Master DataTables Series: 2.6 Other DataTable Settings

by Jody Barney - Application Developer

Welcome to the multi-part video series that will teach you how to implement DataTables in your Claris FileMaker Pro solutions effectively. If you’re new to this series, we recommend starting from the introduction to maximize your learning experience. You can access the complete series here: Master DataTables with Claris FileMaker Pro.

In the previous post, we expanded our knowledge of navigation settings. We specifically focused on the features and functionalities related to Page Length Options. 

This post will discuss some advanced settings to fine-tune your DataTables reports. While the DataTables Builder can simplify some processes, we’ll also show you how to make manual customizations to your JS Functions.

Other DataTables Settings

We have covered most of the controls the DataTables Builder tool has pre-built, but there are two more settings we can easily modify using the tool.

We can declare a “Name” for our table. This defaults to ‘myTable’ in each build but allows us to modify it to meet our needs. For example, when learning from an illustration of the web, you may want to name your table the same so you can replicate it for troubleshooting. As you advance your skills, it may be necessary to include multiple DataTables reports, requiring them to have different names to be referenced.
The DataTables Builder also includes a setting to manage the “Fixed Header” setting. This was included in the tool as an option to keep column headers stable at the top for easier viewing. Remember though, this option requires an extension, and selecting the built-in settings for Fixed Header of true or false will not modify the report without the extension.

Navigating the JS Function Area

As we have learned in our prior posts in this series, the DataTables Builder section that controls the report’s behavior is controlled in the JS Function tab. This is where the magic happens, allowing you to shape your report’s behavior and appearance. Everything we have looked at so far in this series has already been defined for you by the DataTables Builder. The tool is meant to be a learning tool to understand DataTables functionality and provide an easy way to modify settings. However, it is not all-encompassing. You can do so much more now that you know where to look and how to update each report’s settings.

Demo File

The demo file (see bottom of blog post to download) and video tutorial cover these other settings and provide examples of managing other settings.We’ll explore options such as disabling the information display, controlling the language for pagination, and setting up scrolling dimensions. 

We’ll also walk you through setting up Row Reordering, an option allowing users to rearrange rows at will. This exercise combines all the concepts we’ve learned in the JS Functions series. From locating the required libraries and extensions, adding the controls to your report’s settings, and customizing specific attributes, you will have the knowledge to make it all work seamlessly.

Your Data, Your Story

As we wrap up this series, you’ve acquired the skills to turn data into narratives, and information into insights. With knowledge of how DataTables is powered by Libraries and JS Function settings, your reports can now captivate and inform. You now have the knowledge to control the behavior and appearance of DataTables reports. It’s your story to tell.

What’s next?

In the next series, we introduce the Columns Builder, a customized tool within DataTables Builder that assists you with modifying the presentation of your reports.  

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