Custom Templates

By default fields are presented in tabular form, e.g. one field per row in Add/Edit/Search/View page, or one record per row in List/Delete page. Custom Templates enable you to re-arrange the fields in your own way.

Note Do not confuse Custom Template (which is a table level setting within a project) with customizing the whole template zip file. If you want to customize the general layout of the generated site or customize something for all tables and all projects, you should customize the template zip file, see Customizing Template.

 

How it Works

If a Custom Template is provided, ASPMaker splits the original code in many small client side templates. A client side template is HTML code enclosed by <script type="text/html"> and </script>. Since browsers do not know how to execute "text/html" scripts, they simply ignore it. So it is possible to re-assemble HTML from the small client side templates by JavaScript based on your provided Custom Template. In other words, it is simply re-arrangement of existing HTML parts in browser.

During script generation, ASPMaker converts your Custom Template to a client side template and outputs JavaScript to render the template. The client side template is rendered by JsRender (see Third-Party Tools) which is a third-party JavaScript template engine optimized for high-performance pure string-based rendering. The generated scripts only use its "template composition" feature to render HTML from other external templates, your Custom Template can however make use of its other features if you need to. (Note that JsRender is still in beta, if you use its features directly, be aware that there may be some breaking changes in the future.)

 

What it Can Do (and Cannot Do)

Custom Templates let you customize the layout of the fields originally placed in the main HTML table of the page, they cannot customize HTML outside those regions. The customizable regions are highlighted as follows:

 

Custom Template Tags

To let you create your Custom Templates easily, ASPMaker supports the following Custom Template Tags. Since JsRender template tags use {{ and }} (double curly brackets), in order to let you use them in your Custom Templates, ASPMaker Custom Template Tags use {{{ and }}} (triple curly brackets) to differentiate. Note that Custom Template Tags will be converted to JsRender tags during script generation, they can only be used in ASPMaker user interface, they cannot be used elsewhere such as template (zip file) or generated scripts.

In the following table, field represents the field variable name. In general, if the field name is alphanumeric, field variable name is same as the field name. Otherwise, spaces are replaced by underscores, and other non alphanumeric characters are replaced by their hexadecimal string representation of their unicode value. If the variable is a reserved word or starts with a digit, it will be prepended with an underscore.

IMPORTANT Remember that Custom Template is rearrangement of existing HTML fragments in the page. Most of the following tags output HTML markup for the field in the page, NOT plain text or numeric values.
{{{field}}}

Field with or without caption and other values, depending on where it is used:

  • List/Delete page
    CustomTemplateHeader - field caption (supports sorting)
    CustomTemplateBody - field value only
    CustomTemplateFooter - field aggregate value
  • Search page/Extended Search panel - field caption + search operator + search value (+ search condition + search operator 2 + search value 2)
  • Other pages - field caption + field value
{{{caption field}}}

Field caption

{{{header field}}} Field header (caption with sort links)
{{{value field}}} Field value (or input) without caption.
{{{dbvalue field}}} Field raw value from database, NOT HTML. The value is straight from database and is unformatted. For use in CustomTemplateBody (List/Delete pages) or in CustomTemplate (other pages) only. NOT applicable to Add/Search/Register pages since there are no database values in those pages.

Important Notes

  1. You ALWAYS use JsRender template tags together with this tag, e.g. {{: {{{dbvalue field}}} }}, see more examples below.
  2. For List/Delete pages, since there are more than one records, the field value will be outputted as data path using JsRender's built-in '~root' contextual parameter. Using this tag is recommended.
  3. For other pages (e.g. View page), since there is only one record, although you may still use this tag, it is possible (and better) to use JsRender template tags directly, e.g. you can use either {{: {{{dbvalue field}}} }} or preferably {{:field}}.
  4. Unlike other tags, you can even use this tag for fields not selected for that page. However, NOT all fields are available, by default only short string, numeric, date, time and boolean fields are included. Date and time field values are string, if you need to do some manipulation, you need to convert the data type first. In such cases, using JsRender converters is recommended, see Using converters. You can also register your own converters in CLIENT side Global Code.

Example 1 - Output the field value directly

{{: {{{dbvalue field}}} }}

Example 2 - Output the field value with JavaScript method of the data type with JsRender {{:...}} tag.

{{: {{{dbvalue field}}}.toUpperCase() }}

Example 3 - Output HTML-encoded field value with JsRender HTML-encode tag {{>...}}.

{{> {{{dbvalue field}}} }}

Example 4 - Output field value with JsRender built-in URL encoder {{url:...}}.

<img src='{{url: {{{dbvalue field}}} }}'/>

Example 5 - Output field value with JsRender built-in attribute encoder {{attr:...}}.

<div title='{{attr: {{{dbvalue field}}} }}'>...</div>

Example 6 - Output field value with JsRender {{if ...}} and {{else ...}} tags.

{{if {{{dbvalue field}}} == "Y" }}Yes{{else {{{dbvalue field}}} == "N" }}No{{else}}Unknown{{/if}}

{{{value2 field}}} Search value 2. For use with Search page or Extended Search panel only.
{{{operator field}}} Search operator. For use with Search page or Extended Search panel only.
{{{operator2 field}}} Search operator 2. For use with Search page or Extended Search panel only.
{{{condition field}}} Search condition. For use with Search page or Extended Search panel only.
{{{cell_attrs field}}} Cell attributes for the field in the current row (originally for the <td> tag of the field). For use in List/Delete page only.
{{{list_options}}} or
{{{list_options n}}}

List options with <td> tags. Each list option is enclosed by "<td>" and "</td>". For use in List page only.

n is the "rowspan" attribute of the <td> tag and it is optional. If not specified, default is 1.

{{{list_options_2}}}

List options with <span> tags. Each list option is enclosed by "<span>" and "</span>". For use in CustomTemplateBody (List Page) only.

{{{list_option xxx}}}

List options with name xxx. For use in CustomTemplateBody (List Page) only. Possible values of xxx are same as those used in server events, i.e.

  • copy
  • delete
  • edit
  • checkbox
  • preview - for use with Preview extension (for registered users) only, or
  • detail_<DetailTable> - NOT for use with Preview extension (for registered users)
{{{page_n}}}...{{{/page_n}}}

Multi-Page template tag for page n. The content inside the tags is the Custom Template for page n.

Note For use with Multi-Page (see Table Setup) only. No need to use this tag if single page.
{{{row_attrs}}} Current row attributes (originally for the <tr> tag of the record) . For use in List/Delete page only.
{{{row_cnt}}} or
{{{row_index}}}
or
{{{i}}}

Current row index (1-based). NOT HTML. For use in List/Delete page only.

Note This tag is used inside the for-loop and will be replaced by <%= i %> in the generated script. You can also use VBScript in CustomTemplateBody if you need to use the variable i to output HTML conditionally. The i is looped from 1 (or 0 if there is Inline-Add/Copy) to CurrentPage().RowCnt.
{{{confirm_password}}}

Text input (with caption) for password confirmation. For use in Registration Page only.

{{{value confirm_password}}}

Text input (without caption) for password confirmation. For use in Registration Page only.

 

How to Use

To enter your Custom Template for a table, follow the following steps:

  1. Select the table in the database pane,
  2. Select the Code tab (which contains Server Events, Client Scripts and Custom Templates),
  3. Scroll down the treeview or collapse the Server Events and Client Scripts node, select a template node under Custom Templates,
  4. Enter your Custom Template in the editor.

    Note You can enter the first character of a field name and then press Ctrl + Space to open the completion list of the editor and select a {{{field}}} tag.

Then just generate and run your scripts in your browser as usual.

 

Examples

Example 1 - Custom Template in Add/Edit/Search/View page or Extended Search in List page

{{{Trademark}}}&nbsp;{{{Model}}}<br>
{{{HP}}}&nbsp;{{{Liter}}}

If you want to have more control on the layout, use DIV and SPAN with CSS styles, e.g.

<div class="ewRow"><span class="ewCell">{{{Trademark}}}</span><span class="ewCell">{{{Model}}}</span></div>
<div class="ewRow"><span class="ewCell">{{{HP}}}</span><span class="ewCell">{{{Liter}}}</span></div>

or use a HTML table, e.g.

<table class="ewTable">
    <tbody>
        <tr><td>{{{Trademark}}}</td><td>{{{Model}}}</td></tr>
        <tr><td>{{{HP}}}</td><td>{{{Liter}}}</td></tr>
    </tbody>
</table>

Example 2 - Custom Template in Add/Edit/Search/View page (Multi-Page)

{{{page_1}}}
<div class="ewRow"><span class="ewCell">{{{Trademark}}}</span><span class="ewCell">{{{Model}}}</span></div>

<div class="ewRow"><span class="ewCell">{{{HP}}}</span><span class="ewCell">{{{Liter}}}</span></div>
{{{/page_1}}}

{{{page_2}}}
<div class="ewRow">{{{Description}}}
</div>
{{{/page_2}}}

{{{page_3}}}
<div class="ewRow">{{{Picture}}}
</div>
{{{/page_3}}}

 

Example 3 - Card view in List page using {{{list_options_2}}}

CustomTemplateHeader

<table class="ewTable">
    <tbody>

CustomTemplateBody

<tr{{{row_attrs}}}>
    <td>
        <div class="ewRow">
            <span class="ewCell"><b>{{{caption Trademark}}}:</b>&nbsp;{{{Trademark}}}</span>
            <span class="ewCell"><b>{{{caption Model}}}:</b>&nbsp;{{{Model}}}</span>
        </div>
        <div class="ewRow">
            <span class="ewCell"><b>{{{caption HP}}}:</b>&nbsp;{{{HP}}}</span>
            <span class="ewCell"><b>{{{caption Liter}}}:</b>&nbsp;{{{Liter}}}</span>
        </div>
        <div class="ewRow">{{{list_options_2}}}</div>
    </td>
</tr>

CustomTemplateFooter

    </tbody>
</table>

 

Example 4 - Show each record in 2 rows in List page using {{{list_options n}}} where n is the rowspan. Note: Do not confuse {{{list_options 2}}} with {{{list_options_2}}}.

CustomTemplateHeader

<table class="ewTable">
    <thead>
        <tr class="ewTableHeader">
            {{{list_options 2}}}<td>{{{Trademark}}}</td><td>{{{Model}}}</td>
        </tr>
        <tr class="ewTableHeader">
            <td>{{{HP}}}</td><td>{{{Liter}}}</td>
        </tr>
    </thead>
    <tbody>

CustomTemplateBody

<tr{{{row_attrs}}}>
    {{{list_options 2}}}<td>{{{Trademark}}}</td><td>{{{Model}}}</td>
</tr>
<tr{{{row_attrs}}}>
    <td>{{{HP}}}</td><td>{{{Liter}}}</td>
</tr>

CustomTemplateFooter

    </tbody>
</table>

 

Important
  1. Remember that Custom Template is rearrangement of existing HTML fragments in the page, all other code is still the same, the fields in the Custom Template cannot be more than the original script. The available fields are same as the original script, if you try to include other fields in the table or from other table by Custom Template, it will NOT work. In Add/Copy/Edit page, if a field is missing, no field value is submitted but the generated scripts contain code for the field, unwanted results may occur, for example, if a field is missing in the Edit page, the field value in the table will be cleared after editing. If Multi-Page (see Table Setup) is enabled for the page, the Custom Templates should include templates for all pages using {{{page_n}}} and {{{/page_n}}}, and each field should be placed in the same page as in the original script.

  2. Custom Template is HTML, if you want to embed ASP code, you need to use <% and %> to enclose your code, if you want to use JavaScript, you need to use <script type="text/javascript"> and </script>.

  3. You can use CurrentPage to get the current page object, and use CurrentTable to get the current table object.

  4. Avoid using JavaScript in the template. If you need to use JavaScript, try to put your JavaScripts in Client Scripts and Startup Scripts of the page (see Server Events and Client Scripts). If you have to use JavaScript in the template, DO NOT using document.write() because the script will be extracted from the template and be executed at the end of the template, you can however use a DIV with unique id and write to its innerHTML.

  5. In List page, CustomTemplateBody is the template for a record. Your Custom Template needs NOT to be a HTML table, but if it is (see the example above), then CustomTemplateHeader and CustomTemplateFooter must at least contains <table><tbody> and </tbody></table> respectively, and you need to provide the <tr> and <td> tags in these templates. If the table uses Aggregate values (see Field Setup), you should also include <tfoot> in your CustomTemplateFooter. If you want to use the PreviewRow extension (for registered users only), your Custom Template must be a HTML table because the extensions works by inserting a preview row in the table, and in CustomTemplateBody each <tr> row must contain the attribute data-rowindex="{{{row_cnt}}}" or {{{row_attrs}}} as the extension needs the row index for inserting a row below it. The row index attribute is also required for alternating/selected/highlighted row colors. Basic sample code of CustomTemplateHeader/Body/Footer can be found in Code Repository (below the editor).

  6. Before the Custom Template is applied, the jQuery event "rendertemplate" will be fired, you can use Client Script of the page (see Server Events and Client Scripts) to subscribe this event and pass custom data to the Custom Template or even disable it.

  7. Custom Template does NOT support the following:
    • Export to CSV/HTML/XML (the data is exported in original tabular format)
    • Add Blank Row in Grid-Add/Edit
    • Detail grid in Master/Detail-Add/Edit/View

  8. Custom Template supports Printer-Friendly/Export to Excel/Word/Email/PDF. Note that Export to Excel/Word works by letting Word/Excel to import the exported HTML, so make sure your Custom Template is simple enough for Word/Excel to import. As for Export to Email, the exported HTML will be rendered by email clients. Different email clients render HTML email content differently, the result may vary with email client. In general, keep your Custom Template simple and stupid for export. You can even use VBScript's If/ElseIf/Else to output different Custom Template according to the value of CurrentPage.Export. Also, Custom Template will override Page_Loading, Row_Export and Page_Exported server events, you can however use Page_Load server event to disable using Custom Template for export, see Server Events and Client Scripts.

 

 

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