AMPLE Scaffolder: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted in a PHP Scaffolding Package

UPDATE: The software package formerly known as MBG Scaffolder has now been officially renamed to “AMPLE Scaffolder”.

The AMPLE Scaffolder package is an open source PHP scaffolding utility designed and modeled (loosely) after the Ruby On Rails scaffolding concept.  Born out of necessity, AMPLE Scaffolder provided a front-end web interface for quickly manipulating data within MySQL databases.  The first iteration covered the basics, allowing record creation, retrieval, updating and deletion.  It also allowed for automatic table joins using referential rules within the database.  But it was still pretty limited.

Shortly after its creation, AMPLE Scaffolder underwent a major revamp, gaining a whole lot of additional features in the process.  Effectively reborn, the second iteration of this package exists entirely in a single, mini-fied file of less than 200 kilobytes.  Using AMPLE Scaffolder is as easy as placing the file in any web-accessible directory and loading the page from a web browser.  The package is written using PHP and Javascript so the web server must have built-in support for PHP (version 5.x or higher) and the client must have Javascript enabled.  Other than that, there are virtually no other dependencies.

For those who are new to the AMPLE Scaffolder package, consider the following:

Have you ever wanted to join a field containing comma-separated values (record ids) to the records that correspond to those values in a lookup table?  Known as a CSV field type, the option to join lookup tables with comma-separated values is now available, but only using AMPLE Scaffolder.  Want the ability to control input based on a pre-established list of values from an Enum field type?   New drop list options for all lookup tables, as well as Enum and Set field types are now available, providing users with a friendly list of pre-validated options.  Need to test database performance on a large scale but lack the necessary data?  The new Bulk Insert feature gives developers the ability to insert anywhere from 5 to 10,000 random and data-type specific records in mere seconds.  Tired of filling out the same form field information for dozens of records?  Using the AMPLE Scaffolder’s Insert Plus One option means you only fill the form out one time for as many records as you need.

In case you missed it, the AMPLE Scaffolder package also includes built-in help documentation.  I tried to make using the class as intuitive as possible, but I also realize that there may be questions regarding specific features.  If you run into any problems, feel free to leave me feedback using the Comment form, or check for answers within the help docs themselves.  And don’t forget that a good number of the front-end features, such as field labels, buttons, and even some of the more commonly seen errors, offer built-in help links to assist users in getting started.  So if you’re dumbstruck by a particular feature, try looking for a helpful link nearby.

The AMPLE Scaffolder package is now fully available for download here.  You can also test out a live demo of the most recent version using the credentials that follow.  Tables without a primary or unique key are now fully accessible in a read-only format.  The Blogs and Comments tables are fully modifiable so feel free to add, update and remove records.  The Bulk Insert feature makes it really easy to add records back in for testing.  The remaining tables are locked down since they are the referential tables used to feed the primary tables.  Also, just for the record, I’m not trying to recreate PHPMyAdmin so there are currently no plans for database structure (tables, fields, etc) manipulation at the moment.  This tool is designed strictly with CRUD in mind. The demo requires the following info:

  • Server …………amplescaffolder
  • Username ……amplescaffolder
  • Password …….amplescaffolder
  • Lookup Flag …amplescaffolder

The server name field supports fully-qualified domain names, so you can conceivably connect up with any DNS-registered MySQL server and play around.  Just be aware that there is no SSL or SSH option yet.  So it works similar to PHPMyAdmin in that respect (credentials are passed unencrypted).  I hope to add an option for SSH some time in the future but this will increase the file footprint dramatically so it’s on hold for now.  Also, the regular expression matching for SQL terms in both queries and records is still in need of tweaking but I’m getting there.  Most everything else should be relatively bug-free.  You can check out a more comprehensive list of available features here. Please let me know if you come across any issues or have any suggestions for features, etc.

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