13
June
2022
Tutorial

How To Display and Manage Documents on Appsmith

Today, modern websites that use document-based data have provisions to view, manage and download these documents. Such documents can range from simple files showing budgets, tutorials, or even notes. With these features, application users can upload and manage files. While such features are nice to have, building an ideal solution to handle them are not feasible and can be time-consuming. Often developers find it hard to code PDF-viewers on their web apps because of dependency issues (libraries and frameworks), and when working with frontend frameworks — React, Vue.JS, etc. — configuration can get complicated. 

When building apps on Appsmith, the in-built document widget takes care of some important functionalities related to managing documents. This widget supports multiple file extensions, such as .txt, .pdf, .docx and .xlsx among others. Documents can also be populated via APIs and URLs. 

In this tutorial, we will learn what the document viewer widget is, and its applications. At the end, you will be able to fetch and display documents in Appsmith, and also learn to configure different properties that come with the widget.

Set-up the  Document Viewer Widget

The document viewer widget on Appsmith can be used to display a wide range of documents. This document widget has support for numerous file extensions of documents. Documents to be displayed can be of type: .pdf, .docx, .xlsx, .pptx, .ppt and .txt.

To get started using this widget:

  • You will first need to have an Appsmith account. You can log in if you have a pre-existing Appsmith account, otherwise, you can create a new Appmsith account.
  • Once logged in, you are navigated to a dashboard. Here, create a new application. On the left sidebar, you will see a number of widgets offering different functionalities.
  • Find the document viewer widget and drag it into the workspace.

.

Adding the widget will give a result similar to the image below:

Within the widget, you will notice there is a document being displayed. This document is being generated with the link in the Document Link property of the widget. 

To display documents, you can either add links/URLs or connect a data source that can be connected to display documents. The document widget provides the option to download or print the displayed document.

Alternatively, a data source can be used to provide the documents. 

The data source could be a database or an API pointing to the file you want to display. 

The Connect Data button will take you to a page to add a data source.

Here you will see options for APIs and different databases. 

In this tutorial, we will use the MongoDB database to supply our documents. 

First, you will need to create a database on MongoDB (I will show you how to do this in the next section) and then link it to our application. 

Select MongoDB from the datasource link

Here, I’ve renamed my data source to “Book Datasource.” Take note of the IP addresses; you will need to allowlist this when creating your MongoDB cluster to allow external access via Appsmith.

Creating a MongoDB Database

To get started with MongoDB, navigate your browser to MongoDB and click on Try free to create a user account.

After logging in, select your database plan and click on Create Cluster.

Next, set up security credentials to authorize access to the database.

Finally, allowlist the domains from Appsmith, click on the Finish and Close button, and click 'Go to Database' on the popup dialogue that appears.

On the new page that opens up, you will have your database and a cluster created for you. 

On the cluster, click on the Browse Collections button.

You will get a page to manage the data stored in your database.

Select Add My Own Data to define our own database’s content. On the new page, select Insert document to add new documents to the database.

Our 'Collections' will contain two fields, namely: Name and Url, along with their corresponding values. Above I have a URL for a Javascript tutorial document. Click on the Insert button when done to add the new document.

Below, I have three documents in my database collection.

On the side pane, click on Database to navigate to the cluster. Click on the Connect button and select Connect with Mongodb Shell

Copy the selected area in the image below

Add the Newly-Created Mongodb as a Datasource

Now that we are done setting up our database, we need to add it as a datasource to Appsmith. For this, you will need to navigate back to Appsmith and fill in the required fields.

Select Replica set for the connection type, paste the copied connection string into the host address field, and enter your database name. Under authentication, enter the username and password you defined when creating the cluster.

Click on test to check the validity of the datasource, then finally, click on Save. Click on the new query to create a query for the datasource.

Enter the name of the collection in the field provided and click on the Run button. You will get a response showing the database content. Click on Add new Widget and select Table on the left window pane. This will create a table widget with the database as its data source.

You can link this new widget to your document viewer widget. 

To do this, open the document viewer widget option pane. Within the Document Link field, add the following moustache syntax

{{Table1.selectedRow.Url}}.

This will set the document to be displayed in the document viewer widget, to be the URL of any row you select from the table.

The document viewer widget has 3 properties: the Document Field, visible and Animate Loading properties. The visible field determines if the widget will be visible upon production while the latter controls the loading of the widget.

Approving and Rejecting Documents

In the Filepicker widget, criteria can be set, which the document to be uploaded has to satisfy, else it would be rejected. Select and drag the file picker widget onto the workspace to add it.

Above is the file picker option pane. The label property is the text to be displayed on the widget. With this, you can also set the number of files to be uploaded, max size of the files, and allowed file types. Documents not meeting the predefined criteria will be rejected. Documents uploaded with the file picker widget can also be linked and displayed using the document viewer widget.

Click on the widget to upload a file.

You can either drag and drop files unto the widget to upload them, or you can browse your system directories for the files to be uploaded.

Here is a file I’ve added using the widget. Note that the file picker widget stores uploaded documents in the form of an array. To view your uploaded document, add the following mustache syntax to the document viewer widget document link property: {{FilePicker1.files[0].data}}. Here, the document at position zero is the first document which I added.

Above is an image showing the document uploaded using the file picker widget.

Sending Documents as Mails

Documents can be sent to specific email addresses using the Appsmith SMTP email service. To do this, you will first need to do is to add SMTP integration. Navigate to datasources and select SMTP.

To be able to use this service, you will need to create an account with an SMTP provider. On the configuration page, add the host address, port and authentication credentials of your SMTP provider.

With SMTP setup, you can build a form to send the documents to an email address. To do this, add the form widget to your work environment.

Here is a form which will take the values of the name of the email and the file name of the document to be sent.

To send emails, create a new query using the configured SMTP service.

Here is the query screen. The from email property would take the email address you used to create your SMTP service, the To email(s) property can be bound to the input field of the form using the following moustache syntax: {{Input1.text}}. The subject would be: {{Input2.text}} and finally the attachment would be the file uploaded to the file picker widget. So use the moustache syntax: {{FilePicker1.files[0]}}.

Finally, you will need to bind this query to the submit button on the form to run it.

Here, I’ve added the query to the onClick event handler, and added a message to be displayed once the document has been sent. Clicking on the button will run the query and send the attached document to the email specified in the form.

We also covered using the file picker widget to upload files and send documents to specified email addresses. You can take a look at the tutorial here. 

How To Display and Manage Documents on Appsmith

Today, modern websites that use document-based data have provisions to view, manage and download these documents. Such documents can range from simple files showing budgets, tutorials, or even notes. With these features, application users can upload and manage files. While such features are nice to have, building an ideal solution to handle them are not feasible and can be time-consuming. Often developers find it hard to code PDF-viewers on their web apps because of dependency issues (libraries and frameworks), and when working with frontend frameworks — React, Vue.JS, etc. — configuration can get complicated. 

When building apps on Appsmith, the in-built document widget takes care of some important functionalities related to managing documents. This widget supports multiple file extensions, such as .txt, .pdf, .docx and .xlsx among others. Documents can also be populated via APIs and URLs. 

In this tutorial, we will learn what the document viewer widget is, and its applications. At the end, you will be able to fetch and display documents in Appsmith, and also learn to configure different properties that come with the widget.

Set-up the  Document Viewer Widget

The document viewer widget on Appsmith can be used to display a wide range of documents. This document widget has support for numerous file extensions of documents. Documents to be displayed can be of type: .pdf, .docx, .xlsx, .pptx, .ppt and .txt.

To get started using this widget:

  • You will first need to have an Appsmith account. You can log in if you have a pre-existing Appsmith account, otherwise, you can create a new Appmsith account.
  • Once logged in, you are navigated to a dashboard. Here, create a new application. On the left sidebar, you will see a number of widgets offering different functionalities.
  • Find the document viewer widget and drag it into the workspace.

.

Adding the widget will give a result similar to the image below:

Within the widget, you will notice there is a document being displayed. This document is being generated with the link in the Document Link property of the widget. 

To display documents, you can either add links/URLs or connect a data source that can be connected to display documents. The document widget provides the option to download or print the displayed document.

Alternatively, a data source can be used to provide the documents. 

The data source could be a database or an API pointing to the file you want to display. 

The Connect Data button will take you to a page to add a data source.

Here you will see options for APIs and different databases. 

In this tutorial, we will use the MongoDB database to supply our documents. 

First, you will need to create a database on MongoDB (I will show you how to do this in the next section) and then link it to our application. 

Select MongoDB from the datasource link

Here, I’ve renamed my data source to “Book Datasource.” Take note of the IP addresses; you will need to allowlist this when creating your MongoDB cluster to allow external access via Appsmith.

Creating a MongoDB Database

To get started with MongoDB, navigate your browser to MongoDB and click on Try free to create a user account.

After logging in, select your database plan and click on Create Cluster.

Next, set up security credentials to authorize access to the database.

Finally, allowlist the domains from Appsmith, click on the Finish and Close button, and click 'Go to Database' on the popup dialogue that appears.

On the new page that opens up, you will have your database and a cluster created for you. 

On the cluster, click on the Browse Collections button.

You will get a page to manage the data stored in your database.

Select Add My Own Data to define our own database’s content. On the new page, select Insert document to add new documents to the database.

Our 'Collections' will contain two fields, namely: Name and Url, along with their corresponding values. Above I have a URL for a Javascript tutorial document. Click on the Insert button when done to add the new document.

Below, I have three documents in my database collection.

On the side pane, click on Database to navigate to the cluster. Click on the Connect button and select Connect with Mongodb Shell

Copy the selected area in the image below

Add the Newly-Created Mongodb as a Datasource

Now that we are done setting up our database, we need to add it as a datasource to Appsmith. For this, you will need to navigate back to Appsmith and fill in the required fields.

Select Replica set for the connection type, paste the copied connection string into the host address field, and enter your database name. Under authentication, enter the username and password you defined when creating the cluster.

Click on test to check the validity of the datasource, then finally, click on Save. Click on the new query to create a query for the datasource.

Enter the name of the collection in the field provided and click on the Run button. You will get a response showing the database content. Click on Add new Widget and select Table on the left window pane. This will create a table widget with the database as its data source.

You can link this new widget to your document viewer widget. 

To do this, open the document viewer widget option pane. Within the Document Link field, add the following moustache syntax

{{Table1.selectedRow.Url}}.

This will set the document to be displayed in the document viewer widget, to be the URL of any row you select from the table.

The document viewer widget has 3 properties: the Document Field, visible and Animate Loading properties. The visible field determines if the widget will be visible upon production while the latter controls the loading of the widget.

Approving and Rejecting Documents

In the Filepicker widget, criteria can be set, which the document to be uploaded has to satisfy, else it would be rejected. Select and drag the file picker widget onto the workspace to add it.

Above is the file picker option pane. The label property is the text to be displayed on the widget. With this, you can also set the number of files to be uploaded, max size of the files, and allowed file types. Documents not meeting the predefined criteria will be rejected. Documents uploaded with the file picker widget can also be linked and displayed using the document viewer widget.

Click on the widget to upload a file.

You can either drag and drop files unto the widget to upload them, or you can browse your system directories for the files to be uploaded.

Here is a file I’ve added using the widget. Note that the file picker widget stores uploaded documents in the form of an array. To view your uploaded document, add the following mustache syntax to the document viewer widget document link property: {{FilePicker1.files[0].data}}. Here, the document at position zero is the first document which I added.

Above is an image showing the document uploaded using the file picker widget.

Sending Documents as Mails

Documents can be sent to specific email addresses using the Appsmith SMTP email service. To do this, you will first need to do is to add SMTP integration. Navigate to datasources and select SMTP.

To be able to use this service, you will need to create an account with an SMTP provider. On the configuration page, add the host address, port and authentication credentials of your SMTP provider.

With SMTP setup, you can build a form to send the documents to an email address. To do this, add the form widget to your work environment.

Here is a form which will take the values of the name of the email and the file name of the document to be sent.

To send emails, create a new query using the configured SMTP service.

Here is the query screen. The from email property would take the email address you used to create your SMTP service, the To email(s) property can be bound to the input field of the form using the following moustache syntax: {{Input1.text}}. The subject would be: {{Input2.text}} and finally the attachment would be the file uploaded to the file picker widget. So use the moustache syntax: {{FilePicker1.files[0]}}.

Finally, you will need to bind this query to the submit button on the form to run it.

Here, I’ve added the query to the onClick event handler, and added a message to be displayed once the document has been sent. Clicking on the button will run the query and send the attached document to the email specified in the form.

We also covered using the file picker widget to upload files and send documents to specified email addresses. You can take a look at the tutorial here. 

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Introducing Version Control with Git
3
June
2022
Announcement

Introducing Version Control with Git

Introducing Version Control with Git
Visahavel Parthasarathy
0
 minutes ↗
#
announcement
#
community
#
developer
Announcement

Today we're excited to announce the launch of Version Control with Git, so that developers can collaborate and version control their applications. This has been one of the most requested features from our community.

While low-code frameworks like Appsmith save a developer's time via easier application management, faster plugging in of data sources, and effortless creation of UI, there are still aspects of a developer's usual workflow that aren't native to low-code platforms.

Version Control with Git, enables us to take a big step towards that.

Here's a short video on how you can use Version Control with Git:

Version Control with Git Highlights

Version Control with Git allows multiple developers to add their work in a git branch, raise a pull request for code reviews, integrate with CI/CD pipelines so that their changes go live when their pull requests are approved, and provide a commit history to go back to a previous version if something were to go wrong. You can now also test a new addition to your app on a separate branch without breaking your deployed version.

You can connect to any popular version control tool of your liking: Github, Gitlab, Bitbucket, AWS Code Commit and more.

Furthermore, if you're a large organization using isolated environments for your production and test apps, you can now ensure that your applications can only be promoted to production via your CI/CD processes.

Version Control For All

Appsmith's Community Edition users will be able to connect unlimited public repos and up to 3 private repos.

In contrast, low-code frameworks in the market today either don't offer this functionality as part of their open source or free edition (and instead offer a simple auto-save), or push it deep into their most expensive pricing plans (like Retool).

Head over to our Version Control with Git documentation on how to set up version control with your favorite version control tools and get the most out of it.

May Round-up: App Theming, New Copy Paste Experience, and Product Updates
2
June
2022
Monthly Round-up

May Round-up: App Theming, New Copy Paste Experience, and Product Updates

May Round-up: App Theming, New Copy Paste Experience, and Product Updates
Vihar Kurama
0
 minutes ↗
#
announcement
#
developer
#
community
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!

Application Theming [Beta]

One of our most awaited features — App Theming — is now out! Style your pages and widgets using global controls. We've also made it easy to change the visual layout with a single click.

Note that while all apps support theming, changing the theme or customizing the theme may not update the app entirely for older apps. We’ve done this to prevent overriding any changes you may have already made while styling your widgets. (Note that, this is a beta feature at the moment, and we are going to be improving it in the coming weeks).


Theming automatically updates multiple properties, including fonts, colors, borders, shadows, etc. All these properties can be configured from the property pane globally. Read the complete documentation here.

Discard Changes/ Delete Branch on Version Control

Version Control with Git is well-loved by Appsmith users, especially when working with teams. We’ve enhanced this feature by adding another option other than ‘commit’ to make it more flexible. Now you can discard changes on the current branch and reload the earlier, committed application. Additionally, you can also delete the stale or unused branches.

Allowing Camera and Microphone on iFrame

Are you communicating to other websites from Appsmith? Our latest improvements will help you get the most out of it. All you have to do is use allow="camera; microphone" on the attributes to be able to access the camera/microphone on the iframe.

Making it easy for you on Windows using WSL

Have trouble setting up the Appsmith server on Windows? Don’t worry. We’ve worked on some documentation to help you contribute to Appsmith on Windows operating systems that use WSL; check it out here. Prerequisite MongoDB is included, along with detailed notes on building/running the code and how to set up your code editor.

Improvements

New Copy Paste Experience

Duplicating widgets on Appsmith is now easier with the new-copy-paste experience. Here’s a quick summary of how it works:

When the layout widget is selected:

  • If the mouse pointer is not on the layout widget, the widget is pasted inside the layout widget at the bottom of the canvas.
  • If the mouse pointer is on the layout widget, the pasted widget will be aligned top-left of the mouse pointer inside the layout widget.

If the non-layout widget is selected, no matter where the mouse pointer is, It is pasted below the non-layout widget, and the widgets are aligned horizontally.

If the mouse pointer is on a widget and no widgets are selected, widgets will be posted below and are horizontally aligned.

More Pages? View them all at once!

We’ve added a new option to resize the entity explorer page to view more pages at once. Just find the expander and extend it based on your comfort :)

Total Records and Page Count on Table Header

More love to the table widget; we’ve just added total record count and page count on the table header.

CleanShot 2022-05-25 at 15.34.35@2x.png
Better Way of Running JS Objects

We’ve revamped the way we run JS Objects from the JS Editor. Just put the cursor inside the function and hit the RUN button. The editor automatically identifies which function you’re working on; you can always use the shortcuts to make this easier!

Additionally, the page load functions can be configured from the Settings tab, just like how we do it from queries!

CleanShot 2022-05-25 at 15.40.46@2x.png
Added top-level isValid property to JSONForm

Currently, the JSONForm widget has an isValid property inside the fieldState for each field. However, there is no top-level property to check all fields at once. With this update, we added an isValid property which can be used to check if the current form is valid (passes all validation) or not.

CleanShot 2022-05-25 at 15.47.07@2x.png
Enhanced Map Widget

We’ve added a new property to the Map widget that lets us enable search location from Map without entering the coordinates. You can search directly on the map and display searched fields on other widgets without clicking on the Map widget.

CleanShot 2022-05-25 at 15.48.29@2x.png

Collaborations, Technical Content, Videos & Tutorials

Last month was hectic! We’ve published a new video on how you can generate PDFs from Appsmith using APITemplate; not just this, we’ve successfully hosted a couple of live sessions.

  • In this Video, Confidence, our Developer Advocate, show us how you can build a workflow to generate PDFs from Appsmith by consuming APIs from APITemplte.io.
  • Shams Mosowi from Rowy.io collaborated with us to demonstrate how we can build an expense management tool that employees can use to submit expenses for approval using Rowy as the backend.
  • Getting started with Version Control with Git on Appsmith? We’ve created a guide on how you can connect to a Git provider to version control Appsmith apps. 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.

April Round-up: Multiple Widget Reflow, Readable URLs, more Product Updates
3
May
2022
Monthly Round-up

April Round-up: Multiple Widget Reflow, Readable URLs, more Product Updates

April Round-up: Multiple Widget Reflow, Readable URLs, more Product Updates
Vihar Kurama
0
 minutes ↗
#
announcement
#
community
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!

Introducing Multiple Widget Reflow

We’ve received a lot of positive feedback on our new drag and drop experience. Users dig being able to resize widgets and move them around. This provides them with the ultimate freedom to build applications however they want without barriers that might get in the way :P

We’ve made this even more fun and powerful by adding a multiple widget reflow feature. With this, users should be able to move widgets and resize them even when they are grouped.

This also makes the drag and drop experience more performant in avoiding UI lags while moving widgets.

Readable Application URLs

All of you have been waiting for a much-requested feature, and today, it’s finally here! The application URL now has your app name as a slug, making it easier for you to share and find your Appsmith applications. This is available immediately for all the old applications and, of course, the newly created ones. Here’s a sample app URL.


https://app.appsmith.com/app/april-round-up/home-6266f76700cba01cd0301e20

To upgrade your old app URLs, please navigate the updates section from the bottom bar and hit update. Here’s the recording of how you can do it:

Product Updates

New Response View Switchers

We've added a new response view switcher feature that lets users easily switch between response formats on the fly; you'll be able to view them in different formats (JSON, Table, RAW) based purely on ease of choice. This feature will be available on all action types (APIs/Queries on a datasource).

Added Button Variants in Table Column Type

It’s super easy to set a column type to a button on Appsmith - just navigate to column properties and update the type to Button. To make your table button more extraordinary, we’ve added the variant property taking inspiration from our button widget; with this, you can update table button types to different variants available.

CleanShot 2022-04-26 at 01.05.56@2x.png
Smart Substitution Feature on Firestore Plugin

We’ve added a smart substitution feature to Firestore plugin methods (to dynamically perform type conversions on field values in a request body). The smart substitution will work the same way for REST API requests.

Currently, this feature only gets applied to the body section of Create, Set, Add or Update commands, as this is the only input field that expects a JSON input type. This can be toggled by navigating to the settings tab on datasource.

Added MultipartFormDataType variants for REST Datasource

We’ve added ​​MultipartFormDataType variants; with this, users can add an array as a value for multipart requests on REST APIs. It will handle every item in the list as a part of the multipart request. Here’s what an example body will look like:


--IpJ9ACFxVbhXlAQuIFccoJ0K0ttFS5PVyfX3
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="myArray"
Content-Type: text/plain;charset=UTF-8
Content-Length: 3

One
--IpJ9ACFxVbhXlAQuIFccoJ0K0ttFS5PVyfX3
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="myArray"
Content-Type: application/json
Content-Length: 1

2
--IpJ9ACFxVbhXlAQuIFccoJ0K0ttFS5PVyfX3
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="myArray"
Content-Type: application/json
Content-Length: 4


Enhanced Text Widget

When the truncating text option is enabled in a text widget, the scroll switch is no longer valid; as we truncate to fix this issue, we made the following changes.

We’ve added an overflow property option with the following configurations:

  • Scroll Contents - Enables scroll in the text widget
  • Truncate Text - Enables truncation in the text widget
  • No Overflow - No scroll or truncation
CleanShot 2022-05-02 at 16.39.07@2x.png
Added Support to MinIO in S3

You can now connect MinIO instances on Appsmith using the S3 plugin. This can be done when:

  • over the unsecured connection (HTTP)
  • when secured via a CA-signed certificate (HTTPS)

You can find this connecting in a dropdown from the S3 datasource.

Select Widget is now 50x Faster on Large Datasets

We’ve been listening to a few issues with the select widgets when large datasets are used. Previously, in the case of these large data sets, the Select widget took up to 5 seconds to render. The initial render is down to ~100ms once the options are available from the API call.

Our engineers tested this thoroughly by loading 1000 options from a mock API on a newly upgraded test widget :)

New Collaborations, Technical Content, Videos & Tutorials

Last month was crazy for us; we’ve published a blog post on how you can connect Stipe on Appsmith to manage your transactions; not just this, we’ve successfully hosted four live sessions.

  • We’ve created a small guide on how you can use JSON forms on Appsmith. This widget lets you build any kind of form with JSON dynamically. Learn how to use it here.
  • Stephen Tillman, one of our active community members, joined us to show how Appsmith helped him to build a great dashboard that lets him manage credit cards on Brex using BrexAPIs. Watch the recording here.
  • Pranav and I hosted the third How Do I Do X session, where we picked questions from the community to integrate with ZohoCRM and Stripe APIs. We’ve also talked about how you can use resetWidget and clearWidget functions on Appsmith to handle form actions. Watch the recording 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.

What’s a Rich Text element?

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asdsadasdsa

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

dsfdsfdsf

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.

swzdswxzdsw