The Structure of Fabrik

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  • The Function of Fabrik​

    The main function of Fabrik is to collect information from users through Forms, send it to a database table, and then be able to present viewers with this information in various ways including:
    • Lists - which display a list of all your records submitted through a particular form
    • Visualizations - which take data from your database and visualize this through charts, maps, calendars and more

    The Structure of Fabrik​

    To achieve this, Fabrik is predominantly made up of:
    • Lists - which display all records collected from a form.
    • Forms - which are what is used to collect these records.
    • Groups - which are collections of Elements present on a form.
    • Elements - which are the individual fields present on a form and the column names in your database table
    • Visualisations - which take data from your database and visualize this through charts, maps, calendars and more
    • Packages - which allow you to create installable components from a collection of your Fabrik Forms, Lists and Visualizations The Packages feature is being removed as of version 3.5.
    • Connections - which allow you to connect Fabrik to the database that Joomla uses as well as other MySQL databases
    • Scheduled tasks - which allow you to define tasks that are run repeatedly at a given time and interval

    Database Tables​

    As mentioned, and to gain the most out of Fabrik's feature set, you will also be working with database tables.

    A database table, which contains the records collected through a form, is basically structured like a spreadsheet and is made up of rows and columns; rows representing each instance of data being submitted, and columns being the different Elements being recorded.

    Creating Your First List​

    The first step in creating this structure and getting Fabrik up and running is creating a list and associated database table.

    To do this go to Lists > New and enter a 'Label' for your list - this can be changed later and will appear as the label at the top of your list.

    When you are creating a list, you can also specify that when clicking the 'Save' icon for the first time it will also create an associated database table, ie the database table that will collect the records submitted through your form.

    For organisational purposes, when creating a new list and database table, you might find it helpful to give the database table the same name as the list.

    For example, you could create a new list called 'My New List' and during that process (in the 'Data' tab field 'Table name') also create a database table called 'coolprefix_mynewlist'.

    It is recommended that you add a prefix to your Fabrik database tables so that you can differentiate them from other database tables in your database.

    The database table should also not have any spaces in its name. If you want spaces between words or characters use underscores instead :

    Incorrect: my table
    Correct: my_table​

    It is also recommended to use lower case characters.

    Following these steps will set up:
    • A list called 'My New List'
    • A database called 'coolprefix_mynewlist'
    • A form called 'My New List'
    • A group called 'My New List'
    • An 'id' element that has been added to the group 'My New List'
    • A 'date' element that has been added to the group 'My New List'
    Next: Fabrik's Parameters