Posted on: 2008/1/31 2:13
Re: Formulize / Pageworks /MySQL
Interesting situation you have there Jans.
I think you are facing one of the subtle but significant architectural issues in website development today. On the one hand are systems like XOOPS and Drupal and Joomla and on and on and on. There are many. They are "website-in-a-box" solutions. They give you lots of flexibility, but they demand that you build a site "their way". The database driven aspect of the site is simply that the configuration of the website, and the content, is stored in a database and then that information is mixed with templates to produce pages for visitors to see. But all the information goes into the database only through the XOOPS software itself. It's a closed system.
On the other hand, there are programming frameworks like Zend Framework, Symfony, EZ Components and many, many, many others. They are aimed at building a huge library of code that developers can draw on to very easily build sites in PHP (or other languages...Rails is a framework for the Ruby language). The aim of this approach is to be inter-operable, open and flexible. You can integrate any data source, make your website application do anything you want. But you have to do more work to build your site, this is a programming-centric approach.
XOOPS and its ilk are aimed largely at non-programmers, but the price of the easier setup is a mostly closed system that's harder to integrate with other systems.
So to make a long, sad story short, I know of no out-of-the-box system in the family of software like XOOPS that will let you just point to an existing datatable and provide an interface to that. But you could build such a thing fairly easily in several frameworks I expect, if you knew how to use that framework and program in the framework's language.
With Formulize, things are a bit different. We are working on a few different approaches to making Formulize break out of the confines of XOOPS (it already works in conjunction with Drupal and any other system where you can embed PHP at the top "template" layer).
For now, the basic approach for you to get your data, would be to make a form in Formulize that had all the elements (fields) that your datatable has. Then you would need to make a copy of the data in your table and export it as a .csv file. You would then need to import it into the Formulize form you created. At that point you would have a copy of your data "inside" XOOPS (inside Formulize inside XOOPS to be precise), and Formulize would give you a default interface for searching and interacting with the data.
The current development version of Formulize has the capability to hook up to any table in the XOOPS database and give you a searchable, browsable, calculation-ready interface to that data. But you can't edit the data. So if that's all you want, maybe that would work for you. You would just need to make a copy of your datatable inside the XOOPS database.
The next release of Formulize will hopefully be next month, but that is not certain. However, if this sounds interesting to you, I would be happy to provide a copy of the current development code base and some more detailed instructions.
Good luck with your site and projects.