Skip to content

Content from a database

Create pages from a database and edit, add or delete entries in the Panel

Content can also come from a database. This is particularly useful if you already have a large set of data stored in a MySQL or other relational database, like a huge database of products or articles. In only a few steps you can transform data from those databases into Kirby pages that behave like any Kirby page in the frontend, i.e. you can use Kirby's API to access, filter or search content, and edit it in the Panel together with all your file based content.

This guide is a short intro into how to create pages from entries in a database table. It is intended as an outline, not a final solution. With lots of entries it would also become necessary to work on a custom collection for the result set that would only fetch the rows it really needs, but this would be more complex.

The example assumes a database table called comments with the following scheme:

Column Datatype Primary Key Unique
id int yes yes
text VARCHAR (600) no no
user VARCHAR (100) no no
slug VARCHAR (185) no yes

Create a new parent page

Create a parent page called comments in the content folder.

  • content
    • comments
      • comments.txt

Connect to the database

In your config.php, connect to the database:

<?php

return [
    'db' => [
        'host'     => '127.0.0',
        'database' => 'kirby',
        'user'     => 'root',
        'password' => 'root',
    ]
];

Query the database

Assuming that your database contains a table called comments, you can now query the database table in your templates like this:

/site/templates/comments.php
$comments = Db::select('comments');

Convert to child pages

We can now convert these database entries to children of the comments parent. To do so, let's create a page model for the parent page:

/site/models/comments.php
<?php

class CommentsPage extends Kirby\Cms\Page
{
    public function children()
    {
        $comments = [];

        foreach (Db::select('comments') as $comment) {
            $comments[] = [
                'slug'     => $comment->slug(),
                'num'      => 0,
                'template' => 'comment',
                'model'    => 'comment',
                'content'  => [
                    'text'  => $comment->text(),
                    'user'  => $comment->user(),
                ]
            ];
        }

        return Pages::factory($comments, $this);
    }
}

Here we re-define the children() method of the Page class to return the commments from the database as children pages.

Accessing the comments in the template

With this page model in place, we can now access our comments as children of the comments page in our template:

/site/templates/comments.php
<ul class="comments">
    <?php foreach ($page->children() as $comment): ?>
    <li>
      <a href="<?= $comment->url() ?>">
        <?= $comment->text() ?> <small>by <?= $comment->user() ?></small>
      </a>
    </li>
    <?php endforeach ?>
</ul>

Create the Panel blueprint

We can now access these database-based pages in the Panel. To do this properly, we should create blueprints for the parent and its children first:

The parent's blueprint

/site/blueprints/pages/comments.yml
title: Comments

sections:
  comments:
    headline: Comments
    type: pages
    info: "{{ page.user }}"
    template: comment

The children's blueprint

/site/blueprints/pages/comment.yml
title: Comment
icon: 📢

options:
  changeTitle: false
  changeStatus: false
  changeSlug: false

fields:
  user:
    label: User
    type: text
  text:
    label: text
    type: textarea
    maxlength: 600

Create a model for the comment child page

While these comments are now automatically available in the Panel, we cannot yet edit them. To make sure that they can be edited and deleted, we have to create a CommentPage model and modify the code of the parent model:

The CommentPage model would need to overwrite the writeContent() and readContent() methods to get the comment details from the table instead of the text file.

/site/models/comment.php
<?php

class CommentPage extends Kirby\Cms\Page
{

    public function writeContent(array $data, string $languageCode = null): bool
    {
        unset($data['title']);

        if ($comment = Db::first('comments', '*', ['slug' => $this->slug()])) {
            return Db::update('comments', $data, ['slug' => $this->slug()]);
        } else {
            $data['slug'] = $this->slug();
            return Db::insert('comments', $data);
        }

    }

    public function delete(bool $force = false): bool
    {
        return Db::delete('comments', ['slug' => $this->slug()]);
    }

    public function title(): Kirby\Cms\Field
    {
        return $this->text()->excerpt(100)->or('New comment');
    }

}

A template for the individual comment

If we want to access each comment on its own page, we can add an additional template for the comment:

/site/templates/comment.php
<?php snippet('header') ?>
<div class="comment">
  <?= $page->text()->kt() ?>
  <p><small>by <?= $page->user() ?></small></p>
</div>
<?php snippet('footer') ?>

Advanced setup

If we want to enable features like changing the slug via the Panel or use the status workflow with drafts, unlisted and listed entries, we have to extend our models.

But first, our table needs a new column called status, which can have the values null, unlisted and listed. We also add a title for our comments, so that we end up with the following table scheme:

Column Datatype Primary Key Unique
id int yes yes
text VARCHAR (600) no no
user VARCHAR (100) no no
slug VARCHAR (185) no yes
title VARCHAR (185) no no
status VARCHAR (8) no no

Extended comment.yml blueprint

We can show the status field in the Panel as a disabled field for control purposes, but it is not required. The options are only spelled out for clarity, true is the default value anyway.

title: Comment
icon: 📢

options:
  changeTitle: true
  changeStatus: true
  changeSlug: true

fields:
  user:
    label: User
    type: text
  text:
    label: text
    type: textarea
    maxlength: 600
  # just for control purposes
  status:
    label: Status
    type: text
    disabled: true

Extended comments.php model

/site/models/comments.php
class CommentsPage extends Kirby\Cms\Page
{
    public function children()
    {
        $comments = [];

        foreach (Db::select('comments') as $comment) {

            $comments[] = [
                'slug'     => $comment->slug(),
                'num'      => $comment->status() === 'listed' ? 0 : null,
                'template' => 'comment',
                'model'    => 'comment',
                'content'  => [
                    'title'  => $comment->title() ?? 'New Comment',
                    'text'   => $comment->text(),
                    'user'   => $comment->user(),
                    'status' => is_null($comment->status()) ? 'draft' : $comment->status()
                ]
            ];
        }

        return Pages::factory($comments, $this);
    }
}

There are three differences here compared to the model above:

  • We set the num property depending on the value of the status field in the database.
  • We add the status field to the content array.
  • We add the title field to the content array.

The extended comment.php model

The model for a single comment needs more significant changes:

/site/models/comment.php
<?php

class CommentPage extends Kirby\Cms\Page
{
    public function changeSlug(string $slug, string $languageCode = null)
    {
        // always sanitize the slug
        $slug = Str::slug($slug);


        $data['slug'] = $slug;

        if ($comment = Db::first('comments', '*', ['slug' => $this->slug()])) {
            if (Db::update('comments', $data, ['slug' => $this->slug()])) {
                return $this;
            };
        } 
        return $this;
    }

    protected function changeStatusToDraft()
    {
        $data['status'] = 'null';

        if ($comment = Db::first('comments', '*', ['slug' => $this->slug()])) {
            return Db::update('comments', $data, ['slug' => $this->slug()]);
        }

        return $this;
    }

    protected function changeStatusToListed(int $position = null)
    {
        // create a sorting number for the page
        $num = $this->createNum($position);

        // don't sort if not necessary
        if ($this->status() === 'listed' && $num === $this->num()) {
            return $this;
        }

        $data['status'] = 'listed';

        if ($comment = Db::first('comments', '*', ['slug' => $this->slug()])) {
            return Db::update('comments', $data, ['slug' => $this->slug()]);
        }

        if ($this->blueprint()->num() === 'default') {
            $this->resortSiblingsAfterListing($num);
        }

        return $this;
    }

    protected function changeStatusToUnlisted()
    {
        if ($this->status() === 'unlisted') {
            return $this;
        }

        $data['status'] = 'unlisted';

        if ($comment = Db::first('comments', '*', ['slug' => $this->slug()])) {
            return Db::update('comments', $data, ['slug' => $this->slug()]);
        }

        $this->resortSiblingsAfterUnlisting();

        return $this;
    }

    public function changeTitle(string $title, string $languageCode = null)
    {
        $data['title'] = $title;

        if ($comment = Db::first('comments', '*', ['slug' => $this->slug()])) {
            if (Db::update('comments', $data, ['slug' => $this->slug()])) {
                return $this;
            };
        } 
        return $this;
    }

    public function delete(bool $force = false): bool
    {
        return Db::delete('comments', ['slug' => $this->slug()]);
    }

    public function isDraft(): bool
    {
        return in_array($this->content()->status(), ['listed', 'unlisted']) === false;
    }

    public function writeContent(array $data, string $languageCode = null): bool
    {
        unset($data['title']);

        if ($comment = Db::first('comments', '*', ['slug' => $this->slug()])) {
            return Db::update('comments', $data, ['slug' => $this->slug()]);
        } else {
            $data['slug'] = $this->slug();
            return Db::insert('comments', $data);
        }

    }

}

We have to override all methods that are needed for changing the status and the slug, because we have to change the values for each action in the database, not in the local file system.

  • changeSlug()
  • changeStatusToDraft()
  • changeStatusToListed()
  • changeStatusToUnlisted()
  • changeTitle()

Since we now have an explicit title field, we add the changeTitle() method and remove the title() method from the model, because that is not longer necessary.