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JQuery based progressive enhancement of tables


This plugin implements a widget to enhance normal HTML tables with extra navigation features such as sorting, filtering and paginating through datasets. The %DATATABLE macro is specifically tailored towards datasets created on the base of DataForms. It lets you easily compile an overview of data of that kind stored in a web as well as select specific records for further use in wiki apps.

JQDataTablesPlugin can be used in two distinct ways:

  • by means of the %DATATABLE macro
  • by means of HTML5 and JSON to enhance HTML tables directly

%DATATABLE takes a pointer to a DataForm definition and then creates a table based on the known formfields in that definition to create columns of a kind matching the formfield types. It then uses a connector fetch the data from the backend. There are several kinds of connectors available at the moment based on the additional functionality installed on your Foswiki:

  • search: this one uses the normal native search feature of Foswiki also used by the %SEARCH macro
  • dbcache: this one uses DBCachePlugin which is implementing a faster still native search, also available via its %DBQUERY macro
  • solr: this connector uses the SolrPlugin which uses a Solr fulltext search engine integrated into Foswiki.

A default connector can be defined as required. Note however, that even though %DATATABLE tries to hide the differences of available connectors behind the scene, connectors will behave differently, i.e. when it comes to filtering. Also, performance is vastly different with the search connector being the slowest one. It is strongly recommended that you at least install DBCachePlugin for acceptable performance in every-day usage.


Using a %DATATABLE you can query a set of topics and display their structured data in a dynamic table. Results are best when querying structured data attached to your topics as each formfield defined in the DataForm directly correlates to a column in the generated table. In this case you may specify the form definition in the form parameter and formfields in the columns parameter. The %DATATABLE will then use this information to properly display formfield values as well as sort columns along the technical representation. For example a date formfield will properly be displayed according to your locale's date format while sorting by date uses date values represented as epoch seconds.

Syntax: %DATATABLE{"<query>" parameter="..." parameter="..." ...}%

Parameter Description Default
<query>, query specify a search query to filter rows on the server-side; NOTE: the query language might vary depending on the connector being used, e.g. dbcache vs search vs solr  
connector connector to be used to fetch data dynamically from the backend; possible values are search (using Foswiki's native %SEARCH), dbcache (needs Foswiki:Extensions/DBCachePlugin), solr (needs Foswiki:Extensions/SolrPlugin), additional connectors may be implemented by plugins; NOTE: for general-purpose search dbcache is the best choice defined in $Foswiki::cfg{JQDataTablesPlugin}{DefaultConnector}
class additional css class to be added to the widget in addition to foswikiTable  
width width of table, e.g. 100% and the like  
web, webs web or list of webs to query for data current web
topics list of topics to query per web  
include regular expression topics must match to be included  
exclude regular expression topics must not match to be included  
form data form definition  
buttons list of buttons to add; available buttons are: print, csv, excel, copy, pdf  
paging, pager switch on/off paging data; NOTE: this parameter is deactivated when scrolling is specifed as well (see docu) off
pagelength, rows number of rows to be displayed when paging is enabled (see docu) 10
lengthmenu switches on a menu element to change the page length (see docu) [10, 25, 50, 100]
scrolling, scroller switch on/off dynamic scrolling; data will be fetched from the backend as you are scrolling up and down; NOTE: this parameter disables paging as these two features are mutual exclusive off
searching switch on/off the global search box (see docu) off
searchmode defines how to search, either using one search box covering all columns (global), or using one search box per column (multi) global
searchdelay delay before changes in a search box will cause new data to be fetched from the backend 400
sort specifies the column for initial ordering (see docu) first column
reverse specifies the initial ordering direction off
savestate switch on/off remembering the state the datatable was in when coming back to the page; this includes sorting, paging as well as filtering; state information is stored in the browser's session store, that is state information is specific to the browser tab; closing a browser tab will purge all state infos of datatables with it off
info switch on/off the info about the number of rows in the set (see docu) off
ordering switch on/off the ability to sort the table by clicking on a column header (see docu) on
scrollx switch on/off horizontal scrolling (see docu) off
scrolly specify vertical scrolling (see docu) off
scrollcollapse switch on/off collapsing of the table height on small data sets (see docu) off
columns comma-separated list of formfield names to be displayed; see the notes on special columns below all formfields of the DataForm specified by form
rowgroup comma-separated list of columns that should be used to create groups of rows  
selecting switch on/off select extension  
selectproperty specifies the property of a row to be selected when selection is enabled topic
selectname specifies the name of the data be submitted when selection is enabled <selectproperty>
selectmode possible values are os, single, multi, this specifies the way a selection is made (see docu) multi
responsive switch on/off responsive extension  
fixedheader switch on/off fixed header extension  
hidecolumns comma-separated list of columns to hide from the output; while hidden column data is still fetched available for further processing such as grouping or styling a row  
rowclass javascript function that is supposed to return a css class when a row is rendered; the string returned is added as a class to the row elements of the table  
rowcss javascript function that is supposed to return a string or an object to apply inline css to all cells of a row  
autocolor comma-separted list of columns to auto-color based on the cell content; note this needs the JQAutoColorContrib to be installed and activated  
<field-name>_title a column title for a given field-name, e.g. ProjectState_title="State" name of the formfield as specified in columns
<field-name>_width column width for a given field, e.g. ProjectID_width=5em  

Special column names

In general column names specified in the columns parameter of the %DATATABLE parameter directly relate to a formfield of an attached DataForm. Values are displayed and sorted according the the type of the formfield. There are however a few column names that have a special meaning or trigger an additional behavior on data in this column:

  • index: this is an auto-generated column enumerating the rows in a table
  • Date, Changed, Modified, Created,, createdate: these fields are all date fields and treated accordingly
  • Topic: alias for topic
  • TopicTitle: displays the TopicTitle of a topic linking to it
  • By: alias for author of recent topic revision
  • Creator, createauthor, author if the initial topic revision
  • publishauthor: author that published the topic, defaults to createauthor in case there is no explicit Author field in the form
  • publishdate: date when the publishauthor created the initial revision, defaults to createdate in case there is no explicut PublishDate field in the form
  • worflow: name of the workflow assigned to a topic
  • A column name starting with a / (slash) will be excluded from any special treatment, i.e. /Author will not be interpreted as the author of the recent topic revision, but as the Author formfield of a DataForm (see below example).
  • QMPlugin fields:
    • qmstate: title of the current workflow state
    • qmstate_id: id of the current workflow state
    • qmstate_pendingReviewers: list of users that still need to action on a state change in a parralel transition
    • qmstate_possibleReviewers: list of users that might change the current state
    • qmstate_pendingApprover: list of users that might transition the current state to the "approved" state
    • qmstate_reviewers: list of users that reviewed the current state
    • qmstate_comments: coments of all reviews of the current state
  • access control settings of the current topic
    • allowchange
    • allowview
    • allowapprove
    • allowcomment
    • allowcreate
    • denychange
    • denyview
    • denyapprove
    • denycomment
    • denycreate
  • MetaDataCommentPlugin fields:
    • comments: number of comments of the current topic


A data table can also be applied to an already existing table enhancing it with additional features such as paging, client-side sorting, searching etc. This is done by wrapping your tables into a .jqDataTablesContainer div element and specify additional parameters using HTML5 data attributes

<div class="jqDataTablesContainer" data-paginate="true" data-searching="true" data-info="true">
| *Header* | *Header* | *Header* | *Header* |
| Data | Data | Data | Data |
| Data | Data | Data | Data |
| Data | Data | Data | Data |
| Data | Data | Data | Data |

See for a full list of all options.


List of PackageForm topics

Below example lists all topics in the System web that have the PackageForm attached to it:

   lengthmenu="5, 10, 20, 50, 100"
   columns="index, Topic, Description, Version, Release, /Author"

index Topic Description Version Release /Author

Selecting topics

<form action="%SCRIPTURLPATH{"view"}%/%WEB%/%TOPIC%" method="post">
   class="foswikiFlatTable foswikiStripes"
   columns="index, TopicTitle, Description, /Author, Changed"
%BUTTON{"%TRANSLATE{"Submit"}%" type="submit" icon="tick"}%

Topic index TopicTitle Description /Author Changed


Coloring rows using inline CSS

   query="form~'FAQForm' AND topic!='FAQTemplate'"
   class="foswikiFlatTable foswikiTable foswikiStripes"
   rowcss="var css = { 
      'SupportQuestion': '#FFC107y', 
      'FrequentlyAskedQuestion': {
         'background-color': '#4Caf40', 
         'color': '#fff'
      'SupplementalDoc': '#f44336', 
      'AdminTopic': {
         'background-color': '#b22222',
         'color': '#fff'
   }; return css[data.TopicClassification.raw];"

Topic TopicSummary TopicClassification Changed

Coloring rows using classes

This example is not fully working. It depends on a DataForm definition for Invoice topics, that have at least formfields

  • Client: client that is invoiced
  • Total: amount of money
  • IssueDate: date when the invoice was sent to the client
  • DueDate: date until when the invoice has to be paid
  • State: the state the invoice is in: created, invoiced, overdue, reminded, disputed, paid, partial, withdrawn

We will use two properties of invoices to color the table. Depeding in the property values css classes will be applied that we crawft styles for. The invoice column will be colored depending on the State of an invoice. A blue line will be drawn below which all invoices have to be paid, that is the table will be devided in two parts below and above the line where above the line invoices will be paid in the future and below the line invoices should have to be paid up to today.

To make this work we create a small javascript fragment that returns the rowclass.

In addition, any client cell will auto-colored using Foswiki:Extensions/JQAutoColorContrib.

   class="foswikiFlatTable foswikiTable foswikiStripes"
      var now = / 1000; 
      var cls = data.State.raw; 
      if (data.DueDate.epoch <= now) { 
         cls += ' past'
      return cls; "
.dataTable tr.past {
  border-top: 3px solid #3e89d3;
.dataTable tr.past:first-of-type,
.dataTable tr.past + tr.past {
.dataTable tr.invoiced > td:nth-child(4) {
   background-color:#FFC107 !important;
.dataTable tr.reminded > td:nth-child(4) {
   background-color:#b22222 !important;
   color:#fff !important;
.dataTable tr.paid > td:nth-child(4) {
   background-color:#4Caf40 !important;
   color:#fff !important;
.dataTable tr.overdue > td:nth-child(4) {
   background-color:#f44336 !important;
   color:#fff !important;

HTML5 simple example

<div class="jqDataTablesContainer" data-paginate="true" data-searching="true" data-info="true">
| *Header* | *Header* | *Header* | *Header* |
| Data | Data | Data | Data |
| Data | Data | Data | Data |
| Data | Data | Data | Data |
| Data | Data | Data | Data |

This example generates a table dynamically using a FormattedSearch:

<div class="jqDataTablesContainer" data-paginate="true" data-searching="true" data-info="true">
  header="| *Name* | *Date* | *Author* |"
  format="| $topic | $date | $wikiusername |"

Name Date Author
AttachContentPlugin 16 Feb 2021 - 05:12 UnknownUser
AutoTemplatePlugin 16 Jan 2017 - 23:29 UnknownUser
AutoViewTemplatePlugin 28 Feb 2018 - 05:59 UnknownUser
BlogPlugin 02 May 2019 - 20:32 UnknownUser
BreadCrumbsPlugin 16 Aug 2018 - 01:53 UnknownUser
CaptchaPlugin 26 Sep 2015 - 23:39 UnknownUser
ClassificationPlugin 02 May 2019 - 20:19 UnknownUser
CommentPlugin 28 Feb 2018 - 05:59 UnknownUser
CompareRevisionsAddonPlugin 28 Feb 2018 - 05:59 UnknownUser
ConfigurePlugin 28 Feb 2018 - 05:59 UnknownUser
DBCachePlugin 15 Oct 2020 - 21:09 UnknownUser
DateManipPlugin 19 Oct 2020 - 20:26 UnknownUser
DiffPlugin 20 Oct 2020 - 18:21 UnknownUser
DigestPlugin 09 Mar 2016 - 02:04 UnknownUser
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EditTablePlugin 28 Feb 2018 - 05:59 UnknownUser
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FlexPaperPlugin 20 May 2018 - 18:51 AdminUser
FlexWebListPlugin 28 Oct 2020 - 00:16 UnknownUser
FootNotePlugin 20 May 2018 - 20:24 AdminUser
GraphvizPlugin 20 Nov 2017 - 17:46 UnknownUser
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ImageGalleryPlugin 27 Jul 2017 - 20:14 UnknownUser
ImagePlugin 06 Mar 2018 - 00:37 UnknownUser
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TinyMCEPlugin 28 Feb 2018 - 06:00 UnknownUser
TopicInteractionPlugin 27 Nov 2018 - 03:49 UnknownUser
TopicTitlePlugin 29 Oct 2020 - 02:38 UnknownUser
TwistyPlugin 28 Feb 2018 - 06:00 UnknownUser
UpdatesPlugin 28 Feb 2018 - 06:00 UnknownUser
WebLinkPlugin 30 Aug 2014 - 02:18 UnknownUser
WysiwygPlugin 28 Feb 2018 - 06:00 UnknownUser

HTML5 client side sorting

JQDataTablesPlugin comes with additional sorting features for specific types of data:

  • numeric
  • string
  • date (extended to be able to parse Foswiki's default date format)
  • currency
  • metrics (e.g. killo, mega, giga, tera, ...)

Click on the table headers to sort the columns according to their data type.

<div class="jqDataTablesContainer">
| *#* | *String* | *Date* | *Number* | *Currency* | *Size* |
| 3 | ActionTrackerPlugin | 27 Jan 2010 - 17:07 | 1 | 1,00 | 10KB |
| 1 | AntiWikiSpamPlugin | 03 Jan 2013 - 09:07 | 10 | 10,00 | 3GB |
| 2 | RenderListPlugin | 13 May 2012 - 02:59 | 0.01 | 1,01 | 100MB |
| 5 | CommentPlugin | 10 Apr 2011 - 23:39 | 100 | 0,10 | 2024kB |
| 4 | FindElsewherePlugin | 23 Dec 2012 - 17:06 | 20 | 100,- | 0.1kB |
| 6 | JsonRpcContrib |  | 0 | -100,- | 1024TB |

# String Date Number Currency Size
3 ActionTrackerPlugin 27 Jan 2010 - 17:07 1 1,00 10KB
1 AntiWikiSpamPlugin 03 Jan 2013 - 09:07 10 10,00 3GB
2 RenderListPlugin 13 May 2012 - 02:59 0.01 1,01 100MB
5 CommentPlugin 10 Apr 2011 - 23:39 100 0,10 2024kB
4 FindElsewherePlugin 23 Dec 2012 - 17:06 20 100,- 0.1kB
6 JsonRpcContrib   0 -100,- 1024TB


You do not need to install anything in the browser to use this extension. The following instructions are for the administrator who installs the extension on the server.

Open configure, and open the "Extensions" section. "Extensions Operation and Maintenance" Tab -> "Install, Update or Remove extensions" Tab. Click the "Search for Extensions" button. Enter part of the extension name or description and press search. Select the desired extension(s) and click install. If an extension is already installed, it will not show up in the search results.

You can also install from the shell by running the extension installer as the web server user: (Be sure to run as the webserver user, not as root!)
cd /path/to/foswiki
perl tools/extension_installer <NameOfExtension> install

If you have any problems, or if the extension isn't available in configure, then you can still install manually from the command-line. See for more help.


Foswiki::Plugins::JQueryPlugin >= 4.10Required
Foswiki::Contrib::JQMomentContrib >= 3.00Required
Foswiki::Plugins::MultiLingualPlugin >= 4.00Optional
Foswiki::Plugins::DBCachePlugin >= 13.00Optional
Foswiki::Plugins::TopicTitlePlugin>1.00Required for Foswiki < 2.2

Change History

06 Nov 2020: don't return empty result rows as this breaks jquery.datatables; extended documentation of special column names
15 Oct 2020: added buttons parameter and excel export; added parameters topics, include and exclude to DATATABLE macro; added support for multi-dimensional sorting (only available for DBCachePlugin connector); redesign of connector classes for better sortability & searchability: fixes SEARCH and SOLR backends
01 Jul 2019: updated to latest upstream version of Datatables; added parameters rowgroup, rowclass, rowcss, hidecolumns and autocolor
07 Jan 2019: added webs parameter to DATATABLE to query multiple webs at once
26 Nov 2018: add docu for newly added savestate parameter to DATATABLE; fixed rendering image columns in DBCacheConnector
01 Oct 2018: use JQMomentContrib for better parsing and sorting of date columns on the client side; make use of new TopicTitlePlugin; add support for MultiLingualPlugin
25 Sep 2017: fixed html5 data attributes
30 Aug 2017: disabled Author auto-column; added publishdate and publishauthor auto-columns
23 Jan 2017: don't report back an url parameter in the error message
02 Sep 2016: added default english translation files
13 Jun 2016: fixed parsing of dates that are already epoch seconds; improved default settings of table layout
25 May 2016: updated to latest version of DataTables
22 Apr 2016: implemented server-side grid widget
18 Mar 2014: remove console.log() leftover; improve sorting date columns
09 Nov 2013: implemented sorting for currency, and metrics
08 Nov 2013: make it work under {NoConflict}; enable jquery-ui theming by default now; created a non-goofy default look and feel to play nicely with a skin's table design; only add DataTables support to specific tables, not all; make it configurable with declarative metadata; compress and minify plugin assets; remove files not required by the plugin; clean up controls and css classes added by TablePlugin's; added type detector for foswiki date columns
18 Jan 2013: Initial version

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