DB Admin Console

Over the past few months, I’ve developed an administrative console for
databases in the process of solving other problems.

At the moment, the state of development is:

  • Going to /admin_panel/model will bring you to a list of items in the
    model:

    • Supports acts_as_list via drag/drop sorting
    • Supports “activated” via an activated/deactivated button
    • Supports basic CRUD operations
  • /admin_panel/model/edit will create a new instance of the model

  • /admin_panel/model/edit/id will bring up an edit form

  • the panel is customizable:

    • by def page_options; { option_hash }; end
    • by def list_options; { option_hash }; end
    • /admin_pane/model will provide a two-panel categorized list if
      :has_many
      or :belongs_to options are set as a list_option
    • Clicking a category (on the left list) will bring up items (from
      the right
      list) in that category. This works with working has_many or
      belongs_to
      relationships set in Rails.
  • the edit form automatically created widgets for database columns of
    type:

    • :text with optional support for tinyMCE
    • :string with a text_field
    • :date with date_select
    • :time with am/pm via a time_select plugin I heavily modified
    • :boolean with a checkbox
    • :file with file_column
    • :image with file_column and an image display
    • automatic select boxes for belongs_to
  • the edit form can be customized (via page_options):

    • fields can be ignored
    • the default widget can be changed
    • pretty field names can be created that are used in both labels and
      error messages (via pretty_error_messages_for)
    • the header can be changed from the default (“New Model Name” or
      "Editing
      Model Name(Title of Specific Items)
    • The order of fields can be specified
    • Subsection titles can be specified
    • Lines can be removed under specific items
    • Additional options can be specified for the widget (e.g. you can
      pass
      options for the text_field, date, etc. widgets that are merged with
      the
      default options)
    • The back button can be added or removed
  • Required conventions at the moment

    • the main name field in a model is called ‘title’
    • this will probably change to become customizable

You can see a screenshot of the list view and the edit form at
http://www.yehudakatz.com/admin-console.gif

The point of this rather long explanation is to elicit feedback about
where I should go with this. I would like to release it as a plugin
(probably an Engine), and would like to make it more sanely put together
before I do so:

  • GUI, database-held configuration via a AdminPanel model and
    :serialize
  • A central navbar for the tables
  • Add and remove models from the admin panel via the GUI
  • All of the above would replace the current hack of putting the config
    in a
    model method and make it easier for newbies to configure their
    database
    front-end

This tool, as it currently stands, does not assist in the creation of
tables. Because migrations are so easy (and important to know), I
figured that people could continue to create their models as they do
currently, and have an automated (but configurable) data-entry backend
without further work.

That’s what I needed anyway (for me, the configuration was needed so
that I could make the various forms look good, and not like some generic
throw-in; I’m using it as the back-end to a CMS I’m building for a large
non-profit).

I’m looking forward to some feedback. Again, take a look at the
screenshot at
http://www.yehudakatz.com/admin-console.gif to get a better sense of
what all
of this means. Note that nothing in the screenshot was generated by
anything
but a group of universal helpers.

Thanks!

Yehuda K.

carmen wrote:

  • :text with optional support for tinyMCE
  • :string with a text_field
  • :date with date_select
  • :time with am/pm via a time_select plugin I heavily modified
  • :boolean with a checkbox
  • :file with file_column
  • :image with file_column and an image display
  • automatic select boxes for belongs_to

i remmeber the joy of clicking together
Object.const_get(params[:type]).new and render :partial =>
Model.classname.to_s.underscore and more or less having a fully-featured
app just from writing a migration. where i’d like to see this go is
model editing. maybe theyll want to add a latitude field to the
locations, or they want to start tagging eachothers tags, or maybe they
added a few fields to a particular record, and want to save that as a
template (‘they’ as in the users, who dont know about migrations or
editing rhtml). at least, this is what im working on . the main thing im
undecided on is GPL vs Rails license, and ActiveRDF vs my pseudo-RDF on
ActiveRecord .

also, i dont think the association feature is docuemnted in a
screenshot? thats the one im most curious about…

There are two association features:

  • Dual-panel lists
  • Select-boxes for associations

Dual panel lists just means that if you have a model with has_many in
its options, and call the model, it’ll create a two-sided list that
allows you to select a category from the left side and get a list of
categories on the right side.

Select boxes:
Say you have model Person that has belongs_to :city. You would have a
city_id field, and a City model (at the moment, with a column called
‘title’). My form would automatically create a drop-down box in the
Person form with a list of all city titles.

You could choose to :ignore the city drop-down if, say, you were using a
dual-panel list with City on the left and Person on the right (in that
case, it’d be unnecessary to have the city drop-down).

The point of this rather long explanation is to elicit feedback about
where I should go with this.

wherever you want to go :slight_smile:

Indeed.

– Yehuda

  • :text with optional support for tinyMCE
  • :string with a text_field
  • :date with date_select
  • :time with am/pm via a time_select plugin I heavily modified
  • :boolean with a checkbox
  • :file with file_column
  • :image with file_column and an image display
  • automatic select boxes for belongs_to

i remmeber the joy of clicking together
Object.const_get(params[:type]).new and render :partial =>
Model.classname.to_s.underscore and more or less having a fully-featured
app just from writing a migration. where i’d like to see this go is
model editing. maybe theyll want to add a latitude field to the
locations, or they want to start tagging eachothers tags, or maybe they
added a few fields to a particular record, and want to save that as a
template (‘they’ as in the users, who dont know about migrations or
editing rhtml). at least, this is what im working on . the main thing im
undecided on is GPL vs Rails license, and ActiveRDF vs my pseudo-RDF on
ActiveRecord .

also, i dont think the association feature is docuemnted in a
screenshot? thats the one im most curious about…

The point of this rather long explanation is to elicit feedback about
where I should go with this.

wherever you want to go :slight_smile:

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