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[Article] How to add database relationsship with design in invision community

Jimi Wikman

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Database relations in Pages is a very powerful way to bring content from different databases into entries of ther databases. In this example I will show you how I added the People in project area in My Projects.

Screenshot 2020-07-18 11.51.36.png

Creating the Database

I started by creating a new database called "People Profiles". It will be a database just to hold the data as it will not be publicly presented anywhere outside of the My Projects area. just to make it easier to work with I created a page and added the database to it. I also made the page available only to me so I can use it, but it will not be visible to anyone else.

Then I decided on the fields that I wanted to use. I want to use an image, so I activated the record image. Then I went through the data I wanted to add:

  • Name
  • Title
  • Awesome URL
  • Linkedin URL
  • Instagram URL
  • Twitter URL
  • Homepage URL
  • Working area

These are the basic fields. I realized thad I will probably have multiple versions of the profiles depending on when in time I worked with them. To search for the correct profile I would need more information, so I also added a Long Title that i se as the title field. I also added a Notes field to act as the Content field in case I wanted to scribble something down for myself.

Screenshot 2020-07-18 12.02.47.png


Setting up a Database Relationship

After I added a few profiles it was time to bring them from the People Profiles database into the My Projects database. The first step was to add a new field into the My Projects database of the type "Database Relationship". When creating that I have to choose what database I want to create the relationship to, so I selected People Profiles. In the settings for display options I set a template key so I can reference it later and I unchecked the show in listing template and show in display tempate.

Screenshot 2020-07-18 12.09.12.pngScreenshot 2020-07-18 12.09.03.png


Adding the database relationship in the template

As I have selected not to display anything in the listing or display templates nothing will happen yet. So new we have to add this to our template for My Projects so we can show the data where we want it. So we head over to Templates in Pages where I have created my own template set for My Projects.


Screenshot 2020-07-18 12.18.01.png


Adding custom fields are done by adding a code line. There are some variations on this, but I will not into it in this post. This is the code:

{$record->customFieldDisplayByKey('your custom field key', 'display')|raw}

As you only want to show this field if it is actually not blank, then we wrap that in a condition to only show if it is not blank:

{{if $record->customFieldDisplayByKey('your custom field key')}} 
        {$record->customFieldDisplayByKey('your custom field key', 'display')|raw}

In my case I also wanted to add some styling and a header. So my code looks like this:

<!- People in Footer -->   
      {{if $record->customFieldDisplayByKey('project_people')}} 
  <div class="project_people_footer">
  		<h3>People in the Project</h3>
  <div class='ipsGrid ipsGrid_collapseTablet'>
        {$record->customFieldDisplayByKey('project_people', 'display')|raw}


Defining the output in basicRelationship

Now that we have included the data from the People Profiles database you will see that it is just a link. We want to have more data than that so now we must define what data we want to pull from that database and how we want that to be displayed. We have to do that be editing a theme file called basicRelationship. So we head over to our Theme folder and click the "Edit HTML and CSS" icon to get into the templates. Then under CMS->Global you will find the basicRelationship file.


Screenshot 2020-07-18 12.20.55.png


This file is a bit tricky because it defines all database relations. In order for us to target specifically the data coming from People Profiles we need to figure out what ID that database has. We can do that from Pages under Content->Databases which will list all database. If you hover over the edit button over your selected database, then you can see the URL at the bottom of your screen with the ID of the database at the very end.


Screenshot 2020-07-18 12.27.29.png


With the ID defined we can add a bit of code to make sure we only target specific databases with our changes:

{{foreach $items as $id => $item}}

{{if $item::$customDatabaseId == 19}}
<!-- People database -->
{template="BasicRelationship_PeopleProfiles" app="cms" group="basic_relationship_templates" params="$item"}

{{elseif $item::$customDatabaseId == 16}}
<!-- Author database -->
{template="BasicRelationship_author" app="cms" group="basic_relationship_templates" params="$item"}

<!-- all other databases -->
<a class="ipsPages_csv" href="{$item->url()}">{$item->_title}</a>



Creating Theme Templates instead of just using basicRelationship

In this code I have added 2 databases (19 and 16) and then I have a fallback for all others at the end that will show the default link. While it is very possible to add the code directly into this template I have used a different approach and instead created separate templates outside and then referenced them in the basicRelationship. This way I can work on the content for each database in a more focused way and the basicRelationship becomes a bit easier to overlook.

In order to create a new template you go to Create New at the bottom of the template listings. Select HTML template and then fill out the form accordingly.

  • Name - the name of the template.
  • Variables - We add $items here since that is what is defined in the foreach loop in basicRelations.
  • Location - Here we select front to place the template in the correct section.
  • Group - I suggest you create your own group here so it is easier for you to find later.
  • Application - Here we select Pages

Screenshot 2020-07-18 12.38.15.png

If you have done this as I have then you will have your new template located under CMS->Front->basic_relationship_templates. If you have selcted another group, then that is where you will find it instead.


Screenshot 2020-07-18 13.01.22.png


Adding data to the theme template

Now that we have a template for our connection between the databases, then we can start adding the data to it that we want to show in My Projects. This is done in a very similar way as when we add the data to the entry templates. Instead of using $record however we use $item:

{{if $item->customFieldDisplayByKey('your custom field key')}} 
	{$item->customFieldDisplayByKey('your custom field key', 'raw')}

As I added the default record image that is called a bit differently:

{file="$item->_record_image_thumb" extension="cms_Records"}

You can also reference the title field and the content field with a shorter tag:



In my current code I have nested the fields a bit and I have used the field for working area pretty sloppy, but I think you get the general idea.

<div class='ipsGrid_span2 people-profiles_card'>

  <div class="people-profiles_image {{if $item->customFieldDisplayByKey('working-area')}}{$item->customFieldDisplayByKey('working-area', 'raw')}{{endif}}_image">
    <img class="ipsImage   {{if $item->customFieldDisplayByKey('working-area')}}{$item->customFieldDisplayByKey('working-area', 'raw')}{{endif}}" src="{file="$item->_record_image_thumb" extension="cms_Records"}" class="
    {{if $item->customFieldDisplayByKey('working-area')}} 
            {$item->customFieldDisplayByKey('working-area', 'raw')}
    " />

  <div class="people-profiles_Name">
            {{if $item->customFieldDisplayByKey('people-profiles_Name')}} 
            {$item->customFieldDisplayByKey('people-profiles_Name', 'raw')}

<div class="people-profiles_Title">
            {{if $item->customFieldDisplayByKey('people-profiles_Title')}} 
  <span class="{{if $item->customFieldDisplayByKey('working-area')}}{$item->customFieldDisplayByKey('working-area', 'raw')}{{endif}}">{$item->customFieldDisplayByKey('people-profiles_Title', 'raw')}</span>
  <div class="people-profiles_links">
    {{if $item->customFieldDisplayByKey('people-profiles_Awesome')}} 
    <a href="{$item->customFieldDisplayByKey('people-profiles_Awesome', 'raw')}" class="people-profiles_Awesome"><i class="fas fa-id-card"></i></a>
    <i class="fas fa-id-card"></i>
    {{if $item->customFieldDisplayByKey('people-profiles_Linkedin')}} 
    <a href="{$item->customFieldDisplayByKey('people-profiles_Linkedin', 'raw')}" class="people-profiles_Linkedin"><i class="fab fa-linkedin"></i></a>
    <i class="fab fa-linkedin"></i>
    {{if $item->customFieldDisplayByKey('people-profiles_Instagram')}} 
    <a href="{$item->customFieldDisplayByKey('people-profiles_Instagram', 'raw')}" class="people-profiles_Instagram"><i class="fab fa-instagram-square"></i></a>
    <i class="fab fa-instagram-square"></i>
     {{if $item->customFieldDisplayByKey('people-profiles_Twitter')}} 
    <a href="{$item->customFieldDisplayByKey('people-profiles_Twitter', 'raw')}" class="people-profiles_Twitter"><i class="fab fa-twitter-square"></i></a>
   <i class="fab fa-twitter-square"></i>
       {{if $item->customFieldDisplayByKey('people-profiles_Homepage')}} 
    <a href="{$item->customFieldDisplayByKey('people-profiles_Homepage', 'raw')}" class="people-profiles_Homepage"><i class="fas fa-home"></i></a>
   <i class="fas fa-home"></i>


This guide should help you to bring in the data from any database into another database with the styling of your choice. I know this is a pretty short and not very detailed guide, but I hope it was useful anyway. Please add questions and I will improve upon the guide where I am jumping a bit to fast.

Happy coding!

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  • 4 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks @Jimi Wikman!

One thing I didn't understand was how the related data is added to the parent record. With a little experimenting, I figured out that while editing the parent record, in the the related field you start typing the desired search terms and matching related records will appear. Voila!

It seems that from the parent record template, one call to the related field calls basicRelationship template which gives us one option to display what fields we want from the child record.

So in your example above, I can see how you would use the BasicRelationship_PeopleProfiles to output all the desired PeopleProfile data at one time, like your example, as a card.

But what if you want to use only a portion (1 or 2 fields) of the child record in different parts of the parent template? For instance, if your Project was authored by a People Profile record, how could one add a PeopleProfile->Name field at the top of the Project Description, and a PeopleProfile->Bio at the bottom of the Project Description?

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Correct, you use the database relationship field to fetch what objects you want to display from another database.

I have not tried to place the information in different places to be honest. I have some ideas on how that might be possible to do, but I have to test it first to see if it works. The Database Relationship field is not really intended to be multiple data points, but it should be possible to get that effect if we wanted it.

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