Introducing AMPLE: Another MySQL PHP Light Edition Database Scaffolder

Welcome to Step41’s AMPLE Scaffolder web site and host to the AMPLE Scaffolder application and related content. AMPLE Scaffolder is an open source web-based MySQL database utility written specifically for PHP environments. Developed by Jeff Todnem at Step41 Software, AMPLE Scaffolder (formerly known as MBG Scaffolder) was specially designed to enable quick and easy record creation, retrieval, update and deletion (CRUD) within any MySQL database (version 5.0 or later). AMPLE Scaffolder exists in a single-file format less than 250 kilobytes in size, and is ready to use right “out of the box”. And when we say it’s light weight, we mean zero external configuration files required, zero database exports required, and zero coding experience required. Now that’s low-calorie!

8,244 copies of AMPLE Scaffolder are currently in operation. What are you waiting for?

In a nutshell, Step41′s AMPLE Scaffolder was designed to allow database developers to more easily manipulate MySQL table data without the use of magical incantations. Built entirely on PHP (with Javascript for extra flavor), AMPLE Scaffolder assists developers by generating human-readable and selectable values instead of the traditionally-seen numerical record ids. Using auto-generated drop lists, developers can now select easy-to-read, pre-validated options for any referential tables, as well as any enum, set, boolean or csv field types. And those are just a few of the surface features. Check out a more comprehensive features list for more details. For those of you who are new to the AMPLE Scaffolder application, we’ve set up a live demo to allow you to test some of the application’s current capabilities. Use the credentials immediately below to log into the demo web site. Keep in mind that some functionality has been disabled for security reasons.

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


btn_demo btn_download

AMPLE Scaffolder Version 2.2.0 Includes New Built-In Rules Editor

With the recent 2.1.9 release of AMPLE Scaffolder under our belts, we decided to take a short breather to review the current state of the application. We originally designed AMPLE Scaffolder to work with nearly any MySQL database right out of the box. And with only a few exceptions, it has fulfilled this requirement without issues. But what about the more advanced features? We decided to take a look at our current implementation of the advanced options and we discovered a rather glaring flaw in our design. The majority of our advanced features utilize what are known as “rules” or “flags” that are added to the Comment field within the properties of a table in the database. This system of rules makes it very easy to enable any of the advanced options available because it’s a simple matter of adding a short string of text to a field in the database. How hard can that be? Well, since the previous iterations of AMPLE Scaffolder had no way of actually accessing this area of the database, I guess you could answer with, “Quite impossible, actually.”

That’s not to say it was impossible to make the changes required, only that it was not possible using older versions of the AMPLE Scaffolder software. Our previous expectations were that the typical customer would have access to 3rd party utilities such as PHPMyAdmin or SQLYog. By using these applications, they could simply make the changes required to support AMPLE Scaffolder’s advanced capabilities. In hindsight, we have realized that such thinking is quite outlandish as it’s somewhat analogous to selling an expensive car with all the bells and whistles but expecting the customer to already have their own key to get it started. Okay, so maybe were not so good with analogies, but hopefully you get the idea. And so we set about forming a plan to fix this particular dependency in hopes of eliminating the need for 3rd party software in future releases. Well, guess what? Version 2.2.0 of the AMPLE Scaffolder package now includes a built-in Rules Editor that allows you to directly add, modify and remove any rules you want, directly through the application. No more 3rd party software requirements! Woohoo!

Figure 1.1 – The all new AMPLE Scaffolder Rules Editor
The all new AMPLE Scaffolder Rules Editor

An already solid product, this latest release of AMPLE Scaffolder pushes the bar that much higher and makes it easier than ever to take full advantage of advanced features. Among the many options available, AMPLE Scaffolder now supports the automatic joining of lookup tables, Enum, Set, and Boolean field types, allows for uploading and attaching multiple files to a single table record, comes with a built-in image thumbnail generator, and provides the ability to join any table field containing comma separated values back to a secondary lookup table for unique id resolution. For those who stray away from hard-core normalization in their database designs, this last feature alone makes AMPLE Scaffolder well worth the time it takes to download!  Having taken the time to build in these advanced options, we’d really like to see the end user take full advantage of these features. So adding the ability to directly edit rules seemed like a no-brainer.

In addition to the normal bug fixes and a brand new Rules Editor, version 2.2.0 of AMPLE Scaffolder also contains some minor tweaks to the user interface (UI). A new “About” tab has now been added to the tabbed portion of the UI. This new tab provides information on the version number and release date of the current application. It also includes several product-related links for obtaining the latest version as well as a contact link if you have any unanswered questions or product suggestions. Our site-based support page is also linked giving you direct access to our extensive documentation, tutorials, and more. We’ve also replaced the somewhat buggy record row resizing functionality with a brand new “Toggle” button. This button resides to the right of the “Delete” button on the left-hand side of each record. You can now easily expand or contract an individual record to view the full contents within by clicking this button.

I think that about sums up what’s new in version 2.2.0 of the AMPLE Scaffolder package. As always, if you notice any glaring issues or undiscovered bugs, please let us know. You can head to our download page directly to get the latest version. We really hope you like these latest changes and that they make it that much easier to get the software up and running successfully. If you have any recommendations or requests for new features to include, please don’t hesitate to mention them. And thanks again for your interest in the AMPLE Scaffolder software!

Get the All New Gluten-Free AMPLE Scaffolder Package!

What people think of AMPLE Scaffolder

Like an undiscovered cave in the wild, AMPLE Scaffolder often surprises new users with its unexpected depth – it’s definitely worth exploring.

Just another shining example of Step41′s ingenuity, the AMPLE Database Scaffolder utility balances a host of high-end features on the proverbial head of a pin, compiling a multitude of useful developer options into a single flat file less than 200 kilobytes in size.

There’s no doubt about it, if you are a PHP developer that uses MySQL for data storage, Step41′s AMPLE Database Scaffolder utility is a must-have tool for your developer tool belt!

Peel back the layers on this humble little app and you soon discover a master craftsman hidden beneath a modest outward appearance. AMPLE Scaffolder has saved our developers countless hours with its easy-to-use and plentiful feature set.

About the Author

Jeff Todnem has spent a good portion of his career building and supporting technical hardware or software projects. As an avid enthusiast for all things code, Jeff has spent over a decade in the field of web design and application and database development. His server-side experience includes traditional ASP, Coldfusion, PHP and some C# using either Microsoft SQL Server or MySQL Server to drive applications behind the scenes. Although server-side programming occupies much of his time, Jeff is no less obsessed with client-side design, incorporating Javascript and CSS technologies into many of his latest projects. A vocal advocate for open source software, Jeff's current focus is on developing a variety of PHP and Javascript packages that can be used within the open source community.