. Even if someone doesn't have an Internet connection or uses a computer without a browser installed, they can still take advantage of your services!

Appsmith is an open-source application builder that integrates with custom APIs and databases. It's perfect for building your team's internal tools, admin panels, and dashboards.

Let's dive in!

Setting up Stripe Account

The first step in building a payment link generator is to set up a Stripe account. You can either create a new account or log in if you're an existing user.

Please note that this application is a built-in test mode, which requires additional information about the business to generate payment links. To make it into a fully-functional application, you will need to add additional details regarding your bank and tax information.

Your dashboard will look like this:

CleanShot 2022-04-20 at 15.30.29@2x.png

Even in test mode, you will be able to access all the features of Stripe APIs, but this will not be able to make complete transactions from our generated links.

The next step is to make our API requests from Appsmith; we’ll need to copy the secret key that’s available on the main page of the dashboard.

CleanShot 2022-04-20 at 15.36.24@2x.png

This secret key lets us access our Stripe account via Bearer Token-based authentication.

In the next section, we'll build s simple UI that lets us generate payment links based on the given customer information and payment price.

Building UI on Appsmith

The first step is to create an account on Appsmith. In this guide, I'll be using the cloud version of Appsmith, but you can always choose to use Appsmith locally or self-host it on your server.

  • Navigate to appsmith.com and sign-up for a new account if you're a new user or login into the existing one.
  • Create a new application under your preferred organization. You'll see an editor with everything you need to build your internal application.
  • As soon as you create a new app, you'll see a canvas with all the details around widgets and data sources on the left sidebar.

Now, click on the widgets tab and drag and drop a container widget on the canvas; this will allow us to group all the widgets in a container. This can be completely customizable; you could add borders, background colours, shadows, and more by opening the property pane.

Inside the container widget, drag and drop a new form widget and add a few input widgets onto the container that lets us collect information for payment links:

  • Product Name
  • Price
  • Quantity
  • Success URL
  • Capture Method

We could also add some additional configuration based on the information that needs to be collected, referring to the Stripe Documentation.

Following is a screenshot of how the UI looks on Appsmith:

CleanShot 2022-04-20 at 16.39.52@2x.png

Next, let’s create a new datasource, an API endpoint that’ll create a new Stripe payment link.

  • Click on the + icon next to Datasources from the sidebar
  • Choose API Endpoint and paste the following URL:

https://api.stripe.com/v1/checkout/sessions

  • You can rename this URL by just double-clicking on the existing one; let’s call this stripe-session.
  • Stripe APIs use BEARER token-based authentication; hence, the API expects an Authorization header with a bearer token.
  • Copy the token from the Stripe dashboard and paste it into the header.

Authorization - BEARER <token>

  • Lastly, let’s send the data as a payload using the filling FORM_URLENCODED data since we are collecting all the inputs in a form widget. Alternatively, we could also add the payload in the JSON Body filed.
To bind the data on the API, we’ll need to use the moustache bindings and the input widgets names. Here’s how we can access the data from the price the amount widget:

{{amountInput.text*100}}


Similarly, we add all the required fields on the payload to create a new session. Here’s a screenshot of what the payload looks like:

CleanShot 2022-04-25 at 21.43.03@2x.png

Our API is now ready; let’s add one more input widget, generating a Stripe Session link (the payment link) for use with the data passed through our input widgets.

Here’s what we’ll need to bind the response from the API endpoint; we can do this by binding the following:

​​{{stripe_Session.data.url}}


The .data property on an API request will return the response from the API endpoint; here, we’ve accessed the URL field, which is essentially the payment link.

If you open this URL, you’ll see a new Stripe session with the amount and details you’ve entered on the form.

Here’s a recording of how this works:

If you’re interested in using a database not listed on our website as an integration, please let us know about it by raising a PR on Github, and we will do our best to include it at the earliest.

Join our growing community on Discord, and follow us on Youtube and Twitter to stay up to date.

March Round-up: Templates, JSON Form, and More Product Updates
7
April
2022
Monthly Round-up

March Round-up: Templates, JSON Form, and More Product Updates

March Round-up: Templates, JSON Form, and More Product Updates
Vihar Kurama
0
 minutes ↗
#
announcement
#
applications
#
community
#
Templates
Monthly Round-up

If you’ve followed Appsmith for a while, you know that we can do a lot in 30 days!

I am here to give you all the deets; follow along!

A Headstart for Your Apps!

We’re launching templates! Our ready-made apps are easy to use, forkable, and are bound to give you a little nudge in the right direction. Directly connect your datasource and get customizing!

The Appsmith templates library will be an ever-growing forkable collection of pre-made applications. These apps span across use-cases that will speed up onboarding for new users and makes application development faster.

You can access templates on our website and inside your Appsmith dashboard.

Read the full announcement here.

All-New JSON Form Widget

We’ve just launched the JSON Form Widget, one of our most requested features. It’s live on the cloud app and will be live on the self-hosted app very soon. The JSON form widget is helpful for quickly generating (dynamic or otherwise) forms from JSON fields from queries, APIs, or JS Objects. Check out the documentation for more details.

Here's a short video on how you can generate a form from a table:

Read the full announcement here.

Promises in the Table Buttons

The table widget is one of the most used widgets on Appsmith; it gives the ability to convert column data into different data types, including buttons! With this, developers can add different actions on the onClick property of the button, for example, redirections, showing modals, running queries, etc. Appsmith supports JS throughout the platform using the moustache syntax, but using JS promises to execute actions in the sequence was limited. But now, we got you covered; the Table Button (columns that are set button type) also supports the async-await functions. All triggers are wrapped in a promise, so any missed error will result in an uncaught promise error.

Here’s a simple snippet that can be used in the table button’s onClick property to run a query and then show an alert:


{{
  (function() {
        // the .then will not run if the promise is not returned
        return MockApi.run()
            .then(() => showAlert('success'))
    })()
}}


New JS Powers to Icon Button Widget

Using JavaScript, we can dynamically add and choose icons in the icon button widget. This will allow developers to customize their applications based on conditions, actions, etc. Here’s a simple example: if you’re adding different links to an icon button widget, it can be super handy. You can update the button icon based on the URL – Google Icon when the icon button redirects to a google page, GitHub icon when the icon button redirects to a GitHub page, etc.

CleanShot 2022-03-31 at 11.51.51@2x.png

Not just that, you could also replace the close buttons on the modal with the Icon Button widget for more customization.

Product Updates

Updated Shortcuts for Ease

To create new queries on Appsmith using keyboard shortcuts, you’ll need to use Command/Control + Plus; previously, this was Option + Shift + N. To learn more about all the shortcuts on the platform, you can use Shift + ?.

CleanShot 2022-03-31 at 12.05.33@2x.png
Smart Substitution for known MongoDB Datatypes

Smart substitution handling helps users use MongoDB types like ObjectId or ISODate inside the quotes, and the query works correctly with MongoDB. With this, you can focus more on the logic than worrying about the request data. You can toggle this feature on and off on the query settings page:

CleanShot 2022-03-31 at 12.17.48@2x.png

Following are the MongoDB types that can be handled:

  • ObjectId
  • ISODate
  • NumberLong
  • NumberDecimal
  • Timestamp
Email Notifications on Comments

Several developer teams love the commenting feature on Appsmith when building internal applications together. We've added that the comment author's email is set as the comment notification email to make it more fantastic. You can update these details from the settings page.

CleanShot 2022-03-31 at 12.46.58@2x.png

New Collaborations, Technical Content, Videos & Tutorials

Last month was crazy for us; we’ve published a couple of new blog posts and have successfully hosted four live events!

  • We’ve written an in-depth tutorial on how you can dynamically generate PDF reports from Appsmith using n8n and APISheet. Note that this can also be done by using REST APIs from APISheet.
  • Confidence, our Developer Advocate, made a few guides on using the select widget, adding search for table widget, and using a debugger on Appsmith. Do check them out :)
  • We also created a very cool interview with our engineers Ashok and Rahul on how they’ve built a react library to improve the drag and drop experience on Appsmtth. Watch it here.
  • Not just these, we also pulled out an awesome How Do I Do X on Appsmith (#2) session in our community where we discussed how you could use Pagination, do bulk uploads, and some cool hacks appsmith framework. Watch it here.

If you're curious about what we were up to, look no further and follow this link.

If you’re interested in using a database not listed on our website as an integration, please let us know about it by raising a PR on Github, and we will do our best to include it at the earliest.

Join our growing community on Discord, and follow us on Youtube and Twitter to stay up to date.

Introducing JSON Forms in Appsmith
21
April
2022
Announcement

Introducing JSON Forms in Appsmith

Introducing JSON Forms in Appsmith
Somangshu Goswami
0
 minutes ↗
#
announcement
#
app-development
#
applications
#
widgets
Announcement

Forms are a core part of most internal tools since its one of the major ways in which data is created or updated. Today, we're introducing the JSON Form Widget (documentation), which allows for a fantastic form creation experience and has been one of our top requested features.

The JSON form widget is helpful for quickly generating (dynamic or otherwise) forms from JSON fields.

Here are some highlights of this widget:

Generate Forms from Database Queries, APIs, or JS Objects

Once you drag a new JSON form widget, you will see a default form rendered with some details. You can update the source data field to infer data and then generate the form. This can be bound to any query or variable containing JSON data, such as DB queries, APIs, or JS Objects. The JSON Form widget can be bound to any other widget in Appsmith as well.

Auto Generate Form When Your Data Changes

The form fields are generated according to the source data when you enable an auto-generated form. Fields are generated according to the key-value pairs in the source data. Whenever there is a change in the source data, the form fields get updated automatically.

Configure Fields As You See Fit

Field configuration shows all the fields generated automatically in the forms. You can edit the fields to tweak properties like the field type and default value and bind specific actions by using editable properties. Most fields use the underlying data type-specific widget's properties to allow a full level of customization just like the widget would. For example, if the input type is text input, the editable properties are similar to the input widget in Appsmith.

  • Array Fields allows you to add, remove, and update a group of fields together.
  • Object Fields allow you to group fields together.
  • Add New Field, disable invalid forms (and control them further with JS), and control a widget's visibility on the app page to create highly customized dynamic forms.

Some of the ways that we've seen our users use the JSON form are:

  • Customer service executives select a form template and customize it for a customer. This is stored in a database and then sent over to the customer.
  • Users can create dynamic sign-up forms, as having both the Sign-in and Sign-up forms on the same page. Conditional switching between forms is effortless because you don't need to create two forms; you only need to change the JSON data.
  • Marketing teams are using the JSON form to create personalised form-based campaigns and much more!
Note: It’s live on the cloud app and will be live on the self-hosted version very soon.

Want to explore the JSON Form in detail? Head over to the JSON Form documentation page to learn more.

What’s a Rich Text element?

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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.

sfdfsdfds

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adfkaldf

The rich text element allows you to create and format

sadadasdasdas dsada sadas asd ad

Static and dynamic content editing

  1. vdfgdgd
  2. gjgjg

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.

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