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Foswiki as semi-structured database application

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Foswiki as semi-structured database application

Syed Akbar
Hello all,

is it reasonable to use Foswiki as a semi-structured database application?

   - Structure page data into pre-defined sections and/or fields
   - Use data types
   - Force user to follow that structure while editing page
   - Use input/edit masks, forms or dialogs
   - extensible data model

Are there any plugins providing such functionality? I've read about
DataForms, HtmlForms and the FlexFormPlugin, but I don't think it is
exactly what I am looking for, because it is only for meta data, not for
the actual page data.

How long will it take to implement a tool like this?

Thanks in advance!

Regards,
Syed



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Re: Foswiki as semi-structured database application

Lynnwood Brown
Hi Syed,
Welcome to the Foswiki discussion list. Foswiki will do everything in your list. If you want all input to be structured, you can store everything in DataForm and essentially hide the free-form “whiteboard” area of the topic. There are some limitations to this approach, such as lack of WYSIWYG editor for textarea fields. It’s conceivable that you could use whiteboard area and still impose structure and data types within the editor but you’d be building a custom editor from the ground up at that point. Foswiki is immensely flexible, but of course the further you move away from the way it’s set up by default, the more time you’re going to have to devote to customization.
- Lynnwood Brown

> On Apr 1, 2016, at 10:38 AM, Syed Akbar <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello all,
>
> is it reasonable to use Foswiki as a semi-structured database application?
>
>   - Structure page data into pre-defined sections and/or fields
>   - Use data types
>   - Force user to follow that structure while editing page
>   - Use input/edit masks, forms or dialogs
>   - extensible data model
>
> Are there any plugins providing such functionality? I've read about
> DataForms, HtmlForms and the FlexFormPlugin, but I don't think it is
> exactly what I am looking for, because it is only for meta data, not for
> the actual page data.
>
> How long will it take to implement a tool like this?
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> Regards,
> Syed
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Transform Data into Opportunity.
> Accelerate data analysis in your applications with
> Intel Data Analytics Acceleration Library.
> Click to learn more.
> http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=278785471&iu=/4140
> _______________________________________________
> Foswiki-discuss mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/foswiki-discuss


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Re: Foswiki as semi-structured database application

Colas Nahaboo
The natural way to do it in Foswiki is via the DataForm + QuerySearch.

However, you should really observe your users and see what is the best for them. I recently helped create a Foswiki application for a Biology research lab to replace a real database, and we found out that users really hated the database way to query fields. What worked best is a single search field that searches in all the form fields, whatever the type. This would make a database programmer mad, but users in this case didnt care about precise queries, just a "google" search: "give many many results, but quickly, and I will find what I want in them"

Foswiki was great because it allowed to experiment this "out of the box" thinking, adding bits of javascript fount in the web, some CGI scripts to complement it...

The wiki is private, I'lll try to make a public demo version.

For your problem, having the data in the page is possible, but be prepared to add code to guide data entry (you can use a lot of javascript forms code on the web) and validate it. Plus complex queries may be more easily done via cgi scripts in the language of your choice.


On 1 April 2016 at 16:51, Lynnwood Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Syed,
Welcome to the Foswiki discussion list. Foswiki will do everything in your list. If you want all input to be structured, you can store everything in DataForm and essentially hide the free-form “whiteboard” area of the topic. There are some limitations to this approach, such as lack of WYSIWYG editor for textarea fields. It’s conceivable that you could use whiteboard area and still impose structure and data types within the editor but you’d be building a custom editor from the ground up at that point. Foswiki is immensely flexible, but of course the further you move away from the way it’s set up by default, the more time you’re going to have to devote to customization.
- Lynnwood Brown

> On Apr 1, 2016, at 10:38 AM, Syed Akbar <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello all,
>
> is it reasonable to use Foswiki as a semi-structured database application?
>
>   - Structure page data into pre-defined sections and/or fields
>   - Use data types
>   - Force user to follow that structure while editing page
>   - Use input/edit masks, forms or dialogs
>   - extensible data model
>
> Are there any plugins providing such functionality? I've read about
> DataForms, HtmlForms and the FlexFormPlugin, but I don't think it is
> exactly what I am looking for, because it is only for meta data, not for
> the actual page data.
>
> How long will it take to implement a tool like this?
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> Regards,
> Syed
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Transform Data into Opportunity.
> Accelerate data analysis in your applications with
> Intel Data Analytics Acceleration Library.
> Click to learn more.
> http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/clk?id=278785471&iu=/4140
> _______________________________________________
> Foswiki-discuss mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/foswiki-discuss


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Accelerate data analysis in your applications with
Intel Data Analytics Acceleration Library.
Click to learn more.
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_______________________________________________
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[hidden email]
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--
Colas Nahaboo - http://colas.nahaboo.net

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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